Its cold and snowy here in northern Michigan and I’m craving comfort food! In fact, our oldest son turned 8 on Sunday and he requested that I make his favorite meal- Dairy Free Lasagna Florentine of course. Many of my friends and followers have been asking me lately for my recipe which I have tweaked many times over the last 7 years. I would like to say it’s near perfection as everyone in my family loves it! You will have to try it for yourself.
I think you’ll find this dish to not only be delicious but healthy as well!
Erika’s Dairy Free Lasagna Florentine
Please note you can use whatever kind of protein you prefer or even leave it out completely. I prefer to use either organic ground turkey or ground venison, of which I have an entire freezer full of, from the doe I harvested during our recent whitetail deer hunting season.
Also, you can certainly make homemade sauce from scratch. I do sometimes. However, I’m usually in a crunch for time and I have found several brands of dairy free good-quality store bought tomato sauce.
If using store bought tomato sauce I doctor it up with the following:
2-3 large jars of marinara sauce or 8 cups homemade sauce
1 tsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs ground meat of your choice (I made venison lasagna yesterday)
1 tsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
4 cloves of fresh garlic
2 cups fresh organic spinach- you can either add it directly into the pasta sauce or add as another layer on top of the ricotta mixture when building your lasagna.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dairy Free Ricotta Layer:
2 packages Organic Firm Tofu, drained well and dried with paper towel
2 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
For Lasagna Assembling/Layering:
2 packages Daiya Mozzarella Shreds – 1 pkg for ricotta, 1 for top layer
1/2 pkg lasagna noodles (Spartan brand & Hodgson Mill Organic are egg free)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray the bottom and edges of and 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with “safe” cooking spray. I use Pam.
Fill a large stock pot with water, add a fair amount of salt (your pasta water should taste like the “sea”) and place on range under high heat. Once water is boiling, add lasagna noodles and cook for about 8 minutes until al dente. Do not over cook!
Drain, add a little olive oil to noodles to prevent sticking and set aside.
Tomato Sauce Method:
To make sauce, heat large skillet on medium high and add 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Add a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper plus 2 cloves garlic
When hot, add ground protein of your choice (venison for me) and continually chop up using the back of a wooden spoon. Once meat is cooked through and browned then add your tomato sauce of choice. Next add additional 2 cloves of garlic and all remaining ingredients from “tomato sauce” above. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Dairy Free Ricotta Method:
Mix all ricotta ingredients including 1 package of Daiya shreds in a medium bowl. It’s important you crumble up the tofu by hand and do not use a mixer. This will ensure for the best consistency to maintain the layers in your final product. Set aside for now.
Ladle 1/3 cup tomato sauce onto bottom of lasagna pan. Add cooked lasagna noodles. Layer Dairy Free Ricotta Mixture on top of sheets. Then a layer of fresh spinach and top with tomato sauce/meat mixture. Repeat this step again ending with a top layer of tomato sauce.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place lasagna pan on top of a cookie sheet to prevent any overspill/mess in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes of baking and lasagna is bubbling, remove from oven. Remove foil and sprinkle 1/2 cup Daiya shreds on top. Switch oven to “Broil” and broil for 2 minutes to melt Daiya shreds. Daiya should be bubbling as well when done.
Remove lasagna from oven, let dish settle for 10-15 minutes and serve hot.
Leftovers of this lasagna freeze extremely well. This dish can also be made up to 2 days in advance if kept in the refrigerator and then baked.
My 2 boys and husband absolutely love my Dairy Free Lasagna Florentine and I hope you will too!