Every holiday table deserves a little comfort food, so today, with just a few days before Christmas, I wanted to share an ultra comforting dish. So, please give a warm welcome to this cheesy Vegan Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Lasagna, a lasagna that is guaranteed to delight and surprise the taste buds of your family and friends. Like any good white lasagna, it is rich and creamy, but unlike traditional lasagna, it’s free of heavy dairy products that weigh you down (and make your tummy hurt).
I do have to inform you that this is not a quick dish to make. Nope, this recipe is a labor of love that requires multiple steps: browning the Brussels sprouts, sautéing the mushrooms, making the béchamel sauce, etc. But before you decide against making this dish, let me emphasize how deliciously indulgent this lasagna is and how much everyone at your table will love it. I am fairly confident you will either (a) get the “I can’t believe this is vegan!” comments or (b) no one will actually guess it’s vegan!
And that’s because this is a decadent, cheesy white lasagna that doesn’t hold back on flavor. While there is no shortage of mushroom + white sauce lasagna recipes out there, I found very few recipes for Brussels sprouts lasagna. Apparently, making lasagna with Brussels sprouts is not really a thing, but I’m here to change that. I love having sprouts on my holiday table each year—usually this salad or a roasted dish of some sort—but I wanted something a little more unique this year. Hence, Brussels sprouts lasagna.
To make the prep work a little easier, you can buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts, which are available at most grocery stores. Otherwise, it’s quickest to shred whole sprouts using the slicing attachment of your food processor. And to roughly chop the mushrooms, the fastest method is to toss them in your food processor with the standard S-blade and pulse a few times until chopped.
For the lasagna, I use no-boil lasagna noodles for a few reasons. First, not having to cook the noodles saves a bit of time. Second, no-boil lasagna noodles are much thinner and less doughy than traditional lasagna noodles, which means the filling ingredients get to really shine. And when your ingredients are browned Brussels sprouts, umami-packed mushrooms, a garlicky béchamel sauce, and a cheesy tofu ricotta, why wouldn’t you want them to shine??
I have found that the best way to ensure that no-boil lasagna noodles cook evenly is to soak them beforehand. While no-boil lasagna noodles shouldn’t need to be soaked if your sauce is quite thin or juicy (i.e., tomato sauce), when using a thick sauce like a béchamel, no-boil noodles can result in a dry crust. To prevent that dryness and ensure you end up with a soft, creamy lasagna, I recommend soaking the noodles in hot water for 10 minutes. Another essential practice when using no-boil noodles is to ensure that every noodle surface is covered in sauce and/or the ricotta. Noodles that lay bare won’t get enough moisture, which means they won’t fully cook through, resulting in unevenly cooked noodles. Finally, I have the best results with Barilla no-boil lasagna sheets, as they’re thin and tend to cook evenly.
For the tofu ricotta, you have the option of making it chunky, similar to a traditional ricotta cheese, or very smooth, like a cheese spread. For the former, you can use a fork to mash up the tofu finely before mixing in the remaining ingredients. For the latter, use a food processor and blend all of the ingredients until smooth. For a texture that’s in-between chunky and smooth, use a food processor but pulse the mixture just a few times.
And now for the béchamel. This ain’t your average béchamel sauce. For one, it’s not made with dairy milk (obvi). And two, it’s super garlicky and flavorful. It’s actually a hybrid between a béchamel and an Alfredo sauce and it is bursting with umami deliciousness. It’s very similar to the Garlic Alfredo Sauce I use in my Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells, which is quickly becoming one of my most popular dishes for remakes!
Finally, for baking the lasagna, you want to make sure you cover the lasagna with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes. Without a cover, your lasagna will likely come out dry. Then, to make sure the cheese gets a nice little crust on top, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes. Since vegan cheese doesn’t react to heat in the same way as dairy cheese, you can also pop the lasagna under the broiler for a few minutes. But be sure to keep a close eye on it, as the cheese can burn rather quickly.
If you give this Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Lasagna a try, drop me a line below and tag me on Instagram!
Vegan Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Lasagna
1 (9-ounce) package of no-boil lasagna noodles (about 15 sheets)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, shredded
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon high-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon vegan butter (or olive oil)
16 ounces cremini or button mushrooms
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon mild yellow or white miso paste
1 cup shredded vegan cheese (such as mozzarella)
Garlic Béchamel Sauce (recipe follows)
Tofu Ricotta (recipe follows)
Make the Tofu Ricotta and Garlic Béchamel Sauce (recipes below).
Preheat the oven to 350F. Adjust the oven rack to center position.
Soak the lasagna noodles. Arrange the lasagna noodles in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and cover with hot (not boiling) water. Let soak for 10 minutes, then remove them and arrange in a single layer in an oiled baking sheet. Pat dry the 9- by 13-inch baking pan.
Chop the vegetables. Working in batches, place the mushrooms in a food processor bowl fitted with the S-blade and pulse a few times until the mushrooms are roughly chopped. For the Brussels sprouts, use the slicing attachment to grate the sprouts (or buy shredded Brussels sprouts).
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until the sprouts are still bright green in color, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Remove the sprouts and set them aside in a bowl. Clean out the skillet.
Using the same skillet, add the vegan butter until melted. Add the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until the moisture evaporates and they begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Once starting to brown, add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Push the mushrooms to one side and add the miso paste. Once the miso has warmed and softened, stir it into the mushrooms. Transfer to a separate bowl than the Brussels.
Assemble the lasagna: Pour 1/3 cup béchamel onto the bottom of the 9- by 13-inch pan to cover. Add a layer of lasagna sheets (3-4 sheets), 1/3 of the sprouts, 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/3 of the remaining béchamel on top, making sure to cover all of the lasagna sheets with sauce. Add 1/3 of the tofu ricotta, spreading it out as evenly as you can. Repeat the layers two times. Finish the top with the shredded vegan mozzarella.
Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. If desired, place the lasagna under the broiler for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning.
1 (14-ounce) block of extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon mild yellow or white miso paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small lemon (half of the zest and all of the juice
Drain the block of tofu and dab away the excess water with some paper towels.
Place the tofu and remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the texture is chunky but a little smooth, similar to ricotta cheese. For a smoother texture, blend until you have a spreadable texture. And for a chunky texture, mash up the tofu with a fork, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients with a spoon.
Garlic Béchamel Sauce
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 cup diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (13.5) ounce can “lite” coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (almond milk, oat milk, etc.)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water (as needed)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegan butter, and once melted, add the onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is softened and lightly browned. Then add the garlic and stir frequently for 2 minutes to prevent burning.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour, whisking constantly for a minute until well incorporated. Gradually pour in the lite coconut milk and almond milk in stages, whisking after each addition to prevent clumps, and then cook for 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Transfer the sauce to a high-speed blender and add the kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Blend until the sauce smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce for seasonings, adding more salt or pepper as desired. If the sauce seems thick, stir in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water to thin it out.