This fun, kid-friendly, everyone-friendly snack of vegan Lasagna Dip and Chips is exactly what you need for a fun-filled evening with family and friends. Dip is gluten-free.
A cheesy, tomatoey lasagna dip with crispy lasagna noodle chips to dunk in sounds like a ridiculously simple idea for a terrific snack, and so it is.
If you plan to gather around the television this weekend with family and friends to watch the game (or just plan to flop down on the couch with your favorite Netflix show) and are looking for a dish everyone will love, you couldn't go wrong with this one.
It's easy to make, it's quite healthy, and it's rather fun. All you need to do to make the lasagna dip is get together your favorite lasagna ingredients, layer them on without the noodles, and bake it.
For the lasagna chips, you'll be cutting up lasagna noodles and baking them until they're crispy and golden, before tossing them with some good stuff, like vegan parm.
I was shopping at Safeway last weekend and I felt a small thrill when Jay excitedly called me to the meat aisle to point out packets of Beyond Beef and another plant-based brands right there next to the actual meat. Safeway does sell a lot of plant-based alternatives, but mostly they are stocked separately in a single, hard-to-find freezer. It's good to see plant-based meat finally elbowing out the other stuff and getting into the mainstream.
In fact, veganism is really having its moment in the media. Did you read about a judge ruling in the UK that ethical veganism is a protected class like religion? Or read this inspiring article from my hometown newspaper, the Washington Post, about the dizzying rise in veganism among African Americans paved by hip hop?
Now for that lasagna dip and chips.
How to make the perfect vegan lasagna dip and chips:
- Start out with flavorful ingredients. I like adding some plant-based meat to my lasagna dip, because I like some plant-based meat in my lasagna. I used a couple of Tofurky Italian sausages here. You want to process them into a crumbly texture in the food processor or mince them really fine so you don't have big pieces in your dip. You can also use plant-based beef mince.
- You should use canned tomatoes because they give you the right consistency for your sauce. I love San Marzano tomatoes in almost any Italian dish that calls for a tomato sauce because they are so flavorful. But they can be a bit pricey compared to other tomatoes, so use any plum tomato you can lay your hands on.
- You will need some vegan mozzarella, vegan parm and vegan ricotta in this dish. I make my own cashew parm and it's delicious, so check it out. The vegan ricotta comes together really easily in the blender or food processor. The vegan mozzarella-- I buy it from the store.
- I really liked the idea of lasagna chips, but I will add that as crunchy and delicious as they are, they are a little harder than your average chip. So if you have sensitive mouth, you may want to just go with another chip, like a tortilla chip.
- You will need to boil the noodles first and then cut them into little triangles before baking them. I found this the most time-consuming part of the recipe, but if you have some time on your hands, go for it.
Vegan Lasagna Dip and Chips
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion (minced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 7 oz vegan sausage (processed into small, crumbly bits. Or use any meatless beef crumbles)
- 28 oz canned plum tomatoes (San Marzano tomatoes are great too)
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¾ cup vegan parmesan cheese
- 8 oz vegan mozzarella shreds
For the cashew ricotta:
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least two hours or overnight, then drained)
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Make the meat sauce by heating the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic. Saute, until they soften, about five minutes. Add the sausage or plant meat crumbles and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Put the plum tomatoes in a bowl and squish them to break with your fingers. Add to the saucepan along with 1 cup of water.
- Stir well, bring to a boil, add the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Stir and let the sauce cook for about 15 minutes or until it turns a bright red. Turn off heat and check seasoning. Set aside.
- Make the 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.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a two-quart baking dish, layer in half the tomato meat sauce. Layer on top half the vegan parm, half the ricotta and half the mozzarella. Repeat one more layer of the tomato sauce, vegan parm, ricotta and mozzarella.
- Place the baking dish, uncovered, in the oven and bake 25 minutes. The sauce should be hot and bubbly. If your cheese is not melting, you can try turning on the broiler for 3-4 minutes at the end, but be careful and check frequently because you don't want it to burn.
- Remove and serve hot with lasagna chips.
To make the lasagna chips:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water. Fish out the noodles, pat them dry, then lay them out on baking sheets to cool (preferably line the baking sheets with a silpat sheet or parchment or cooking spray to keep them from sticking)
- Once cool, cut the lasagna noodles into triangles by first making a diagonal cut, then a straight cut, a diagonal cut again and so on. Place the triangles in a bowl and toss with salt and pepper.
- Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake 13-14 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove them to a bowl and toss immediately with cashew parmesan.