This blog post is also available in German.
A vegan autumnal lasagna recipe with seasonal butternut pumpkin and creamy vegetable béchamel sauce. The lasagna is simply prepared, is guaranteed to succeed and tastes great to anyone, whether they are non-vegans, vegetarians or vegans. In addition, the pumpkin lasagna is made from purely plantbased ingredients and does not require expensive plastic-packed substitute products.
Vegan pumpkin lasagna
Lasagna is one of the dishes that I’ve always adored. In the past, it was best filled with minced meat or in the spinach-ricotta version. When I began to eat vegan, the sobering first thought came to my mind: “Help me, I can’t eat lasagna anymore. But the horror was only short. Because of course I and YOU can eat lasagna. It can easily be cooked from vegetable ingredients. The possibilities are unlimited and the preparation is not difficult at all.
Today`s recipe is no lasagne recipe in the classical sense, i.e. veganized version of the classic with minced meat filling. But a delicious autumn-winter variation with pumpkin. I just wanted a slightly different lasagna. And since I mainly cook with seasonal ingredients, the pumpkin came just in time. Nevertheless, this pumpkin lasagna is in no way inferior to the original. It is the perfect dish for everyday life, but also when you`re having guests over. You can also easily prepare the lasagna in advance.
Why lasagna without substitutes?
Meanwhile there are vegan minced meat, vegetable ricotta and mozzarella and tens of other vegan substitutes. Most of them have one thing in common, they are hard to find – if you don’t live in a big city – and also not cheap. In addition, many of these products are packaged in plastic.
So today I’ve set myself the goal of creating a simple, sustainable lasagna recipe with seasonal ingredients for you that doesn’t require substitutes or plastic. So each of you has the possibility to try this vegan low waste pumpkin lasagna.
If you are interested in vegan substitutes in general and would like to know how to exchange animal products for herbal ones, read my blog post about vegan alternatives in the kitchen. I have to say that the term “substitute product” does not quite apply from my point of view. Certain products, such as tofu, legumes, vegetable milk or yoghurt, are not substitute products for me personally, because I would consume them anyway, i.e. vegan or not vegan. But that is a question of definition.
What will become of meat, cheese and Co.
As I have already written, this lasagna version is completely cooked without meat, cheese, milk, eggs and cream. It also contains no substitutes such as vegan mozzarella or vegan minced meat. The classic lasagne recipe consists of minced meat, béchamel sauce and cheese. What can be taken instead?
Pumpkin instead of meat
I simply exchanged the well-known minced meat filling with the pumpkin. The pumpkin is a lot healthier and tastes incredibly delicious in a lasagna. Apart from that, pumpkin is still in season until February and is excellent for autumnal and winter dishes, like this pumpkin chili. Of course you can also use other seasonal vegetables according to your taste. Green cabbage, Chinese cabbage or feathered cabbage also go well in winter. Lentils are a great vegetable alternative for minced meat. You can also conjure up a delicious classic lasagna or lentil bolognese from it.
Béchamel sauce is an important component of a classic lasagna and of course must not be missing in this vegan pumpkin lasagna. But how is a sauce based on milk and butter actually vegan? Instead of butter you simply take margarine and for the milk a vegetable alternative. Easy peasy and you will succeed without any problems! Why do I say that? Because I’ve cooked this vegetable béchamel recipe several times myself – for example for this cauliflower quiche – and the method really always works. The only important thing is that you follow the instructions exactly and add the vegetable milk all at once, otherwise it won’t work with the thickening.
The vegetable bèchamel sauce becomes really creamy and thickens again during baking. The top layer even turns slightly brown. That’s why I don’t think you need a cheese substitute anymore, because the lasagne gets really creamy and juicy. If you don’t want to do without it, you can of course add vegan mozzarella or parmesan. I simply sprinkled a few yeast flakes on the top layer for a certain taste.
The right noodles for lasagna
It’s as plain as day, of course lasagna sheets, you may think! Of course you are right. I also prefer to use lasagna sheets. As banal as this seems now, there are two things I think you should keep in mind. And you should definitely read the ingredients list to make sure that your lasagna plates are egg-free. That’s not always the case! Secondly, I recommend that you choose lasagne plates that you don’t have to precook. This reduces the time and effort required for preparation.
Which type of lasagna you choose is completely up to you. I really like the regular ones made of wheat or the green ones with spinach. But also whole grain is a great option. Meanwhile there are even gluten-free options and such made from buckwheat, corn, rice, green lentils, etc.. When buying I pay attention to a cardboard packaging, because it is easier to recycle. And last but not least there is of course the possibility to make the lasagne sheets yourself. Depending on the brand and type of lasagne plates, the baking time in the oven can vary.
YIKES, I don’t like pumpkins!
Ok, this is a recipe for a vegan pumpkin lasagna that tastes really delicious. But not everyone likes pumpkin! Maybe you belong to this group! No problem, you can simply replace the pumpkin with other vegetables and still enjoy this lasagna recipe. Any kind of cabbage would also be a perfect match for the current season, e.g. green cabbage, kale or Chinese cabbage. Depending on what is seasonal at the moment, you can exchange the pumpkin with something suitable. In summer zucchini and eggplants would be a great choice and in autumn different mushrooms.
Low carb version
This recipe for the vegan pumpkin lasagna is not really low carb. But you can easily change that. Use vegetables instead of wheat lasagna leaves. You can cut them into thin slices and use it as a substitute for the lasagne plates. Aubergines, courgettes, carrots or turnips are good for this. Instead of the béchamel sauce you can use a cashew sauce. Simply mix the cashews with water in a blender to make a creamy sauce. Refine with salt, pepper, other spices, some garlic and a little bit of nutritional yeast flakes if you like. If you want a more sustainable variant – instead of the cashews flown in from far away – you can also use cooked white beans or cauliflower. However, the latter is not tasteless.
Layer & bake lasagne properly
The art of lasagna layering. Here the spirits argue! And I have already seen the most different variations. Some start with the sheets as the first layer, others put the béchamel sauce on the filling and not on the sheets. I start with the pumpkin filling, followed by a layer of lasagne sheets and then I add béchamel sauce. Then I repeat the whole thing twice so that I finish with a layer of béchamel. I also don’t make the layers too thick, otherwise the lasagna falls apart when I cut it.
So that the lasagna sheets are evenly cooked, you must make sure that they do not overlap each other. Otherwise you have parts that are not cooked properly. For the béchamel sauce, I put just enough sauce on the sheets to cover them. But you shouldn’t drown them in sauce.
The lasagna is baked at 200° Celsius in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. However, the baking time may vary depending on the type of lasagne sheets you use. You should therefore read the information on the packaging beforehand. If the béchamel sauce turns brown too quickly, you can place the lasagna on a lower rack or cover it.
Vegan pumpkin lasagna – the perfect Meal Prep dish
This vegan pumpkin lasagna is perfect for preparing in advance. This makes it not only the perfect dish to cook for guests, but also for the employed, busy ones and mothers or fathers with a full day’s schedule. You can easily prepare the pumpkin filling and béchamel sauce the day before. Then, after a hard day, all you have to do is layer the lasagna and put it in the oven. The filling and sauce can be kept for 1 to 2 days without any problems.
What I wouldn’t recommend is to layer the whole lasagna in advance, leave it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next day. Due to the contact with the sauce, the lasagna sheets will get soaked and the result will be mushy. You can, however, bake the lasagna and then store it in the fridge ready for use. If you are overwhelmed by hunger, all you have to do is warm it up. You should then simply consume the lasagna within two days.
If you do not use ingredients that you have already defrosted, you can also freeze the lasagna. Provided you have enough space in the freezer. This is a great option for evenings when you just want to put something in the oven or when you need a quick lunch. You can freeze it baked and raw. If you choose the first option, you must first cool the prepared lasagna down to room temperature before freezing it. And don’t forget to defrost the lasagna in the fridge first!
Why you should try this vegan pumpkin lasagna:
- vegan (meat, milk and egg free)
- purely vegetable
- simply prepared
- guaranteed to be successfull
- low waste
- super creamy
- incredibly delicious
- suitable for in advance preparation & freezing
- perfect for Meal Prep
Other delicious recipes with pumpkin
- Chili con pumpkin
- vegan pumpkin-pasta sauce
- vegan fondue in pumpkin
- Buddha Bowl with pumpkin spaghetti
- Pumpkin Spice Granola
If you are cooking this vegan pumpkin lasagna, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.
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Vegan Pumpkin Lasagna
- 2 tbsp olive oil organic
- 1 onion organic
- 2 garlic cloves organic
- 800 g Butternut Pumpkin organic
- 200 g carrots organic
- 3 celery sticks organic
- 200 ml white wine organic
- 3 tbsp tomato puree organic
- 1 tsp salt organic
- black pepper organic
- 2 tsp dried oregano organic
- 2 tsp rosemary salt organic
- Italian herb mix organic
- 600 ml vegetable milk organic
- 40 g vegan margarine or butter organic
- 40 g flour organic
- 1 tsp salt organic
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 2 tbsp yeast flakes organic
- 9 lasagne sheets
- 1 tbsp yeast flakes as topping organic
- dried parsley as topping organic
- Halve pumpkin, remove skin and seeds and cut into small cubes.
- Peel onion, garlic cloves and carrots. Finely chop the onion, press the garlic cloves and cut the carrots into fine cubes.
- Wash the celery stalks under running water and cut into fine cubes.
- Preheat oven to 200° Celsius.
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Sautée the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and pumpkin for about 10 minutes.
- Deglaze with white wine. Add the remaining ingredients for the pumpkin filling and simmer at low temperature until the liquid has thickened. The filling should not be too liquid, but rather compact.
- Put the filling aside and prepare the bechamel.
- Melt the margarine in a pan. Add flour and stir well until a yellow paste-like mass (Roux) is formed.
- Add the vegetable milk and stir well with a whisk so that the roux can dissolve in the liquid.
- Bring the béchamel to the boil briefly, then remove it from the hotplate or cook it over a very low heat until it has thickened. Flavour with salt, garlic powder and a little grated nutmeg. Mix in the yeast flakes.
- Grease a casserole dish with a little margarine or oil. Spread a thin layer of pumpkin filling on the bottom. Followed by a layer of lasagna sheets (approx. 3 per layer).
- Spread the lasagna leaves thinly with béchamel sauce.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 twice. Finish with a thicker layer of béchamel sauce.
- Finally, sprinkle some more yeast flakes on the béchamel layer.
- Bake the lasagne in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried parsley before serving.