Vegan lasagna

Vegan lasagna

vegan lasagna portion

Today, my friends, I have a delicious vegan lasagna for you. Paired with a beautiful green salad of assorted leaves, spring onions, cucumber, capers and lemon vinaigrette dressing, it makes for a delightful and indulgent main course. One that not even an omnivore would turn her or his nose up at.

While a tray this size should certainly serve 8 people, Duncan and I managed to polish off half of it in one sitting. Well, Duncan did most of the work here, but still. It’s mightily more-ish and addictive.

It’s not difficult to make, although, like any respectable lasagna, it does take a bit of time. The most time consuming component is making the sauce, but the good news is that once it’s all in the pot the sauce pretty much takes care of itself bar an occasional, loving stir.

I went for a simple tomato sauce here, but if you want to bulk it up a little, feel free to add some cooked green lentils into the mix. You could even cook them in the sauce!

As I am a big fan of aubergines (or eggplants) and they are still very much in season here, I’ve taken a leaf out of my moussaka book and substituted some of the pasta layers with meaty and succulent aubergine slices. If you are after a low-carb meal, feel free to do that for all of the five layers. Conversely, if you don’t like aubergines (what kind of person are you?? just kidding 😉 ), replacing aubergine slices with more pasta sheets works out just as well.

The ‘piece de resistance’ of this recipe is a lush vegan bechamel sauce made without a touch of oil. It uses blended-until-creamy cashews thickened with a little bit of tapioca starch. It’s creamy, cheesy and delicious. Its creaminess contrasts beautifully with the layers of tangy tomato sauce underneath and gives the dish a touch of real indulgence while being far better for you than conventional lasagna topping. Win-win if you ask me 😉 !

vegan lasagna assembly

vegan lasagna cutting

vegan lasagna cross section

40 min
150 min
40 min
150 min

  • 30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-1½ tsp sambal oelek (chilli paste), adjust to taste
  • 2.5 kg / 5.5 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced*
  • ¾ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • generous amount of black pepper, adjust to taste
  • 2-3 tsp sugar or other sweetener (depending on how tangy the tomatoes are)
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry thyme


  • egg-free (and GF if required) lasagna sheets (8-12 sheets)**
  • 4 large aubergines / eggplants (enough for 2 layers)
  • parsley to garnish


  • 300 g / 2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight OR in boiling water for 1 hr)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 heaped tbsp white miso paste
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • grated nutmeg, to taste
  • ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • ¼ tsp white pepper, adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch

SAUCE (makes about 1.2 l / 5 cups)

  1. Heat up a heavy-bottomed pot (a frying pan will be too shallow for this amount of sauce) and pour 2-3 tbsp of olive oil on the bottom.
  2. Once the oil warms up and starts simmering gently, add finely sliced onion. Saute on low-medium until softened, stirring from time to time (about 5 minutes total).
  3. Stir in chopped garlic. Saute for a few more minutes until garlic gets fragrant, but not browned.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and chilli paste (if using).
  5. Next, tip in chopped tomatoes and 500 ml / 2 cups of water. Cover with a lid and allow the sauce to come to a gentle simmer.
  6. Simmer covered for about 1 hour, until the tomatoes lose their firmness and become mushy.
  7. Next, take the lid off and simmer for another hour or so, giving the sauce a good stir every 20 minutes or so, especially towards the end as the sauce thickens and can therefore burn more easily.
  8. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and dried herbs. Take off the heat when the sauce has still retained a little bit of moisture (don’t let it dry out too much) and allow the sauce to cool before assembling your lasagna.


  1. Cut aubergines / eggplants into 2 cm / 0.75″ thick slices lengthwise.
  2. Salt each slice (especially where the seeds are) with salt and place in a colander in a sink or over a large dinner plate / tray. Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes. The salting step is not always necessary as these days aubergines are hardly even bitter, but it is a precaution you may want to take just in case, especially when cooking for guests.
  3. Rinse the salt off under the tap and pat aubergine / eggplant slices dry with a kitchen towel.
  4. Heat up the oven to 225° C / 435° F and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  5. Place dry aubergine / eggplant slices on a tray (you may need to do that in two batches) and bake for about 30 minutes – until they get softer and lightly golden.


  1. Place rinsed cashews in an upright blender with approximately 360 ml / 1½ cup water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add garlic, miso paste, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt and pepper and process until super smooth and creamy.
  3. Just before assembly, transfer cashew bechamel to a medium pot and place on a hob. Whisk in tapioca starch with a wire whisk. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer whisking the whole time. Simmer until the bechamel thickens. If the sauce is too thick (it should be thick but still pourable) whisk in a bit more water.


  1. Heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F fan forced (or 200° C / 390° F regular setting).
  2. Line the bottom of the dish with aubergine / eggplant slices. Choose the meatier / thicker pieces if you haven’t managed to make them all identical.
  3. Next, spread about a cup of tomato sauce followed by lasagna sheets.
  4. Spread about a cup of tomato sauce followed by another layer of aubergine / eggplant.
  5. Spread about a cup of tomato sauce followed by lasagna sheets.
  6. If you have leftover sauce, do another layer of sauce followed by either more lasagne sheets or another layer of aubergine / eggplant.
  7. Finally, spread bechamel on top.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, until your bechamel is golden brown in places. If the top is browning too rapidly, cover it with a piece of kitchen foil to stop it from browning any further.

The dish I used for my lasagna had the following dimensions: 26 cm x 19 cm x 5 cm (10″ x 7.5″ x 2″)

*I made my lasagna with fresh tomatoes as they are delicious here in Greece right now, but you can also used tinned. You’ll need about 1.2 l / 5 cups chopped tomatoes. My suggestion is to use 5-6 x 400 g / 14 oz cans as they tend to contain quite a lot of water / juice.

**Follow the instruction on the packet for your lasagna sheets. Sometimes they require pre-cooking or soaking in water.

If you do not want to use cashews for whatever reason, you could also make a bechamel like the one in this recipe.

You can make the sauce, prebake the aubergine / eggplant slices and blend the bechamel (thicken it with tapioca starch on the day) a day in advance.

24 g
23 g
4 g
17 g
64 g
*per serving
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8 reviews, 32 comments
This lasagne is so delicious! Thanks Ania, for another fantastic recipe. Your recipes never fail me, and this is no exception.
    Thanks so much, Puja! I am delighted to hear that and thank you so much for taking the time to leave this lovely review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
Great ideas! Thank you!
    thanks :)
This is so delicious! Best sauce ever. But my body doesnt love cashews, is there another nut that would work?
    Hi Antonia,
    I'm delighted to hear that you like my recipe. I'm not sure if any other nut will work in terms of fat content - macademia nuts apparently do too but I've never had a chance to test that as they are not really that popular here. You could try with soaked sunflower seeds, but they do have a bit more of a taste of their own or perhaps make a more traditional bechamel (olive oil, flour, almond milk) or half bechamel and half cauliflower puree - something I do often to make it less unhealthy :P . Hope that helps! Ania x
Also, is tapioca starch the same as tapioca flour? Thanks!
    Yes, as far as I know it is!
This looks delicious! I'm going to give it a go for family dinner next weekend. Just wanted to ask, can I prepare it all a day in advance, and then only bale it in the day? Our is it best to assemble it all on the day? Thanks!
    Yes, it's fine to prepare the individual components in advance, but I would assemble and bake on the day just in case. Ania
This is my favourite dinner recipe and I keep coming back to it whenever I have a little bit more time for cooking. My partner (who isn’t vegan) loves it too. I make my lasagna with canned tomatoes and usually use less cans than the recipe suggests (3-4) and it turns out perfect. The bechamel sauce is way better than any other vegan lasagna sauce I have ever tried (and I tried many). Thank you, Ania for sharing this and other delicious recipes with us. 😊 I’m a big fan.
    Great to hear, Violeta! I'm really pleased to hear that. Ania
This recipe looks delicious! Is it okay to freeze for batch cooking / leftovers? Any special tips or instructions? Thanks!
    Hi Rox,
    Yes, it does freeze well. I would portion it, freeze it and when you are ready to eat, thaw it and reheat in a low oven. Hope that helps! Ania
Hi there
This looks delicious
Can I substitute the cashews with another nut?
For some reason cashews don’t agree with me
(I am so sad about this - just saying)
    Hi Rosie,
    Oh boy, I feel for you, but unfortunately I don't think any other nuts will work here (maybe with exception for macadamias, but I haven't tried myself) as they are less fatty and therefore not as creamy. Ania
Just made this. OMG! Excellent. Delicious. Can't stop eating it!!! It is the lasagna I've been looking for forever.
What's even more amazing is that mine actually looks just like yours. Ha!
    I'm so delighted to hear that, Caren! Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed this recipe! Much appreciated! Ania
This was an absolute dream of a lasagna.
I didn't use aubergines, not because I'm one of those weirdos who don't like them, but because I wanted the dish to be totally distinct from your lovely moussaka. I also added lentils, as suggested ,and a layer of spinach, which I've always liked in a lasagna. I used your moussaka ("Mr Cauliflower") bechamel because my wife is allergic to the cashew nuts in the topping you outline here. My one gripe is aesthetic - the bechamel cracked up quite a lot and separated in a sort of continental drift effect. Do you know what might cause that? I suspect I got the portions of oil/cauli/soya milk wrong (btw, I can't use the recommended almond milk due to the allergy issue; and I didn't use the optional nutritional yeast). Having botched a few in my time, I always get a bit stressed when I make a bechamel - and have usually had too much wine by that stage of preparation - so I'm not sure whether I followed the directions properly.
Any thoughts? I'll give the recipe a 5 if I can sort this out. Cheers - David
    Hi David,
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the lasagna. As for the issues with the bechamel, it's hard for me to give you any constructive advice here as it seems to me like you might have amalgamated a few bechamel recipes (I don't use wine in mine at all, for example). Swapping almond milk for soy milk should have no bearing on the final outcome I would say, but skipping nutritional yeast may affect more than just flavour as it sort of thickens the mixture a little (so replacing it with a bit of more flour may be a good idea). As you seem to have enjoyed the dish, I would encourage you to try again and hopefully it will work our beautifully next time. Ania
Catherine Deverell:
Hi, could I make this in advance and freeze it? Thank you
    Hi Catherine,
    I don't see why not although I never tried it myself. I would assemble it, freeze it and then bake after defrosting, personally. Hope it helps! Ania
Akshat Malya:
This vegan lasagna seems to be delicious. However, making a sauce for this is a bit time-consuming but still awesome one.
I will definitely try this in my kitchen for my family!!
    Thanks, hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
Oh my goodness, this Lasagna tastes sooo delicious! I have to admit that I ate two portions because I couldn't stop. ; )
Okay, it really takes some time to prepare everything, but I promise it is worth it.
I made my last Lasagna when I was still vegetarian & thought without cheese I will not try it again in a vegan version. And I was never a big fan of Bechamel, but this great cashew based Bechamel is so tasty on top.
This is definitely a great dish when you have guests.
Thanks for this new recipe, Ania! I will post pictures on instagram.
    Thank you for your kind words, Natascha! I'm so pleased to hear that! You made my day! :) Ania
This looks amazing! I just don't have any tapioca starch at home, and I wouldn't really know what to use it for except for this great you think I could replace it with psyllium husk powder, as it is also used to thicken sauces etc.? The fotos really made me want to try this lasagna asap :-)
    Hi Carina,
    How about cornflour (also known as cornstarch), it's closer to tapioca than psyllium husk, so I think (although I have not tried) it may work better. I would use less (say 2 tbsp) as I think it's more potent. Or you could also try regular wheat flour, like you would use to make a roux - again, I would go with 2 tbsp to begin with. Not sure if psyllim husk will work, but worth a shot, I guess. Hope that helps! Ania
kelly smith:
My kids are not interested in eating vegetables they just want fast food, now I decide to put something spicy at home. I follow your recipes.
    Sorry to hear about your kids, but that's pretty common with kids, isn't it? Thanks for following along. Ania
Erin Woodward:
I cannot wait to try this! Just canned 9 quarts of spaghetti sauce made with fresh tomatoes so part of the recipe is already done. LOVE eggplant!
    Glad to hear that, Erin! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did! Ania
There doesn't seem to be any where near enough bechamel for the rest of the ingredients. Also it is quite thick then i have to add tapioca i feel like it's going to end up like glue..? Should i be adding more luquid when i simmer with the tapioca?
    There is more than enough bechamel, Penni, unless you've changed any ratios. As you can see on my photo bechamel layer is quite thick. Yes, tapioca thickens it considerably, add a splash of water if it's too thick. Ania
You lost me on eggplant,any substitute?
    You can use more pasta layers instead!
Approximately what is the weight of four of your eggplants? They are so varied in size. This recipe looks amazing and I cannot wait to make it!
    Hi Sarah,
    It was something like 2 kg / 4.5 lb and I didn't use the end pieces for this. Hope that helps! Ania
Oh. My. Gosh. The pictures are enough to make me drop what I'm doing and start preparing this lasagna. Thank you for what looks to be another heavenly recipe. Can't wait to try it.
    Aw, thanks so much, Judy! You are always so kind! I hope you'll approve! Ania
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