A lasagna can be fairly time-consuming to make, what with making all those different elements that go into it and the layering and baking and so on. But I make it all that much easier for you with my vegan Instant Pot Lasagna. Now you can eat lasagna for a weeknight dinner--or for a special weekend meal with family or friends! And you can make it gluten-free.
Jay's a bit of a Garfield, in more ways than one, and one of those ways is his love for lasagna.
I don't think he's ever met a lasagna he doesn't like, and he loves my traditional vegan lasagna something fierce. So to keep my baby cat well-fed, I came up with this quick version of a lasagna that's made in an Instant Pot. A Vegan Instant Pot Lasagna.
This is not an approximation of a lasagna made in an IP with free-floating noodles -- it's a lasagna proper, layered and cheesy and filled with the tomato-ey goodness of my easy homemade marinara (although you can definitely use storebought).
I pretty much made this the way I make a traditional vegan lasagna, except that this time, when I had Desi photograph it, I used gluten-free lasagna noodles. It works just as well with regular lasagna noodles.
I wanted this recipe to be fuss-free so I didn't make it inside a springform pan or anything like that--I just cooked it up directly in the IP liner, and it worked fine. The only downside of this is that you can't quite slice it as neatly but who cares about that when it tastes SO good.
What we love about this lasagna
- It's a lasagna! Except it is made in an Instant Pot, so it's easier. But it tastes as delicious as any lasagna you will ever make.
- It's hearty.
- It's cheesy.
- It pops with delicious tomato flavor from the marinara.
- It takes minutes to assemble.
- You don't have to make it all from scratch. Use storebought marinara and just make the cashew ricotta at home--and the vegan parmesan. Both literally take minutes to make, but you can always make them in advance.
- It bakes in the IP from start to finish in about half the time it'd take to bake a lasagna in the oven.
Tips and steps for making the best Vegan Instant Pot Lasagna
- If you have some time, make my five-ingredient homemade vegan marinara sauce. It's super easy and it's better than anything you can find on a store shelf. You can make it a couple of days ahead and refrigerate it.
- Same thing with the cashew parmesan and the vegan ricotta. You can stir them up in minutes, but you can also just make them in advance when you have a little time to kill. Then you're all set to make your lasagna whenever you feel like it (that sentence just made me feel so warm and cozy inside! Lasagna + whenever = heaven)
- I use oven-ready lasagna noodles for this lasagna, and I advise dipping them in cold water for about a minute before layering them. This is a small extra step but it will guarantee your lasagna noodles come out tender and nicely cooked when you actually eat the lasagna.
- I like mixing some meatless meat into the marinara sauce for a protein boost. If you like a lentil marinara, use lentils instead.
- I just thaw the meatless meat, mix it with the marinara, and then layer it all on. Or you can brown the meatless meat in the IP first (in a tiny bit of oil), add the marinara, heat it all together, then remove most of the marinara and start layering.
- Ok, so here goes. Add a couple of ladles of the marinara into the IP liner, then add a cup of vegetable stock (or water). Layer on four lasagna noodles -- place two noodles side by side in the IP liner, then place two more noodles criss-crossing them.
- Add a fourth of the marinara, a fourth of the vegan parm, a fourth of the cashew ricotta, and a fourth of the vegan mozzarella shreds (I used Daiya). Once again layer on four noodles--two side by side, then two more criss-crossing them, and proceed with layering on the other ingredients. You should have four layers and use 16 noodles in all, which is the number you'll usually get in a box.
- Finish up with a final layer of marinara, parmesan and ricotta but don't sprinkle on that final layer of vegan mozz yet. Add that only after your lasagna is cooked and you've released the pressure from the IP. Sprinkle on the mozzarella and cover with the lid and let stand another 10 minutes. Beautiful lasagna. Guaranteed.
Making your vegan lasagna gluten-free
- Noodles: I made this lasagna gf this time, and I used Barilla's oven-ready lasagna noodles which are vegan.
- If you use a meatless beef, make sure you buy one that is labeled gf. I usually use Beyond Beef, which is both gf and soy-free. Impossible's meatless pork and sausage are also glutenfree.
- You can also use brown lentils in your lasagna instead of meatless meat. Add 2 15 oz cans of brown lentils for this recipe. Drain them and stir them into the marinara just as you would the "meat."
Vegan Instant Pot Lasagna
- 16 no-boil lasagna noodles (I used glutenfree this time but wheat noodles are just as fine. Soak the noodles in a pan of water for just a minute before you layer them. Don't overdo it.)
- 16 oz meatless beef (I used Beyond Beef. Thaw before use.)
- 28 oz vegan marinara
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup vegan cashew parmesan
- 8 oz vegan mozzarella shreds
For the cashew ricotta:
- 1 ½ cup raw cashews (soaked 30 minutes, then drained)
- ¾ cup vegetable stock
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Make the cashew ricotta, by placing the cashews in a food processor with all ingredients except the parsley. Process for a couple of minutes until fairly smooth. Mix in the parsley and pulse until it's mixed into the rest of the ricotta. Set aside.
- Keep a pan of warm water handy to soak the noodles just before you layer them.
- Mix your marinara with the meatless meat or lentils. It might be easier to do this if you heat the marinara a bit, and you can just do this in the IP. Set the IP to the saute function. Place the liner inside, add the marinara, the meatless meat or lentils and the oregano, and mix well and let it all come to a boil. You can also do this on the stovetop. Make sure your marinara is seasoned to your liking and add some salt and pepper if you need to.
- As soon as the sauce comes to a boil turn off the saute function. Remove most of the sauce from the liner using a ladle, leaving just about ¼ cup inside. Add the cup of vegetable stock (or water) to the sauce that remains inside.
- Soak the lasagna noodles in the pan of warm water for a minute. Layer on four noodles into the bottom of the pan by placing two noodles side by side and two more on top, crisscrossing them. Since your IP liner is round and your noodles are rectangular, you are not going to get a perfect fit, but that's fine. The space on the sides is going to let the sauce bubble up and cook everything nicely.
- Layer on one-fourth of the meat sauce over the lasagna noodles.
- Layer on one-fourth of the cashew parmesan.
- Layer on one-fourth of the vegan ricotta.
- Layer on one-fourth of the vegan mozzarella.
- Repeat until you have built up three layers of the meat sauce and the cheeses. Over the fourth and final layer, layer the remaining meat sauce and parm and ricotta. Don't add the remaining mozzarella shreds.
- Cover the Instant Pot with the lid, then set to the manual pressure cooking function for 12 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally or force-release it 10 minutes after the end of cooking. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and cover the lid and let it stand for another 10 minutes.
- The longer you let it stand, the more the lasagna sauce will thicken up, so I recommend leaving it alone for at least 15-20 more minutes. But if you simply can't wait, cut it, scoop it out and dig in!
Love this Vegan Instant Pot Lasagna? Check out more of my vegan Instant Pot recipes on Holy Cow!