Sage and Apricot Vegan Cheese Log

A simple, delicious sage and apricot vegan cheese log that requires only 8 ingredients. Similar in texture to goat cheese, this cashew-based cheese is soft, creamy and slightly salty just like the “real” thing.

Sage and apricot vegan cheese spread on a cracker with the whole cheese log on a wooden cutting board in the background.

Although this cashew-based vegan cheese takes a while to make, the steps are simple and the work is well-worth the effort. So let’s get started!

Why you’ll love it

Here is why you should put in the effort to make this insanely delicious sage and apricot vegan goat cheese log.

  • Simple- The steps to making this cheese, although a little time-consuming, are incredibly simple. If you can boil water and throw ingredients in a blender, you can make this vegan cheese.
  • Creamy- Take the time to blend the ingredients thoroughly and you’ll get a creamy and smooth cheese perfect for spreading over crackers, dipping vegetables, or eating right off a spoon.
  • Sweet- Leave it to the dried apricots to add a subtle hint of sweetness to this cheese log that just can’t be beat. No need for added sugars or sweeteners!
  • Wholesome- Unlike many vegan cheeses on the market, you know that when you make yours at home what’s going into it. No artificial binders, gums, preservatives, or sweeteners are found here.

Making the Cheese Base

Let’s begin the process by softening the cashews. Start by boiling a small pot of water. Once boiling, add the cashews, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 1 hour, until they are soft.

Once the cashews have finished soaking, simply drain, rinse, and re-drain them. Add the cashews, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, water, tahini, sea salt, and dried sage to a high powered blender. Blend the cashew cheese until it’s smooth stopping regularly to scrap down the sides.

Sage and apricot vegan cheese log on a wooden cutting board.

Prepping the Cheese Log

Place the cashew cheese mixture into the center of 4 to 5 layers of cheesecloth. Gently fold the cheesecloth around the mixture and form it into a log. Twist up the edges and tuck them under the cheese log. Place the cheese log in a colander and let it rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature.

Once the cheese log has rested, chop up 8-10 dried apricots into small chunks. Place the apricot pieces on parchment paper and spread out into a single layer. Gently transfer the cheese log from the cheesecloth to the parchment paper. Lightly press the chopped apricots into the cheese log and roll firmly. Twist the ends and tuck them under. Place the cheese log in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight).

Serve your sage and apricot vegan cheese log with crackers, vegetables, or eat it right off the platter with a knife. Try crumbling it into pasta or tossing it into a salad. Let me know how you’re going to serve it and, as always, enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Dried apricots- vitamin A, beta-carotine

Lemon- vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, calcium, potassium, limonene (anticancer properties), flavonoids

Sesame (tahini)- lignans (fight hormonally driven cancers, breast and prostate), phytosterols,

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Sage and Apricot Vegan Cheese Log

A simple, delicious sage and apricot vegan cheese log that requires only 7 ingredients. Similar in texture to goat cheese, this cashew-based cheese is soft, creamy and slightly salty just like the "real" thing.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time12 hrs
Total Time16 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: apricots, cashew cheese, dried apricots, entertaining, goat cheese, vegan cheese, vegan goat cheese
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ cup dreid apricots, chopped

Instructions

  • If you haven't already, get a medium pot of water boiling. Add the cashews and remove from the heat. Allow to soften in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
  • Place the soaked cashews, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, water, tahini, and sea salt in a high speed blender. Blend the contents until completely smooth scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Line a strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and pour blender contents into the cheesecloth. Gently mold the goat cheese into a log twisting the ends shut and holding them in place with twisty ties. With the cheese log resting in the strainer, allow it to sit out at room temperature for 12 hours.
  • Once the resting time has finished, remove the cheese log from the strainer and place it, still wrapped, on a plate. Chill the log for at least 3 hours.
  • In a shallow dish, place chopped apricots. Roll the goat cheese log in the chopped apricots, gently pressing them into the log if necessary.
  • Store in the refrigerator or serve immediately with crackers.
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Pumpkin Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, Chickpeas and Garlic Kale

This pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale is made from fewer than 15 ingredients. It’s a creamy and satisfying meal that’s loaded with nutrients. Make the sauce ahead of time for meal prep or to simplify a weeknight meal.

Pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale in a large cast iron skillet with forks and spoons digging in.

I’ve been really addicted to squash lately. Ok, well, not lately. I go through this every autumn. Beginning in September, I roll out the squash dinner meals, eat leftovers for lunch, and even dump pumpkin into my overnight oats. Usually my squash obsession dies down after the New Year. Not this time though. I decided to up the nutritional value of my spaghetti sauce by including some pumpkin. Because, who says pumpkin can’t go on well into the winter months? Here’s why I think you should continue using squash through the winter months too.

Why you’ll love it

  • Simple- Most of the ingredients you’ll need for this dish you probably have on-hand in your pantry and fridge. And you need fewer than 15 ingredients to prepare it as well!
  • Easy- There’s nothing complicated about this recipe. If you can mince, boil water, and open a can, you’re good to go. Plus, you can easily whip this meal up in less than 30 minutes.
  • Flavorful- With such a rich diversity of ingredients, this dish simply does not lack in the flavor department. It’s comforting, inventive, and sure to please.
  • Textured- The sauce is creamy. The pasta is chewy. The chickpeas are crispy. The kale is tender. With so much going on, this dish is sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
  • Customizable- Only have spinach? Swap it for the kale. Don’t like spaghetti but love penne? Go for it! Need to use up leftover kabocha squash? Substitute it for the pumpkin. Garbanzo beans not your style? Use black beans instead. Let your preferences be your guide with this dish.

Caramelized Onions and Chickpeas

Begin by caramelizing the sliced yellow onions. To a large skillet over medium-high heat add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and lower the heat to medium stirring to coat. Reduce heat to low and let the onions sit for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.

Once the onions are caramelized, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas. Heat the beans through then remove them from the heat and set aside.

Pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale in a large cast iron skillet with forks and spoons digging in.

Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce

While the onions are caramelizing, make the pumpkin spaghetti sauce. In a large pot, heat the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Allow the excess oil from the tomatoes to heat then add the diced onion, minced garlic, and sage. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are tender.

Next, add the pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, 2 cups of vegetable broth, basil, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, reduce to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Using and immersion blender (or transfering to a high speed blender) puree the mixture until smoooth. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. At this point you can add coconut cream or cashew cream (I love this recipe from Rainbow Plant Life) for additional creaminess and richness. Alternatively, if the sauce is too thick, you can add more vegetable broth (½ cup at a time) until the desired consistency is reached.

Pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale in a large cast iron skillet with forks and spoons digging in.

Garlic Kale

Preparing the garlic kale couldn’t be simpler. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tsp of olive oil. Once heated, add the chopped kale and minced garlic. Stir to coat and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the kale has slightly wilted.

To serve, prepare pasta to package directions and toss with pumpkin spaghetti sauce. Place pasta on top of the garlic kale and caramelized onions and chickpeas. Top with vegan parmesan cheese and dig in.

I hope that this pumpkin spaghetti sauce with caramelized onions, chickpeas, and garlic kale will keep you enjoying squash well into the winter months. Be sure to leave comments below if you make this dish.

Enjoy, friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic- phytochemicals

Olive oil- monounsaturated fats

Onions- antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate

Pumpkin-fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

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Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce with Caramelized Onions, Chickpeas and Garlic Kale

This pumpkin spaghetti with caramelized onions, chickpeas and garlic kale is full of wholesome ingredients and loaded with nutrients. Ready in 30 minutes, it's perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: basil, cashew cream, chickpeas, coconut cream, garbanzo beans, gluten-free, healthy, kale, pasta, pumpkin, quick, sage, simple, spaghetti, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, vegan, wholesome
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sage, dried
  • cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut cream or cashew cream* optional
  • 16 oz spaghetti, gluten-free if necessary

Caramelized Onions & Chickpeas

  • 1, 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

Garlic Kale

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups kale

Instructions

Caramelized Onoins and Chickpeas

  • In a skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil and add sliced onions. Toss to coat and then allow to caramelize. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. The onions are finished when they are a golden brown color and fragrant.
  • Add drained and rinsed chickpeas. Warm over medium heat for a few minutes. Set aside.

Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
  • In the meantime, place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add drained sun-dried tomatoes and allow the excess oil to heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic, and sage sauteeing until soft and fragrant. About 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, 2 cups of vegetable broth, basil, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Using and immersion blender (or transfering to a high speed blender) puree the mixture until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper and add optional cashew/coconut cream. Alternatively, if the sauce is too thick, add more vegetable broth ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Garlic Kale

  • In a large skillet heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and kale, sauteeing until fragrant and the kale has slightly wilted. About 3 minutes.
  • To serve, plate prepared spaghetti and top with caramelized onions, chickpeas, and garlic kale. Top with vegan parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

*For the cashew cream I recommend following this recipe from Rainbow Plant Life.
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Quinoa & Chestnut Dressing Stuffed Squash

A quinoa and chestnut dressing stuffed into roasted butternut and kabocha squash. This hearty Thanksgiving entree is a great vegan alternative to turkey that even your non-vegan friends and family will love. All you need are 10 simple ingredients and 60 minutes to get this main dish from the cutting board to your serving platter.

Quinoa and chestnut dressing stuffed kabocha squash on a plate with roasted squash seeds in the background.

Does it seem odd to anyone else that this is my very first recipe using quinoa? I mean, considering this is Cashews & Quinoa…oh well…better late than never. Anyway, I’m actually glad that this is my first quinoa recipe! This meal is outrageously simple, incredibly flavorful, and oh so satisfying. That is, after all, what we want from our main course on Thanksgiving.

Butternut and Kabocha Squash

Roasted kabocha and butternut squash on a baking sheet.

To prepare the butternut and kabocha squash, preheat your oven to 400*F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Slice the kabocha squash around the middle and remove the seeds from both. Save the squash seeds for later use in this recipe.

Optional: brush or spray the cut-side of the squash with olive oil. I skipped this step and I didn’t miss the oil at all. There are so many other flavors going on that it’s no necessary. Do make sure, however, that you sprinkle the cut-side of the squash with dried sage, salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some coconut sugar as well, but I find that this squash gets a lightly sweet flavor from roasting so it’s not really necessary. Also, the kabocha squash has a slightly sweet taste on it’s own. So if you skip the coconut sugar you’ll still have a delicious piece of squash.

However you decide to season it, place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash. The squash is finished when it is soft and caramelized. Flip the squash over and allow to rest and cool slightly.

Quinoa and Chestnut Filling

Quinoa and chestnut dressing inside a cast iron skillet.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the quinoa and chestnut filling. If you haven’t already done so, rinse, drain, and cook your quinoa. Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil or vegan butter. Cook finely diced onion and celery over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and soft. About 3-4 minutes. At this point your celery will have a bit of a crunch still. I enjoy the texture of celery this way, however, if you want softer celery just sauté it longer. About 6-7 minutes total.

Once your onions and celery are cooked, add the seasoning: sage, truffle salt, and pepper. Don’t worry, if you don’t have truffle salt, regular salt or sea salt is a fine substitute. Also add to the pan the cooked and cooled quinoa as well as the roasted and peeled chestnuts.

Once the dressing is heated through it’s time to stuff the squash. The kabocha squash is already going to have a good sized hole left from scooping out the seeds. Depending on the size of your butternut squash, you might need to remove some of the flesh to make more room for the quinoa and chestnut dressing. Any butternut or kabocha squash that you remove can be cubed and added to the dressing or removed and used in another recipe.

Top off the squash with roasted squash seeds, dried cranberries, pomegranate arils, pecans, walnuts or any other festive and seasonal items that you might have on hand.

As always, I hope that you love this simple vegan quinoa and chestnut dressing stuffed squash as much as I do. Be sure to let me know what you think of this Thanksgiving meal down in the comments below.

Enjoy friends!

Quinoa and chestnut dressing inside a roasted butternut squash with more stuffed squash in the background.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Celery- vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium

Quinoa- complete protein; rich in iron, potassium, riboflavin, B6, niacin, and thiamine; good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese; anti-cancer & anti-inflammatory properties

Olive oil- monounsaturated fats

Onion- antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

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Quinoa and Chestnut Stuffed Squash

A quinoa and chestnut dressing stuffed into roasted squash. This hearty Thanksgiving entree is a great vegan alternative to turkey. All you need are 10 simple ingredients and 60 minutes to get this main dish from the cutting board to your serving platter.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Roasting Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Holiday, Vegan
Keyword: 10-ingredients, butternut squash, chestnuts, easy, holiday recipes, holiday sides, kabocha, kabocha squash, sage, simple, squash, squash seeds, Thanksgiving recipe, Thanksgiving side, truffle salt
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 small-medum butternut squash, cut lengthwise and de-seeded
  • 1 large kabocha squash, halfed and de-seeded
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar optional for butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegan butter use water if oil-free
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 stalks celery, finely diced
  • ½ tsp sage, plus more for sprinkling on squash
  • truffle salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6.5 oz chestnuts, cooked and peeled
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • roasted squash seeds, for topping

Instructions

Roasted Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle cut-side of squash with dried sage, salt, and pepper to taste (optional: spray squash with olive oil and top with 1-2 tsp of coconut sugar for sweetness). Place cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 40-60 minutes depending on size of the squash. When fork tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool. While squash is cooking prepare the quinoa and chestnut dressing.

Quinoa and Chestnut Dressing

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil (or water if oil-free) or vegan butter. Once hot, add diced onion and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  • To the onion and celery, add sage, truffle salt, pepper, chestnuts, and cooked quinoa. Cook just long enough to warm up the quinoa and chestnuts. Once warmed fill squash with dressing. Top with roasted squash seeds.

Notes

*Total preparation time does not include time to cook quinoa.
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Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta

A cozy bowl of butternut squash and fried sage pasta is just what you need on a crisp autumn evening. This dish can be ready in 30 minutes and only requires 10 simple, wholesome ingredients. As an added bonus, this pasta sauce is easily turned into a soup. Grab a fork (or a spoon) and dig in.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with another plate of pasta in the background.

Can we all just take a second to appreciate pasta? What about another second to appreciate the sauces that we serve them with? Ok. Now that we’ve taken care of that…you can start appreciating this amazing homage to autumn. My incredibly flavorful, insanely easy butternut squash and sage pasta. Oh, and did I mention this squash pasta sauce can double as a soup? Yeah. Two dinner options in one. You’re welcome.

Fried Sage

This is the real secret, behind the scenes, star of the show. Fried, fresh sage is one of the most amazing little additions you could make to any squash dish. It’s so easy and it adds such a subtle sweetness to this sauce. So how exactly do we do this?

Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of a small pan. Heat the oil over high heat to get it extremely hot. Test the oil by adding a small piece of torn sage leaf to the oil. If the leaf sizzles the temperature is perfect. If it doesn’t continue testing every 30 seconds or so until it’s hot enough.

Once the oil is hot enough, add the sage leaves to the oil and allow to cook about 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and fragrant. Watch the sage closely, making sure that it doesn’t burn. Remove the leaves from the oil and place on a towel to absorb the excess oil. Set the leaves aside until later and begin working on the sauce.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with fried sage on the side.

Butternut Squash Sauce

Now that the sage portion of the dish is ready, it’s time to start the sauce (or soup). To the heated oil that you used to fry the sage, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add the butternut squash, herbs, and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes stirring to prevent burning but allowing the butternut squash to get a bit of a char. Add the vegetable broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the butternut squash is tender.

Allow the squash to cool a bit before adding to a high speed blender. Puree the squash with some plant-based milk and vegan parmesan cheese until smooth. At this point your pasta sauce is ready to go! Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions and toss the al dente pasta with this sauce. Top with the crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts.

Butternut Squash Soup

If you want to turn this sauce into a soup that’s totally doable and incredibly easy. When you’re blending the sauce simply add more vegetable broth to the blender and continue to blend until the sauce turns into your desired soup consistency. Top the soup with crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. If you really want to go over the top, serve this soup in a sour dough bread bowl. Totally drool-worthy.

I hope that you will try this recipe and that you love it as much as I do. Let me know what you think of this dish and if you prepare it as a pasta sauce or a soup.

Enjoy friends.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with fried sage leaves on the side.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic-phytochemicals

Onion-antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Rosemary-polyphenolic compounds

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Fried Sage and Butternut Squash Pasta

A cozy bowl of butternut squash and fried sage pasta is just what you need on a crisp autumn evening. This dish can be ready in 30 minutes and only requires 10 simple, wholesome ingredients.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: 10-ingredients, butternut squash, dried cranberries, entree, fried sage, pasta, sage, vegan, vegan entree, vegan parmesan, vegan soup, walnuts
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 10-15 sage leaves
  • ½ cup yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed about 8 cups
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese

Additional Toppings

  • dried cranberries
  • chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • To a large pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of oil. heat over high heat. Once hot, lower to medium-high and fry the fresh sage leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes flipping half way watching closely to prevent burning. Remove sage from the oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Reserve sage leaves for later.
  • In the sage olive oil, saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, butternut squash, sage, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook for 5-10 minutes until crispy.
  • Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until vegetable broth has cooked off and the butternut squash is tender. Continue to add vegetable broth as needed in order to cook and soften squash.
  • Allow to cool slightly and blend in a high-speed blender with plant-based milk & vegan parmesan cheese*.
  • Serve over your favorite al dente pasta and top with crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and more vegan parmesan cheese**.

Notes

*If making a soup instead of a sauce, add more vegetable broth 1 cup at a time to thin the mixture to your preferred soup consistency.
**This is my absolute favorite vegan parmesan cheese recipe.
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Lasagna Stew with Pumpkin Ricotta

Throw it all in the slow cooker and forget about it! That’s all you have to do with this slow cooker lasagna stew topped with pumpkin ricotta. Vegan, oil-free, nut-free, and easily gluten-free with only 10 minutes of prep required. Take your next weekday dinner up a notch with this fall twist on a classic comfort dish.

Slow cooker lasagna stew with pumpkin ricotta in a blue bowl with vegan parmesan and pumpkins in the background.

I love lasagna! On busy weeknights though…I don’t love the layering work required. Enter this slow cooker lasagna strew with pumpkin ricotta. It’s seriously just like de-constructed lasagna. And this version has an autumn twist! So grab your slow cooker and food processor. Get ready for a delicious meal that requires only 10 minutes of preparation.

Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew

This recipe is really great for those short on time or beginners who don’t have much kitchen practice yet. Simply dice you onion and toss it into the slow cooker with the drained and rinsed lentils, canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, and herbs. Set your slow cooker to high and let it do the work for you. Test your lentils after 5 hours to make sure that they’re pretty well cooked. Next, break up your lasagna noodles, stir them into the stew, and make sure they’re covered with liquid. Cook for an additional hour until the noodles are al dente and the lentils are soft.

Lasagna Stew Tips

Be sure to use regular lasagna noodles. By that I mean, noodles that require boiling. If all you have are no-boil lasagna noodles I suggest adding them about 30 minutes before the stew is finished. If you cook them for 60 minutes they will be mush.

Also, when you add the noodles you may need to add more vegetable broth. I would start by adding 1/2 a cup. Then determine if the consistency is to your liking. Adding extra liquid will also ensure that there is enough to cook the noodles.

Vegan Pumpkin Ricotta

If you’ve never made vegan ricotta don’t be intimidated. It’s amazingly simple, satisfying, and delicious. I have amped up the flavor of this slow cooker lasagna stew by adding a fall flavored pumpkin ricotta topping. And it’s creamy and savory without the use of nuts or oil. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Ricotta tips

First, make sure that your tofu is extra firm and is thoroughly pressed to remove excess liquid. Real ricotta cheese has very low moisture. So, in order to achieve that texture with our vegan version, we need to get as much of the liquid out of the tofu as possible. I have found that pressing my tofu for about 30 minutes achieves the best vegan ricotta texture and low moisture level. The tofu can be pressed ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Secondly, this is a savory pumpkin ricotta. You can definitely make this a sweet version by adding more pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup, while reducing 0r eliminating the use of sage and fresh basil. This sweet type of ricotta would work better in a dessert recipe though seeing as how this recipe is meant to be a savory dish.

Finally, once you have pressed your tofu and determined your spice preferences, throw all the ricotta ingredients into your food processor. Pulse the mixture and be sure to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides. Make sure that the ricotta is evenly seasoned and that all the tofu clumps have been worked out.

Slow cooker lasagna stew with pumpkin ricotta in a blue bowl surrounded by vegan parmesan and pumpkins.

I hope that you will enjoy this fall twist on a classic comfort food. And if you give this recipe a try please rate it and leave me comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Basil- phytochemicals; volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Onion- antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Pumpkin- fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

Spinach- fiber; vitamin K; calcium; iron; magnesium; manganese; folate; vitamin B; vitamin A; glycolipids (cancer cell growth suppressors)

Tomatoes- vitamin C; potassium; polyphenols

Tofu- calcium, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, isoflavones

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Lasagna Stew with Pumpkin Ricotta

Vegan, oil-free, nut-free, and easily gluten-free with only 10 minutes of prep required. Take your next quick dinner up a notch with this fall twist on a classic comfort dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: lasagna, lasagna soup, lasanga stew, lentils, pasta, pumpkin, pumpkin ricotta, slow cooker, tofu, vegan, vegan ricotta
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Lasagna Soup

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2, 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1, 15oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth see notes*
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 lasagna noodles**, broken into large chunks gluten-free if necessary
  • 2 cups fresh spinach optional

Pumpkin Ricotta

  • 8 oz extra firm tofu, pressed
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan see notes***
  • cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp sage
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • water to thin see notes****

Instructions

  • Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew
  • In a large, 8 quart slow cooker place all lasagna stew ingredients except lasagna noodles. Stir to combine and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 until lentils are soft but not soggy.
  • In the last 60 minutes of cooking, add broken lasagna noodles to stew, cover and continue to cook until lasagna noodles are al dente. If adding spinach, shut off the slow cooker and add to lasanga stew. Stir to combine and cover allowing spinach to wilt for 10-15 minutes. Top with vegan pumpkin ricotta, vegan parmesan cheese, and fresh basil.
  • Vegan Pumpkin Ricotta
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy but not runny. If the mixture is too dry add water 1 tsp at a time until desired texture is reached. Serve over slow cooker lasagna stew. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

*Adding 3 cups of vegetable broth with result in a stew-like consistency.  For a thinner stew or soup add an extra 1-2 cups of broth.
**Do not use no boil lasagna noodles.  
***I use this recipe from Choosing Chia.
****Only add in water after all other ricotta ingredients have been added and processed.  If the ricotta looks too thick, add water 1 tsp at a time until ricotta is thick and creamy but not runny.

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