Every time I’ve been to the grocery store recently, the display of the gourds catches my eye. It doesn’t look like anyone is buying them. The green and white pumpkins would look lovely on a Thanksgiving table or doorway, and I worry that the squash will sit there until they rot.
So, I decided to grab some. I’m not usually a big fan of squash. My husband and I ate entirely too much of it one winter, and I’ve been turned away from it ever since. However, in an attempt to reduce waste, especially food waste, I thought it would be a good idea to use them to the best of my ability.
The winter we ate too much butternut squash, it was in lasagna. This recipe is inspired by that lasagna. My husband’s mom used to get it for us at Grandpa’s market. We loved it so much that we stocked up every time we visited Charlotte.
Now that we’re vegan, crafting a lasagna requires creativity. I kept reading about tofu lasagna and wanted to give it a try!
I call this lasagna vegan fall harvest lasagna because it’s loaded with gourds. It contains pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash, as well as zucchini. I added some tofu to replace the ricotta and provide some protein, and the red sauce provides just the right amount of acidity.
This vegan fall harvest lasagna is a great recipe for your holiday guests, vegan or not! The herbed tofu resembles ricotta perfectly.
Start by roasting your squash. Slice your acorn squash in half, scoop out and discard the innards. Then, place them in a roasting pan. I used a bread pan because they fit perfectly. Fill the pan halfway with water so the squash doesn’t dry out. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on the meat of the squash. Roast for 1 hour at 425.
Peel and cube butternut squash. This recipe only uses two cups, which is usually 1/3 of an entire butternut squash. I like to roast it all, making a quick and easy snack for my toddler. Lightly coat in olive oil. After the acorn squash has been roasting for 15 minutes, add butternut squash to the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Now, it’s time to make the herbed tofu ricotta! I hope you find it as delicious as I do. Drain extra firm tofu and pat dry. You may need to press the tofu for 30 minutes to remove excess water. Try to get as much liquid out of the tofu as possible. The ricotta will be too wet, otherwise.
Add tofu, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, water, salt, and thyme to a food processor. Pulse ingredients together until tofu resembles ricotta in texture. This will take 5-7 minutes. Set tofu aside until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna. You can also make this ahead of time. It refrigerates well, covered, for up to 3 days.
Prepare lasagna noodles according to package.
While lasagna noodles are boiling and cooling, prepare other vegetables. Chop the spinach. Finely dice the zucchini and shallot.
Once the acorn is finished roasting, transfer to a large bowl. Mash the squash with the back of a fork, making sure to keep it slightly chunky for texture.
Add remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated: pumpkin puree, shallot, garlic, chopped spinach, diced zucchini, and almond milk.
Now, it’s time to assemble the lasagna. Coat the bottom of your lasagna dish with a thin layer of red sauce and filling mixture. Place 4-5 lasagna noodles on top. Layer lasagna with filling mixture, then red sauce, and lastly, tofu ricotta. This recipe is three layers.
Cover and bake lasagna at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to allow top to brown.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Vegan Fall Harvest Lasagna
- 12-16 lasagna noodles
- 1 25 oz jar red sauce
- 1 package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs thyme
- dash salt and pepper
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 oz spinach, chopped
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 2 cups butternut squash, roasted and mashed
- 1 acorn squash, roasted and mashed
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out innards and place in a baking dish with the skin side down. Fill baking dish halfway with water. Lightly brush olive oil on the inside of the squash. Bake for 1 hour.
- Peel and cube butternut squash. Lightly toss in olive oil and bake on a baking sheet for 45 minutes. (Add to oven with acorn squash.)
- Make tofu ricotta. Drain and press tofu to remove any excess water. Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until tofu resembles ricotta, approximately 5-7 minutes. You may need to add 1 tbsp of water, depending on how much excess you were able to remove. Set aside until it's time to assemble lasagna.
- Prepare lasagna noodles according to package.
- While noodles boil and cool, prepare vegetables. Chop spinach. Finely dice shallot and zucchini.
- Once squash is done roasting, adjust oven temperature to 375 and place squash in a large bowl. Gently mash the squash with the back of a fork. Leave the squash slightly chunky for texture.
- Add remaining filling ingredients to the bowl: shallot, garlic, spinach, zucchini, pumpkin puree, and almond milk. Mix until just combined.
- Lightly oil a 13×9 pan and assemble the lasagna.
- Spread a thin layer of red sauce and lasagna filling in the bottom of the pan. Top with 4-5 lasagna noodles. Begin layering your lasagna with filling, then red sauce, and lastly, tofu ricotta. When adding red sauce, coat noodles entirely so your lasagna is nice and moist. This recipe is 3 layers.
- Cover and bake lasagna at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for another 15, until browned.