Do you guys watch a lot of YouTube or is it just me? I use it for many of my workout videos, my crime documentaries and most of all, recipes. I subscribe to vegan and non-vegan channels alike because sometimes non-vegan cooks have some really good ideas too.
One of my favorites is Chef John from Food Wishes. I love his corny dad jokes and even though there is always meat or dairy in his recipes, I love to veganize so many of them that it’s worth it. During one of my recent YouTube sessions, which its pretty difficult to call it a single session since it pretty much goes on and on for most of the day, especially since I pay for premium which means…no ads!
So, that’s what we did.
The idea behind this vegan lasagna is pretty simple. Make the lasagna you love, only replace the pasta with thin, homemade pancakes. This idea appealed to me immediately because ever since moving to Europe, I have had a difficult time finding the long lasagna noodles that you boil so they’re nice and malleable no matter what size/shape baking dish you use.
Without these noodles, lasagna just isn’t the same for me, so anything that allows me to get creative with it is a vegan recipe I’m willing to try. Enter, Chef John.
This recipe seems more complicated than it is. In fact, it tastes more complicated than it is too which makes it kind of perfect for entertaining. Everyone will be so impressed, thinking you worked your poor fingers to the bone to serve up this wonderful vegan lasagna but really you caught up on your favorite true crime documentary on YouTube while the oven did all the heavy lifting.
I’ve already listed the original recipe above, but I’ll walk you through the vegan version, starting with ingredients.
Gather your ingredients and pre-heat the oven to 200C/400C. If you prefer to adhere to the original, find the link above because there are some small differences beyond the vegan replacement ingredients.
Once the oven is preheated, set up the baking dish or individual ramekins so they’re ready when it’s time to assemble.
First, let’s start with the vegan pancake ingredients. Think of this pancake more like a crepe than a fluffy American style pancake, when it comes to consistency. Batter will be thin and runny. Combine flour, vegan egg, water, vegan butter and salt. Add olive oil instead of butter if you wish. Stir and let sit at room temperature while you get started on your favorite vegan lasagna sauce.
Now it’s time for the inside of the lasagna!
From this moment on, let’s think of this tofu as vegan ricotta cheese because that is the purpose it serves. I used tofu in salty water because that’s much easier to find in Romania than silky tofu, but use the silky stuff if you have/want it. Combine tofu, salt, lemon juice (not listed but it adds a nice freshness to the vegan ricotta), and nutritional yeast inside the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined and slowly add water on low or medium-low until you get a thick, slightly creamy consistency similar to ricotta.
In a skillet, cook the vegan mince, onion and garlic until they reach your preferred level of doneness and then add tomato sauce. Season with your favorite herbs like: oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, garlic, black pepper and rosemary. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer until thick.
Now it is time to assemble.
Layer as such: Sauce – Pancake – Ricotta – Other cheeses – REPEAT
Now, I’m going to show a few badly taken photos of the inside of this vegan pancake lasagna. I realize they aren’t great but I really wanted you to see what it looked like once it was cut so…deal with it. 😀
Once the dishes are all assembled, pop in the oven for about 15 minutes, more if your tomato sauce is too watery. Basically you want the dish to gel and when it does, remove it from oven and let cool for a few minutes before you nosh it down your belly hole.
Enjoy it and let me know what you think if/when you try it!