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Lasagna Primavera in the Slow Cooker

I’m so thrilled that my new book, Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker has been chosen as the #2 best new cookbook for 2012 by LA Weekly.

To celebrate this honor, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book. I chose one that shows just how versatile slow cookers can be.  Everyone knows that slow cookers are fantastic for cooking beans, stews, soups, and chili, but they’re also surprisingly good for cooking things that you normally associate with oven-baking such as breads, cakes, and casseroles.  A delicious example is this recipe for Lasagna Primavera (tester photo by Melissa Chapman).

Making lasagna in a slow cooker may sound unconventional, but it tastes great and is convenient to make. This one is loaded with lots of fresh vegetables and protein-rich tofu, so it makes a great one-dish meal.  Here’s the recipe:

Lasagna Primavera
You will need to break the lasagna noodles to conform to the shape of the slow cooker. For best results, use a large oval slow cooker. Note: Use regular lasagna noodles in this recipe, not the “no-boil” kind which may contain eggs. This recipe is from my new book, Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker © 2012 by Robin Robertson.
Slow Cooker Size: 5 to 6 quart
Cook Time: 4 hours on Low

8 ounces lasagna noodles (about 8 noodles)
2 teaspoons olive oil or 1/4 cup water
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped broccoli florets or zucchini
1 medium carrot, shredded
8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound soft or medium tofu, drained
1 pound firm tofu, drained
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup vegan Parmesan cheese (purchased or homemade), plus more for sprinkling
1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce or your favorite tomato sauce for pasta
1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

Break the noodles in half and place them in a large baking dish. Pour on enough boiling water co cover and set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
For the best flavor, heat the oil or water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, broccoli, carrot, and mushrooms, and cook 1 minute longer.  Alternatively, omit the oil and combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave for 4 minutes. Drain off any liquid.  Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
Crumble all of the tofu into a large bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, parsley, basil, oregano, vegan Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well, then taste to make sure the mixture has enough salt and plenty of pepper.
Lightly oil the insert of a slow cooker or spray it with cooking spray.  Drain the noodles. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Arrange a layer of the noodle pieces over the sauce, overlapping slightly, as needed. Top the noodles with about one-third of the tofu mixture, followed by one-third of the vegetable mixture, and another layer of noodles. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with vegan Parmesan. Repeat the layering until the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan. Cover and cook on Low for 3 1/2 hours.
Scatter the vegan mozzarella (if using) all over the top of the lasagna. Cover and cook for 30 minutes longer (whether or not you add the mozzarella).
Remove the lid, turn off the cooker, and let the lasagna stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

A big “thank you” and a small request:  Many thanks to all of you who have sent me messages and e-mails about how much you’re enjoying Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker. I appreciate it very much!  I’d love it if you could share some of those kind words by posting a brief review on Amazon (and elsewhere) to let people know about the book.  It would be a huge help!  (Thank you!)

P.S. Here’s my photo of the lasagna (before digging in!):


{ 18 comments… add one }

  • bookwormbethie October 10, 2012, 2:01 pm

    congrats on your mention in LA Weekly — totally deserved, you are a vegan cooking rockstar, “party vegan” totally changed my life (and my hubby’s too) and your tasty recipes convinced me I could go vegan and I have happily been eating a plant-based diet since August and am loving it!

    But on a more serious note, the LA Weekly article is really important and it helps brings “vegan” to “mainstream” and get people interested in cooking and eating in a whole different way. Yay for spreading the vegan gospel around the world.

    • Robin October 10, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Beth. It means a lot to me.

  • Jojo October 10, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Wow, I’d never imagined you could make a lasagne in a slow cooker!!

    • Robin October 10, 2012, 5:24 pm

      Jojo, I think that’s what makes it so much fun! Plus it tastes great and holds well on “warm” (or even turned off for a while) if you’re not ready to serve it right away.

  • Melissa Chapman October 10, 2012, 5:17 pm

    MMMmmmmMMmm! I’ve made this a couple of times since testing it and it tastes divine every single time! I think it’s time to make it again!

    • Robin October 10, 2012, 5:23 pm

      Thanks again for your help with the recipe testing, Melissa!

  • Jacqueline October 10, 2012, 6:04 pm

    Love all of your stuff, Robin. You are the best! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Robin October 10, 2012, 6:13 pm

      Aww, thanks, Jacqueline! Hope you love it as much as we do!

  • Dawn (Vegan Fazool) October 10, 2012, 11:58 pm

    Oh. My. Delish!! I have this HUGE 7 quart (? whatever size is the hugest) slow cooker that I never use because it is a monster (it was a gift) and I won’t buy another one because I already have that one, but it’s unusable because it’s huge…

    ?? What can I do with that thing? ? :-)) I can probably fit half my CSA in it, and so you know it’s HUGE!

    Dawn (Vegan Fazool Blog)

    • Robin October 12, 2012, 12:57 pm

      Dawn, I have a large one too and it’s ideal for making stuffed squash, stuffed peppers, seitan, and also for baking, since you can put the baking pans or casseroles right inside the cooker. I also like to make big batches of beans, chili, and bean soups, and then portion and freeze them. I love my big slow cooker!

      • Dawn (Vegan Fazool) October 12, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Brilliant as always, Robin! I guess I was irritable about my giant cooker since most recipes call for a 5-6 quart cooker, but I knew not to get rid of it! Seitan in there would be great…and squash, of course! Now, to get it out of the box 🙂

  • Robin October 12, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Definitely get it out of the box, Dawn! Also, any recipe that calls for a 6-quart slow cooker can be made in a 7-quart slow cooker!

  • Karen October 12, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Gosh Robin, that looks so awesome! It makes me extra excited because I ordered your book from Amazon just the other day. I am looking forward to using it.

    • Robin October 13, 2012, 1:43 pm

      Thanks for ordering the book, Karen. Hope you enjoy it (and the lasagna)!

  • Kelly Garbato October 12, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Wow, this looks incredible. Can’t wait to try it once I’m done with all my veganmofo cooking!

  • Leslie July 27, 2017, 12:55 pm

    Do you think this would work well with GF noodles?

  • Janet Weiner July 28, 2018, 3:06 pm

    I would love to make this but need a suggestion for a
    substitute for the tofu. Doesn’t have to be an exact or even close substitute, just something I can put in tofu layer. Thanks.

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