Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu Recipe

We love lasagna in A Mama's Corner of the World.  My basic lasagna recipe has also been widely used for potlucks, parent teacher conference dinners, and too many birthday parties to count! Today, however, we decided to leave out the meat and create a vegetable lasagna which substitutes tofu for my usual ground beef or ground turkey.  It turned out well--with even my middle little one claiming that it was the best ever (in spite of the fact that it contained both asparagus and carrots--her two least loved veggies!)
This lasagna recipe requires a little more work that my more simple recipes--but, it is well worth it!

Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu Ingredients

Vegetable Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 c. Fresh Asparagus, Trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 c. Carrots, Finely Chopped
  • 1 c. Broccoli, spears and crowns, Finely Chopped
  • 8 oz. Fresh White or Portabella Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Pepper
  • 25 oz. Jar Plain Pasta Sauce or Plain Marinara Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning
Lasagna Cheese Mixture Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 c. Small Curd Cottage Cheese or Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ c. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. White Pepper
  • 1 Egg, beaten
Seasoned Tofu Ingredients
  • 12 oz. Package Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Fennel Seed, Crushed
Noodles and Garnish
  • 9 Lasagna Noodles, Oven Ready or Cooked and Drained
  • 1/4 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Instructions for Making Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu
  • Preheat the oven and prepare lasagna pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remember, to check lasagna package instructions if using oven ready noodles as the cooking times and temperatures may vary. 
  • Drain and crumble the tofu. Tofu is packaged in water--and in order to get a crumbly meat-like texture--it must be drained completely. To drain the tofu, line a plate with several layers of paper towels. Place the block of tofu on the paper lined plate, cover with a few layers of paper towels and press the tofu firmly to squeeze out additional liquid. Expect to change the paper towels at least twice. You may even opt to place a heavy skillet on the towel covered tofu to press out liquid while you move onto the vegetable sauce. Crumble the tofu into small bits--similar to ground beef or sausage consistency. 
  • Prepare the vegetable sauce. Begin by heating a large skillet with olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add the asparagus, carrots and broccoli. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetable soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Season with the salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a large saucepan. Add the marinara sauce and the Italian seasoning to the vegetables. Stir completely to combine. Bring the sauce to a light boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least fifteen minutes. 
  • Prepare the lasagna cheese filling mixture. Combine all but 1/4 c. of the mozzarella cheese, the cottage cheese, the Parmesan cheese, the Italian Seasoning, pepper and the beaten egg in a large mixing bowl. Stir until combined. 
  • Cook and season the tofu. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the crumbled tofu, the italian seasoning, the pepper, garlic powder and fennel seed. Saute for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Combine the tofu with the vegetable sauce. Add the tofu to the saucepan. Simmer an additional 10 minutes. 
  • Layer the vegetable and tofu lasagna. Using an olive oil cooking spray, lighting spray a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add a cup or so of the tofu sauce to the bottom of the dish and spread it to cover the bottom lightly. Place three lasagna noodles on top of the tofu sauce. Next, layer 1/3 of the vegetable/tofu sauce, ½ the cheese mixture, and another layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat with another third of the vegetable sauce, the rest of the cheese filling and the last three lasagna noodles. Top the layered lasagna with the remaining vegetable sauce, and sprinkle with the last 1/4 c. of shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  • Cover, bake and serve the tofu lasagna. Cover the pan of lasagna with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. (Oven ready lasagna noodles may require different cooking times--so be sure to double check the package directions.) Uncover the lasagna during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Cut the lasagna into squares and serve with a sturdy spatula.
We like to serve the lasagna warm with green salad and homemade garlic bread.

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