The Princess is not a fan of meat sauce for spaghetti, but when it’s in lasagna, that’s another story. She can literally finish half a pan in one sitting. Lately she’s been in a lasagna feeding binge, requesting it for dinner each week. I’d like to believe it’s due to my culinary prowess, but she could also be undergoing a growth spurt.
One of the challenges in being a dairy-free household is finding substitutions for ingredients that are not readily accessible. I keep telling myself to stock up when I see a sale on our favorite dairy-free staples or happen to find a hard-to-find ingredient, but sometimes I forget my good intentions. This has been the case for Tofutti’s Ricotta.
Yesterday, when the Princess requested lasagna for dinner, I ended up having to wing it because my go-to store didn’t have any Tofutti’s Ricotta in stock. I used firm tofu that I had on hand, nutritional yeast, and Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.
Fortunately, it turned out fine. Evidence—Princess was inches from licking her plate.
Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Dairy-Free Lasagna
1 package of ground beef
2 onions finely chopped
Splash of Memmi or Bragg’s Aminos (or umami sauce of choice)
1 Jar (plus a little extra) of favorite marinara or homemade marinara (we love Rao’s Marinara)
1 container of Tofutti’s Dairy-Free Ricotta OR homemade ricotta substitute*
1 pkg of Daiya dairy-free mozzarella shreds (or other favorite)
1 pkg of lasagna pasta (we like the no-boil kind—great timesaver)
2 tbsp Italian herb mix (basil, thyme, oregano)
1 tbsp garlic (fresh or granulated)
*Dairy-Free Ricotta Substitute
Drain, rinse, and dry 1 lb firm/extra firm tofu. In food processor, pulse to a fine crumble, and add 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese or Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream).
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Saute chopped onions with olive oil and add ground beef. As beef cooks to pink, add umami sauce of choice and jar of favorite marinara. Set to simmer while preparing ricotta.
3) In food processor, combine Tofutti Ricotta or homemade dairy-free ricotta substitute with Italian herb mix, garlic, and egg.
3) In 9×12 casserole dish, put about 1/3 of meat marinara sauce, lasagna noodles, 1/3 of ricotta mix, sprinkling of dairy-free cheese shreds; another 1/3 of meat marinara sauce layer, lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sprinkling of cheese shreds; last 1/3 of meat marinara sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta mix; remaining lasagna noodles, a little extra marinara, and final sprinkling of cheese shreds.
4) Cover with foil and bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes to melt cheese shreds on top.
- Vegan option: use tempeh and/or mushrooms instead of ground beef; omit egg.
- Instead of ground beef, try such as ground turkey, chicken, or pork.
- Add spinach, parsley, or kale to the ricotta mix in food processor.