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Gluten and Dairy-Free Lasagna Magic

 

I sometimes daydream of retiring and being the wife that has bread in the oven and a single malt ready to go for my good man (or more likely, some raw blueberry pancakes in the dehydrator and an elixir in the blender). However I’m not there yet and this month has been a hustle fest of excitement with work and life, which means less time for torrenting about in the kitchen.

Until this happened!

It’s lasagna. Since I met my husband he’s talked about how much he loves lasagna. Given that we’re strict on our gluten-free life and he’s strict about no dairy of any kind, whether it be goat, sheep, raw or what have you, that would pretty much leave a lasagna that is really a plate of sauce.

gluten-free lasgana

Though lasagna itself is technically a one-potter, and we all love a good One Pot Wonder, there are a few steps here and it is a little labour intensive. The final result is, however, very much worth it.

To keep the dairy out, I made a rich and creamy cashew ricotta. I used the Tinkyada gluten-free lasagna noodles and I used a simplified version of my grandmother’s tomato sauce. If you wanted to make this grain-free, you could easily swap the noodles for wide, flat thin slices of zucchini or butternut squash sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler.

gluten-free lasagna noodles

Here I’ve broken the recipe down for you.

Let’s start with the Bolognese

Given the abundance of tomatoes at the markets these days, this is an awesome way to preserve the season’s finest. You can make loads of straight tomato puree and jar that up, or double or triple a batch of this sauce to enjoy a hearty meal on a day when dinner prep just isn’t going to happen.

Tomatoes are one of the few foods that have more nutrient availability after they are cooked or processed in some way (and by processed I don’t mean concentrated, mixed with sugar and called ketchup).

Now, most of us know that tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an essential phytonutrient for keeping our prostates healthy. Since most of us over here don’t have prostates, we likely know men that do, and here are a few more tomato tidbits for you.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

  • Anti-oxidant: Loads of vitamins A and C, thanks to the beta-carotene. These vitamins act as anti-oxidants, working to neutralize free radicals.
  • Blood Sugar Balance: Tomatoes have plenty of the mineral chromium, which helps get glucose into the cells and balance blood sugar levels – this is very helpful for those with hypoglycemic tendencies and diabetes.
  • Vision: All that vitamin A helps improve your vision – night blindness anyone?
  • Skin care: The high amounts of lycopene (found in many of those fancy shmancy skin care products) will help us out externally and keep our inside tissues healthy.
  • Hair: Back to that vitamin A – it’s very good for keeping hair strong and shiny.

This recipe can be made using one pound of pastured ground beef, of if you kick it vegan, amp it up with your choice of 2 cups of aduki beans or chickpeas, or even some steamed and ground tempeh.

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Bolognese sauce

Simple Bolognese Sauce


  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

A quick to prep but long to simmer perfectly flavored tomato Bolognese sauce


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb pastured beef or 2 cups cooked/rinsed adzuki beans/chickpeas, or 1 block of tempeh, ground
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 794g jar of crushed tomatoes or 10 roma tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 carrots, sliced in coins
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh, packed
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano or 2 Tbsp fresh
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan heat your oil and saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato puree, water meat or beans, carrots, and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for 35- 50 minutes, until carrots are tender and sauce has a slight sweet taste.
  3. Summer uncover until desired thickness is achieved.
  4. Add basil, oregano, and salt.
  5. Adjust flavours as needed.
  6. Serve hot or allow to cool, transfer to jars leaving room for expansion, and freeze for later use.

Notes

lf using beans, rinse and set aside.

If using beef, sautee until lightly browned over medium heat and set aside.

If using tempeh, process until fine ground in your food processor and set aside. 

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

Once your sauce is simmering, you can move on to begin prepping the rest of the recipe. Now is a good time to get your noodles cooking, too. Use the directions as outlined on the package.

Cashew Ricotta Cheese

The cheese was the biggest part of the experiment as I had no idea how it would bake up – both inside the lasagna and as the top layer. It turned out perfectly. It was creamy in the middle and just crispy enough as a top layer.

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cashew riccota

Cashew Ricotta


  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/4 cups 1x

Description

A simple dairy-free cashew ricotta.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Blend all ingredients in your high speed blender or food processor. Scrape down the sides as needed to get a smooth, but thick texture.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Condiment

lasagna with cashew ricotta

The assembly is the fun part of this project. Here’s the lasagna pre-baked.dairy-free lasagnaAnd here it is all crispy and steamy from the oven.

gluten-free dairy-free lasgana recipe

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gluten-free lasagna recipe

Gluten and Dairy-Free Lasagna Magic


  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

A filling hearty meal that might just be the best lasagna you’ve ever had!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles, cooked as directed*
  • 2 cups Cashew Rictotta
  • All of that awesome Bolognese you just made.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In an 12 x 8 baking dish, begin with an approximately 1 inch layer of sauce. Press sauce with back of spatula.
  3. Top the sauce with an even layer of noodles.*
  4. Over the noodles, spread a 1/4 – 1/3 inch layer of the cashew cheese.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3, ending with a layer of cashew cheese.
  6. Place in oven and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until the top is slightly browned.
  7. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

* Make this grain-free by replacing the noodles with thin slices of zucchini or butternut squash.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Entree

I’m kind of feeling like this was one of my most successful attempts to healthify a very classically indulgent recipe. I’d love to know if you give this one a try and how you find it!

30 responses to “Gluten and Dairy-Free Lasagna Magic”

  1. Jackie says:

    i have a question about nutritional yeast. I have a high intolerance to yeasts (bakers and Brewers), and have not attempted nutritional yeast. I have been told not to try it and that it’s nothing like typical yeasts; conflicting info!
    What do you think? If no don’t try it, could I use hemp seeds instead of the nutritional yeast?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      If you’re unsure, I would just recommend omitting it completely. It’s best not to replace with hemp seeds as you don’t want to heat those omega 3 rich fats. Regarding the Baker’s and Brewer’s yeast – not everyone who has to avoid those two is also sensitive to Nutritional Yeast. Depending on your reaction and what your natural health care practitioner says will point you in the best direction for your health.

  2. Barb B says:

    God bless you Meghan Telpner…

  3. Shawna says:

    Hi Meghan. I was wondering how long you are supposed to soak the cashews for? Overnight? Also, are dry roasted and unsalted cashews okay to use or should they be blanched? Looking forward to making this!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Shawna, to get the health benefit from soaking nuts/seeds 2-8 hours is recommended. If they’re dry roasted they’ll work but the soaking would be purely for the ease of blending to get them smooth. Raw (or I suppose blanched as all ‘raw’ cashews are), will get you the smoothest cheese.

  4. Cathy Miller says:

    I have had Ulcerative Colitis in the past since 2011. I am doing the SCD diet to the T. I am now stable and thriving.

  5. Erin Cruz says:

    Hello, I am trying to collect the ingredients to make this lasagna, and I found nutritional yeast seasoning. Is that the same thing as nutritional yeast?
    Also, I would just like to say, I am new to your community as I stumbled across one of your posts when trying to find out if Activia yogurt was good for you. I immediately signed up for your newsletters and can’t wait to see what you’ve posted everyday. I look forward to buying your books and really hope to one day be able to get certified through your academy. You are very inspiring. Thank you :)

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Thanks for the great feedback! I am not sure if the seasoning version is the same. The ingredient label will tell you all you need to know.

  6. June says:

    I LOVED this recipe. Was a favourite in my family and no one could believe it was both dairy and gluten-free. Another winner Meghan!

  7. Jenn says:

    This looks so good! One question…I’m in a special diet and can’t have cashews. Can you make the nut ricotta with a y different nuts?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Cashews blend up the smoothest with the cheesiest taste. You could try a mix of sunflower and almond, perhaps?

  8. Susan Amodeo says:

    This was AMAZING!!!! I just made it for our Christmas dinner and I was surprised by how delicious it was. Even my Italian husband loved it (and he knows his lasagna)!!! Thank you Meghan for sharing this recipe!

  9. Sharla June says:

    I made a double batch of this & didn’t have enough cashews, so I used half pine nuts soaked for about 30 minutes. Ermigosh, what rich, spoon-licking deliciousness! I really love how pinenuts taste with tomatoes.

  10. Michelle says:

    I am severely lactose intolerant. I made this dish for my Mom for Mother’s Day yesterday (lasagna is her favorite) and everyone LOVED it (they are big cheese eaters)! I’ve tried other dairy free lasagna recipes and none compare to this! I sprinkled some Mozzarella Daiya Vegan Cheese on top of every cashew ricotta layer and it gave a delicious, melty and warm additional cheesy flavor!

  11. Melissa says:

    My family and I love this recipe. It’s a hit with the kids. It’s become a part of our menu plan rotation now. :) Thanks for sharing, Meghan!

  12. Laura says:

    This lasagne turned out so delicious! The cashew ricotta was perfect, a little bit of creaminess to balance the spicy chunky vegetable sauce I made. Another winner!

  13. Kim says:

    I love this lasagna and so does my family! I have made it about 6 times in the last 4 months and they keep asking for it. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!! I have even started making the cashew cheese ahead of time and freezing it so it is ready to go when I need it.

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I love that you love this! You could also freeze the entire recipe if you wanted – it’s a great one for meal prep.

  14. Jodi says:

    I have a question about the cashews… Roasted and salted? Roasted only? The ones I can get anywhere or are they from a specialty market?

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      I typically opt for raw, unsalted cashews. That way, I can control the temperature/length of roasting if needed and also control the salt amounts.

  15. Susan Miller says:

    For your Cashew Ricotta, a couple of dumb questions… how long do the cashews have to soak? Cold or warm water? This looks delicious!

    • https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/599ccdf73b6d2f26a247dd52e9e5f8b8?s=51&d=blank&r=g Meghan Telpner says:

      Not silly questions at all, Susan! You can soak the cashews in cold water for 6-8 hours. If you’re short on time, you can do a quick soak for 1/2 hour in hot water.

  16. Pat says:

    I am sensitive to any kind of yeast. Would the cashew cheese substitute be ok without the nutritional yeast or is it a necessary ingredient? Thanks for the info and for the recipe. I usually use Daiya cheese and leave out the ricotta, but now my daughter is sensitive to potato which is in Daiya. Bummer.

  17. Jill says:

    Thank you, Susan, for asking this question! I was wondering the same thing.

    Meghan, thank you for explaining this in such a quick & easy way to follow! & Wow!! What an awesome recipe!! I love all of the options you give for ingredient replacements. =)

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