Vegan and Gluten-Free Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
Vegetables are the star in this healthy, meatless, low-sodium, dairy-free, and gluten-free lasagna recipe. Roasting vegetables in a little balsamic vinegar is easy and adds a slightly sweet and subtle smokey flavor to this meal. This lasagna is elegant and hearty enough to serve to guests!
Meatless Lasagna Adds More Vegetables
Ground beef is a main ingredient in most classic lasagna dishes. This meatless lasagna recipe instead gives the spotlight to vegetables. It is well known that adding more vegetables to your diet has many health benefits. Vegetables are naturally lower in calories and fat and have zero cholesterol. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, bone loss, and obesity. Fruits and vegetables may also offer protection against certain cancers. The key is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as each has its unique set of nutrients and often antioxidants. This recipe uses a variety of vegetables and can be customized to include your favorites.
Risks of a Meat-Rich Diet
Eating a meat-rich diet, on the other hand, carries certain risks. Researchers at the National Institute of Health found in a 2012 study that individuals who consumed the highest levels of both unprocessed and processed red meat had the greatest risk of mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.1 Many studies have also found an association with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Flexible and Adaptable Recipe
This recipe is flexible and adaptable. You can vary the vegetables to your preference or what you have on hand (see the recipe for roasted vegetables below). You can also assemble the lasagna the night before, refrigerate it, and have it ready to pop in the oven the next day when you walk in the door. The recipe is kept low in sodium by using the tomato sauce recipe below, and it provides plenty of protein with gluten-free, bean noodles and tofu.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- 2 1/2 cups homemade basic tomato sauce (see link below for the recipe)
- 9 to 11 gluten-free, no-bake lasagna noodles (try Explore Cuisine organic green lentil lasagne noodles)
- 4 cups roasted vegetables (see recipe below)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves and/or baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 6 ounces extra-firm, organic tofu
- 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste
- 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegan mozzarella, optional
Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe
This slightly spicy and easy-to-make tomato sauce is virtually sodium-free, which is key to keeping this lasagna low-sodium, as commercial sauces are often high in salt.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread ½ cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Arrange 3 to 4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
- Spread ½ of the roasted veggies over the noodles and press down gently with a spatula.
- Rinse tofu and pat dry. Mash with a fork in a small bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast to taste along with parsley flakes. You can also add an optional splash or lemon juice to taste. Spread half of tofu mixture over vegetables.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella cheese on top (optional).
- Spread half of the sliced basil leaves and ¾ cup of sauce.
- Top with another layer of 3 to 4 lasagna noodles and press down with a spatula.
- Continue with the remaining veggies and the remaining tofu mixture, 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella if using, remaining basil, and ¾ cup sauce.
- Top with the remaining 3 to 4 lasagna noodles and press down with a spatula.
- Top the lasagna with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with vegan mozzarella cheese if using.
- Bake, covered with foil, for 50 to 60 minutes until hot, slightly browned, and bubbling.
Photo Guide: Roasted Vegetable LasagnaClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Roast Vegetables
Use almost any vegetables you have on hand or prefer. I've listed some examples below. Roasting vegetables gives them slightly smoky taste that is balanced by the sweetness from the balsamic vinegar.
These and other roasted vegetables also make a great side dishes for your main meal. Root vegetables are perfect for a side dish.
Vegetables That Are Great for Roasting
- Bell peppers
Roasted Vegetable Recipe
- 8 cups chopped vegetables (any type you prefer)
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, optional
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground basil
- Ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the chopped veggies in a large glass bowl with oil, vinegar, and spices.
- Spray a lined cookie sheet or roasting pan lightly with cooking spray. Spread the vegetables onto sheet or pan and roast in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, lightly tossing veggies about every 15 minutes and checking for doneness.
Note: Vegetables will shrink down while roasting to make about 4 cups.
Photo Guide: Roasted VegetablesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Note: Nutrition information does not include optional vegan mozzarella cheese. Includes 11 green lentil noodles.
|Serving size: 1/6 of Lasagna|
|Calories from Fat||27|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 3 g||5%|
|Carbohydrates 47 g||16%|
|Fiber 10 g||40%|
|Protein 16 g||32%|
|Sodium 103 mg||4%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Ingredient: No-Bake, Green Lentil Noodles
In an effort to make this lasagne gluten-free and up the protein, I found that these delicious, nutritious and easy noodles fit the bill. Thanks to green lentils, these noodles are high in protein and fiber. They are also USDA organic, non GMO, and the best part is they are no-bake. You just take them out of the box and put them right in your lasagne dish.
1 Wein, Harrison, Ph.D. "Risk in Red Meat? - National Institutes of Health (NIH)." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/march2012/03262012meat.htm>.
"Why Is It Important to Eat Vegetables?" Health and Nutrition Benefits of Vegetables. United States Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables-why.html>.