There are tons of dairy-free recipes out there, which is fantastic for those with allergies, but also awesome if you’re just trying to cut a little more dairy out of your diet. However, they obviously often require a different approach or ingredients (like using more canned coconut milk, such as in this Coconut Curry Chicken or crock-pot egg bakes).
This recipe was a very well-received low-dairy, dairy-free experiment (see note on pesto below)! The first time I made it, I asked Andy what was different about it from regular lasagna and he couldn’t put his finger on it. When another dairy-free friend said she preferred it to her regular lasagna recipe; I knew we were on to something!
If you’re familiar with making Lasagna, you know it is slightly labor intensive because there are a few different steps, and in this case, you also have to make your Cashew Cream “Ricotta Cheese” (it only takes about 5 minutes). Try not to be intimidated by the length of the directions – the prep is not a weeknight “get it on the table quick” meal, but it is a fabulous weekend prep/meal to eat and make extra for the freezer! The recipe below is ALREADY DOUBLED (which makes for at least 4 meals for us)! So, you can either assemble two and simply place one in the freezer before the final baking step. Or you can prepare a double batch of sauce/cream, divide in half and freeze and thaw before assembling more lasagna another day. When I make Lasagna, I make it in bulk!
NOTE!! I added a layer of pesto…but pesto has CHEESE IN IT! So, if you are entirely dairy-free you need to either: eliminate the pesto and add some additional salt/seasoning or substitute a dairy-free version (like this one). I learned this pesto idea from my friend Sarah’s blog and her gorgeous Harvest Veggie Lasagna and I am so, so, so glad I tried it! It adds a totally different, unique layer of flavor!
If you are gluten-free, try these lasagna rice noodles!
- Red Sauce:
- 2 large red onion, diced
- 2 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 small carrots
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoon dried, crushed oregano
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 pound ground beef
- 2 cup red wine
- 2 25.5 ounce jar of crushed tomatoes
- Cashew Cream “Ricotta”:
- 2 cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons dried, crushed parsley
- 1 Tablespoon dried, crushed basil
- Additional Ingredients:
- 2 boxes of Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Rice Lasagna Noodles
- 2 - 8 Ounce jars of Pesto (NOTE: Pesto has cheese in it, if you need entirely dairy free skip the pesto or buy dairy-free)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Begin by soaking your cashews, cover 2 cups cashews in cold water, cover with cloth, and set aside (for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours).
- Prepare vegetables
- Over medium-high heat, saute onions, green peppers, and garlic in olive oil until soft (about 5-8 minutes)
- Add ground beef, oregano, salt - brown (about 10 minutes)
- Once the meat is browned, drain the fat.
- Add wine and cook to reduce (about 5 minutes)
- Add jars of crushed tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.
- While sauce simmers, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions.
- While sauce simmers and noodles boil, prepare cashew cream
- Drain water from soaked cashews and rinse.
- Place cashews in food processor or blender with 1.5 cups of water. Puree until cashews are as smooth as possible (a couple/few minutes).
- Add eggs, parsley, and basil and pulse.
- Now, to build the Lasagna!
- Remember: This recipe is doubled, so separate half of your sauce and cream before assembling!
- Layer a few spoonfuls of red sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Layer #1 of noodles, cover with some red sauce, add “ricotta” on top of that.
- Layer #2 of noodles, cover with some red sauce, add “ricotta” on top of that.
- Layer #3 of noodles, cover completely with 8 ounces of pesto.
- Layer #4 of noodles, cover with the rest of red sauce, and add “ricotta” on top of that for final layer.
- Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
- Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Dance While you Cook!
I hope you enjoy!
Is Lasagna one of your staple recipes?
Have you experimented with Dairy alternatives? If so, do share!
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