This super simple Vegan Tempeh Lasagne recipe is as good as it looks! A rich bolognese sauce made from tempeh and mushrooms to give that mince like consistency. Whilst the ‘cheese’ sauce is made from a combination of silken tofu, nutritional yeast, blended cashews and vegan cheese. This is a winning comfort food recipe that is both rich, cheesy and satisfying.
Easily adapted to be gluten free by swapping out the lasagne sheets and flour for gluten free versions, this is a versatile meal for those that are both plant based and gluten free.
What is tempeh?
Have you heard of tempeh before? If not, you won’t be alone as until recently tempeh has been a somewhat under the radar source of plant based protein (think of it as tofu’s lesser known family member). But with more of us turning to a plant based diet it is picking up traction and becoming more widely available.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product, naturally high in protein, prebiotics and a wide array of vitamins and minerals. It is a bit of a powerhouse of a protein source that has a lot of great health benefits.
Originating from Indonesia, tempeh has a dry and firm texture that is chewy with a slightly nutty flavour. It can be steamed, sauteed or baked but tends to need to be marinated before use, because as like tofu it is pretty flavourless without additional ingredients.
Where to buy tempeh?
With tempeh becoming an ever more popular source of plant based protein, it is becoming more widely available. All major UK supermarkets now stock varieties of it as well as health food shops, with many options available direct from the brands online.
My go to varieties are either Tofoo, Tiba Tempeh or Plant Power. Tofoo is widely available in UK supermarkets but the other two are available direct online or in health food shops like Holland & Barratt.
In all cases, tempeh is a refrigerated product so have a look in the chilled aisles, it’s usually next to or close to the tofu.
What You are Going to Need to Make The Bolognese Sauce
Tempeh: have a look at the section above to get all of the details on what tempeh is and where to find it. Just pick a gluten free option if you are wanting to make this recipe free from gluten
Chestnut Mushrooms: whilst chestnut mushrooms tend to work best, closed cup mushrooms will also work if that is what you have handy. The mushrooms just help give a different flavour dimension to the dish and offer that mince like texture
Herbs and Spices: adding a sprinkle of chilli flakes to the dish at the end really helps spice up this dish. However, feel free to leave out if you aren’t a fan of spicy. The oregano also works with the vegetables to bring out their flavour. The longer you leave these working their magic (within reason) the more benefit you’ll get from them in the dish
Tinned Tomatoes: the quality of tinned tomatoes can vary greatly. Some of the cheaper varieties have water added to them to dilute the flavour. So it is always worth checking the packet and picking the best you can afford. Brands I generally cook with are Mr Organic or Mutti as I find these varieties really deliver that intense tomato flavour to the dish
Marmite: also known as yeast extract gives the dish the unami flavour that makes you feel satisfied when eating something. You can also add a tsp of miso paste in addition or swap for miso paste entirely if that is what you have available
What You are Going to Need to Make The ‘Cheese’ Sauce
Dairy Free Milk: when I made this recipe, I used cashew milk to add to the creamy flavour and consistency but most other dairy free milks will work. The only one I wouldn’t recommend is coconut milk as the flavour won’t go with the other ingredients
Silken Tofu: in the U.K. this typically comes in a tetrapak container and can be found in the aisle with other tinned goods. With a long shelf life, it is a handy ingredient to have in the cupboard. Here the silken tofu adds a smooth, creamy consistency to the sauce, helps to bump up the protein content and also thicken.
Nutritional Yeast: another handy ingredient to have in the cupboard. A great source of vitamin B12 and other vitamins and minerals it adds a ‘cheesy’ flavour to the sauce without the need for dairy
Cashew Nuts: by adding these to the blender with the other ingredients there is no need to pre-soak them, speeding up the time that it takes to make the sauce
Vegan ‘Cheese’: for me, I find the quality of vegan ‘cheese quite variable so try to stick to a brand that you know and love. If you are looking for a recommendation, I used the Violife Cheddar Block
Plain Flour: this helps to thicken the sauce, but opt for a gluten free flour if you are trying to keep this dish free from gluten
Serving Suggestions for your Easy Vegan Tempeh Lasagne
This lasagne is delicious on its own, but if you are looking for tasty accompaniments, why not try:
- A simple green salad
- Steamed or sauteed green veggies, I find a mixture of broccoli, kale and peas are a great combination
- Crunchy garlic bread
- Or even my Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Freezing Your Easy Vegan Tempeh Lasagne
This keeps well in the fridge for a few days. You will also find it actually gets better if you eat it the day after making, it is also freezable.
Why not make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. A hack to avoid waste is to keep leftover yoghurt pots or margarine tubs which are then perfect one person freezable containers.
Easy Vegan Tempeh LasagneCourse: MainsCuisine: Savoury, Comfort FoodDifficulty: Easy
This super simple vegan lasagne recipe is as good as it looks! A rich bolognese sauce made from tempeh and mushrooms to give that mince like consistency. Whilst the ‘cheese’ sauce is made from a combination of silken tofu, nutritional yeast, blended cashews and vegan cheese. This is a winning comfort food recipe that is both rich, cheesy and satisfying.
- Bolognese Ingredients
2 Red onions, peeled and quartered
2 Medium carrots, washed and chopped into chunks
2 Celery sticks, chopped into chunks
250g Chestnut mushrooms, brushed
6 Garlic cloves, peeled
1 Can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato puree
1 tbsp Oregano
1 Vegetable stock cube
1 tbsp Olive oil
2 tsp Marmite
- Cheese Sauce Ingredients
300g Dairy free milk
65g Cashew nuts
300g Silken tofu
125g Vegan cheese, grated
3 tbsp Plain flour
1 tbsp Nutritional yeast
- General Ingredients
1 Pack of dried lasagne sheets, following packet instructions (sometimes they require pre-cooking or soaking)
Extra vegan cheese to top, grated
- Making the Bolognese Sauce
- Add the celery, garlic, carrot and onion to a food processor and pulse until you get a finely chopped consistency
- Heat a large pan on a medium – high heat with a tbsp of olive oil and add the veggies from the food processor to the pan. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes until they start to softened
- Meanwhile, add the mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until you get the same consistency
- Add the mushrooms to the pan once the other vegetables have softened and stir to combine. Cook the celery, garlic, carrot, onion and mushroom mixture for a further 5 minutes until everything is soft and starting to caramelise. Stir throughout to avoid anything burning.
- Add the tempeh block to the food processor and blitz until you get a mince like consistency
- To the existing pan add the minced tempeh, stir to combine and cook for a further 5 minutes
- After this time add to the pan the oregano, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, crumbled vegetable stock cube and Marmite. Stir well, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 20 – 25 minutes on a low heat. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, add a few splashes of water to loosen
- Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary
- Making the Cheese Sauce
- Add the cashew nuts, dairy free milk and silken tofu to a blender and blitz until totally smooth
- Add this mixture to a pan with the cheese and plain flour and heat through, whisking continually until combined and thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Assembling the Lasagne
- Preheat an oven to 180oc
- Place a layer of the bolognese sauce on the base of an ovenproof dish, before layering dried lasagne sheets on top of this until all of the bolognese sauce is covered
- On top of the lasagne sheets, add a layer of cheese sauce, then a layer of bolognese and top with another layer of dried pasta sheets
- Complete until all of the mixtures and lasagne sheets have been used up and the dish is full
- Top with a handful of grated cheese
- Bake in the oven on a baking tray (just in case it bubbles over) for 30 minutes, until golden on top
- This lasagne tastes even better the following day if you leave it to sit in the fridge overnight
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these Easy Vegan Tempeh Lasagne so please leave a comment below and tag me in your wonderful creations! I’m @fortheutterloveoffood on Instagram and use the hashtag #theutterloveoffood. I’m also on Facebook – please say hello!