This healthy lasagna recipe is every bit as delicious as your childhood favorite, but lightened up enough to enjoy weekly without a smudge of guilt. This recipe is warm, hearty, and comforting. It is filled with tender noodles, rich marinara sauce, and slightly sweet ricotta cheese.
That last sentence up there may have included an exaggerated truth. The ricotta cheese in this recipe isn’t actually ricotta, but even a group of cheese connoisseurs would not be able to tell the difference. This ricotta is every bit as creamy, fresh, and mild as the real deal, and the texture is spot on.
Not only is this non-cheese cheese a perfect match to real ricotta, it adds tons of protein to this dish. It is the secret ingredient that transforms lasagna into a hearty and healthy meal that will stick with you. It provides an excellent source of calcium and can help improve cardiovascular health.
This healthier ricotta cheese is made out of tofu.
If we lost you at tofu, stick with us for a second. Tofu is neutral and makes the perfect substitute for ricotta which is also very mild in flavor. Once the tofu is broken down in the food processor and mixed with some lemon juice and salt, it is nearly identical to ricotta cheese and gives this lasagna its satisfying cheesy flavor and texture.
This recipe has been tried out on numerous cheese lovers, none of whom could tell the difference.
For perfect Healthy Homemade Lasagna, here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Spoiled for choice.
When you are making dairy-free ricotta cheese, it is very important which type of tofu you select. Make sure you are purchasing extra firm tofu, which can be found in most grocery stores. If you purchase any other consistancy, when you process it in the food processor, it will become too soft and creamy. It will not have the perfect, slightly grainy but still creamy, ricotta cheese texture.
Tip #2: Step in the right direction.
I have found that different brands of lasagna noodles have different cooking instructions. Some require longer boiling, while others do not require any boiling before you start layering your lasagna. The best instructions to follow for prepping your noodles is found right on the box they came in. Following these instructions ensures perfectly cooked lasagna noodles.
Tip #3: Avoid a sticky situation.
If you are using no-boil noodles, then you can disregard this tip. I have battled many sticky boiled lasagna noodles and have found that laying the boiled noodles in a single layer on wax paper prevents them from sticking together or breaking. Once you are ready to use the noodles, simply gently peel them off of the wax paper and layer them one at a time. Sticky situation avoided.
- 1 bottle pasta sauce
- 14 oz. extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 9 oz. lasagna noodles (gluten-free if needed)
1. Crumble the tofu into a food processor. Add in the lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse until the tofu is broken down and resembles the texture of ricotta cheese. Set aside.
2. Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of your baking dish with a layer of the tomato sauce.
3. Add in a layer of noodles.
4. Top with a layer of tomato sauce.
5. Dollop on the tofu ricotta cheese.
6. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used up, ending with tomato sauce on top of the last layer of noodles.
7. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve.