Plant Based Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups with “Ricotta Cheese” and Bechamel Sauce
This entire recipe is plant based and you’d never know it. The pesto is flavorful and nutty which tastes great with the creamy “ricotta cheese” filling. Finished with a light bechamel sauce and this dish will have your entire family coming back for more.
And while it might look complicated, preparing this dish is very simple. I used my vegan pesto recipe but you can use store-bought pesto sauce as well. Just be careful because a lot of pesto sauces will have parmesan cheese, precluding them from being vegan.
Same goes for the filling. I made a vegan “ricotta cheese” blend for this recipe. But if you are a vegetarian, you can swap regular whole milk ricotta cheese and one egg for the tofu and cauliflower.
Plant Based Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups with Ricotta Cheese and Bechamel Sauce
Vegan Ricotta Cheese Filling
- 1 package of super firm tofu , not pressed
- 1.5 cups cauliflower pearls , cooked and soft
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella , daiya
- 1 lb. Lasagna noodles
Plant-Based Pesto – linked above
- 2 tablespoons butter, Earth balance plant based butter
- 1 tablespoon AP flour, all purpose
- 1 ¼ cup almond milk, original
- fresh basil sliced
- food processor
- pasta pot
- 2 saute pans
- 8.5 inch spring form pan or baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grab your 8.5-inch spring form pan and gently spray it with cooking spray. You can also use a baking dish. Set aside.
- Boil a pot of water and cook 1 pound of lasagna noodles according to the package. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- Drain noodles in a colander and drizzle them with olive oil so they do not stick together.
Prepare the vegan pesto:
- Grab a large sauté pan and over low heat, add the pesto and some of the reserved pasta water to help soften it up. You’ll want the pesto to be more like a sauce vs. a thick paste.
Prepare the “ricotta cheese” filling:
- In a blender or food processor, add the tofu, cooked cauliflower, nutritional yeast, spices, and lemon juice. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Remove the mixture from the food processor and gently fold in the shredded mozzarella. Set aside.
Prepare Bechamel Sauce:
- Add butter and flour into a saute pan over low medium heat. Once the flour begins to bubble and has been well combined with the butter you’ll begin to slowly add the almond milk a litte at a time. The sauce will begin to form. You want the sauce to be creamy but pourable. If it gets too thick, simply add more almond milk. Add chopped fresh basil to the sauce still well and set aside.
Assemble the dish:
- Take the noodles and add them to the saute pan with the pesto. Make sure they are all well coated.
- Grab a sheet tray and lay each noodle out one at a time.
- Begin to fill the noodles with the ricotta cheese filling. Once they are filled and rolled, begin to line them up in the spring form pan. You can also lay them flat in a baking dish.
- Cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
- Finish with extra cheese and the bechamel sauce lightly poured over the entire dish.
- Serve and enjoy!