Once you enter the allergy world, those hearty favorites seem to initially drift away. Lasagna without mounds of melted mozzarella just doesn't seem quite right; or mashed potatoes without a pile of butter; peanut butter and jellies without the peanut butter. Then you realize you can replace these every day foods. You may even become driven to make replacements that are better than the original, and have people lining up for seconds.
When I first experimented with dairy-free lasagna, I was questioning the outcome. As usual, I watched faces as they bit into their dinners. Slow, devouring bites, savoring each flavor that filled their mouths. Always a sign that it was a success. This recipe has become our staple. We've made it with various dairy-free milks, blended cashew cheese sauce and gluten-free noodles. All worked great. The flavor lies in blending the burger with the Italian sausage and the tomatoes, of course. You could also double the burger and flavor it as you would Italian sausage. We've also used canned diced tomatoes and extra seasonings, in place of the sauce. As always, there's many ways you can alter a recipe to accommodate your allergies or what's available in your kitchen- experimenting is the best option.
Lasagna (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)
1-pack lasagna noodles of choice (gluten-free also works)*
1-pound burger (we usually use venison)
1-pack Italian sausage (we like Open Nature, Aidell's or Jimmy Dean All-Natural, if you don't use sausage, add spices)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 jars spaghetti sauce of choice**
1 can tomatoes
choice of veggies (spinach, kale, olives, mushrooms, etc.)
2 cups dairy-free milk (cashew, almond, coconut or canned coconut milk all have worked for us)
6 tablespoons starch*** (corn, tapioca, arrowroot or potato) + 1/4 cup water (or more if you want it thicker)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat oil in large pan or wok. Add burger & Italian sausage. Cook until done.
3. Add two jars spaghetti sauce & 1 can tomatoes to the meat.
4. Add any veggies you want.
5. Add dairy-free milk.
6. Mix 6 tablespoons starch with the 1/4 cup water, whisk until smooth.
7. Pour starch mixture into sauce, stir continuously, as it will thicken as it heats up. If you want it thicker, whisk more starch & water together, then add to sauce mixture.
8. Place sauce in bottom of a 9x13 pan, then noodles, then sauce and continue layering, then bake according to noodle directions. I usually bake for an hour, to allow the noodles to cook done. If you cover with aluminum foil, remove for the last 15 minutes of cooking so the top can crisp up.
* I'm not one to pre-boil my lasagna noodles, I'd rather cook it a bit longer than take that extra step. But either way, it'll taste good!
** in place of sauce, you can also use two cans of 28-ounce diced tomatoes and italian seasonings (basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.)
***starches are often about a 1:1 ratio for one another, but some may require a little more than another, or work a little better, depending on what you're using them in, i.e.: baked goods, sauces, puddings, etc.
****I'm determined to get a photo of the final product in the near future, but at this point, there are never any leftovers. The kids devour this stuff!