Lasagna is undoubtedly one of the most popular comfort foods around. It’s a saucy, baked pasta dish layered with cheese and ground meat or vegetables and is utterly delicious.
This recipe is here for those who follow a dairy-free lifestyle or have certain dietary restrictions, but still want to indulge in a cheesy and comforting lasagna. With just a few ingredient swap, you can whip up this scrumptious dairy-free lasagna.
Can You Make Lasagna Without Dairy?
So what makes this lasagna dairy-free?
Well, as you will notice the ingredients list looks very similar to a traditional lasagna with the exception of dairy products.
By substituting the dairy products with their non-dairy counterparts we are able to replicate all of the delicious flavors of a classic lasagna.
Even though this lasagna is free from dairy, we still want to keep it tasty and follow basic lasagna making guidelines to make the best dairy-free lasagna possible.
Let’s take, for example, the sauce.
A successful lasagna recipe isn’t complete without a robust sauce to bring everything together.
Some prefer a creamy sauce, while others prefer a rich tomato sauce. In any case, you want to ensure the sauce is well-seasoned with complimentary herbs and spices such as oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic.
This recipe elevates a basic jar of marinara sauce to create a delicious backdrop for the lasagna layers.
Also, remember to always start your lasagna with a thin spread of tomato sauce on the bottom to prevent the noodles from sticking.
You may be wondering, “how can I replicate the ooey gooey blankets of cheese in this dairy-free lasagna recipe?”
The answer is to experiment with a dairy-free cheese variety such as mozzarella, tofu ricotta or cashew ricotta.
The lasagna is also finished with a store-bought dairy-free mozzarella cheese but you can omit this if you choose and just finish the lasagna with the remaining tomato sauce.
Now for the key ingredient, the lasagna noodles.
Be sure to cook them just under al dente to prevent them from overcooking during the baking process. When layering your lasagna noodles, slightly overlap them to help give the lasagna structure and keep the sauce and filling in place.
Speaking of filling, don’t be afraid to play around and experiment with different fillings for your dairy-free lasagna.
This recipe uses meaty mushrooms but you can choose from a fresh vegetable medley, leafy greens or even veggie grounds to mimic ground meat.
Dairy-Free Lasagna Ingredients
Here’s everything you need to make this non-dairy lasagna recipe!
- Lasagna noodles
- Grapeseed or olive oil
- Diced onions or shallots
- Bell pepper
- Marinara sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Basil leaves (optional)
- Dairy-free ricotta
- Dairy-free mozzarella
How to Make Dairy-Free Lasagna
Begin by heating a medium-sized pot on medium heat.
Add the oil to the pot and proceed to sauté the onion and bell pepper for approximately 2 minutes until they release a pleasant aroma.
Next, add the garlic and mushrooms to the pot and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have turned a rich brown color.
Once the mushrooms are nicely browned, reduce the heat and carefully pour in the marinara sauce.
Season the sauce with Italian seasoning, basil leaves, salt, and pepper and give it a good stir to blend all the flavors together.
Let the sauce simmer without covering for about 10 minutes before removing it from the heat.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Take a 9x13 baking dish and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
Then add another layer of sauce, a few dollops of dairy-free ricotta, and a handful of fresh spinach.
Next add a few dollops of dairy-free ricotta.
Then a layer of fresh spinach.
Add 3 more lasagna noodles on top and repeat the layers of ricotta, sauce, spinach, and noodles.
For the final layer, place the lasagna noodles on top and cover them with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
Sprinkle dairy-free mozzarella over the top of the lasagna.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and put it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and slightly bubbling.
Allow the lasagna to cool for a little bit before slicing and serving. Enjoy your meal!
Substitutions & Alternatives
Ricotta adds a unique creaminess to a traditional lasagna recipe. Feel free to use any dairy-free ricotta cheese of your choice, or give my homemade tofu ricotta a try.
The key to any great recipe is the seasoning. Traditional lasagna recipes always have an array of dried Italian herbs and fresh aromatics.
If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can make a quick blend with 1 tsp each of dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, dried rosemary and red pepper flakes. Combine these spices and proceed according to the recipe.
How To Store Dairy-Free Lasagna
Dairy-free lasagna is best served right away on the same day.
This recipe also keeps well in the fridge which makes it a great option for meal prep. Simply allow the lasagna to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
The lasagna will keep fresh for up to 3 days. If you prefer to freeze it, then follow the same steps above and ensure that the container is freezer-safe then cover it securely in foil. The lasagna will keep fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.
When you are ready to eat, thaw the frozen lasagna overnight in the fridge before reheating.
What To Serve With Dairy-Free Lasagna
Make it a meal and pair your dairy-free lasagna with a fresh salad dressed with a light vinaigrette or a medley of roasted vegetables with a tangy, balsamic drizzle. You can also keep it comforting and homey with a slice of toasted, cheesy garlic bread.