Is the holiday celebration meal gathering event around the corner, and you still don’t know what plant-based holiday dish you can make? No matter if you’re a new plant-based eater just beginning a plant-based diet or if you’ve been eating this way for a while and need some new inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. This satisfying and filling Easiest Vegan Black Bean & Squash Lasagna is the perfect plant-based recipe to make!
With just 13 ingredients, this savory nutrient-packed vegan lasagna is super easy to whip together, yet looks so fancy. Take this dish to your next family meal gathering, party function or potluck, or make it just to enjoy at home! Since this dish is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free and can be made oil-free and gluten-free, it’s a great allergy-friendly dish to bring to a gathering, especially if you do not know if any guests there have food allergies. Save extra prep time by using drained and rinsed canned black beans and oven-ready lasagna noodles. Make this Easiest Vegan Black Bean & Squash Lasagna once and you’ll be wanting to make it again soon to enjoy around the holidays or year round!
Make this protein-rich and satisfying vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and potentially oil-free and gluten-free dish for your family or guests to enjoy!
- 5 cups cooked spaghetti squash shreds [800g] (about 1 small spaghetti squash)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil divided (or other vegetable oil) [or ¼ – ½ cup of vegetable broth for an oil-free recipe]
- 1/3 cup diced onions [40g]
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes [178g] (approximately 1 large tomato)
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach/kale mix or raw baby spinach leaves [120g]
- 48 ounces tomato-based pasta sauce [1360g] (equivalent to two 24-ounce jars]
- 1 cup vegetable broth [240 mL]
- 3½ cups canned or cooked black beans [595g] (equivalent to two 15-ounce cans of low sodium or unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained)
- 2 cups vegan cheese shreds divided [176g]
- 1 box oven ready or no-boil lasagna (you will likely use approximately 12 – 16 lasagna sheets)
Preheat the oven to 400F or 204C. Set the oven rack in the middle position.
Cook the spaghetti squash then remove the strand-like flesh using a fork. The fastest and easiest method to cook the spaghetti squash is to microwave it (see recipe notes for how to do this).
Meanwhile, rinse and drain the canned black beans well (if not using cooked black beans), then rinse the baby spinach/kale leaves in a colander under running water and dice the onion and tomato.
Meanwhile, heat up a ½ teaspoon of olive oil (or 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth for an oil-free recipe) in a large pot on medium heat, then add the diced onions. Sauté these onion pieces for about 2-3 minutes or until soft and translucent (if using the oil-free method, add in 1-2 more tablespoons of vegetable broth if the pot contents start to look very dry).
Now add the spaghetti squash strands into this pot, along with the salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder seasonings. Stir to combine this well with the sautéed onions, then let the mixture cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. After this time, remove this combined spaghetti squash mixture into a large bowl, to be used later in this recipe.
Next, heat the remaining ½ teaspoon of oil (or another 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth for an oil-free method) in the same large pot, then add in the diced tomatoes and the black beans. Stir to combine and cook this for about 2 minutes.
After this, add in the spinach leaves, the 2 jars of tomato pasta sauce and the cup of vegetable broth. Stir to combine well and bring the pot contents to a gentle boil. Once boiling, let the pot contents continuously simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Now layer the lasagna as follows (from bottom up): Cover the bottom of the 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with 1 cup of sauce, then lay down 3-4 oven-ready lasagna sheets (try not to overlap these sheets). Next, spread over these sheets 2 cups of the bean pasta sauce mixture (use more if needed to in order to cover all the surface of these sheets). After this, spread on 3 cups’ worth of the marinated spaghetti squash strands over this bean pasta sauce to form an even layer. Now sprinkle on evenly over the surface of the spaghetti squash strands ½ a cup of the vegan cheese shreds.
After this, continue to layer up with another 2 cups’ worth of the bean pasta sauce over the cheese shreds, then another 3-4 lasagna sheets, then 2 cups’ worth of the bean pasta sauce, followed by the remaining 2 cups of the spaghetti squash mixture. Sprinkle on ½ a cup’s worth of vegan cheese shreds then another 1-2 cups’ worth of the bean pasta sauce. Finally, put on 3-4 more lasagna sheets and cover the top of the lasagna sheets well with all the remaining sauce. Finish by coating the sauce with an even layer of the remaining one cup’s worth of vegan cheese shreds.
Now cover the bakeware well with aluminum foil, then bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After this, remove the aluminum foil and continue baking the dish for another 15-20 minutes (or until the lasagna sheets are softened and cooked through, and the vegan cheese shreds on top are mostly melted). Then remove this lasagna dish from the oven, and let it rest and cool down for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy this dish!
To microwave the spaghetti squash, first cut off the blossom end of a washed spaghetti squash, then slice it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. When done, put one of the spaghetti squash halves face down in a large shallow microwaveable dish and add ¼ cup [60mL] of water. Then microwave this spaghetti squash portion on a ‘high’ setting for about 5-6 minutes. Then let this squash portion cool slightly before checking to see if the cooked flesh can be scraped easily with a fork (these will appear as stringy strands). If not, microwave this spaghetti squash again for another 2-3 minutes, then recheck. The cooked strands should come off easily from the shell when scraped with a fork. Repeat this process with the other half of the spaghetti squash if needed to get 5 cups’ worth of cooked strands for this recipe.
Note that since you are using oven-ready or no-boil lasagna sheets, you do not need to cook them prior to layering in the bakeware dish. However, since you are using oven-ready lasagna noodles, you will need to bake the lasagna dish immediately after assembly and use plenty of sauce.
For those that want to use regular lasagna noodles, cook these noodles first according to the package directions. When these noodles have been cooked till al-dente tender, quickly remove these cooked noodles and submerge them into a pot of cold water to stop the cooking process, and then put these noodles into a separate bowl to be used later in this recipe. Note that if you use cooked lasagna noodles, you can layer this dish a day ahead of time and then bake it (or freeze the dish, then thaw and bake on the day desired). If you use already cooked noodles, you can also omit the cup of vegetable broth listed in the recipe (since oven-ready lasagna sheets require more liquid during the baking process).
If you make this dish, do leave a comment below with feedback and post a picture of your created dish if you would like, so that I can see your wonderful creations! I hope you enjoy this plant-based dish as much as our family does! Happy Holidays!