Vegan Lasagna with Lemon-Basil Cashew Cheeze

Just before Christmas, one of my friends from college gave birth to her second baby girl (a real doll, I might add!). This friend is among a group of five of us who all lived in a tiny blue house not too far from campus. Fortunately, we all still live within an hour or less from each other, so we manage to get together for dinners and beach days now and then. We’ve been through the college years together, then weddings, now kids. Of the five of us, four of us each have two kids. I, of course, am the exception with no kids (by choice). Actually, getting together with them and hearing about their lack of sleep, their frustrations with parenting, their constant feelings of failure — well, it’s the best birth control EVER. I always come home and tell Hubs how smart we are! LOL!

All joking aside, the decision to not have children was something we both agreed on BEFORE we got married. After the previous sentence, I started typing out a big long explanation, but then I deleted it because the bottom line is I don’t owe anyone an explanation. It’s our choice, we’re happy with it – period. This doesn’t mean we’re anti-children. We have seven beautiful nieces and nephews that we adore. Our cousins and friends have some of the sweetest, cutest, smartest, funniest kids I’ve ever met. Kids are cool. We just don’t want our own.

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

So what does all that have to do with lasagna?! There is a connection here, I promise. I was about to tell you that four of us college buds all went to visit our fifth friend and her new baby, and we brought dinner to share. Let me back up to the string of Facebook messages that discussed date, time and what to bring for dinner. Basically, it was suggested that I bring the same veggie lasagna I brought to a prior new baby visit three years ago. I don’t even remember where I got the recipe, but apparently it made an impression. I don’t know if my friends forget that I’m vegan now or if they think it’s just a phase or what – but that recipe wasn’t remotely vegan. Sorry folks, but whatever I’m bringing – it’s gonna be vegan. I gotta eat, too!

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Since this was my first attempt at vegan lasagna and I didn’t have time for a test run, I had to go with a trusted source. When I googled “vegan lasagna” and Oh She Glows’ recipe for Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze popped up, I knew that was the one. OSG is one of my favorite vegan blogs and Angela, the blog author, is a fabulous cook (I can’t wait for her cookbook to come out). You might recall my most recent OSG Test Report on Cranberry, Apricot & Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf, which was definitely a winner. I read through a lot of the comments on the lasagna and everyone that had made it seemed to love it. The other reason I chose it was because it didn’t involve making tofu ricotta, which I felt was too risky. After all, I would be serving this to four carnivores.

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

By the way, those four carnivores (including the most skeptical one) all had very clean plates by the end of the meal – which is always a good sign. Personally, I really enjoyed it and so did Hubs (he got to sample a small bite that was left in the pan when I got home). I left the leftovers with my friend, who told me she ate a piece for breakfast the next morning. Hey, she’s got a newborn – she’s allowed. Since I didn’t have time to photograph the recipe process the first time, I had no choice but to make a second batch for you. Fortunately, it’s not complicated.

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze
 
This lasagna is OUTSTANDING. It may be vegan, but it is definitely carnivore-friendly. So hearty and full of flavor, you'll never miss the meat. If you like, you can always add crumbled veggie burgers to the mix.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegan, Italian
Serves: 12
Ingredients
LEMON BASIL CASHEW CHEEZE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast* (gives the cheese flavor)
  • ¾-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1½ cups fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight
LASAGNA INGREDIENTS
  • ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 8 oz. package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 large or 2 small red peppers, chopped
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • Herbamare or salt/pepper to taste
  • 1½ jars of pasta sauce or homemade marinara sauce
  • 1 box of oven-ready lasagna noodles (no boiling required)
  • Lemon Basil Cashew Cheeze Sauce (from above)
  • 1½ cups vegan shredded "cheese", such as Cheddar and/or Mozzarella Style Daiya Shreds
Instructions
  1. To prepare the Basil Cashew Cheeze Sauce, drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add all cheese sauce ingredients (in the order listed) to a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and blend until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, add oil, onion and garlic; sauté over low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers; sauté for 10 more minutes. Add spinach; sauté for 5 more minutes. IMPORTANT: Season well with Herbamare or salt and black pepper or else you’ll have bland vegetables.
  3. Pour about a cup or so of pasta sauce into a 9×13 pan and spread it evenly. Add a layer of noodles, then half the Lemon Basil Cheeze Sauce, then half the vegetables.
  4. Repeat layers of pasta sauce, noodles, cheeze sauce, veggies. Add another layer of pasta sauce, then sprinkle Daiya Shreds on top.
  5. Cover with foil and slice a few small vents using a sharp knife. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes on medium, watching closely so as not to burn the edges.
Notes
*Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, which is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal. You can find it at health food stores or you can order it online.

Vegan Lasagna from OSG  86lemons.com

Even die hard meat eaters will enjoy this lasagna. It is full of really great flavor and substance. Even though I used store-bought pasta sauce, the lasagna tasted REALLY fresh because of the Lemon Basil Cashew Cheeze. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this for non-vegan friends again. In fact, it’s time for lunch – who’s hungry for leftover lasagna?!

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Comments

  1. says

    That’s so lovely that you and your friends have all managed to keep up with each other. I’m at university now so hope it’s the same for me!
    I saw the lasagna over at oh she glows and thought it looked good, I’m a little obsessed with nut cheeses and sauces :) I do like a tofu ricotta or a combination of tofu/cashew for a lighter version. Glad it was a success.

    (I’m new to your blog and now a subscriber, love it.)

  2. Kaite says

    Can I just say, as a mother of 3 kids, I am completely envious of your decision to not have any. Parenthood is no joke, the hardest job EVER. The lasagna looks great, I love O.S.G. and I love how she rarely uses soy!

  3. Kathy V says

    We made this tonight and it was great!

    I used Trader Joe’s vegan cheese and it completely melted into the dish. It was still delicious though. The Trader Joe’s cheese seems to have a drier texture – so next time I won’t add the cheese on top until after I take the foil off.

    Thanks for the recipe – it’s going to be a regular at our house.

  4. says

    Greetings, Livvy! I just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! The Carnivore husband loved, it as well – always a bonus :-) It will be made many more times, I’m sure – thanks so much for doing the leg work and posting your results for us … your review is really what made me want to try the recipe. I am now a new follower of yours and look forward to your postings!
    Cheers

  5. says

    Livvy, Just have to tell you that I made yesterday and it was AWESOME!! Thanks for posting this recipe…. I might blog about …I’ll link back here and also to OH She Glows…. I couldn’t stop eating it!! :)

  6. says

    This lasagna changed my life. It was THAT good. Amazing recipe, thank you so much for sharing! Since I don’t have access to Daiya in my country, I used breadcrumb/salt/oregano/thyme mix for a crunchy top- it also worked well!

  7. Andrea says

    I made this recipe for a lovely Saturday night dinner (along with a vegan garlic bread loaf) and it was absolutely AMAZING! I’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch everyday so far and am in love. The cashew cheese sauce was superb. Thank you so much!

  8. Sarah says

    The BEST vegan lasagna I have made and I’ve made vegan lasagna a lot. I think it was the Basil Cashew Cheese that made the lasagna. I also fed it to meat eaters and they loved it. Thanks.

  9. John says

    Make this ASAP!

    I made it for my wife (non-vegan) and me for the Super Bowl. She loved it and wanted to have it again sometime this week. Unfortunately, I have had it for breakfast and lunch the last two days. Therefore, I am making it again (at this moment) before I get busted.

    I love lasagna the next day and cold. If it is a good lasagna, the flavors really snap, and this recipe does not disappoint. By far the best Vegie lasagna I have ever had!

  10. Brenda says

    Livvy,

    I made this today for our family gathering, and it turned out great with the yellow mustard instead of the Dijon! I also substituted zucchini strips for the pasta. It was a bit more runny than if I’d used pasta, but everyone loved it!

    Brenda

    • Erin says

      I’m so glad you posted this comment! I’m having family over for a vegan potluck this weekend and one person is paleo. If I exclude the daiya and replace the pasta with zucchini strips in one of the two lasagna’s I plan on making, I think this will pass the test for my paleo family member.

  11. says

    This recipe looks delicious and I will definitely try it out. I enjoy Oh She Glows blog as well. I am going to start following you too.

    I applaud you and your husband for knowing that you don’t want children of your own and not succumbing to “tradition”. Bringing children into the world is a huge responsibility and if you would rather not do it I think it is okay.

  12. Ali says

    I made this tonight and it was to die for, the basil in the cashew ‘cheese’ was just right. Fresh squeezed lemons also make the flavor so bright! Thanks for a great recipe. I will definitely come back to this one – lasagna is always a favorite. AND you were right, I had non gfree/vegan folks eating it with me and they loved it :).

  13. Christina says

    This is by far, my favorite vegan dish. I have made this numerous times for various holidays and events and all my non vegan friends and family love it too. People RAVE about this. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m about to make another try right now to bring to a MOthers Day dinner. I’ve even found gluten free rice lasagna noodles for my grandma who has celiac. This is fantastic!!

  14. JMTaylor says

    My husband is allergic to nuts, but he would love something like this. Would it be okay to substitute a vegan mozzarella cheese instead?

    Thanks.

  15. Megan says

    This is the BEST lasagna I have ever made!!! Do yourself a favor and make this tonight!! Very simple and tasty. I didn’t make any changes, it’s perfect as is.

  16. Sara Webb says

    Just wanted to say that this has become my ‘go to’ recipe for non vegans and for days when only proper comfort food will do. I love it, my husband loves it. We find all other lasagne’s pale in comparison. (I’m writing this as its cooking away in the oven, apologies that its taken me quite so long to write this.. have been making it since you first posted).

  17. Vikki says

    I’m from the UK where we don’t have Daiya cheese and I’ve never really found a vegan cheese that works for me. Could you leave it out?

  18. Khaula says

    Hi,

    This recipe is so awesome, cant wait to try it out. But please help, what is daiya shred? And how do we make mariana?

    Thanks!

  19. Byron says

    To the creator of this recipe:

    Thank you so much! I had a special dinner last night with a special friend, and I wanted to go vegan. The pictures and directions made this very easy to make and I think it turned out great! I think she really like it and I know I did! Thank you, again!

  20. Mary Ann says

    I usually check out OSG for recipes to make, but when I googled vegan lasagna, your blog post with her recipe came up first. I didn’t even realize it was one of Angela’s till I went back and read your whole write-up that went a long with the recipe. Can I just so OH MY GOSH!! This is by far the best vegan lasagna I have ever tried or made. It is so hearty and full of flavor, I can’t wait for my omni boyfriend to try it. Thanks for blogging and positing about this lasagna!

  21. Michelle Adamson says

    This came out so well!! I served it with a peppery side salad and is was absolutely delicious! My other half, who is a carnivore, thought it was scrummy too! Thanks so much!

  22. Paula says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit! It had such good flavor! Even my picky 10 year old gobbled it all up. Thank you for this recipe. This would be a good one to use to introduce non-vegans to plant-based, in my opinion. It’s THAT good.

  23. Jessica says

    LOVE this dish! brought it to a Vegan/Gluten-Free potluck (sub’d in brown rice noodles for oven ready noodles) on the weekend and it was a huge hit!
    I’ll be forwarding your blog on to all my friends :)

    Cheers!

  24. Michelle says

    This is the BEST vegan lasagna I have ever made. Thank you for the awesome recipe. I switched out the veggies for kale, spinach, onion, and tomato. My fiancé hates mushrooms and zucchini. It was still absolutely delicious. That cheese sauce is top notch. I will definitely be making this often.

  25. Ken morine says

    This is baking in the oven as I write! Can’t wait!!! I sampled the cheeze sauce… Delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!

  26. says

    First of all, yes, O.S.G. is amazing.

    Great recipe to put on the newsletter. This looks fantastic. I’m obsessed with cashew cheese, so I’ll be trying it soon.

    By the way, I love your writing style. I READ your posts, not just skip to the recipe. Keep up the great work!

  27. Lyn says

    I usually just look at the blogs for the recipe but I will read the first few sentences and if they are interesting I’ll read the rest of the story part of the blog. I noticed the sentence that spoke about how you both decided before you got married that you didn’t want kids. Since I feel exactly the same way I continued reading and I was amazed that you worded pretty much exactly how I feel about the issue. I don’t feel that I should have to give an explanation to anyone because it is our life and we (my husband and I) are the only ones who have any say in that matter. Thanks for sharing your views on this somewhat sensitive topic. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

  28. Eric says

    Actually, the Lemon Basil Cashew Cheeze here is a recipe that Isa Chandra made for a Stuffed Portabella Pizza recipe. She then adapted it for a vegan lasagna. Do you follow her Post Punk Kitchen blog?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] people out). They were game, though, and decided to try an all-vegan meal. I served OSG’s Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze (cuz it’s awesome), Caesar side salads and sliced baguettes with dipping oil. This was my [...]

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