If you can’t eat gluten or dairy, it can be a little difficult to find a lasagna that you are able to eat. Look no further! This delicious vegan recipe will leave you feeling satisfied — even without the cheese! To make it even better, it’s easy to prep the ingredients and is completely hands-free once the slow cooker is turned on. While it cooks, the noodles remain tender and soft so they are less likely to dry out. Plus, you get to skip pre-cooking the noodles altogether. Make this recipe on days when you need some comfort food that tastes delicious and leaves you feeling healthy.
Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus soaking time for the nuts)
Cook Time: 3 hours
Vegan and Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles
1 jar marinara sauce
3 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin pieces
3 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes
½ box of baby spinach
1.5 cups cashews, soaked in water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Prep the dairy-free cheese first. Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for 4 hours. If you’re short on time, soak them in very hot water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain the cashews and add them to the food processor with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, water and extra virgin olive oil. Blend on high until the cashews are chopped up well and the mixture is soft, similar in consistency to ricotta cheese.
3. Prep the vegetables next. Slice the cremini mushrooms. Slice the zucchini into thin pieces, about 2 inches in length. Chop the butternut squash into small cubes.
4. Place the mushrooms in a large skillet with a few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Turn heat to medium and let the mushrooms sit for about 5 minutes, without stirring them. This helps remove the excess liquid from the mushrooms, so they don’t become too mushy. Give them a stir and then remove from the skillet.
5. Next, saute the butternut squash with a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil and pinch of sea salt for about 5 minutes, to lightly cook. Remove from the skillet.
6. Rub the slices of zucchini with some extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
7. To compile the lasagna, it’s easiest to place all of the ingredients on the counter. Put the squash, mushrooms and zucchini on separate plates. Place the baby spinach on the counter as well. Have a spoon ready to ladle out the marinara sauce and the cashew “cheese.”
8. Start with spooning out a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.
9. Then place a layer of lasagna noodles. Since the slow cooker is not shaped as a rectangle, you’ll have to break some of the noodles into smaller pieces to fit in the curved places.
10. Add a layer of the cashew “cheese” using ⅓ of it and spread out ⅓ of the veggies over top. Place a layer of lasagna noodles on top and then spread some more marinara sauce over them.
11. Repeat this again twice to make additional layers. Pour marinara sauce over the top layer of noodles. Extra sauce is good to prevent the lasagna from drying out.
12. Cook on high for 3 hours.