Perfectly baked sheets of pasta cradling layers of of melty cheese and bubbling marinara … this vegetarian lasagna is not only super simple, but it is absolutely the BEST Vegetarian Lasagna recipe around.
I’ve been making this vegetarian lasagna recipe for, gosh, at least 20 years. And it is a hit with everyone – every. single. time.
This is more a vegetarian lasagna than a vegetable lasagna, and that is because it is super simple with not a bunch of added veggies. I love a good veggie lasagna, but this one is perfect just as it is, in all its simplicity. Not only does it taste delicious and appeal to everyone in its simplicity, but it’s such a cinch to put together. You don’t even cook the pasta first! For real. I promise it will turn out perfectly.
Table of Contents
- About the Recipe
- Why You’ll Love this Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe
- Vegetarian Lasagna Ingredients
- Make-Ahead Tips
- Full, Printable Recipe
- Reviews & Comments
About the Recipe
When I blogged this recipe the first time, I called it “Vegetarian Lasagna – Even Hardcore Carnivores Love This Stuff.” Which is totally true! I’ve fed this to many, many meat-eaters over the years and every single one has loved it.
It’s adapted from a recipe that was in my very first vegetarian cookbook, The Moosewood Cookbook (affiliate link). It’s one of the recipes that convinced me, when I decided to become a vegetarian in my 20’s, that it was all going to be okay. Because, hello, recipes like The Best Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe Ever are amazzzzzing just the way they are – absolutely no meat needed!
Now that I’m rebooting and resharing the recipe, however, I’ve decided to go a bit bolder and claim it The Best Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe Ever.
I know, I totally know, that calling something the best ever is a bit over-the-top and could never really be true because there’s no way you one can really try every single recipe out there for comparison. But seriously, to me, this is truly the best vegetarian lasagna recipe ever.
Why You’ll Love this Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe
- Everyone I’ve served it to or made it for loves it. LOVES it.
- Once you’ve made the sauce, it comes together so easily in comparison with other lasagna recipes. YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO COOK THE PASTA FIRST. Pinky swear.
- It’s simple. Super simple! No fancy extras. Not needed! Pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, parm, and sauce. The SAUCE.
- Seriously, the sauce.
If you want guaranteed success, make this lasagna with the homemade Italian Tomato Sauce that is a part of this recipe. (I’ve also blogged about it separately here – it’s my fave.) Vegetarian lasagna made with the homemade Italian Tomato Sauce is victorious lasagna.
But enough about me. What have other readers like you thought about this recipe? Here’s what they had to say:
- “I have made a lot of vegetarian lasagna recipes. Most of them haven’t been great. A few of them have been basically inedible. So in search of a good vegetarian lasagna recipe I tried this one and I’m really glad I did! It’s really delicious and it’s the only leftover that our son is willing to eat without complaint. I love it. my husband loves it and more importantly our 14 yr old son loves it (less complaining!).”
- “Made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was a hit. The sauce is delicious! We aren’t vegetarians but this is BETTER than any lasagnas with meat that I have tasted!! This recipe is a keeper, highly recommend it! Thank you for sharing.”
- “I stumbled upon this recipe last Valentine’s Day and made it for my vegetarian girlfriend, and now for every birthday, anniversary, and holiday this is the only dish she wants. The last three times I’ve made it I had to google ‘Best vegetarian lasagna’ and sort through whatever came up trying to remember it, but I’ve finally wised up and bookmarked it AND printed out a hard copy for our home. Thanks so much for this recipe — really simple but really delicious. So nice to find a homemade sauce that tastes this good but is so straightforward and fast. Best lasagna I’ve ever had, and the leftovers are SO good.”
Vegetarian Lasagna Ingredients
The simple list of ingredients will have you swooning. And while you can substitute the sauce with a jar or two of your favorite store-bought, I implore upon you to try the homemade sauce first. It’s the only thing that takes some work, but it’s SO VERY WORTH IT.
For the sauce, you have:
- Olive oil
- Green bell pepper
- Italian seasoning
- Fire-roasted tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Honey (it helps cut the acidity from the tomatoes)
- Salt & pepper
And then for the lasagna itself:
- A batch of the delicious tomato sauce you just made
- Lasagna noodles – uncooked!
- Make the sauce ahead of time for a much faster assembly and cooking time.
- This vegetarian lasagna is also VERY freezer-friendly! I suggest assembling and fully cooking the lasagna, then warming it up in the oven to serve.
The Best Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe Ever
Italian Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (diced small) (about 3 cups)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced smal) (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
- 6 medium cloves garlic (minced) (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 28-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes (diced fire-roasted tomatoes will work too)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 batch Italian Tomato Sauce (about 4 cups, or 32 ounces, of sauce)
- 1 pound lasagna noodles* (uncooked)
- 1 15- ounce tub (about 1 3/4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese)
- 1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese (grated) (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ((2 ounces))
Make the Italian Tomato Sauce
- Add the olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent and the pepper is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for one more minute.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, honey or sugar, salt, and pepper. If you’re using whole tomatoes, break up the tomatoes with a spoon. To save time, I will sometimes give whole tomatoes a quick spin in the blender to break them down a bit, then add them to the pot. (This is also a good method if you’re serving people who don’t like tomato chunks in their sauce).
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until the sauce comes to a boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the parsley, then remove from the heat.
Make the lasagna
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grab a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Smear a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a single layer of pasta, breaking to fit as needed. Using a couple of spoons (one to scoop and one to scrape it off), plop half the ricotta all over the noodles in little mounds. Top with 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella.
- Repeat with a layer of pasta, then the rest of the ricotta, then another third of the sauce, then the remaining mozzarella.
- Add a last layer of pasta and spread the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake until bubbly and melty and the pasta is tender, about 45 minutes. If the top begins to get brown, cover with foil during the last 10 minutes or so of baking.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
- Keeps refrigerated covered or in an airtight container for about 3 days. It also keeps frozen for several months. I have also frozen single-portion leftovers in individual freezer bags for quick and easy lunches.
This sounds great! Thanks for the inspiration. You may want to consider trying the vegan “ricotta” using tofu, miso, and nutritional yeast and the Daya mozzarella. I really like both these a lot and was a hardcore dairy lover.
Great ideas, thanks!
Well. What to say about this recipe?
I suppose two thoughts come immediately to mind: First, my partner LOVES lasagna, and he’s Italian, so he grew up on good lasagna. And second, I hate lasagna. Never have liked it.
I’m back to your site for the recipe which I am doubling because WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THIS STUFF. And I’m STILL reeling over the fact that I don’t have to boil the d*mn noodles first. WHO’D’VE THOUGHT. I put a cup of thawed frozen spinach into the ricotta to give it a little more nutritional value (you really can’t taste the spinach), and as I mentioned I’m DOUBLING this recipe because one pan is not enough. NOT ENOUGH.
tl;dr This recipe made a believer out of me and I am unspeakably grateful to you for posting it.
I love hearing this! Thank you so much for giving it a whirl, and for the glowing review. 🙂
Just so you know, Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian… It’s made with animal-based rennet, which requires killing a calf to acquire. I believe I read that all parmesan is required to be made with animal based rennet, but don’t quote me on that. Ricotta’s usually fine. Either way, definitely check the packaging! If it doesn’t specify that the enzymes were microbial or plant-based, there’s a good chance they use animal-based. I’d definitely substitute vegan parmesan if you’re vegetarian.
On second glance, it looks like Kraft does not use animal-based rennet in their Parmesan cheese. The packaging doesn’t say it, but a Kraft representative confirmed it’s vegetarian. So at least that one’s safe.
Thanks, Nop. Yes, cheeses can be a minefield for strict vegetarians, especially Parmesan! When I write my recipes I trust that most vegetarians know this and shop for Parmesan w/o animal-based rennet (Whole Foods carries one too). You have me thinking that perhaps I should start adding a note to my recipes with Parmesan and other cheeses just in case someone doesn’t know. Thanks again for your comment!
Does the recipe requre oven-ready noodles?
Nope! It works for me with any kind of lasagna noodle. 🙂
I have made a lot of vegetarian lasagna recipes. Most of them haven’t been great. A few of them have been basically inedible. So in search of a good vegetarian lasagna recipe I tried this one and I’m really glad I did! It’s really delicious and it’s the only leftover that our son is willing to eat without complaint. I love it. my husband loves it and more importantly our 14 yr old son loves it (less complaining!).
Woo hoo! So glad you and your family love it as much as we do! 🙂
Hi, thanks for sharing this mouthwatering recipe. I love the way you represent it. I will definitely want to try this recipe. Keep up the great work.
looks like it will be good
I made this recipe and another meatless Lasagna for my Vegetarian daughter-in-laws birthday. Everyone (10 people) preferred the recipe with the Fire-roasted diced tomatoes. A hand chopper was used to make the green pepper and onion extra small cubes. Even my meat loving sons liked it.
Oh, a lasagna challenge! I love it! And I’m thrilled to hear this one was the winner. 😉 Great idea to use the hand chopper. Happy birthday to your daughter-in-law!
Does this recipe work well using gluten free lasagna noodles, cooked or uncooked?
I haven’t tried it with gluten-free pasta. If I recall correctly it can take a bit longer to cook than traditional pasta right? You might wish to cook it first and give it a try. If you do try please report back!
I recently found Barilla’s new no-cook gluten-free lasagna noodles at WalMart. I haven’t tried the lasagna recipe yet but plan to prepare it soon for my vegetarian son and gluten intolerant daughter-in-law. Thanks for your response.
Hi there. Can this be made and assembled a day or two before cooking? Thanks!
Does it work better to freeze this before or after cooking? I am making it for Christmas so I would like to make ahead of time (just a couple days). Thanks!
We tried this and loved it. I baked it so my wife would not have to cook on Christmas Eve. I am a rudimentary cook, but this came out fantastic. My daughter is vegetarian, my son isn’t; both had 2-3 helpings.
Hi Ken, I’m so glad you all liked it! 🙂 Thanks so much for your review and Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was a hit. The sauce is delicious! We aren’t vegetarians but this is BETTER than any lasagnas with meat that I have tasted!! This recipe is a keeper, highly recommend it! Thank you for sharing.
I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for the review. 🙂
I stumbled upon this recipe last Valentine’s Day and made it for my vegetarian girlfriend, and now for every birthday, anniversary, and holiday this is the only dish she wants. The last three times I’ve made it I had to google ‘Best vegetarian lasagna’ and sort through whatever came up trying to remember it, but I’ve finally wised up and bookmarked it AND printed out a hard copy for our home.
Thanks so much for this recipe — really simple but really delicious. So nice to find a homemade sauce that tastes this good but is so straightforward and fast. Best lasagna I’ve ever had, and the leftovers are SO good.
Hi Trevor! I’m so sorry I am only just now replying to your comment. I had a whole bunch of comments get stuck in my queue that I didn’t realize were there. Thank you so much for your awesome review! I love that this one is such a hit for you and your girlfriend. Thank you again!
Made this with whole wheat lasagna noodles (doubled the sauce and it cooked just fine) and homemade macadamia ricotta and homemade cashew mozzarella, and Follow Your Heart parmesan shreds. Also added a pound of frozen spinach. It was delicious! Even my husband loved it and he’s been difficult to satisfy with all my other attempts at making vegan lasagna. Thank you!
Oh my gosh I need to try this! Your homemade vegan cheeses sound incredible.
Busy wedding week coming up. I need freezer meals and to feed non-meat eaters.
My question is — can this be made ahead of time and freeze it? Or is it better to cook and
I usually cook first then freeze. Bring to room temp and warm in the oven for about 20 minutes. Have fun!
It actually tastes very good, add lots of cheese and mushroom, or even cream of mushroom and it’s perfect with cooked lettuce.
I did find while good , it .was more dry and cruncby thzn gooey
Can I prepare it 2 days in advance and keep in the refrigerator?
Sauce was good, but the noodles were undercooked.
Good to know, Megan. I’ve never had that happen with many brands of noodles! I know this was awhile ago (sorry, I am SO behind on comments and reviews!) but do you remember which brand of pasta you used?
Excellent! For those that do like meat – did not miss as this is very rich. I like better than many veggie lasagnas as it is not watery. I used a red bell pepper vs green and ww noodles (which I did pre-cook slightly) but other than that followed recipe and all liked. Making again tonight!
Thank you for sharing and for coming back and leaving a review! 🙂
My husband, daughter, and I loved this lasagna! I added 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms to the sauce which gave it a bit more thickness and richness. Delicious! Only one question/issue: the top-layer lasagna noodles were crunchy in a few places. Any suggestions how to resolve that? Thanks so much!
I’m so glad you liked it! The mushrooms sound delicious. For the crunchy top part, you could try covering with foil about halfway through cooking.
Thanks so much for the review!
I’ve made a lot of vegetarian lasagne but this is the best I’ve found. The only slight difference I’d make when I’m making it again (and I’ll definitely be making it again) is to cover the dish with foil from the start and whip it off after half an hour, to prevent it getting too browned on the top. But that’s not a big deal, and probably just a sign I need to get an oven thermometer.
Everyone loved it, from.the veggies to the omnivores. And it’s so easy to make. Thanks a million for such a great recipe.
I love it! I’m so glad this has been a hit for you and for everyone. Great tip re: the foil. Thank you! I’ll have to try it that way and update the recipe if it makes a difference for me too! Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a review. 🙂
Very excited to try this recipe for Christmas. But I am a little confused about the lasagna. Do you boil it in water to assemble? I have the unkooked one.
Hi Lucia, nope! The noodles go in uncooked; they cook up perfect in the oven. However, if you use whole wheat pasta, you’ll want to boil it a bit first. Merry Christmas!
Can this be assembled a day ahead and cooked the next?
Yep! Just bring to room temp (about 20 minutes out of the fridge) before placing in the oven and watch the top for browning too much (cover with foil if it starts to get too brown before it’s done). Happy holidays!
Okay, so I made this for Christmas dinner today and everyone said that it’s *the best lasagna they’ve ever had!* (One did say it was a tad sweet so I think I’ll cut out the sugar next time.)
Thank you so much!!
I’m so glad everyone liked it! Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a review. The sugar is there to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes in the sauce, but I’m all about tweaking recipes to make them your own. 🙂 Happy New Year!
Hi! If I wanted to freeze the single portions like you do, how would i go about it and then at what temp / for how long would i be reheated? For just a standard piece
Hi Emina, we freeze individual portions in Ziploc bags and then reheat in a microwave (at my husband’s office) or either in a covered pan on low heat with just a smidge of water (we don’t have a microwave at home) or reheat wrapped in foil in the oven. It makes for a really convenient lunch!
I have no bake lasagne noodles. Will this make a difference? I hope to hear back soon because I’m making it for my family tomorrow!! If I don’t hear back I’ll try it and let you know how it turned out. My guess is that it will be just fine😉
Every lasagna noodle I have tried has worked! I think those should work too, but please do report back! 🙂
I have a confession: I accidentally used spicy fire roasted tomatoes so I wound up making 2 pans, using jarred sauce for the kids since they won’t touch spicy. Anyway, the spicier ones wound up being wonderful (the heat level was negligible) and the noodles were perfectly cooked. I loved your recipe. Thank you!
Great recipe and much quicker than my usual go-to. I’m a sauce hound, so I added a whole extra jar of pasta sauce and it was perfect!
Glad to hear it! Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a review. Would you like to assign a star rating? Just reply and let me know 1 to 5 stars and I’ll add it for you. 🙂
I have eaten this lasagna quite a few times and would definitely agree that it is the best lasagna ever (I am a huge meat eater and love this more than any others, veg or meat). Unfortunately, I can no longer eat dairy and would love an alternative to the ricotta (needs to be dairy & soy free). Any ideas?
Hey Vix! I actually have an almond ricotta recipe up my sleeve, the pics aren’t great so I haven’t posted it yet. But it’s made with slivered almonds and it’s INSANELY good. I’ll email it to you. <3 Thank you for the review!
This is a great recipe! I’ve made it several times. Sometimes I add some tofu & a fistfull of chopped fresh basil.
Those additions sound so tasty!
Hey Kare , I want to make this lasagna for my daughters birthday ! Sounds great 👍🏼 wanted to be clear that you use uncooked noodles when creating layers??
I love your recipes!! Am visiting with my daughter, who is vegetarian and am so inspired by all the delicious vegetarian dishes I have been preparing, your creativity is amazing! Such healthy meals and easy to prepare , thank you, Stella Haller
Thank you so much, Stella! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your daughter. 🙂
You didn’t include the instructions on how to mix the ricotta Parmesan and eggs? I put chopped parsley eggs Parmesan and ricotta together, it came out pretty good
I absolutely can’t wait to try this recipe ! It looks delicious!!
Just two questions..
Do you use fresh noodles or just the dry lasagne noodles? And just to be clear you don’t boil them in water before right ?
Also.. I don’t know much about lasagna. But don’t you normally need to put in béchamel sauce? Or is all the cheese kind of a replacement for that?
Thank you very much in advance!
I thought it was good but that the sauce needed something. I added oregano, basil, 1 tablespoon of sugar and thought that it tasted much better. Also, next time I would prefer less onion. Thank you for the recipe.
Delicious, I added extra vege though. Thanks for recipe 🙂