Easy Gluten-Free Lasagna (Dairy-Free!)

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Side view of a slice of Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna topped with vegan parmesan and fresh basil

If given the choice of one final meal, there’s a good chance we’d choose lasagna. No really, we seriously love lasagna (exhibits A, B, C, D, E, and F)!

Lasagna is just one of those meals that’s the perfect balance of comforting, filling, and delicious, and it can feed a lot of people with minimal effort.

This version is our dairy-free and gluten-free take on classic-style lasagna (we have a vegan version if that’s more your thing). And it’s about as simple as it gets, requiring just 10 ingredients to prepare. Let’s do this!

No boil noodles, ground beef, marinara, and other ingredients for making our Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna Recipe

Origins of Lasagna

Perhaps like many of you, we were under the impression that lasagna originated in Italy. Turns out, its origin history is more complicated!

Some say the concept originated in ancient Greece where layered dough sheets (called laganon) were cut into strips and baked. Others claim it resembles a Roman dish recorded in a cookbook in the 1st century AD. And still others place its origin in England or Italy in the 14th century, where cookbooks describe the concept of layering cheese and pasta in a dish and baking it. (source)

But it wasn’t until the 16th century that tomato-based versions were recorded that more closely resembles today’s lasagna. These versions came from Italy. So to everyone who ever contributed to the invention of lasagna, we’re forever grateful!

How to Make Lasagna

Making lasagna is pretty straightforward in terms of assembly. But the ingredients can be swapped out for just about any dietary preference. Start by preparing your three layers:

  1. Sauce (ground beef or lentils + marinara + seasonings)
  2. Noodles (we chose Capello’s gluten-free & grain-free for this version)
  3. Cheese (homemade dairy-free macadamia nut or storebought)

Our sauce is prepared by sautéing garlic, red pepper flake (optional), ground beef, and salt until the meat is browned. Then add in your favorite marinara sauce and season further with optional Italian herbs and sweetener.

Next, the noodles are boiled and drained. Or — our preference — opt for no-boil gluten-free lasagna noodles such as Capello’s.

The homemade “cheese” comes next. Simply add macadamia nuts (or slivered almonds or soaked cashews) to a food processor along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt. Blend it up, slowly adding water until it resembles ricotta cheese! Or, sub store-bought (our favorite being Kite Hill Ricotta).

Finally, let’s layer!

Dutch oven filled with our ground beef marinara sauce for making Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna

How to Layer Lasagna

We like to use a little jingle to remember the order: Sauce, Noodles, Cheese. (Repeat x2).

And then on the fourth repetition: Sauce, Noodles, SAUCE!

Once you make lasagna enough times, you won’t even have to look up the order!

Then at the very end, add a sprinkle of homemade vegan parmesan cheese for even more flavor.

Using a spoon to spread sauce over dairy-free cheese and gluten-free noodles for making lasagna

How Long to Bake Lasagna

To allow the flavors to develop, we like to bake the lasagna until it’s nice and bubbly with crisp edges.

Baking uncovered on the middle rack at 350 degrees F (176 C) for 40-45 minutes is perfect.

Holding the handles of a pan of our Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna recipe

We hope you LOVE this lasagna! It’s:

Filling
Hearty
Flavorful
Easy
& So delicious!

This lasagna is perfect for make-ahead meals, feeding a crowd, or any time you’re craving a simple, filling dinner. It’s delicious on its own, but also pairs well with salads or other greens.

What to Serve with Lasagna

If you try this recipe, let us know! We love seeing your comments, ratings, and photos tagged #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plate with a slice of lasagna beside fresh basil, garlic, red chili flake, and a pan of the rest of the batch

Easy Gluten-Free Lasagna (Dairy-Free!)

AMAZING Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Lasagna! Made with a hearty sauce, easy nut cheese, and no-boil noodles. Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Top view of a slice of Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Lasagna topped with fresh basil
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 25-oz jars favorite marinara sauce (or DIY* // we like Organico Bella brand)
  • 1-2 tsp dried Italian herbs (basil and oregano // optional)
  • 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup, cane sugar, or stevia // optional)

CHEESE

  • 2 ¼ cups raw macadamia nuts (or sub slivered blanched almonds or raw cashews soaked for 1 hour in hot water, then drained)
  • 3 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (plus more to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 scant tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 – 1 cup water (if using soaked cashews, add 1 Tbsp / 15 ml water at a time)

NOODLES

  • 1 9-oz box gluten-free lasagna noodles (we like Capello’s brand)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Set out a large baking dish (9×13 inch or similar size) and lightly grease.
  • Begin by preparing sauce. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic, red pepper flake (optional), beef, and salt and begin sautéing, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until meat is browned. Use spoon to break meat into small pieces.
  • In the meantime, if using noodles that require boiling, bring a large pot of water to a boil (if using no-boil noodles, skip this step). Once boiling, add a healthy pinch of salt and your lasagna noodles (or other pasta shape). Cook according to package instructions to achieve an al dente texture — tender with a little bite. Then drain and set aside. Optional: Drizzle pasta with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  • To the pot, add your marinara sauce and stir to combine. Cook on low for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding salt to taste or red pepper flake for heat. You could also add dried Italian spices and/or sweetener of choice to balance the flavors at this time (optional). Turn off heat and set aside.
  • Next, make your "cheese." Add macadamia nuts (or sub soaked cashews) to a food processor or a high-speed blender along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt and mix/blend into a loose paste.
  • Add lesser amount of water (2/3 cup or 120 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Continue mixing, scraping down sides as needed. Then add more water — 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time — until a thick paste forms. I find I get the best texture results with a food processor, but a blender can work, too. It just generally requires more scraping and more liquid. For texture, you’re looking for a spreadable soft “cheese.”
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity/brightness, or garlic powder for garlic flavor. Blend again to combine.
  • To begin assembly, add a thin layer of marinara sauce to your baking dish. Spread to ensure even distribution. Then add a layer of the cooked pasta noodles (or uncooked noodles if using no-boil). Top with a thin layer (roughly 1/3 of the mixture) of your nut cheese and spread into an even layer.
  • Add another thin layer of marinara sauce and use a spoon to spread over the cheese layer to coat. Then add another layer of noodles. Top with another 1/3 of the cheese and spread into an even layer.
  • Add another layer of marinara sauce and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of noodles and remaining 1/3 of the cheese, and spread into an even layer. Top with another layer of marinara sauce and spread into an even layer.
  • Top with another layer of noodles and, finally, remaining sauce. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.
  • Cook on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes uncovered, or until the sauce is bubbly and/or the edges are browned.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Then slice, serve, and enjoy. We recommend garnishing with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil or parsley. See notes for freezing instructions.*

Video

Notes

*To make this recipe freezer friendly, prepare sauce, cheese, and noodles and layer as instructed. Once assembled, cover well and freeze up to 1 month. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes (if thawed) or up to 45 minutes – 1 hour (if frozen). Then remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and hot.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Capello’s lasagna noodles and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 422 Carbohydrates: 49.6 g Protein: 14.9 g Fat: 31.6 g Saturated Fat: 5.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.06 g Monounsaturated Fat: 17.93 g Trans Fat: 0.3 g Cholesterol: 49.6 mg Sodium: 655 mg Potassium: 676 mg Fiber: 6.2 g Sugar: 10.7 g Vitamin A: 908 IU Vitamin C: 16 mg Calcium: 79.06 mg Iron: 3.41 mg

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  1. Jo-Jo says

    Hey girl. I’m really sorry that your lasagna recipe is getting so much s*** on YouTube from angry vegans 🤦🏾‍♀️. My God, that comment section was nearly full of vicious hate! I guess if you don’t eat animal products you get to be mean? I’m allergic to eggs 🍳, gluten, cow’s 🐮 milk products. I can’t afford to accidentally eat something. But I can still love food artists like you! Anyway, I’ve been following your blog for almost 7 years now and I love 💚💚EVERYTHING you post. This is because I love food that much and appreciate your artistry. Because of my allergies, lasagna has been something I couldn’t eat, until now!! This recipe is PERFECT for me😊😊😊 . I literally called 📳 all my loved ones when I saw it! So I made this bad boy. I like a big kick in flavor in my food, so I added tons more spices to the meat sauce hehe. Also used 2lbs of ground turkey 🦃. I’m a recreational powerlifter 🏋️, so when I eat, I EAT. I made this 2 days ago, and almost all of the lasagna is gone. Oops 🙊. I’ll have to admit, I was scared that the dairy free ricotta cheese was gonna blow. I don’t know what ricotta cheese tastes like 🤷🏾‍♀️. According to my mother, who tried one bite of the lasagna after it came out of the oven, she wouldn’t have known it was lacking gluten or dairy if I hadn’t told her! Huge hit 👍🏾!! Thank-you so much!! Your recipes have yet to disappoint me! I don’t comment often, but I bake and cook your stuff every week. Keep up the good work 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾 and ignore the haters!!

  2. Megan says

    This recipe was soooo delicious! It was honestly better than lasagna I’ve had at most restaurants and I did not notice at all that it wasn’t made with “real cheese”. Will definitely be making again soon!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Megan. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Mahnoush says

      Can I make lasagna sheets with the fresh homemade pasta recipe you posted? Capello’s is $10. I know grocery prices in general are going up due to the pandemic, so it would be nice to have a cheaper, but equally tasty alternative. Thanks!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We haven’t tried it, but we think it might work! Let us know if you give it a try!

  3. Georgia Higgins says

    I can get a bit rouge when following a recipe because I am not a fan of measuring and I like using up the ingredients I have on hand.
    So I made this and it was delicious!
    The sauce was 2.5 kg minced Wagyu beef with a lot of garlic and 5 tins of crushed tomatoes reduced down, red chilli flakes and a whole bunch of mushrooms I had in the fridge.
    The cheese was 250g cashew – which I forgot to soak, so tried to put them in boiling water for 20 mins -, lime juice, a lot of nutritional yeast, water, some olive oil and a touch of salt. I blended this in the nutribullet and it came out like a mayonnaise consistency.
    Everyone loved it, including the 6 yr old. Its hard to find a gf, df recipe that is not vegan – I love and need to eat red meat and most people throw df people in the vegan category.
    Thanks for making something both delicious and allergy-friendly.

  4. Erin says

    My daughter is recently gluten and dairy free. I don’t want her to feel like she can’t still have great food! This was so so good! Added bell pepper. Used Capello’s Lasagna sheets and Kite Hill Ricotta to make it easy. Was still a pretty clean, super delicious meal. The entire family loved it. My husband actually said that normally lasagna is a little overwhelming. I think it’s usually the ricotta. But this vegan ricotta was superb! Adding it to my rotation for sure!

  5. Dms says

    This was amazing! The only change I made was replacing ground beef with a vegan meat alternative. I absolutely love your creative recipes. Regardless of it they are posted as vegan or not they are very adaptable to a wide variety of diet preferences. Thank you!

  6. Ellen says

    This lasagna was UH-MAZING! I used soaked raw cashews to make the cheese except I was about 1/4 cup short so had to use roasted cashews for the rest. Probably not ideal but it worked! It was all so good. Thank you! I just love your work.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Ellen! We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Cristina says

    This was AWESOME. I’ll be honest though…I was skeptical about the macadamia nut cheese and cashew cheese at first, tasting it straight out of the food processor. But once everything was assembled and out of the oven, well, I probably should’ve made more! It was so good! The tempeh + mushroom blend was excellent, and I made my own marinara (similar to the one on the website but I started with a yellow onion, garlic, and a few carrots before adding the canned tomatoes and basil at the end). I will be making this again for sure!

  8. Erin Mecham says

    This looks amazing! Do you mind talking a bit more about why you chose macadamia nut for the cheese? I’m debating on splurging on the macadamia nuts and wondering if it’s a game changer and worth it. Thank you so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Erin, we like the rich flavor they provide, but you could sub blanched almonds or do half almonds, half macadamia, if preferred. Let us know how it goes!

    • Loved it!!!! says

      I Made this for my friends and we all LOVED it! This is one to keep in your top 10. It was delicious!

  9. Rena says

    First time making lasagna. Turned out very very good!! I used soaked cashews instead of macadamia nuts. I did adjust the flavor of the cashew cheese a bit by adding more nooch, garlic powder, and salt. Otherwise, I followed to recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly!

  10. Zoe says

    This was so good! Very satisfying. I was craving lasagna for a while and then this popped up! I used slivered almonds instead of macadamia nuts. I wish I could have found the capellos noodles but maybe next time, will definitely be making this again. Thank you Dana, I’ve been loving your content lately!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Zoe! Thanks so much for the sweet note and lovely review! P.s. Capello’s is usually in the frozen section of health food stores- so maybe try there next time?

  11. Cheryl says

    This is wonderful with lentils. We kicked up the plant based goodness a notch by adding sauted chopped fennel, kale and mushrooms as an added layer. Yummy!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Cheryl! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  12. Lindsey says

    This was amazing! My husband made it – which was way out of his comfort zone but it turned out amazing. I’ve spent the whole day telling anyone who will listen how legit this tastes compared to “real” lasagna. Thanks!

      • Lindsey says

        I did have one question – my husband made this again for dinner tonight (it’s officially in the monthly rotation and I’m drooling right now just thinking about it, its so good) but it says “15 minutes prep time.” This is the 4th time we’ve made it and it still takes 1 hour and 20 minutes before it goes in the oven. Sorry if this is a silly question, I’m just wondering if we’re missing something? Do you have any tips to make it faster?
        Thank you again for the awesome recipe, even if it took 5 hours to make and it would still be worth it.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Lindsey, part of the cook time includes cooking on the stovetop, so that’s likely part of the discrepancy! But for faster prep, we would recommend no-boil noodles and store-bought marinara. You could also prep the cheese up to a few days in advance. Hope that helps!

  13. Julia says

    This is the only vegan lasagna I have truly enjoyed! I used red lentils instead of meat. I added fresh spinach to two of the layers. Simply amazing!

  14. Kate says

    I made this yesterday and, yes, I’m so happy to say, it’s real good! Used ground turkey for the meat and made my own marinara (based on this site’s basic recipe) but otherwise did it exactly as written. So so satisfying.

  15. Carla says

    Hi Dana,

    Thank you for all of your FREE content created over the years which has to have cost you tons of money and time. Particularly when you are not sponsored and don’t work with companies. We should all be bowing down and kissing your little finger and little toe. Honestly!

    As for the whinging vegans – so entitled, privileged and ungrateful. Snowflakes. I think that you are really awesome and I have been following your blog since 2010.

    Once again, thank you for all of the great recipes. Ignore the harassment and online bullying and I hope that you get better soon.
    I’m going to try this recipe with turkey schitznels. Xoxo

  16. A says

    Please label these more clearly. Dairy free suggests it will be a vegan recipe. If it said Meat Lasagna, I would know not to click in to see raw meat.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Dairy-free communicates its free of dairy, not necessarily eggs or meat. But yes, we are releasing a new website design soon with dietary symbols to help you clearly distinguish which recipes best suit your dietary preferences.

  17. stacey miller says

    Yet another delicious recipe! I loved the macadamia nut ricotta spread, I had almond ricotta left over and used them both on different layers. I also used bison instead of beef and I had been buying Bello sauce already and had it in my pantry, easy button :) I want to thank you for giving meat options in your recipes, it’s a great option especially when you are having company over!

  18. Elena says

    Thank you so much for some recipes that include meat! I eat vegan sometimes, but usualy not so this is super exciting ??

  19. Aline says

    It is so sad that you became a carnist. Was it for the money or what, really?
    I used to be a long-time follower, admirer and promoter of your work. I always used and recommended your work. I stopped ever since I got a newsletter from you on how to cook a dead fish.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Aline, I’ve shared many times that I decided to incorporate eggs and meat back into my diet (and the blog) purely for health reasons. I’m sharing an article about the transition soon. It was never for money. We don’t do sponsored content, we don’t work with companies, and we don’t receive free products, which is are policies we’ve had in place for years now.

  20. Jade Freeman says

    I made this last night and it was so yummy! The recipe is missing the sweetener but I added it in at the end when cooking the sauce (just a note for Dana). The cheese was delicious! My husband, who’s always skeptical of my dairy-free recipes that are traditionally dairy-full, loved it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ah, thanks for sharing, Jade! We’ll fix that note. Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  21. Jo Baetke says

    Please no meat! If you are now including dead animals in your recipes please do not send me emails. There is no unsubscribe on the emails sent to me and I don’t want to have animal recipes in my face, having not eaten it for 37 years.
    I used to like your recipes but it stops here.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jo! We made the transition to including egg and meat recipes to the blog in spring 2019. But if you’d prefer to see only vegan recipes, you can always find those minimalistbaker.com/vegan. And you can update your email subscription to exclude meat recipes by selecting the “vegan only” preference at the bottom of any email we sent you recently.

      • Kaitlin Watson says

        I am going to be making this tomorrow for my brother who is lactose intolerant. I have never made a dairy free lasagna before so I am excited to try it out! I just want to add that I choose recipes based on reviews and it seems like you have some followers who are big fans of your work! I appreciate that you have recipes that include all food preferences and dietary restrictions. I can’t imagine the amount of work goes into accommodating so many different types of diets. Thanks for your hard work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes – that’ll work! You can also soak them so they’ll be softer / blend easier (1 hour in hot water, or 6 hours in cool water).

  22. Melissa Alfano says

    If you subbed lentils to make the lasagna vegan, what quantity would you recommend and would you cook them in the marinara?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! They’re usually in the frozen section of grocery stores. I can always find them at health stores and Whole Foods.

  23. Ara says

    I was trying to cobble together a dairy-free lasagna recipe to make this weekend from other places on the internet but this showed up in the nick of time! This is exactly what I needed, can’t wait to try it!

    Will sub cashew or almonds as there are no macadamia nuts available here and maybe sub sautéed veg for the ground beef as I live somewhere where beef is expensive.
    If subbing almonds, can I use raw almonds with the skin still on?

  24. Barbara says

    Is there a way you can find to tag recipes that contain meat, so that we know they contain meat before entering? I can’t tell by the title on this one. Even if an alternative is offered, i.e., lentils, perhaps they can be set apart as two different recipes?

    For some of us, pictures of raw meat kill the appetite. It’s a physical reaction that some can’t help, so we have relied on safe vegan places where we don’t have to cross paths with such pictures. Your diet and recipes are totally up to you, of course, and I enjoy integrated food blogs all the time, as long as I can avoid the sections I don’t want to see. Since you have had a heavily vegan following (we’ve been readers and purchasers for years), it’s likely there are others who would appreciate the heads up so we don’t have to see the pictures if we don’t want to. Thanks.

    Since you most likely have many customers who came to you when this was a vegan blog, it’s reasonable to assume there are others that might also feel this way. Simply making it very clear which is which could allow those of us who are your long time readers to avoid something that might affect us, while still allowing you to post what you wish.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Barbara! Yes, we’re actually very close to releasing a new website design that includes dietary symbols next to each recipe. Coming soon!

  25. Nora Shukovsky says

    How would I use beans in this recipe as I am a practicing vegan for health reasons and it works! Thank you!