dairy-free lasagna almond ricotta in Stuab baking dish

This dairy-free lasagna is made with almond ricotta cheese and packed with spinach and mushrooms. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and easily made completely vegan.

Lasagna has always been a comfort food for me. I remember my mom making it when I was growing up and I’d always watch with awe as she made the filling and intentionally layered each ingredient. The lasagna I remember was loaded with light and fluffy ricotta cheese filling, tons of spinach, and heavily covered in marinara sauce. Occasionally, meat would make an appearance, but the real star of the lasagna was the spinach and ricotta filling.

When creating this recipe, I wanted to make sure it had all the same cozy, comforting vibes while still being nutritious. The goal was a gluten-free, dairy-free lasagna that was still insanely delicious. I’m happy to report this lasagna ticked all those boxes. It’s a healhty lasagna you could make for your family or a gathering and no one would question that it wasn’t made with dairy, gluten or meat. It’s really that good! 

How to make Dairy-Free Lasagna with Almond Ricotta

Just like the lasagna my mom made growing up, the ricotta is the start of the dish. Except this time instead of using traditional ricotta cheese, this lasagna recipe uses homemade almond ricotta

If you’re daunted by making your own almond ricotta, don’t be! It’s incredibly easy to make. All you need is 5 ingredients, a food processor or blender and 10 minutes. I’ve included the recipe in the instructions, but you can head over to this almond ricotta post for more insight on this delicious dairy-free cheese and all the ways you can use it. That being said, if you’re short on time or don’t want to put in the extra effort (I get it!), you can use Kite Hill’s ricotta that’s exclusive to Whole Foods. It’s a vegan ricotta made from almond milk. It’s a perfect one for one substitution for this recipe.

Once you have your ricotta filling is made all you have left to do is sautee some mushrooms and spinach, layer your ingredients and put the lasagna in the over to bake. For this recipe, I chose spinach and mushrooms. However, you can sautee whatever vegetables you have on hand. If you’re looking to up your veggie intake, feel free to double the amount! 

To keep this lasagna as simple and streamline as possible, I recommend using no-boil noodles. I like Jovial gluten-free brown rice lasagna sheets. You assemble the lasagna with the uncooked sheets, layering with the almond ricotta, sauteed veggies and sauce. In the oven, the lasagna noodles absorb liquid and cook right in the oven. After about an hour in the oven, you have an incredibly soft, piping hot lasagna that’s the ultimate healthy comfort food.

dairy-free lasagna almond ricotta in Stuab baking dish
vegan dairy-free almond ricotta cheese with herbs

NOURISHED BY NUTRITION FACTS:

Antioxidants – This lasagna is packed with antioxidants from the 32 ounces of tomato sauce. Including antioxidants in your diet is essential for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. The main antioxidant found in tomatoes is lycopene. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. (1) (2) The highest concentration of lycopene is found in processed tomato products like canned tomatoes and tomato sauce versus fresh tomatoes. (3) This makes it ideal for using canned tomatoes and pasta sauce in your cooking. In order to increase the absorption of lycopene, it’s important to consume it with a source of healthy fat.

Almonds – This nut creates the base for the almond ricotta filling. They’re a great source of healthy fats, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron and vitamin E. Almonds also contain protein (they’re ranked number nine on my guide to plant-based proteins). They contain about 6g protein per 1/4 cup which is comparable to peanuts who have 8g per 1/4 cup. Plus, almonds are extremely versatile and make a quick, nutritious snack, especially on the go.

Brown rice pasta – this is the most comparable to traditional wheat flour pasta. It holds together well and has a very neutral taste. Plus, you get the nutritional benefits of brown rice. Brown rice is a gluten-free whole grain that is a good source of folate, riboflavin, potassium, calcium and manganese. It’s also a good source of fiber and the phenols and flavonoids. Phenols and flavonoids are antioxidants that can help prevent cell injury caused by free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body. (4) (5)

close up slice dairy-free lasagna almond ricotta

IF YOU LOVE THIS Dairy-Free Lasagna, YOU’LL ALSO ENJOY THESE RECIPES:

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Dairy-Free Lasagna with Almond Ricotta

This dairy-free lasagna is made with almond ricotta cheese and packed with spinach and mushrooms. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and easily made completely vegan.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the Almond Ricotta:

  • 2 cups blanched slivered almonds
  • 3/41 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (omit for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Lasagna:

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms
  • 5 oz spinach
  • 912 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Jovial gluten-free)
  • 32  oz marinara sauce (I like Rao’s or Monete Bene)
  • 4 oz dairy-free mozzarella, optional (I like Miyoko’s)

Instructions

Start by making the almond ricotta. You only need one cup for this recipe, however, I find that is is much easier to blend if you make the full batch which yields 2 cups. In a food processor or high-speed blender combine the almonds, 3/4 cup water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend until thick paste forms, scraping down sides as needed. Add more water one or two tablespoons at a time and continue to blend until you reach a creamy, slightly grainy consistency like ricotta cheese. Set aside 1 cup. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

In a medium bowl, add 1 cup of the ricotta mixture. Add in the basil, oregano and garlic powder. Taste and season with more salt or spices, if desired. Whisk the egg and add it to the almond ricotta mixture. (omit this step if vegan). Combine until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the over to 375F.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and mushrooms. Season with salt. Let the mushrooms cook for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the spinach and let wilt. Once the spinach has wilted, let cook for another 2 minutes to let some of the liquid evaporate. Remove from heat.

To assemble the lasagna, spread one cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 or 11×7 baking dish. Top with a single layer of lasagna noodles (about 3-4 noodles). Spread 1/2 of the almond ricotta over the noodles using a spatula. Top with half of the spinach and mushroom mixture. Cover with one cup of sauce. Repeat another layer with noodles, almond ricotta, spinach and mushrooms and sauce. Then top with one last layer of noodles and one cup or more of sauce. Top with slices of dairy-free mozzarella, if using. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. If you want the cheese on top to get slightly golden, place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Store leftover lasagna in the baking dish covered in foil or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

If you’re short on time, you can use Kite Hill’s ricotta that’s exclusive to Whole Foods.

For this recipe, I chose spinach and mushrooms. However, you can sautee whatever vegetables you have on hand. Feel free to double the vegetable filling!

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #nourishedbynutriton.