Christmas Lasagna with Pesto and "Meat" Sauce

Recipe by Vegan Recipes and Vibes (@veganrecipesandvibes), paid partnership with Hungry Planet

Christmas Lasagna with Pesto and "Meat" Sauce
Christmas Lasagna with Pesto and "Meat" Sauce

Yield: 12 servings | Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1.5 hours

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This red and green lasagna is bound to make your holiday table more festive! The red sauce layer is meaty and hearty while the green pesto layer adds a boost of flavor and lightens up the dish. It might look fancy, but it's surprisingly easier than you may think, especially when using the plant based Hungry Planet meats. The low fat, protein packed, cholesterol free, non-GMO beef ground is one of my favorite additions to this lasagna (next to the pesto of course).

Christmas Lasagna with Pesto and "Meat" Sauce

The plant-based beef is easy and fast to cook with and adds a nice meaty texture and flavor to this dish. Paired with the bright flavors from the pesto, this holiday lasagna will win over the non-vegans in your family!


Ingredients:

Red Meat Sauce Layer:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter

  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped

  • 1 package (12oz) Hungry Planet Beef™ Ground

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 jar (25oz) red pasta sauce

Pesto Ingredients:

  • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup walnuts

  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 block (14oz) firm tofu

  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella cheese shreds

Directions:

  • Lightly grease a 9x13, 3" deep pan or glass baking dish and set aside.

  • Start by boiling the noodles.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the entire box of lasagna noodles.

  • Boil the noodles according to the "al dente" instructions on the box, usually for about 7 minutes.

  • Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and carefully remove the lasagna noodles from the water. Lay each noodle out on a fresh towel to dry, making sure they are not touching each other.

  • While the noodles are boiling, you can make the red meat sauce.

  • Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.

  • Add the butter and chopped onion.

  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).

  • Add in the package of Hungry Planet Beef Ground and break up the beef with your spatula.

  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes or until the beef looks slightly browned.

  • Add in the jar of pasta sauce and mix until the meat is evenly covered. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Next, make the pesto ricotta layer.

  • Combine all the pesto ricotta ingredients into a food processor.

  • Pulse until everything is evenly combined and you have a smooth and fluffy ricotta-like mixture.

  • Now that the noodles and layers are ready, it's time to assemble the lasagna.

  • Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles to cover the entire pan, making sure the noodles don't overlap (you may need to cut them to fit).

  • Evenly spread half of the red meat sauce on top of the noodles.

  • Cover with another layer of noodles, then spread the entire pesto ricotta mixture on top.

  • Cover with another layer of noodles, then spread the other half of the red meat sauce on top.

  • Thinly slice pieces off the mozzarella ball and arrange them on top of the meat sauce (or cover the top with mozzarella shreds).

  • Sprinkle with some dried oregano.

  • Cover the lasagna with tin foil.

  • Option: let the lasagna rest in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. This will prevent it from becoming a gooey mess when you bake it in the oven, and the layers will stay more separate so you can see those pretty red and greens. Or you can bake it immediately if you're ready to eat!

  • The last step is to bake the lasagna.

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F.

  • Cover the lasagna with tin foil and bake for 50 minutes: keep it covered for the first 40 minutes, then remove the tin foil for the last 10 minutes.

  • Remove the lasagna from the oven.

  • Let it cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into 12 pieces.

  • Serve and top with some fresh basil leaves for a garnish.

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you can't find the Hungry Planet Beef™ Ground in stores, feel free to use any other brand of beef ground and follow the instructions as written above. The Hungry Planet Italian Sausage (either the crumbles or ground) would also be a delicious substitute!

  • To save time, you can use store-bought vegan pesto. Mix 1/2 cup of store-bought pesto with 1 block of tofu and 1/2 cup of mozzarella shreds for the ricotta layer.

  • If you can't find the Miyoko's vegan mozzarella ball, you can use mozzarella shreds.

  • Store the leftovers in an air-tight container, or cover the lasagna with plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350° F oven for 20 minutes or until it is warmed through.

Nutrition & Servings: (calculated by MyFitnessPal)

  • Servings: 1 slice (yields about 12 slices)

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