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This protein-packed vegan lentil lasagna is hearty, satisfying and perfect for the whole family! Layered with gluten-free lasagna noodles, seasoned homemade almond ricotta, lentil pasta sauce and dairy-free béchamel, this dish is pure vegan comfort food!
When you live in a household of not only mixed eaters, but mixed picky eaters, you literally do a little happy dance when EVERYONE enjoys the same meal.
And this just happens to be one of those meals.
When my cheese-obsessed but semi-lactose intolerant older daughter and my “I could live off pizza every day” extremely picky younger daughter are BOTH down with the same dish (that isn’t pizza), I know we’ve got a winner.
My husband will pretty much just eat whatever I put in front of him since he’s gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, so I’m not so worried about him lol. 😉
So, when I got the stamp of approval from both kids and the hubby for this lasagna, I definitely did that happy dance. 😉
Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan or just cutting back on meat and dairy, this dish is for you!
Ingredients you’ll need
For the ricotta filling
To make the filling for this lasagna, I used my almond ricotta recipe as a base and added some seasonings.
- Slivered Almonds
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Nutritional Yeast
- Lemon Juice
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)
- Fresh, Chopped Parsley
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
For the white sauce
- Vegan Butter or Olive Oil
- Chickpea Flour
- Unsweetened Oat Milk
- Black Pepper
For the lasagna
- Oven-Ready, Gluten-Free lasagna noodle sheets – I used Jovial brown rice noodles but also recommend Explore green lentil, Barilla corn/rice blend, Simply Balanced corn/rice blend.
- 2 (24-25 oz.) jars pasta sauce
- Canned lentils (green or brown) – I used Westbrae but recommend this Natural Value brand as well. Goya also makes canned lentils, but they are not organic. You can also used precooked bagged lentils such as this kind from Geffen.
How to make vegan lentil lasagna – step by step
For the almond ricotta
Step 1: Add all of the ricotta ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend on high until almonds have been fully blended and no visible chunks remain, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
Step 2: Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add vegan Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder and black pepper.
Stir to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Béchamel sauce
Step 1: Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium heat.
Step 2: Once the butter is melted or oil is heated, whisk in the chickpea flour to make a roux. Whisk until it resembles a thick paste and is golden in color. Any clumps will melt during cooking and whisking.
Step 3: Whisk in the milk, salt and pepper.
Step 4: Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once boiling, whisk for 30 seconds and then remove from heat.
Sauce will continue to thicken as it sits off of the heat. Stir in more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Cover and set aside until ready to use. Be sure to give it a good stir right before using.
For the lasagna
Step 1: Preheat oven according to the lasagna noodle package’s directions (between 375° F and 425° F depending on brand).
Step 2: Add sauce to a mixing bowl. Add the lentils.
Stir in the lentils.
Step 3: Line the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with 1 cup of the lentil sauce.
Step 4: Add the first layer of lasagna sheets (4 sheets) in the sauce-lined baking dish. It’s OK if they overlap a bit.
Step 5: Dollop approximately 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture onto each lasagna sheet.
Spread around the ricotta across the entire layer of noodles using a small silicone spatula or spoon.
Step 6: Pour 2 cups of sauce over top of the cheese layer. Spread around.
Step 7: Pour 1/4 cup of béchamel over top of the sauce layer.
Step 8: Top with 4 more lasagna sheets. Repeat the process 1 more time.
Step 9: Cover the top of the lasagna with the remaining lentil sauce. Spread around. Pour on the remaining béchamel.
Step 10: Cover with foil and bake for *50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
- If it seems like 48-50 ounces of pasta sauce is a lot, it’s because no boil noodles soak up liquid during baking since they weren’t precooked in water. You want to be sure to fully coat the bottom of your baking dish with sauce or the noodles can stick to it. Also, ensure that none of the noodles are exposed and that they are fully covered in sauce. Doing so will prevent the them from drying out and hardening during cooking. What it comes down it is, don’t be skimpy with the sauce. In fact, if you’d like, you can have some extra on hand for those who would like to put a little more on their portions like my sauce-obsessed husband. 😉
- Don’t remove the foil too soon. When uncovered, the sauce will start drying out. We want to get rid of some of the excess moisture from the sauce which is why the foil is removed for the last 10 minutes. However, if you leave the covering off for too long, too much moisture will be lost and the noodles will start drying out.
- Want to prep in advance? You can make the ricotta, lentil sauce mixture and bechamel ahead of time and store them in the fridge until ready to use. Just be sure to give the béchamel a good whisk or stir before using. You can also prepare the lasagna in the morning, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove the lasagna and leave out at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before baking.
Can I used dry lentils instead of canned?
Yes, you can swap out the canned lentils for 3/4 dry red, green or brown lentils. Cook according to package directions and set aside until ready to use. I recommend starting them before the almond ricotta so that they cook while you are making the cheese.
This lasagna is perfect on its own or garnished with fresh basil and/or topped with some store-bought vegan Parmesan cheese (my favorites are Thrive Market brand and Follow Your Heart) or try our homemade pumpkin seed Parmesan.
You can also serve it with a simple side salad and/or our vegan, gluten-free garlic bread.
Storing and reheating leftovers
Leftover lasagna can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If your baking dish has a lid, you can keep it stored in the baking dish. Otherwise, you can store the cut pieces alone or in groups in airtight containers.
The lasagna pieces can also be frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Before freezing, top the lasagna pieces with additional red pasta sauce. You can place a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil over top of the container before sealing for extra protection. Thaw thoroughly in the refrigerator before reheating.
To reheat, place lasagna in a small baking dish lined with some additional tomato sauce, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375° F until warmed throughout.
You can also microwave instead, if desired. Place a piece of lasagna on a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave for 1 minute, followed by 30-second intervals, until thoroughly heated.
You might also enjoy:
Vegan Lentil Lasagna with Red and White Sauce
FOR THE RICOTTA FILLING
- 10 oz slivered almonds
- 2/3 cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
- 10 tbsp filtered water
- 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup grated or shredded vegan Parmesan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)
- 1/3 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
FOR THE BECHAMEL (WHITE) SAUCE
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (use soy-free butter if needed;sub olive oil if desired)
- 2 1/2 tbsp chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour) (use 3 tbsp if using olive oil)
- 1 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened oat milk, brought to room temperature or warmed but not hot or boiling (ensure the brand you are using is certified GF if necessary)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, plus more to taste if desired
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste, if desired
FOR THE LASAGNA
- 8-10 oz oven-ready, gluten-free lasagna noodle sheets (I used Jovial brown rice noodles but also recommend Explore green lentil, Barilla corn/rice blend, Simply Balanced corn/rice blend)
- 2 (24-25 oz.) jars pasta sauce (check ingredients to ensure the brand you are using is vegan and gluten-free)
- 1 (15 oz) can brown or green lentils, drained and rinsed (Alternatively, you can use a 16 oz. bag of plain pre-cooked brown or green lentils, drained and rinsed; **see notes below for using dried lentils instead)
FOR THE RICOTTA FILLING
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend on high until almonds have been fully blended and no visible chunks remain, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. The final product should be creamy with the consistency resembling traditional ricotta. Be careful not to overblend or the consistency will become paste-like.
- Transfer ricotta to a mixing bowl. Stir in vegan Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
FOR THE BECHAMEL (WHITE) SAUCE
- Melt the butter or heat the oil in a 2-qt. or 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted or oil is heated, whisk in the chickpea flour to make a roux. Whisk until it resembles a thick paste and is golden in color. Be careful not to burn. Any clumps will melt during cooking and whisking.
- Whisk in the milk, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once boiling, whisk for 30 seconds and then remove from heat. Sauce will continue to thicken as it sits off of the heat. Stir in more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Cover and set aside (off the heat) until ready to use. Give it a good stir right before using.
FOR THE LASAGNA
- Preheat oven according to the lasagna noodle package's directions (between 375° F and 425° F depending on brand).
- Add sauce to a mixing bowl and stir in lentils. Line the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish with 1 cup of the lentil sauce. Add the first layer of lasagna sheets (4 sheets) in the sauce-lined baking dish. It's OK if they overlap a bit.
- Dollop approximately 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture onto each lasagna sheet. Spread around across the entire layer using a small silicone spatula or spoon. Pour 2 cups of sauce over top of the cheese layer. Spread around. Pour 1/4 cup of bechamel over top of the sauce layer. Spread around. Top with 4 more lasagna sheets. Repeat this process 1 more time.
- Cover the top of the lasagna with the remaining lentil sauce. Spread around. Pour on the remaining bechamel.
- Cover with foil and bake for *50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.
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