This delicious vegan white sauce lasagna bursts with flavors and features layers of vegan cashew white sauce, zucchini, spinach and an easy white bean ricotta. Makes for a delicious comforting dinner that all your family will love! Soy-free, completely dairy-free and plant-based and can easily be made gluten-free too.
Picture this: chewy noodles, lemony & creamy white bean ricotta filling, juicy tender zucchini and tasty spinach. All this layered within a rich and creamy cashew white sauce. This lasagna is the ULTIMATE drool-worthy plant-based comfort meal!
Don't get me wrong, I am a red pasta sauce addict and will usually grab the marinara over just about anything. But this vegan white lasagna is SO dreamy, it might outrank your favorite to-date pasta dish.
I used my cashew cream sauce to make this lasagna ultra luscious and it worked out so perfectly. Not using a bechamel in this case makes this lasagna free of vegan butter or added oil, but also is made without using flour, making it easier to turn this recipe gluten-free simply by using GF noodles.
And this vegetable white lasagna is completely soy-free too! I was so tempted to add some tofu somewhere, as I love tofu-ing everything. But I know some of you are avoiding it, so I opted for white beans to make the vegan ricotta layer. Wow, what an amazing discovery!
This vegan white lasagna really is bursting with flavors and is filled with fun texture too. The zucchini is added raw to the lasagna, which saves the step of pre-cooking them, but also keeps the veggies al dente even after baked. It provides a nice bite within the overall ultra creamy consistency from the lasagna.
Similar to most lasagna recipes, this recipe does take some hands-on prep time, which is totally worth it. You can make it ahead, or prepare some of the components ahead, such as the white bean layer and the white sauce. Great for meal-prep, perfect to feed a crowd and makes for amazing leftovers. I'm sure this lasagna will become a family favorite!
Ingredients you'll need
- Vegan white cashew sauce: you'll find the recipe on the blog. You will need raw cashews, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt to make it. Super simple.
- Lasagna noodles: choose the kind you have to pre-boil before layering. Do NOT use no-boil noodles.
- Zucchini: I used regular green zucchinis, but whenever they are available, choose a mix of green and yellow squashes for more color.
- Canned white beans: will be used to make a lemony ricotta layer. I used cannelini beans, but navy beans work too.
- Garlic: for flavor.
- Lemon juice: to flavor the white bean layer.
- Onion: yellow or sweet onion work.
- Spinach: I used baby spinach, but you can use regular spinach too. Even kale would work.
- Nutritional yeast: it adds so much flavor with a subtle cheesiness.
- Spices: salt, black pepper, dried basil and dried parsley.
How to make it
Make the vegan cashew white sauce
Follow the recipe on my blog to make this vegan white sauce. You might want to plan ahead and soak the cashews the night before, but I will often simply boil the cashews for 10 minutes, then blend with the rest of the ingredients for a quicker version.
You will need to make DOUBLE batch of the sauce for this lasagna.
Make the white bean filling
Add the white beans with the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, dried herbs and salt to a food processor and process until creamy, but still with some texture remaining.
Warm up a large non stick pan (with or without oil) and add the onion with a good pinch of salt. Cook on medium-high heat until tender and slightly caramelized. Then, add the garlic and spinach, stir and keep cooking until the leaves are all wilted, about 3-4 minutes or so. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, use a spoon to combine together the creamy processed beans with the spinach mixture. Set aside.
Layer the lasagna and bake
Cook the lasagna noodles accordingly to packaging (keep them al dente). Drain well. While the noodles are cooking, slice the zucchini into thin circles. Also, pre-heat the oven to 375º.
Then, layer the lasagna. From bottom to top:
- Spread ½ cup of white sauce at the bottom.
- Add 3 noodles.
- Distribute half of the zucchini slices over.
- Drizzle 1 cup of the white sauce over the zucchini.
- Add 3 more noodles.
- Distribute evenly the whole batch of white bean mixture.
- Add 3 more noodles.
- Distribute the other half sliced zucchini (keep 5-10 slices for decorating the top).
- Drizzle 1 cup of white sauce over.
- Add 3 more noodles.
- Drizzle the remaining white sauce. Then, scatter the extra zucchini slices over.
Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes. I also like to broil on HI for another 5 minutes or so (watch carefully, it will burn quickly!). Let the lasagna rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve.
Watch how to make it
- The lasagna noodles need to be cooked to al dente, don't over cook them! They will keep cooking and absorb some of the white sauce when baking in the oven.
- The white sauce has a very pourable thin consistency, which is what you are looking for. Once baking in the oven, it will thicken and all come together to a great texture.
- Drain everything well before using, such as the noodles and canned beans. You do not want to add extra water to the baked pasta.
- If you don't have a food processor, then simply mash the white beans using a potato masher or a fork, then combine manually with the rest. This will create a layer with more texture, which will work just as well.
Variations to the recipe
Lasagnas are in general ultra customizable. Making baked pasta dishes is a good way to eat more veggies and swap them every time you prepare this recipe to keep things interesting. Also, in the summer, just use whatever beautiful veggies you can find at the market!
Definitely make the white sauce and creamy white bean mixture as is, but then, try layering with broccoli, cauliflower, green peas, mushrooms, green beans, kale, roasted red pepper, etc. Depending on the veggie, you might want to steam or roast them first.
Also, if you like store-bought vegan cheese, then you can add some for another layer of texture and creaminess. I like to add my almond parmesan over whenever I have it ready to go. It browns nicely and add more texture. You could also use my vegan cashew ricotta instead of making the white bean mixture. Just incorporate the onion and spinach within the cashew mixture, just like I did in these lasagna roll ups.
If you wanted to use frozen veggies, then be sure to first thaw and pat dry them very well so you don't add extra water to the dish.
For an amazing Italian comfort food experience, serve with a nice glass of dry wine, a side of bread, such as these whole wheat rolls, and maybe a simple green salad to lighten up the meal. A balsamic based dressing would pair very well.
Other pairing suggestions include:
This recipe makes for great leftovers! Just keep them in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave. You can also freeze them and let them thaw in the fridge before reheating them. The texture tends to change and the noodles feel softer after thawed, but it still works great.
How to make it ahead
You can easily make the vegan white sauce and the white bean/onion/spinach mixture ahead of time and layer the lasagna only whenever you are ready to bake it.
You can also make it completely ahead, cover tightly to store and bake when ready to eat. If cooking straight from the fridge, then bake for a few extra minutes to ensure it is nicely warm in the middle.
Other baked vegan pasta dishes you might like
- Vegan baked ziti
- Vegan lasagna roll ups
- Vegetable garlic cream pasta bake
- Vegan baked cauliflower mac and cheese
I hope you like this vegan white sauce lasagna as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan White Sauce Lasagna
- Food processor
- 2 batches of vegan white sauce - see below
- 12 lasagna noodles - do NOT use no-boil
- 3 medium size zucchini squashes - thinly sliced
For the quick white bean ricotta
- 1 small sweet or yellow onion - finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 8 oz baby spinach
- 15 oz cannelini beans - rinsed and well drained
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 375º. Also, prepare the vegan white sauce (make DOUBLE BATCH) if not already done and slice the zucchinis.
- Cook the noodles al dente accordingly to packaging. Then, drain well.
- In a non-stick pan, cook the onion with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat until browned (with or without oil). Once cooked, add the garlic and spinach and keep cooking for 2-3 more minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
- To a food processor, add the white beans, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, oregano and salt. Process until smooth, but try to keep some texture. Transfer to the bowl with the spinach and stir to combine.
- Build the lasagna: spread ½ cup of the vegan white sauce at the bottom of a lasagna dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles over and then top with half of the zucchini slices. Then, drizzle 1 cup of the white sauce over the zucchini and place 3 more lasagna noodles over. Then, scatter all the white bean spinach mixture over the noodles and spread evenly using a spatula. Add 3 more noodles and then the other half of the zucchini slices over. Drizzle 1 cup of the sauce over, then 3 more noodles, then top with the remaining of the sauce. Scatter any leftover zucchini slices over if you have some extra. Sprinkle some ground black pepper over if desired.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 375º uncovered, then broil on HI for about 5 minutes watching carefully so it does not burn. Let the lasagna rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
- Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat using the microwave. Can also be frozen.
- Cook your noodles al dente! They will keep cooking within the white sauce when baking in the oven.
- Don't hesitate to prepare the double batch cashew white sauce and the white bean-spinach mixture ahead (keep in the fridge until ready to layer the lasagna).
- Try layering using different vegetables such as roasted mushrooms, steamed green beans, green peas, wilted kale, red pepper, etc. When available, also use a mix of green and yellow squashes to add more color.
- Serve with a light green salad, some vegan almond parmesan cheese and a side of whole wheat rolls.