Embrace the intersection of pumpkin season and slow cooker season and make my Vegan Slow Cooker Pumpkin Lasagna. It’s my favorite weekend dinner because it cooks in about 2 hours. If you don’t do soy you could sub nut ricotta, and it has an oil-free option too!
Is your slow cooker still in the cabinet? If you’ve been neglecting your slow cooker, it’s time to put it back on your kitchen counter. Make this pumpkin lasagna your new best friend and last-minute weekend dinner.
This recipe is from my very first book, The Vegan Slow Cooker. It cooks in 1 1/2 to 2 hours, so it’s not a recipe that you can start in the morning. If you are looking for something that does cook all day, try my Vegan Slow Cooker Creamy Indian Lentils and Kidney Beans or Italian Slow Cooker Cranberry Bean Soup with Greens.
Why make vegan slow cooker pumpkin lasagna?
It’s the perfect dish to serve at a dinner party or for family dinner on Saturday night. Not only that it’s easy to make, but also hearty enough for non-vegans to enjoy. Just add a green salad and some garlic bread and everyone will be happy!
What if I’m allergic to soy?
This vegan version is a twist on the traditional ultra-heavy lasagna. Instead of pre-made vegan ricotta, it uses a homemade pumpkin tofu version. If you are allergic to soy, you could use nut ricotta or even Kite Hill’s pre-made almond ricotta.
I love adding pumpkins as my main ingredient in some of my recipes. They are incredibly rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Their low-calorie content makes them a weight-loss-friendly food.
Pumpkins are nutritious powerhouses, that’s why they’re considered a superfood. Whether cooked sweet or savory, made into soup, added into bread, pumpkins are very filling.
How do I make pumpkin-tofu ricotta?
Blend the olive oil (or water or Aquafaba to make oil-free) and the rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor until a paste forms. There may still be some lumps, but don’t worry, it’s just okay.
Add the remaining ricotta ingredients and blend until creamy. If the mixture is too thick, you add a little water. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Where do I store my pumpkin-tofu ricotta?
You can store your ricotta in an airtight container in the fridge. Once you open it, you can consume it within 3-6 days.
What if I don’t have sun-dried tomatoes?
If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes will work but the sauce will be thinner. You can also use canned plum tomatoes or Italian San Marzanos.
Sun-dried tomatoes have a considerably stronger sweet-tart flavor than fresh tomatoes, so a small amount goes a long way. They also have a more chewy texture.
You’ll need to rehydrate your sun-dried tomatoes with liquid unless you buy them packed in oil. Sun-dried tomatoes should be covered in warm water and soaked for two hours at room temperature as a general rule. Another way to increase the flavor is to soak them in wine or broth rather than water.
Ingredients to make vegan pumpkin lasagna
To make the pumpkin-tofu ricotta:
You’ll need olive oil, or make it oil-free with or Aquafaba. Then gather Sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated, tofu (silken, soft, or firm), pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, onion powder, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
To make the lasagna:
- Marinara sauce
- Whole-wheat lasagne noodles
- White beans drained and rinsed
How to make pumpkin lasagna
First, spray the crock with olive oil so you won’t have a nightmare clean-up on your hands later on. Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the slow cooker.
Break off the corners on one side of each noodle so they fit snugly in the slow cooker. You can add the corners in as well. Place a single layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
Spread another thin layer of sauce over the ricotta and sprinkle one-third of the white beans on top of that.
Repeat the layers two more times, ending with the last layer of lasagne noodles, and then top that with more sauce. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1½ to 2 hours, until a fork, will easily go through the middle and the pasta is al dente.
Here’s a tip: you may add ½ cup (120 ml) extra sauce or water if you need to leave it an hour or two longer.
Can you make lasagna in a slow cooker?
Yes, of course! But it is not a dish that you throw together on a workday morning and come home to at night. Pasta in the slow cooker is a little touchy.
What does touchy mean? Well, I’d make this the moment you get home so you can keep an eye on it.
If your slow cooker runs hot it will be done faster. But once you make it once, you can adjust it to cook perfectly in your slow cooker all the other times.
Be sure to check out my slow cooker faq page for more slow cooker info, including how to pick out a slow cooker for you.
More Pasta recipes
I love veganizing this Lasagne al forno recipe. That usually means meat but this starts of swapping the mushrooms for the meat. All you have to do is use vegan cheeses, butter, and plant-based milk to make this delicious dish vegan!
Slow Cooker Protein Packed Pumpkin Lasagna
PUMPKIN-TOFU RICOTTA INGREDIENTS
- 1 tablespoon olive oil , or use water or aquafaba to make oil-free
- 3 medium sun-dried tomatoes , rehydrated (pour boiling water over them and let them sit for 5 minutes)
- 1 pound tofu (silken, soft, or firm)
- 1.5 cups pumpkin
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 14 ounces whole-wheat lasagne noodles , about ¾ package
- 1.5 cups white beans , drained and rinsed
- the night before:
- To make the pumpkin-tofu ricotta: In a food processor, blend the olive oil (or water or aquafaba to make oil-free) and the rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes until a paste forms. There may still be some lumps.
- Add the remaining ricotta ingredients and blend until creamy. Add a little water if the mixture is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- in the morning:
- To make the lasagna: Spray the crock with olive oil so you won’t have a nightmare cleanup on your hands later on.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the slow cooker. Break off the corners on one side of each noodle so they fit snugly in the slow cooker. You can add the corners in as well.
- Place a single layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
- Spread another thin layer of sauce over the ricotta and sprinkle one-third of the white beans on top of that.
- Repeat the layers two more times, ending with a last layer of lasagne noodles, and then top that with more sauce.
- Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1½ to 2 hours, until a fork will easily go through the middle and the pasta is al dente.
- Note: Add ½ cup (120 ml) extra sauce or water if you need to leave it an hour or two longer.