Move over plain old lasagna, because this Vegan Puttanesca Lasagna filled with spinach tofu ricotta, a homemade puttanesca sauce, & dairy-free cheese is here! Thanks to the addition of garlic stuffed olives, capers, and sun-ripened dried tomatoes this eggless & meat-free lasagna is FULL of flavor.
As someone who has eaten their fair share of Tofurkey for the Holidays, this year we are switching it up and adding a little oomph to the Holidays with this plant-based lasagna instead!
If you've never tried puttanesca before, it is an Italian pasta dish traditionally made with a sauce containing anchovies, capers, and olives (source). It has a delicious salty & briny flavor that, when combined with acidic tomatoes, is BEYOND delicious!
How to make vegan puttanesca lasagna
Cook lasagna noodles
The first step in this recipe is to pre-cook the noodles. Simply boil water and make sure that it is salty so the noodles don't stick together. Then, cook the vegan lasagna pasta sheets, strain them, and lay them flat on a sheet of parchment paper until you are ready to layer the lasagna.
Make the vegan tofu ricotta
While the noodles are cooking, make the tofu ricotta! Making a dairy-free ricotta cheese substitute is actually SUPER easy and is all about having a good blender. Simply gather the ingredients, add to a blender, and blend until smooth. Just make sure to rinse & strain the frozen spinach of any excess water before adding for the best texture!
Tofu is actually an amazing dairy-free ricotta cheese substitute for this recipe. While you will want to press the tofu before using it to get out excess water, some firm tofu is going to contain more moisture than others. That's why I included the optional 2 Tbsp of oat milk- really firm tofu may need a little extra milk to get the right texture. The end result should be tofu ricotta that is creamy, thick, and spreadable!
P.S- Because we are using tofu in this recipe, it is truly a high-protein lasagna with 14 grams of protein per serving!
Make the vegan puttanesca sauce
Before making the puttanesca, chop up the shallots and slice the garlic-stuffed olives and sun-ripened dried tomatoes into thin pieces. It's important to chop all the ingredients so they get evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
Then, add the oil, chopped shallots, & sliced garlic stuffed olives to a pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Next, add in the sun-ripened dried tomatoes and capers and sauté for another 5 minutes. Last, add in the canned tomato sauce and mix everything together over low heat for an additional minute.
Layer the lasagna
First, layer 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. This helps to prevent the noodles from sticking to the pan.
Then, layer in 4 cooked lasagna sheets, overlapping them slightly so no space remains between slices. Next, add in half of the tofu spinach ricotta and use a spatula to evenly spread it over the noodles followed by about 1 cup of sauce.
Repeat this process with the second layer of noodles, the remaining tofu ricotta, and a layer of sauce. Then, add on the top layer of noodles and finish the dish with sauce on top!
Top with vegan cheese & bake
While this step is totally optional, I then like to top the last layer of sauce with some shredded vegan mozzarella!
Then, cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil & add it to a preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes. At the 30-minute mark, remove the aluminum foil and turn the oven to broil. Add the uncovered lasagna back into the oven and broil for about 5 minutes to get the top layer of cheese melty and browned. Remove the lasagna from the oven, serve, and dig in!
FAQ & Substitutions:
For this recipe, I used my homemade Tofu Ricotta and Miyokos dairy-free mozzarella cheese.
However, there are a ton of other vegan options u0026 brands out there that are just as delicious. I also like Parmela's, Violife, and Chao cheese for dairy-free options. You could also make a homemade cashew cream sauce and use that in this lasagna similar to the sauce I used in my Gnocchi with Kale and Mushrooms.
If you are able to find gluten-free u0026 vegan lasagna noodles, then yes! Other than the noodles, every other ingredient in this recipe is naturally gluten-free.
I decided to make a hearty sauce with mostly canned ingredients and added spinach to the ricotta, but you can definitely add sautéed veggies to this dish. Mushrooms, zucchini, or peppers would all be awesome additions. If you add extra veggies, just add them on top of the sauce layer in the dish.
Yes! I know sometimes you don't need a WHOLE lasagna, so if that is the case just cut the recipe in half and bake in an 8*8 square dish instead. You may have to cut the noodles so they fit in the dish, but otherwise, the directions and cooking time will be the same.
This truly is the BEST Vegan Puttanesca Lasagna. If you are looking for a vegan lasagna packed with protein & flavor, then you will love this recipe.
More Plant-Based Dinner Recipes You Will Love:
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Vegan Puttanesca Lasagna
- 12 lasagna noodles
Vegan Puttanesca Sauce
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese any brand works
- ¼ cup freshly chopped basil as garnish
- First, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions, Make sure to use salty water so the noodles do not stick together.
- While the lasagna noodles are cooking, make the tofu ricotta. Add all of the ingredients including the firm tofu, spinach, nutritional yeast, parsley, lemon juice, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and ground pepper to a blender and blend until smooth. If needed, add in 1-2 Tbsp oat milk to thin out the ricotta and make it spreadable. When finished, set aside,
- Next, make the puttanesca sauce, Add the olive oil to a cast iron skillet (or any sauce pan) and turn on the heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the shallots & garlic stuffed olive slices and sauté about 3 minutes. Then, add in the sun-dried tomatoes, and capers and sauté another 5 minutes. Finally, add in the canned tomato sauce and cook over low heat for an additional minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside
- Preheat the oven to 350F and layer the lasagna. Start by adding about 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of a 9*13 inch casserole dish. Then, add on 4 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping so no space remains. Top the noodles with half of the tofu ricotta and use a spatula to evenly spread it over the noodles.
- Continue layering by adding another 1 cup of sauce, 4 lasagna noodles, the rest of the tofu ricotta, another 4 lasagna noodles, and topping with the remaining sauce. At this point, add the optional vegan cheese on top of the final layer of sauce and cover the dish with tin foil.
- Add the dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the aluminum foil from the dish and turn the oven to the broil setting. Place the casserole dish back into the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you cut right away, the lasagna may fall apart. Then top with fresh basil, cut into 9 slices, and enjoy!
- Leftover lasagna can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. If freezing, it is best to store the lasagna pre-sliced.
- If desired, more veggies can be added to the sauce. Just slice and sauté into the sauce.