You will love the delicious combination between the creamy filling with the savory tomato sauce in these vegan lasagna roll ups. The cashews make the filling so decadent, you won’t need any dairy! Easy to make and can be prepared ahead.
I’m so in love with this dish. I have made it over and over again. It just seems like everyone loves it: picky kids, meat eater family members or even some afraid-of-vegan-food friends. It’s a hit every time. Really.
The rich and creamy filling is so tasty that most people are surprised to hear that no dairy product is hiding inside. And, there is something so addictive in having the white savory filling gently mix with the tomato sauce. I bet you will go for a second plate.
I’m often making this dish when having people coming over for dinner. Other easy meals to feed many people like this lentil pâté chinois or this chickpea and vegetable curry stew are great hearty and delicious options too. But, I keep these lasagna roll ups for when I really need to impress a crowd.
This dish is perfect to prepare ahead, just pop it in the oven when it’s time to eat. No more mess in the kitchen when you are hosting and you can enjoy the company of your friends without having to cook. These chickpea mushroom pancakes would also go great as an appetizer to serve along with this meal.
Pro cooking tips when making these vegan lasagna roll ups:
Making the tomato sauce:
Start cooking the tomato sauce early and simmer it at low-medium for a while. This will allows the flavors to deepen. Just add water if the sauce gets too thick, so you can cook for a longer period of time at lower heat.
If you love batch cooking, then make the sauce a few days before when you have more free time and store it in the fridge until you need it. The sauce will taste even better!
If you have red wine on hand, then add some to the sauce when you add the tomatoes.
I usually blend half of the sauce in the blender and then mix it back to the chunky sauce to smooth it a bit.
Making the filling:
The best way to prepare the mushrooms is to cook them on medium high heat and not touch them for a while until they brown, then you can flip them. I know its hard to resist moving them around, but if you do so they will boil from losing water in the pan and you lose a lot on the texture and the taste.
I use firm tofu (instead of extra firm) for the stuffing to get that extra creamy texture. Blend for a few minutes in a food processor with the other ingredients, taking pauses to scrape the walls down two or three times. The goal here is to get an extra luscious texture.
This dish could be made by stuffing cannelloni pasta for a more classic presentation, but rolling lasagna noodles is so much easier and gives the dish a more convivial look, which I enjoy. I suggest to cut the noodles in half to make the roll ups not too thick.
Choose any kind of lasagna you prefer, like gluten-free if you prefer. Also, although harder to find, whole wheat lasagna noodles are my favorite choice.
Need to speed up the recipe?
– Skip making the tomato sauce and use a store bought marinara sauce. Choose a healthy option and watch the salt content!
– Use frozen spinach. One cup of frozen spinach is what you would need for this recipe. Make sure to remove as much water as you can by rolling the thawed spinach in paper towels and pressing on it.
– Skip the nut crumble! Although this layer adds such good taste and texture, it is not essential. If you want, you could add a sprinkle of vegan cheese on top too.
– Forget about the cashew soaking time and boil the nuts in water, on the stove, for about 5-10 minutes. This will soften them enough to get that creamy texture for the filling. Just be sure to pat dry them carefully afterwards!
I hope you will love this cozy dish as much as I do! If you try it, please leave a comment to let me know how it was.
The best vegan lasagna roll ups
- Food processor
For the tomato sauce:
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 clove of garlic crushed
- 1 carrot chopped small
- 2 28 oz can whole peeled tomato crushed by hand
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- salt and pepper to taste
For the creamy filling:
- 1 cup raw cashew soaked for 2 hours (or overnight) and drained.
- Half of a package of firm tofu (454g)
- 2 1/2 tbsp nutritionnal yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
For the roll ups:
- 6 lasagna noodles
- 8 oz mushrooms sliced
- 5 oz baby spinach (142g) or about 5-6 cups
For the cheezy nut crumble:
- 1 cup raw almond
- 1/2 cup raw walnut
- 1 medium clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4-5 tbsp nutritionnal yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
To make the tomato sauce:
- In a medium pot, cook the onion until tender, about 3 minutes. Use oil or water to prevent them from burning.
- Add the carrots and cook 3-4 more minutes.
- Add the garlic, cook for 1-2 minute. (Be ready to add the tomatoes when you add the garlic so it does not burn).
- Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer at low-medium heat for at least 30 minutes. Add water (about 1/4 cup at the time) if becomes too thick.
- This step is optionnal: to make a smoother texture, blend about half of the sauce in a blender, then add the sauce back to the pot (you could also use an immersion blender).
- *You will have some extra sauce you won't use for this recipe. Keep the leftovers in a air thight container in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
To make the filling:
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy (process for about 2-3 minutes). Transfer in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a pan, cook the mushrooms few minutes on each side without moving them around to let them brown. Add them to the tofu mix.
- In the same pan you used for the mushrooms, steam the spinach until wilted. You can add 1-2 tbsp of water to help the steaming process.
- When the spinach are steamed, let it cool down a bit and wrap them with few layers of paper towels. Gently press on the wrapped spinach carefully to remove as much of the water as you can. Add them to the tofu-mushroom mix.
- Mix well the tofu-mushroom-spinach mix. Adjust the seasonning to your liking.
To make the cheezy nut crumble:
- Add all the ingredients in a food processor and process for few minutes until the crumbles become very small. Stop the food processor few times to scrap down the wall.
- Adjust the seasoning to your taste (add more salt or nutritionnal yeast if needed) and set aside.
- The leftover crumbles will stay good in the fridge for few days. I add it to my pasta dishes, salads, roasted vegetables, etc (just like you would use parmesan cheese).
To build the lasagna roll ups:
- Preheat the oven at 375°.
- Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions (cook al dente).
- Put about 1 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of an oven safe dish (lasagna dish works well.
- Cut the lasagna noodle in half and put about 2 tbsp of the tofu mix at one of the edge, then roll the noodle and put the roll on top of the sauce in the dish. Keep going until you filled the dish or you run out of the tofu preparation.
- Pour some tomato sauce on top of the roll ups to cover them up.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the nut crumble of top of the tomato sauce.
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.