Lasagna Pasta Bake with Tofu Ricotta- Instant Pot Version

This Vegetable Lasagna Pasta Bake has been a hit with my family. It’s a delicious comfort food that can be enjoyed year round! The recipe was inspired by my  Vegetable Lasagna recipe- but with a change up the noodles. I’ve found it impossible to find whole grain or bean-based lasagna noodles at the store, so this version is much more accessible since you can use any whole grain or brean noodles of your choice. 

This version on my Vegetable Lasagna Pasta Bake uses the instant pot to cook the Lentil-Veggie Mixture. This step is one of my preferred, because it takes some of the steps (and dishes) out of the process. I’m all about reducing prep time over here! I also have a stove top version on the original post– so please be sure to see that if you prefer the stove top method. Both recipes are the exact same other than the methods are slightly different. 

A few notes before you get started:

CAULIFLOWER: I use the frozen riced cauliflower from Costco and thaw it before cooking. It’s also fairly easy to make in a food processor. Just wash and then chop the cauliflower. Add it to a food processor and pulse. Remove the larger pieces and then pour the rest into a bowl, add the cauliflower back in and pulse again until all the cauliflower reaches desired texture.

NOODLES: Use 100% whole grain or legume pasta of your choice. You can pick whichever texture you like best (some recommendations: fusilli, rotini, elbows, penne). I prefer the Tolerant brand or Whole Foods brand best for lentil pasta- they both tend to hold up the best in cooked or saucy dishes. (I am not sponsored and do not receive money from Tolerant or Whole Foods- just a really find their noodles work well in a lot of my dishes). 

MISO: I use white miso paste as a substitute for table salt in a lot of my recipes. It’s something I have learned from my day- job. If you don’t have miso, feel free to omit it. If the dish needs a little salt, feel free to adjust as needed (I’d recommend an iodized salt if you do use any).

Lasagna Pasta Bake with Tofu Ricotta- Instant Pot Version

Ingredients:

2 (8 oz) packages of 100% whole grain or legume-based pasta noodles

1-2 cup(s) oil-free marinara (or your favorite marinara sauce)

Lentil Vegetable Mixture:

1 cup dry green or brown lentils, rinsed

1 large onion

2 bell peppers (any color)

3 cups riced cauliflower*

1/4 cup dried basil

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 (6 oz) BPA- Free can or jar of tomato paste

1 (28 oz) BPA- Free can of diced tomatoes (use the liquids)

3 cups water 

1 tablespoon white miso paste*

3-4 cups finely chopped kale

Garlic Cashew Sauce:

1 cup raw cashews

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon white miso paste*

1 cup water

Tofu Ricotta:

1 (14-16 oz) package of firm or extra firm tofu

1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon white miso paste*

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Method:

Pasta:

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Lentil Vegetable Mixture:

Rinse the lentils and add to the instant pot. Wash and chop the veggies.  Add the onion, bell peppers, riced cauliflower, herbs & spices, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and water to the instant pot. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.

Place the cover on the instant pot and make sure the pressure valve is sealed. Select the “stew” button  (35 minutes). 

Once the Lentil- Vegetable Mixture is fished, carefully release the pressure by moving the pressure valve (I like to put a clean towel over the steam). Once the pressure has released, open the instant pot and add the kale and miso paste (it may be helpful to set aside some liquids in a bowl and stir the miso paste in it and then add it back to the instant pot). Stir until well combined. 

Garlic Cashew Sauce:

Prepare the Garlic Cashew Sauce by combine the cashews, garlic powder, miso, and water into a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Pour the cashew sauce into a bowl and set aside.

Tofu Ricotta:

Leave some of the Garlic Cashew Sauce in the blender, and then prepare the Tofu Ricotta. Drain off the liquids from the tofu  and then crumble it a bit. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, vinegar, black pepper, and garlic powder to the blender. Blend until fairly smooth. It may help to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times. Add the Ricotta to a bowl. 

Assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

In a large glass baking dish, layer the bottom with 1-2 cups of marinara sauce. Add a layer of the noodles. Spread about 1/2 of the Tofu Ricotta over the noodles. Next top with the Lentil-Vegetable Mixture (as much or as little as you’d like). Spread 1/2 of the Garlic Cashew Sauce over the veggies. Then repeat the process again. The last layer should be the Garlic Cashew Sauce. (There may be some Lentil-Vegetable Mixture left, but it tastes great as leftovers).

Bake the Lasagna for 45 hour uncovered. Allow the dish to cool completely before trying to cut into it- this will allow the cashew layer to thicken up a bit and make it easier for cutting and serving.

Serves 8-12 people