Butternut Squash and Spinach Ricotta Lasagna

Vegan
October 8
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I’m a huge sucker for cheesy dishes and one thing I love doing as a vegan is proving to cheese lovers that vegan cheese dishes are just as tasty as the dairy ones, if not better because there’s no cruelty involved. All of the non-believers are converted upon trying this recipe. I have fooled even the most serious of cheese addicts and impressed all of the vegan food critics that have given it a go. 

This Vegan Butternut Squash and Spinach Ricotta Lasagna is savoury, cheesy and perfectly comforting.  It is just the dish you need to keep you cozy throughout the winter months and will be a guaranteed win at your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is the ultimate reminder that vegan food does NOT have to sacrifice taste. rps20161004_231910.jpg

A few weeks ago when I started to brainstorm which dishes to cook up for the Holidays, I knew I wanted to include something with butternut squash. I mean, what better way to embody the flavours of fall? I generally have a tough time when preparing food for my family, as I’m the only vegan and they typically want to eat meat, meat and more meat. Therefore, I knew that whatever dish I created had to be so good, it would make them think twice. And this dish is exactly that. Discarding the traditional tomato base and replacing it with butternut squash had them ranting and raving by the end of the meal. Substituting the dairy ricotta for a savoury tofu blend provided the perfect ying to the squash’s yang and layering a sheet of sautéed mushrooms on top brought the whole dish together into a superb creation. Surprised at how “real” this dish tasted, I got request after request by my family members to make it again for our next get together.  rps20161004_232151.jpgrps20161004_232014.jpgFor this recipe, I used Follow Your Heart’s Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. If you don’t have access to these cheeses where you live, Violife’s Prosociano with Parmesan Flavour and Pizza Mozzarella will work equally as well. For those without access to either Follow Your Heart or Violife, you may use the vegan cheeses available near you. Disclaimer: I have not tried this recipe with other brands, so I do not know the outcome or the proper quantities to be used. I can assume, though, that it would still be delicious. If you use other brands in this recipe, please let me know how it turns out! 

Vegan Butternut Squash and Spinach Ricotta Lasagna
Serves 6
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Spinach Ricotta
  1. 350 g pressed tofu
  2. 1 cup of frozen spinach, thawed
  3. 2 cloves of garlic
  4. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  5. 4 tbsp lemon juice
  6. 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  7. 3 tbsp water
  8. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tsp dried basil
  10. 3/4 tsp salt
Butternut Squash purée
  1. 30 oz butternut squash purée
  2. 2 tsp vegetable broth powder
  3. 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  4. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Lasagna
  1. 1 package of oven ready lasagna noodles
  2. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  4. 1.5 cups Follow Your Heart Parmesan cheese (or Violife brand)
  5. 1.5 cups of Follow Your Heart Mozzarella cheese, grated (or Violife brand)
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a food processor, blend ricotta ingredients: tofu, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water, EVOO, nutritional yeast, basil and salt. Do not over blend, you don't want the mixture to resemble liquid. Once blended, add the spinach by handful, squeezing out the excess liquid from each handful first. Pulse until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the butternut squash purée, vegetable broth powder, nutritional yeast and EVOO.
  4. On medium heat, sauté mushrooms in 1.5 tbsp of EVOO until soft. Add 1/2 tsp salt and mix well.
  5. Grease a 9x13 baking dish using 1/2 tbsp of EVOO, spread evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.
  6. Add a layer of butternut squash mixture to the bottom of the plan, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles and then a layer of spinach ricotta. Sprinkle some parmesan and mozzarella over the spinach ricotta layer.
  7. Repeat #6 over and over until lasagna reaches 1 cm from the top of the dish.
  8. Evenly spread the sautéed mushrooms over the top layer of the lasagna and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Feel free to add more cheese to the top if you'd like. I tend to add a bit more at this step - you can never have too much cheese!
  9. Cover with silver paper and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!
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