– 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
– 8 oz tempeh, finely chopped (ensure gluten-free friendly as needed)
– 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub tamari or vegan worcestershire sauce, but slightly reduce amount)
– 1/2 tsp fennel seed (optional)
– 1/4 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
– 2 25-oz jars favorite marinara sauce (or DIY)
– 2 ¼ cups raw macadamia nuts (or raw cashews, soaked for 1 hour in hot water, then drained)
– 3 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
– 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (plus more to taste)
– 3/4 tsp garlic powder
– 1/3 scant tsp sea salt
– 1/3 – 3/4 cup water
FOR SERVING (optional)
– Vegan Parmesan Cheese
– Fresh herbs (such as Basil or Parsley)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Set out a large baking dish (9×13 inch or similar size) and lightly grease.
2. Begin by preparing/warming your sauce. Heat a large pot or rimmed 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and tempeh (or mushrooms — we used a mixture of both) and begin sautéing, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.
3. Add coconut aminos (or worcestershire sauce), fennel (optional), and red pepper flake (optional) and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes. The mixture should be golden brown and well cooked.
4. In the meantime, if using noodles that require boiling, bring a large pot of water to a boil (otherwise skip this step). Once boiling, add a healthy pinch of salt and your lasagna noodles (or other pasta shape). Cook according to package instructions to achieve an al dente texture — tender with a little bite. Then drain and set aside. Optional: Drizzle pasta with a little oil to prevent sticking.
5. To the tempeh and/or mushrooms: Add your marinara sauce and stir to combine. Cook on low for about 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding salt to taste or red pepper flake for heat. Turn off heat and set aside.
6. Next, make your “”cheese.”” Add macadamia nuts (or sub soaked cashews) to a food processor or a high-speed blender along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt and mix/blend into a loose paste. Add lesser amount of water (1/3 cup or 60 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Continue mixing, scraping down sides as needed. Then add more water — 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time — until a thick paste forms. I find I get the best texture results with a food processor, but a blender can work, too. It just generally requires more scraping and more liquid. For texture, you’re looking for a thick, spreadable soft “cheese.”
7. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity/brightness, or garlic powder for garlic flavor. Blend again to combine.
8. To begin assembly, add a thin layer of marinara sauce to your baking dish. Spread to ensure even distribution. Then add a layer of the cooked pasta noodles (or uncooked noodles if using no-boil). Top with 1/3 of your cheese mixture and spread into an even layer.
9. Add another layer of marinara sauce and use a spoon to spread over the cheese layer to coat. Then add another layer of noodles. Top with 1/3 of the cheese and spread into an even layer.
10. Add another layer of marinara sauce and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of noodles and remaining 1/3 of the cheese, and spread into an even layer. Top with another layer of marinara sauce and spread into an even layer.
11. Top with another layer of noodles and top with remaining sauce. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.
12. Transfer to the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes uncovered, or until the sauce is bubbly and/or the edges are browned.
13. Carefully remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Then slice, serve, and enjoy. We recommend garnishing with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil or parsley.
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