I don’t say this lightly… This is the BEST and EASIEST vegan lasagna recipe! Layered with a rich marinara, creamy ricotta, spinach, noodles and topped with ooey-gooey vegan mozzarella cheese. No need to pre-cook the noodles!

a slice of vegan lasagna being lifted from a white casserole dish.

After 400+ 5-star reviews, it’s safe to say that this is the BEST vegan lasagna recipe ever

If you love lasagna as much as I do, make sure to check out my Vegan White Lasagna and Butternut Squash Lasagna.

I’ve tried so many different recipes for vegan lasagna; some with veggies throughout and others made with vegan meat. Finally, I came up with this winning version that emphasizes comforting and ultra-satisfying bites using healthy, nourishing ingredients, like cashews, red lentils, and spinach. It’s also easy to put together and make ahead of time, so you can add it to your weekly dinner menu!

My vegan lentil lasagna layers red lentil marinara sauce, vegan ricotta cheese, and spinach in between tender lasagna noodles. Pour my homemade Vegan Mozzarella Cheese on top for extra cheesy bites, then bake until bubbly.

Why is this vegan lasagna the best?

  • The ultimate comfort food: Despite its healthy and nourishing ingredients, this lasagna has comfort written all over it. Every bite is creamy, rich, and so satisfying.
  • Make it ahead of time: Assemble the lasagna or bake it the day before serving! It even freezes well for months.
  • Kid-friendly: I love vegan lasagna with zucchini, greens, and extra veggies. But my kids? Not so much. That’s why this meaty and hearty version hides the veggies so well. You can feel good about feeding your family a healthy meal while indulging in an ultra-comforting dinner!
  • Packed with protein: The red lentils help to pack 26 grams of protein into every serving.
  • Deceptively vegan! Vegan lasagna with cashew ricotta may be healthier than the traditional recipe, but you’d never know it. The cheesy and meaty bites are too good to pass up and are sure to fool the meat eaters in your life!
baked lasagna topped with vegan mozzarella cheese and red sauce in a white casserole dish.

What kind of noodles are best for lasagna?

You don’t have to use no boil noodles for this lasagna even though we aren’t cooking them beforehand! I usually find no boil noodles have eggs in them anyhow. Regular lasagna noodles are what I typically use, and I have used many different shapes and brands over the years. They all work well. Gluten free lasagna noodles as well as whole wheat/whole grain work too! And trust me, you don’t have to pre-cook them!

I use extra sauce and layer it in strategically. With a longer baking time, the noodles cook up perfectly.

If you insist on using no boil noodles, that’s fine, but you won’t need to cook it for as long.

How to make vegan lasagna

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

First, cook the red lentils. Add the lentils and water to a saucepan on the stove and bring the water up to a boil. Simmer until the lentils are soft.

cooked red lentils in a white saucepan.

Drain the water and transfer the cooked lentils to a large bowl. 

Pour the jars of marinara sauce into the bowl, then stir to combine.

marinara sauce and cooked red lentils in a white saucepan.
stirring cooked red lentils and marinara sauce in a white saucepan.

Meanwhile, make the cashew-tofu ricotta by blending the cashews in a food processor until crumbly. Add the ripped tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Pulse again until the “ricotta” is smooth. Or use my almond based Vegan Ricotta instead.

creamy white vegan cashew ricotta in a food processor.

To start assembling the lasagna, pour 1 cup of the red lentil tomato sauce into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Spread it out to the edges with a spatula or spoon.

Next, add the first layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. 

layering lasagna noodles on top of red sauce in a white casserole dish.

Spread half of the cashew ricotta cheese on top, then add half of the spinach. 

Pour more of the marinara sauce over the spinach.

layering spinach into a vegan lasagna.
layering ingredients in a white casserole dish with red sauce and spinach.

Add a second layer of lasagna noodles on top, then add the rest of the “ricotta” and spinach.

To finish, add the third and final layer of lasagna noodles on top of the spinach, then pour the rest of the sauce over top. 

spinach on top of a layered, unbaked vegan lasagna in a white casserole dish.
layering spinach and red sauce in a casserole dish

Cover the casserole dish with a layer of foil and bake the lasagna for 1 hour. After it’s done, let the lasagna cool before slicing and serving.

Alternatively, you can top the lasagna with Vegan Mozzarella Cheese at the 40-minute mark. Take the lasagna out of the oven, remove and discard the foil, and spoon the mozzarella (or vegan shredded cheese) all over the top. Place the lasagna back in the oven until it’s bubbly and gooey (about 20 minutes). 

Let it cool for 15 minutes or so before slicing and serving.

casserole topped with vegan mozzarella cheese in a white casserole dish.

Tips for success

  • Use a marinara sauce that you enjoy the flavor of, or make your own from scratch like my Vegan Spaghetti Sauce.
  • If the vegan ricotta isn’t as smooth as you like, blend in a splash of water at a time until it’s smooth and creamy.
  • Are you adding more veggies to this lasagna? Hearty or watery vegetables, like mushrooms, potatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower, will need to be cooked ahead of time.
  • Let the lasagna cool for at least 15 minutes out of the oven. This gives it time to firm up and set, which prevents the lasagna slices from falling apart and making a mess.

Vegan lasagna variations

Use these ideas to customize the lasagna for your taste buds or dietary restrictions: 

  • Meaty lasagna – I often substitute vegan ground beef for the lentils, such as Beyond or Impossible Meat. To do this, simply cook the vegan ground beef in a pan until it’s browned and cooked through, then stir in the marinara sauce and continue the recipe as normal.
  • Veggie lasagna – Feel free to add even more veggies to the lasagna. My favorites are roasted zucchini, yellow squash, and red onion, but butternut squash, cauliflower, mushrooms, and sweet potato are delicious as well. Just layer in the veggies at the same time as the spinach.
  • Nut free lasagna – To make this vegan lasagna nut free, use a nut free brand of store-bought vegan shredded cheese instead of my homemade mozzarella. For the cashew ricotta, omit the cashews and use another block of tofu in its place. Add extra salt or seasonings to taste, and perhaps a little water if needed to blend.

Frequently asked questions

I don’t have red lentils. Can I use brown or green lentils instead?

For sure! Brown or green lentils don’t get as soft or creamy when they’re cooked, which means they’ll be more noticeable in the sauce. It will still be delicious, though!

Can this recipe be made gluten free?

Yes. All you need to do is replace the noodles! I’ve tested this lasagna with gluten free lasagna noodles and it worked out really well.

What do you serve with lasagna?

First and foremost, vegan garlic bread! The buttery, garlicky bread is the perfect complement to every hearty bite of lasagna. Dutch oven bread is also a good choice. Otherwise, keep the side dishes simple with vegan Caesar salad and cooked vegetables, like roasted brussels sprouts or air fryer asparagus.

Can it be made ahead of time?

Yes, you could assemble the lasagna, cover it, and keep it in the fridge overnight before baking the next day. You can also cook the lasagna, then wait for it to cool and keep it in the fridge overnight. Reheat and serve the next day.

How do you store leftover lasagna? Does it reheat well?

The leftover lasagna or slices can be stored in the covered casserole dish or an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it in a 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese and sauce are bubbly again, or simply microwave until warm.

Can you freeze vegan lasagna?

Yes, the lasagna and individual slices freeze very well before or after baking. Once the lasagna is assembled or finished baking, wait for it to cool, then cover it with a layer of plastic and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Or assemble the lasagna and freeze before baking.

Before serving, thaw the lasagna overnight in the fridge. Bake the next day in a 350ºF oven until warm and bubbly.

close up on a slice of vegan lasagna on a white plate.

Want more impressive vegan pasta recipes?

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a slice of vegan lasagna being lifted from a white casserole dish.
4.95 stars (493 ratings)

The Best Vegan Lasagna

I don’t say this lightly… This is the BEST and EASIEST vegan lasagna recipe! Layered with a rich marinara, creamy ricotta, spinach, noodles and topped with ooey-gooey vegan mozzarella cheese. No need to pre-cook the noodles!
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 large servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • (2) 25-ounce jars marinara sauce
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 14.5 ounce firm tofu patted dry
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from about 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 box lasagna noodles (about 12 noodles) regular, gluten free or whole grain
  • Double recipe Easy Vegan Mozzarella Cheese or 2-3 cups shredded vegan mozzarella

Instructions 

  • Cook the red lentils. Add 1 cup dried red lentils and 3 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils in a fine strainer, and then add back to the pot and stir in the marinara sauce. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make the Cashew-Tofu Ricotta: Add the cashews to a food processor and process until fine and crumbly. Then add the tofu in chunks, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, basil, oregano and garlic powder to the food processor. Pulse until well combined and pretty smooth. If it's too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to blend. Set aside.
  • Assembling the lasagna: Add about 1 cup of lentil marinara to the bottom of a large 9×13 inch casserole dish. Spread it around evenly. Next add 4-5 lasagna noodles (uncooked). Spread half of the ricotta on top of the noodles. Top with half of the spinach. Add about 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the spinach, then place 4-5 lasagna noodles on top. Spread the rest of the ricotta over the noodles, then the rest of the spinach. Place 4-5 more noodles on top of the spinach, and then pour the rest of the sauce over the top, evenly. 
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • While the lasagna is cooking, make your Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, if using. Alternatively, use 2-3 cups store bought vegan mozzarella cheese.
  • After 40 minutes, remove the foil and spoon on the mozzarella (or sprinkle the cheese all over). Place the lasagna back in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, uncovered. Remove from oven, let cool for at least 15 minutes and serve.
  • Leftover lasagna will keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator. See notes for freezing instructions.

Video

Notes

  1. Meaty Lasagna – Often I substitute vegan ground beef such as Beyond or Impossible for the lentils. To do this, simply cook the vegan ground beef in a pan until cooked, then stir in the marinara and proceed with the recipe.
  2. Veggie Lasagna – Feel free to add some veggies in addition to the spinach if you want. I like to roast a few zucchini/yellow squash/red onion and perhaps butternut squash, cauliflower or sweet potato. Then layer in the lasagna with the spinach layer.
  3. Nut Free Lasagna – To make the lasagna nut free, use store bought vegan cheese shreds for the top layer (and ensure it’s a nut free brand!). For the ricotta, omit the cashews and add another block of tofu. Add extra salt or seasonings to taste, and perhaps a little water if needed to blend.
  4. Lasagna noodles – You don’t need to use no boil lasagna noodles for this recipe. The noodles will cook in the oven because of the extra sauce. I’ve tested it with gluten free, whole wheat and regular noodles. They all work well. If you want to use no boil noodles or cook the noodles beforehand, you can, but I would recommend using a bit less marinara sauce and you could cut the cook time down to 30-40 minutes.
  5. Freezer Lasagna – Assemble the lasagna, but instead of baking, let cool, cover and wrap well and freeze. Alternatively, you can freeze it after baking and cooling. Either way will work fine. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350 degrees F oven until warm throughout. Individual slices also freeze well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 1149mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1479IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this recipe! I made 2 vegan lasagnas. One was this one, with spinach, mushrooms and zucchini. The other was without the veggies, and with Gardein crumbles added to the sauce, and also using your vegan-ricotta (I wanted to try both ricotta options you offered). I wanted to make your easy-stretchy-vegan-mozzarella-cheese but I couldn’t find the tapioca starch, so I’ll have to try that some other time. Anyway, everything came out great! I especially love the sauce made with lentils. I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes 🙂

    1. You are welcome, Susan! I’m so excited that you loved the lasagna! Thank you for sharing you stellar review and feedback! Welcome to my site, and I hope you enjoy your journey through my recipes! Please reach out with any questions. Happy cooking to you!

  2. Another winner Nora! We loved this recipe! I actually had some leftover cashew sauce from another recipe, so next time I will add the tofu. The lentil and sauce combo is delicious. It looks like a lot, but it was the perfect amount. We are big spinach fans and next time will play around with adding more veggies or plant based sausage/meat to experiment. I just started subscribing to your emails which are so inspiring (making the eggplant curry dish tonight!). Thank you for sharing your recipes!❤️

    1. Hi Jen. You are welcome, and your feedback is so encouraging to me! I’m so glad my ideas are helpful for you! Thank you for taking time to share your stellar review and feedback! Happy cooking!

  3. I’ve made this recipe a few times and love it! I do have a few suggestions:

    1) When putting on the fake mozzarella cheese sauce, I suggest using an ice cream/cookie scoop with the release mechanism where it scrapes the bottom of the spoon. This made it a lot easer to plop on a layer of cheese without clumping it, which I did the first time.

    2) I found this MUCH too rich with added vegan cheese. I love vegan cheese (violife my beloved) but it was so heavy imho.

    I need to figure out how to make this and freeze for later with half sizes. I love it but it’s just me eating it and boy, it’s a LOT of lasagna 🙂

    1. That’s a great idea to use a cookie scoop to release the cheese. And you can absolutely leave off the cheese altogether if you prefer. Or just sprinkle some violife mozzarella on top, to your liking. 🙂 It is a lot of lasagna for sure! What I do if I have a lot leftover is cut it into individual slices and freeze in freezer friendly containers. Then I can just pull one out for a quick meal. You could also enjoy what you want, then freeze the rest, wrapped well for the freezer.

  4. Hi Nora, will this be okay if it’s assembled the night before? If not, what about the morning of and it stays in the fridge for about 5-6 hours before the oven?

    1. Hi Valeria. Yes, it will work just fine to assemble and refrigerate the lasagna a day ahead of time, then bake when ready. It might take a bit longer in the oven since it will be cold going in. Enjoy!

  5. This was really good. I thought there was too much tomato sauce but there wasn’t. The only problem is I used frozen tofu because it is all I had and it was too dry. Frozen tofu is better for marinating but not for making ricotta cheese substitute

  6. I want to make this for a potluck. In the past when I have tried to reheat casseroles especially pasta in the oven they become overcooked and mushy. I don’t have time to make it the day of. Should I reheat the entire dish in the microwave day of or should I choose a different dish entirely?

    1. I don’t think this lasagna will get super mushy when reheated the day of. If you can fit it in the microwave, that’s fine for warming up, or in the oven covered with foil.

  7. I have been making this lasagna for a few years now! I have not even considered trying a new recipe and I love how well it freezes. With only 2 of us I freeze just 2-3 meals worth and love having them to warm up when we are out of groceries later on!

    1. Hi Claire. I love being able to freeze meals – so nice to have! I am thrilled that you love the recipe and use it often! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review and feedback!

      1. Okay this was delicious but gave everyone in the house the most violent farts to the point were all scared to eat the remaining leftovers.

        1. 😂 that’s good to know. Although I’ve found eating vegan foods tends to have that effect on me in general

        2. I’ve found that soaking my lentils for 30 min to an hour before cooking (and replacing the water with fresh water a couple times) greatly decreases the gas. 🙂

  8. Made this last night for my Sweetie and I, and lasagna is his favorite; I’ve been making the ramped up version of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s for years, but I’ve got to say, I think we may have a NEW fave! 😉 The lentils bring a nice, earthy flavor with the marinara sauce, and that vegan ricotta is delicious!! This was easy to make, and I can’t believe I get to make it without boiling the noodles! I just sprinkled some vegan mozzarella on top for the final 20 minutes and did like 2 minutes of broil to really get the cheese melted. I *might* have given myself an unnecessary 2nd helping, but I thoroughly enjoyed it 😉 Thank you for this winner!

    1. I am thrilled that you loved the lasagna recipe! Not having to cook the noodles is one of my favorite parts! Thank you for taking your time to share your fabulous review and wonderful comments. Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  9. My family loved this lasagna! The mozzarella cheese is amazing. I prepped a lot of it the day before which made it so easy to put together in a short amount of time. I’m never dissatisfied with Nora Cooks recipes.

    1. Thank you, Danelle, for your encouraging words and review! I appreciate you using my recipes! Thanks for your fantastic review! Happy cooking to you!

  10. Hi Nora,

    Big fan! I just made this delicious lasagna for the family. I was wondering when doing the freezer version do you make the mozzarella ahead of time and put it on the lasagna before freezing? I was unsure if you wait until thawing, make the mozzarella, and then add it after the final bake? The mozzarella recipe said make right before serving so I was just checking!

    Thank you so much! Looking forward to making more recipes of yours! Your vegan curry is a weekly staple here.

    1. For freezing, I would wait to put the mozzarella on until ready to bake (so just leave that off, make it right before baking). It will be better that way. I have frozen individual slices with the mozzarella, and it works okay, but it’s better fresh. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes, thank you!

  11. Awesome Vegan Lasagna recipe! It’s my go to recipe! I find that I don’t need to double the mozzarella recipe for the top as I find it makes too thick of a layer in my opinion. I also noticed that my ricotta was dry when using firm tofu so I added a little bit of water the first time to make it more spreadable. The second time I made the lasagna, I added thawed and drained frozen chopped spinach to the ricotta mixture instead of water and it worked like a charm and I just omitted the other layer of spinach that the recipe normally calls for. I also add sautéed cremini mushrooms to the sauce. Can’t wait to try other variations!

    If pre making uncooked lasagna ahead of time to freeze, does it need to be thawed before baking?

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed the lasagna! I would thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before baking, it will cook more evenly and faster than if you stick it in the oven straight from the freezer. Thanks!

  12. I’ve been making this lasagna for a couple of years now. It is the BEST vegan lasagna recipe I have ever made – and I’ve been vegan for 30+ years. Adding red lentils to the marinara sauce is brilliant – I do this now for many of my pasta sauces. Thanks, Nora, for giving us such a wonderful treat! (I also love your Vegan Ziti recipe, too!)

  13. Great recipe! Followed the recipe exactly as written (including Nora’s mozzarella). I used whole wheat lasagna noodles. Will make this many more times! Love the high amount of fibre and protein, very filling😊

  14. Hello, thank you so much for this recipe. I would like to know if there is a reason that you recommend firm tofu versus a medium or soft for the tofu ricotta. I liked the lasagna however I found the tofu ricotta mixture rather dry (and hard to spread) even though I followed your directions exactly and added some water. I am wondering if I will get a softer and more oozy consistency with a medium or soft tofu instead of firm? This is only my second time working with tofu so I know very little.

    The recipe itself was pretty good however I feel that the tofu ricotta mixture needed more flavour. I doubled the dried herbs which helped but I think it needed even more. The next time that I make it, I will try to add some minced garlic and fresh rosemary in addition to a dried mix of Italian herbs.

    The mozzarella on top made the lasagna as it was so delicious. I added dried herbs and some nutritional yeast and extra salt to the mozzarella while it was cooking and I eliminated the apple cider vinegar. I actually forgot to dot it with olive oil and put it under the broiler for browning, I just put it back in the over for 20 minutes. Although it didn’t brown, it tasted delicious on top.

    I also found that even though I used quite alot of sauce, it still wasn’t quite enough (probably because of the density of the tofu ricotta mixture). I actually had a ton of sauce left over so next time, I will drench it much more.

    The lasagna itself holds together beautifully

    1. Hi Toria! If you want the ricotta to be softer, you can absolutely use soft or medium tofu. Or add more water until the consistency is more to your liking. You can also add more herbs, lemon juice and salt, to taste.

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