Gluten-free, dairy-free lasagna? How can that be a real thing? Seriously, you have to trust me on this – it is mind-blowingly delicious and you will never miss the gluten or the cheese!
The basis for this recipe is one I ran across a couple of years ago for a slow cooker lasagna with butternut squash and swiss chard. I don’t have the source anymore, so apologies for not giving credit here. I loved the recipe, but it was FULL of cheese and it was not gluten free, so I decided to see if I could adapt it to my current dietary restrictions.
After a ton of research, I found recipes for vegan cheeses that suited my personal preferences and what I was hoping to accomplish for this dish. I would recommend making the cheeses the day before to simplify preparation for this dish. They are both easy, but again, you will thank me if you make them ahead of time.
The rest of it is pretty easy as I subbed out brown rice noodles for the traditional lasagna noodle, which makes it gluten free. I also used a jarred pasta sauce that was organic with no sugar or salt added. I make pasta sauce frequently, but since I was going out on a limb with the cheese, I took a shortcut with the pasta sauce here. Try an Arrabiata Sauce (spicy or peppery sauce) for an added kick.
Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard Lasagna (Gluten-free & Dairy-free Style)
- 15 ounces vegan mozzarella style cheese
- 2 large eggs (or egg substitute if vegan)
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (definitely use fresh if you have it)
- 4 cups finely chopped Swiss chard
- 1-2 jars Arrabiata Pasta Sauce (make sure it doesn’t have any added salt or sugar)
- 1 package brown rice lasagna noodles
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and sliced very thinly into 1/2 moons (try to keep slices no thicker than 1/8″)
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- Combine ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg in a bowl. Gently fold in the chopped chard.
- Wipe bottom of slow cooker with extra virgin olive oil. Spread approximately 3/4 cup, or enough, of the pasta sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with 3 noodles, breaking as needed to fit. Evenly spread 1/2 of the ricotta/chard mixture over the noodles. Spread approximately one cup of the pasta sauce over the cheese (or enough to cover). Repeat with noodles, ricotta/chard, pasta sauce.
- Finish with another layer of noodles, pasta sauce and top generously with the parmesan.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.
- Remove lid, sprinkle with a bit more parmesan. Replace lid, turn off slow cooker and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Vegan Cashew Ricotta Cheese
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsps. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to taste
- Soak the cashews in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 2 hours covered in boiling water. The longer soak will give you a better texture.
- Drain and rinse the cashews and place all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor, process until almost smooth. You want a little bit of texture. Taste for flavors, adding any ingredients or spices you may want. I do like the ricotta bit salty so I always add a little more. TIP: After the initial mixing and nuts are fairly well blended, I transfer to the jar I am going to store them in and finish processing with an immersion blender to get just the right texture.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for an hour or two to stiffen the mixture up.
- Makes approximately 2 cups. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse until a fine meal forms.
- Transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Toast in pre-heated oven for approximately 10 minutes or until mixture just begins to slightly brown
- Let cool and transfer to airtight jar.
- Will keep for approximately 2 months.