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Basic + Awesome Vegetarian Lasagna

24 reviews / 4.8 average

The very best Vegetarian Lasagna! Walnuts, zucchini, carrots, onions, and mushrooms blitzed up into a meat-like texture that gets layered with lots of cheese and sauce. Cozy + nourishing!

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What do I need to say to get you to believe me that walnuts, zucchini, carrots, onions, and mushrooms make for a very delicious, very feel-good, very cozy and comforting, sauce-bubbling, cheesey-browning, and all-around winning vegetarian lasagna?

I can promise you that all the veggies are blitzed up in the food processor so we have zero watery veggie chunks, and instead they really resemble something more like ground meat (but with better flavor, IMHO)?

I can point out the layer of mascarpone cheese with the grated fresh garlic for a creamy little bite?

I can mention that not only did Bjork and I really, really enjoy this vegetarian lasagna, but our two-year-old also gave it her rare seal of approval and asked for, um, thirds?

Ingredients for lasagna.

How Make Vegetarian Lasagna Happen

Who knew vegetarian lasagna could be so fun and so good.

It starts with an easy vegetarian bolognese featuring veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and carrots – although those are fairly interchangeable with whatever you like and whatever you have on hand – plus a handful of walnuts which really make it into something special and filling. You can make your own marinara, but I have a personal rule that if I’m making something that’s going to involve several steps of layering and such, I will take the opportunity to use my favorite jarred sauce, thank you very much.

Your plants-only bolognese gets tucked in between lasagna noodles (unboiled – I prefer to let the oven do the work for me) and several layers of cheese, including that creamy mascarpone layer that is flecked with a clove of fresh grated garlic that really takes the whole thing to the next flavor level.

The smells, the texture, the whole mood in the house while this is baking…

Crave-able and super satisfying. Highly recommend.

Lasagna oozing cheese on a plate.

Vegans Welcome, Too!

I would like to note – we did try making a cheese-less version of this that was pretty good, but I couldn’t get Bjork’s approval on that one. I guess for us, we needed the cheese for it to feel like a good solid lasagna.

That being said, if you are vegan, I have used the vegan bechamel from the Plants Only Kitchen cookbook by Gaz Oakley and that made for a really nice, creamy replacement to the mascarpone and other cheese in between the layers. You could probably also use vegan cheese shreds or a vegan cream cheese like Tofutti.

Whether you’re doing the vegetarian cheesy version, or something totally cheese-less and vegan, this is one of my favorite fun and interesting and plant-forward ways to eat a big ol’ saucy, bubbly pan of lasagna.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

Common Questions About This Vegetarian Lasagna

Can I chop all my veggies at one time?

Yep! You could chop all your veggies in the food processor at the same time if you have a big enough food processor! However, I prefer to do it in batches because a) my food processor doesn’t fit all these veggies at once, and b) that allows you to put the softer stuff together, and the firmer stuff together, which helps them all chop more uniformly.

Can I freeze leftovers?

You can! We’d recommend just storing leftovers in a freezer-safe container.

What can I substitute for mascarpone?

You could use ricotta cheese instead.

Can I make this lasagna vegan?

We tried making this without cheese and it received a thumbs up me but not from Bjork. We liked the vegan bechamel though from the Plants Only Kitchen cookbook by Gaz Oakley – this worked really well as a creamy cheese replacement.

Print
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Basic + Awesome Vegetarian Lasagna


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 jumbo servings 1x

Description

The very best Vegetarian Lasagna! Walnuts, zucchini, carrots, onions, and mushrooms blitzed up into a meat-like texture that gets layered with lots of cheese and sauce. Cozy + nourishing!


Ingredients

Scale

Easy Vegetarian “Bolognese”:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 12 teaspoons kosher salt + black pepper to taste
  • one 24-ounce jar of your favorite tomato sauce

Creamy Layer:

  • one 8-ounce container mascarpone
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box uncooked lasagna noodles (about 12 noodles for a 9x13 pan)

Instructions

  1. Place the mushrooms, walnuts, and zucchini in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process with garlic, onion, and carrots.
  2. Heat butter or olive oil over medium high heat. Add your chopped veggies along with the spices. Sauté for 7-10 minutes until very soft and fragrant. Add tomato sauce and salt; stir to combine. Taste and adjust! Your seasoning amounts will depend on your brand of sauce.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix mascarpone cheese with grated garlic and salt. 
  4. Start with spreading a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Then, layer in the following order for each layer: a few noodles, 1 cup sauce, a few dollops of mascarpone, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and repeat (I usually get 4 layers out of this amount). End with noodles, sauce, cheese, and dollops of extra sauce on top to make it pretty.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes to get the cheese browned on top. Let stand for 10 minutes or so, then cut and serve!

Equipment

  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegetarian lasagna, vegan lasagna, healthy lasagna, healthy lasagna, lasagna recipe

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This recipe is part of our collection of delicious mushroom recipes. Check it out!

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Recipe rating

99 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kate Helmer

    I’m allergic to walnuts. Does any other nut fit the flavor/texture profile? Hope so as recipe sounds absolutely delicious. Thx!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      April Horsman

      We have a walnut/pecan allergy in our house. I’ve swapped almonds in similar recipes with great results!






    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      have you thought in PINENUTS??? they are delicious and give you that crunch and tecture to your food….Good luck…Unless you are alergic to TREENUTS like my grandson that wouldn’t be suitable for you
      .

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jess

    Do you think this would still be good with much less parmesan, or a less salty alternative? We have a younger baby who can’t have that much salt

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Colleen

    Sounds so good…quick question…would the meat like mixture be good for other Vegetarian recipes like chili or tacos? Thanks, Colleen

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Katya

      Looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it! Is there anything i can use to cut the calories on noodles in here?

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Lulu

        Mmmh I’m sorry but lasagna without noodles is not lasagna. If you really want to « cut calories » eat a smaller portion, but please don’t take noodles out of this dish. Noodles are life, and you don’t need to ban them!!

      2. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Heather

        You can slice zucchini lengthwise and use them for lasagna noodles. You could alternate doing a noodle layer followed by a zucchini layer, or just go all zucchini. If you look up zucchini lasagna noodles you can get more detailed instructions.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo
          Alisha

          This was so good!! Just in case other people run into the same issue – I tried to put all the mushrooms/zucchini/walnuts in my food processor at the same time like the recipe says and it was waaay too much. I kept scraping the bowl, but ended with more of a mushroom paste situation by the time the larger pieces were broken down. So don’t do that, people. Still tasted great, but it was kind of a grey sad sauce color : (






      3. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Krista @ Pinch of Yum

        Are you looking for a replacement for the noodles? You could maybe try zucchini or eggplant slices.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ashley

    Just to clarify, this is using no-boil noodles? That is probably obvious since the instructions don’t say to cook them, but wanted to be sure 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      You can use no-boil, but regular lasagna noodles will work too even though you don’t cook them prior to assembling the lasagna. Enjoy!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Nora

        I have to say, while this smells delicious and is probably going to be wonderful, the cook time is not even close. I’m 65 mins into baking and the noodles still are not done. Next time, I’d opt for the no boil variety.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Janice

    This looks amazing and I am inspired to make this for dinner but was wondering about the noodles. Do you assemble the lasagne with the raw noodles or is there a forgotten step where we boil them first?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      You do not need to boil the noodles prior to assembling the lasagna!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sam

    1200 calories per serving ? That sounds like a lot even for a very cheesy dish! Is that right?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Sam! We took another look at the nutrition calculation and made an adjustment. If you wanted to further cut down on the calories, you could try to get 8-9 slices out of the pan!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I usually make this vegetarina lasagna with ROTATUILLE and Mushrooms, walnuts doesnt appeal to us, but I know is very Yummy. Thanks….. We are meat eating family but since we became older with my husband are eting less and less meat as they are hard to digest so we are eating lots of meals without red meat.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Sounds amazing, Barbara! So glad you were able to customize the lasagna!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Caroline

    Hi! I am allergic to all types of nuts, so I cannot put walnuts in when I make this. Any other ideas to get a similar texture or flavoring? Or should I just not replace it with something else. Thanks!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melissa

    I always use your creamy cauliflower sauce for the creamy layer in my almost vegan lasagna -very easy to make with frozen cauliflower. I need the cheese on top. Can’t wait to try this version with nuts in the filling.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this and love the flavors but the bottom noodles were still hard. Any advice? The marscapone is so delish I think I will double it next time!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Ashley

      I had the same issue with the bottom layer of noodles. Also planing to reduce the amount of veggies a bit and add more marscapone next time; mine ended up heavy on the veggie/sauce component and it was a bit overbearing. Still tasted great, though!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Krista @ Pinch of Yum

        Sorry to hear this happened, Ashley. We suggest spreading a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan prior to starting the first layer of noodles!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Krista! Sorry to hear about the uncooked noodles. We suggest spreading a layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan before starting the first layer of noodles. This will give the noodles some liquid to cook in. We apologize if this step wasn’t clear, but we have updated the recipe now!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Aileen

    I made this tonight. My furnace died and my house is freezing, so having this for dinner really helped! It was delicious. Definitely my new favorite vegetable lasagna.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad this lasagna warmed you up! Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jay Shah

    Do you not know that parmesan cheese is not vegetarian? Basic level of attention to detail will help before publishing such receipies.






  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Dian S

    This is super awesome! Thank you for bringing this fabulous food to our table. Found mascarpone at the deli counter at Walmart. Prep was easy and quick. Used gluten free noodles. Husband will definitely want repeats of this! Did sprinkle McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple seasoning on the top. Use it for lots of veggie recipes.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Wow, that McCormick seasoning sounds amazing! So glad you enjoyed the lasagna!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Joy H.

    Any suggestions on a substitute for the mushrooms? I love them but hubby cannot have them.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Marina

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was sooo good! Everyone loved it even my picky children. I used a beschemel sauce instead of the marscapone and only used about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Will definitely make it again.






  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Maeve

    Im not usually one to comment on recipes, but I made this tonight and it was incredible. The walnuts make for such a good texture. Great recipe!






  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Renae

    Made two of these for my family and another family with a new baby. Both families, with toddlers!, loved it!! This will be my new go to for lasagna recipes.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Happy to hear the lasagna was a hit with your family and friends, Renae!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Martie

    This was really easy and super good-if you think you want to try it-it’s a keeper!!

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Paige

    Just curious about freezing it. Do you recommend cooking it first, and then freezing it? Sorry- probably a silly question. Thanks in advance!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Paige! Not a silly question. You can definitely freeze the lasagna after cooking. Since we’ve tested this method, this would probably be your best bet if you’d like to have a meal in the freezer ready to heat. We also think you could prep the lasagna, and then freeze before cooking, but we haven’t tested this method, so we’re unsure on the exact cook time from frozen.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jane E Allen

    I made this last night and my husband could not stop talking about it. We are having it again tonight for dinner and froze the rest in portions for lunches or future dinners. Everything worked perfectly from the dry noodles to the lasagna coming out in perfect squares without sliding everywhere. I was so happy I could have cried. A real triumph! Thank you for such a delicious treat.






  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Claire Descours

    This was nice however all the family agreed it was too rich with the mascarpone. Next time I’m leaving that out






  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Heather

    Could I use ricotta or cream cheese instead of mascarpone? Really just wondering why you call for mascarpone and not ricotta. Regardless, this recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We love the flavor and texture of mascarpone, but you can absolutely substitute ricotta! Enjoy!

  23. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amity

    I wish I could rate this recipe even higher! I made it last night and my meat-eating partner absolutely LOVED it. He went back for seconds and said that he couldn’t tell there’s no meat in it! (He’s used to eating my vegetarian food but was an unusual comment – to me it doesn’t taste like ‘meat’ though, for anyone who may read this and be hesitant to cook it.)
    We will have it for dinner again tonight and I’ll freeze a couple of serves. Next time, I might even add more mascarpone because it makes it so nice and creamy! I couldn’t find any curly lasagna sheets, so I hope I can hunt some down as I think it makes it look even better (and we do eat with our eyes). Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! Thanks for this delicious recipe!!!