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Lasagna is one of the oldest types of pasta. The name “lasagna” actually refers to both the type of pasta (the lasagna sheet) and the entire dish, usually made with ragù from Bologna, bechamel, and parmesan.

The dish is so widespread in Italy that almost every region has its own variant, some of which include for example ricotta instead of bechamel, or vegetables instead of meat. With this recipe, we will see how to make a vegetarian version of the classic lasagna with ragù, using texturized soy protein.

Etymology and origin of lasagna

Lasagna is the singular term for lasagne (referring to the individual lasagna “sheet”), that Italians use when speaking of this dish. As the dish is made placing several layers of lasagna sheets on top of each other, the plural in Italian is mandatory. In English instead, the term is more used in the singular. It derives from the Latin làganum and from the Greek láganon.

Traces of lasagna can be found already during the Greek period. The similarity with the Italian lasagna is mostly the idea of stacking layers of pasta sheets and a filling on top of each other, while the actual fillings are different.

In Italy, the origin of the baked lasagna dish comes from Emilia-Romagna, where the first mention of it was found in the 13th century.

Regional variants in Italy

In Italy, we can find many several variants of the dish. Without going too much in detail, it’s curious to notice how many differences can be found between regions. It is always so wonderfully inspiring to see how the same dish develops into a multitude of various recipes with different ingredients.

In the South, the use of egg pasta was not common. Therefore, lasagna from Campania traditionally contained lasagna sheets made without eggs. Among the ingredients, mozzarella and ricotta romana (ricotta cheese from Lazio) are found.

In Emilia Romagna, lasagna is often called “green lasagna” because it is traditional to add spinach into the pasta dough which colors the sheets green.

Quite curious is the Sicilian version, where hard-boiled eggs, fried meatballs, ragù with peas, ham, and semi-hard cheeses are included. A different version has ricotta as a replacement for white sauce bechamel.

Our recipe will instruct you on how to make vegetarian lasagna, following the most well-known lasagna dish. This one from Bologna, contains ragù, bechamel sauce, and parmesan cheese.

How to make vegetarian lasagna

First thing first: make your own bechamel. If you buy a store-bought one, skip this step and focus on the ragù for the lasagna.

Making the ragù will take approx. 2 hours so take this into account before starting the lasagna. You will need to finely chop celery, carrots, and onion and sautè them with some butter and oil in a saucepan. You will then add the textured soy and increase the heat, pour some white wine, and then broth for the soy. Add the tomato sauce and cook for around 2 hours. When it’s ready, taste it and check whether it needs more salt and pepper or not. This process follows the basic steps for a ragù (usually made with minced meat) with only a few alterations to replace meat with texturized soy protein.

Once your vegetarian bolognese ragù is ready, butter a baking dish and spread bechamel on it, then a layer of ragù and lasagna sheets. Build several layers adding parmesan cheese on each lasagna sheet, and keep building layers until covering the entire baking dish.

On top of the last sheet, add bechamel, ragù, butter, and an abundant amount of parmesan cheese. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes at 180°C.

how to make vegetarian lasagna - article

More vegetarian meals

If you need other vegetarian ideas and you have already learned how to make vegetarian lasagna, you can also take a look at some other vegetarian options for your meals:


Did you know how to make vegetarian lasagna or lasagna in general? Do you prefer it with bolognese ragù or with different fillings? In Italy lasagna with mushrooms and without ragù is also pretty common (and quite yummy, we have to say!). Let us know!

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5 from 13 votes

Vegetarian lasagna

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 160 min Total Time 3 hrs Servings: 6 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If making your own bechamel sauce, follow this recipe. Otherwise, skip this step.

  2. Finely chop the carrot, onion, and celery, or use a food processor. Add them into a large saucepan with some olive oil and a spoonful of butter. 

  3. Sauté the vegetables over medium-low heat. Then add the texturized soy and increase the heat. Add the white wine and let it evaporate completely.

  4. Add broth in 3-4 batches, adding more only when all the broth is gone from the pan. 

  5. Add the tomato passata and ladleful of warm water. Lower the heat. Cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if the sauce dries out too much.

  6. After 2 hours, taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  7. Prepare a medium-sized baking dish by buttering it. Then add a layer of bechamel sauce and top it with a layer of ragù. Add lasagna sheets to completely cover the tray. 

  8. Create layers by first adding bechamel sauce, topping it with ragù, and adding grated parmesan on top. Then cover with an additional layer of lasagna sheets and repeat. 

  9. Repeat until you have created five layers of lasagna sheets. Top the last layer of sheets with another layer of bechamel and ragù. Add some butter on top and top with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.

  10. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Let it cool for some minutes before serving.

Keywords: vegetarian lasagna, how to make lasagna with soy protein, soy protein lasagna, best vegetarian lasagna, meatless lasagna

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  1. Lindy | Happy Humble Haven

    So delicious! Lasagne is a family favorite around our house! Love reading the history of this also! 🙂

  2. David Tower

    My son recently stopped eating meat and he absolutely loved this recipe! Thank you

  3. Agnieszka

    Loved this vegetarian lasagna. You won’t miss the meat in it! Flavorful and delicious.

  4. Gwynn Galvin

    Cannot wait to make this delicious recipe!

  5. Jean

    I cant remember I have lasagna, and thanks for this vegetarian version, will have to try this recipe.

  6. Alexandra

    Such a comforting dish that is so full of flavour – delicious!

  7. Megan Ellam

    So easy and delicious! A favourite here. Vegetarian lasagna is sooo much better.

  8. Oscar

    This was a delicious lasagna. I especially love that it’s vegan as I am trying to cut back on meat. Great recipe.

  9. Jeri

    This vegetarian lasagna quickly became a family favorite! I used fresh garden tomatoes, and it was so fresh and delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Lillian

    I love the history you give about lasagna, it is great to learn more about the food we eat. Thanks for this recipe!

  11. Kayla DiMaggio

    I am loving how easy and delicious the lasagna is! So yummy!

  12. amanda

    Love this vegetarian lasagna recipe. I made it for dinner and even my kids devoured it!

  13. Linda

    Admittedly, I’m not one to make lasagna, but I love the béchamel and tomato combo here and feel this is perfect for a big Sunday meal with the whole family.

  1. Lindy | Happy Humble Haven

    So delicious! Lasagne is a family favorite around our house! Love reading the history of this also! 🙂

  2. David Tower

    My son recently stopped eating meat and he absolutely loved this recipe! Thank you

  3. Agnieszka

    Loved this vegetarian lasagna. You won’t miss the meat in it! Flavorful and delicious.

  4. Gwynn Galvin

    Cannot wait to make this delicious recipe!

  5. Jean

    I cant remember I have lasagna, and thanks for this vegetarian version, will have to try this recipe.

  6. Alexandra

    Such a comforting dish that is so full of flavour – delicious!

  7. Megan Ellam

    So easy and delicious! A favourite here. Vegetarian lasagna is sooo much better.

  8. Oscar

    This was a delicious lasagna. I especially love that it’s vegan as I am trying to cut back on meat. Great recipe.

  9. Jeri

    This vegetarian lasagna quickly became a family favorite! I used fresh garden tomatoes, and it was so fresh and delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Lillian

    I love the history you give about lasagna, it is great to learn more about the food we eat. Thanks for this recipe!

  11. Kayla DiMaggio

    I am loving how easy and delicious the lasagna is! So yummy!

  12. amanda

    Love this vegetarian lasagna recipe. I made it for dinner and even my kids devoured it!

  13. Linda

    Admittedly, I’m not one to make lasagna, but I love the béchamel and tomato combo here and feel this is perfect for a big Sunday meal with the whole family.

    Ruoka on valmis