Vegan Slow Cooker Lasagna With Spinach-Tofu "Ricotta"

One of my favorite small kitchen appliances has to be the slow cooker.

I use to love the feeling of throwing a piece of meat and other random ingredients together in the morning and by dinner time your house not only smelt amazing but dinner was ready and also TASTED amazing!

It’s truly something magical.

Now that we’re on a plant-based diet, the days of throwing a piece of meat in the crock-pot are long gone. But the feeling of something amazing is still very much needed! So, it’s been a new challenge for me to find ways to make recipes minus the meat but not minus the flavor.

Our days get so busy that the convenience of the slow cooker is priceless.

One of our families favorite recipes from the slow cooker is lasagna. I had a great Weight Watchers recipe that I recommended to EVERYONE but now it had to be re-vamped for our new lifestyle. I needed something yummy, protein packed and tasted like the original recipe. You know, the usual.

I had tofu in the fridge and I remember reading about how Vegans use it to replace the “cream” or “cheese” in recipes that called for dairy. I was quite the skeptic to this but I decided to give it a try anyway.

The results?

UNBELIEVABLE!

Creamy, delicious, easy…perfect!

Today, I’m proud to say, my slow cooker lasagna with spinach-tofu “ricotta” was born…

Slow Cooker Lasagna with Spinach-Tofu “Ricotta”

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 jar pasta sauce, plus more to your liking (no oil added, low-fat, or you can make your own)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt free seasoning like Mrs. Dash or SPIKES
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained*
  • 1 cup Daiya Vegan mozzarella cheese (This brand is the only veggie cheese I’ve found that doesn’t have the harmful animal protein, Casein, added back in.)
Weight Watchers PPV: 7 per 1 heaping cup serving
Protein Count: 20 grams per serving

*You really could get creative here and add as many or as little veggies as you like. You can shred carrots and zucchini and cook them right in the sauce. You could replace a layer of noodles with eggplant. Add a layer of mashed sweet potatoes instead of two layers of “ricotta”. The possibilities are endless! For us, I like to keep it simple. I don’t want the veggies falling out everywhere and ending up with lasagna stew. I’d prefer to just have a salad on the side. To each their own though! 
1. Create your ricotta mixture by using a potato masher to combine the tofu, spinach, lemon juice, garlic, Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, Mrs. Dash, garlic salt, and pepper. 
You could throw everything in your food processor to get a more fine mixture too. I made this at an early hour when my boys were sleeping so I went with the potato masher. 
2. In your slow cooker, ladle a small amount of sauce in the bottom. Place a layer of noodles on top of the sauce. You will need to break them to fit, but they do not need to fit perfectly.
3. Layer in a little more sauce and then some of the Vegan “ricotta” mixture.

4. Repeat the process until all the noodles, sauce and “cheese” mixture are used, ensuring that the sauce is the final layer.

5. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. This cooks fairly quickly.
6. After the main cooking time, add the Daiya cheese. Cover, leaving lid slightly open and allow to melt before serving. Serve warm and enjoy!
***This dish freezes really well and is easy to reheat during those busy week nights.


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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Making this today! Yum!

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    This looks amazing! Can't wait to make it!! 🙂

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Made this yesterday, and it turned out perfect! I was worried because I layered it almost all the way to the top (my crock pot looks just like yours), but it was fine. I grated a carrot into the mix. I've got a tofu manicotti recipe with a similar spinach mixture that calls for a few shakes of nutmeg, so I added that too. Delicious! (Even my non-veg husband liked it.)

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    love this recipe and have made many different variations on it since starting a plant-based diet over a year ago – tonight we're having mushrooms and red pepper added in – nom nom nom 🙂 thanks much for the recipe!

    Like

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