Monday, July 20, 2015

Vegan Spinach Lasagna with Hemp Seed Sauce

In my pre-vegan days, spinach lasagna was a dish that I loved to make. Layers of thick pasta with marinara and spinach filling was always so satisfying.

Since going vegan 5 1/2 years ago, I have tried many vegan cheeses with mixed results. Some things I like them on but many I don't. For me, lasagna was one of those things that did not work with the vegan cheeses so I stopped making lasagna and my love for it was forgotten.

Until now. A couple weeks ago I discovered hemp seed sauce, and knew right away that using hemp seeds in this way was life-changing for me. Seriously. The hemp seeds provide the rich creaminess that lasagna calls for. With a hearty spinach filling this lasagna is the perfect balance of freshness from the marinara and spinach and hearty richness from the pasta and hemp seed sauce.

My love affair with lasagna has been officially rekindled.

You can make your own ricotta and marinara; I suppose you could even make your own lasagna noodles. In this recipe I used some store bought ingredients and some homemade to save time... I made this on a Monday night after work. But if you want to make more from scratch you should go for it! Tomatoes are in season now and you can't beat fresh tomatoes in marinara sauce.

Vegan Lasagna with Hemp Seed Sauce


1 package lasagna noodles
1 jar marinara sauce

Spinach Filling:
16 oz vegan ricotta (I tried tofutti brand ricotta and it was good in a pinch to save time, but the tofu ricotta recipes floating around the internet are just as good if not better)
10 oz package frozen spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup vegan parmesan (I like Go Veggie brand)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Hemp Seed Sauce:
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 rounded tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini

*if you are big on creamy pasta you may want to double the hemp seed sauce. This sauce is a distant cousin of alfredo sauce and a first cousin of cashew cheese.


Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the lasagna according to package directions and then drain and set aside. I knew this recipe was going to be great when I didn't break a single lasagna noodle....unheard of, right? I usually end up patching the layers with torn pieces; oh well, pretty doesn't always equal tasty.

Spinach Filling:
Thaw the spinach and squeeze out the excess water. Combine all the ingredients listed for the spinach filling and mix well. I just used my hands. Getting tactile with your food is fun!

Hemp Seed Sauce:
Place all the ingredients for the hemp seed sauce into a blender and blend well. Taste to adjust the seasonings if needed or just spend your time trying to resist eating the sauce straight from the blender (or maybe that's just me).

Spray the bottom of a lasagna dish with cooking spray and spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of the pan. Then layer 5 lasagna noodles over the sauce and put 1/3 of the ricotta filling over the noodles, spreading it out as evenly as you can. Then add a layer of hemp seed sauce - using about 1/3 of the sauce - and spread it over the ricotta layer. Add the next layer of 5 noodles, followed by marinara, spinach filling and hemp seed sauce. Repeat once more to make 3 layers. Then finish with the last 5 noodles and remaining marinara sauce.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then take out of the oven to sprinkle some vegan parmesan on top then cover and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

Once it is done let the lasagna rest for 5 or 10 minutes before digging in.

Layer Marinara, Pasta, Spinach Filling and Cheesy Hemp Seed Sauce
For 12 servings
Nutritional Information from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 185 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 57%Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 18%Iron 12%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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