Recipe: Vegan Polenta Lasagna

April 2nd, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Recipes



Okay, what’s the absolute polar opposite of RAW cuisine?  I’d say it’s the equally enticing, ever comforting, ooey-gooey goodness of a steaming hot lasagna! 

I mentioned this creation over on one of my favorite food blogs, and an interested reader dropped by to ask if I wouldn’t mind posting the recipe.  Well of course not!  I love this supper when I’m needing an über hearty, home-cookin’ kind of meal.  The polenta just compliments the hot messy magnificence of a proper lasagna, while also making this a gluten-free dish.  Bonus!


1 25 oz. jar of vegan marinara

1 18 oz. tube of polenta or 1 1/2 cups of dry polenta


1/2 cup diced onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups spinach

1 cup vegan cream cheese

2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

small handful fresh basil, roughly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoons marjoram

salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp each)

handful (about 4 oz) vegan shredded cheese

handful black olives, sliced

medium tomato, sliced



Preheat oven to 400º.

In an oiled skillet, sauté the onion over medium low-heat, until translucent.  Add the spinach and garlic, continuing to sauté until flavors come out.  Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl bowl, combine the cream cheese, spinach-onion mixture, nutritional yeast, basil, and spices.



If using a tube of polenta (like I did here), slice it into thin discs – you will need 27 slices.  If using dry polenta (which is much better), prepare it as instructed on package, making vegan substitutions as needed.  When it has cooked and cooled, slice it into 25 flat squares, or perhaps 9 strips.

Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan.  Place a layer of polenta over the sauce, followed by half of the spinach filling.



Cover with another layer of polenta discs and then spread the remaining spinach-cheese mixture over them. Top with a final layer of polenta, and pour on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle a thin layer of extra nutritional yeast, and then add the shredded vegan cheese.  



Cover the dish tightly with foil, and bake for 30-45 minutes at 400º. Then remove the foil and spread sliced tomatoes and olives across the top, baking uncovered for another 10-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil. 



Enjoy it piping hot, paired with a nice organic Chianti!


  • Ching

    Hello! Awesome blog. All of the food here looks delicious! You really know how to take really good photographs in addition to making some really cool food. Which stores do you usually shop for the ingredients?

  • Kerri

    LOVE IT! Thanks so much for posting the recipe, I cannot wait to try this and to see what you post next!

  • Charley

    That looks so good. I have a great recipe for tofu lasagne which is delicious but that looks amazzzzing.

  • Sayward

    @ Ching – Hello back at ya, and thanks! I live in a very progressive city, so there’s a lot of natural food grocers and organic produce markets here – like one on every corner! I recently joined the neighborhood co-op and so I do most of my shopping there now, and supplement with fresh fruits/veggies from the place down the street that sells their bruised and battered produce at wildly discounted prices. I realize that most people are not in so fortunate a situation. In my last city, I mainly shopped at Trader Joe’s (but watch out because they use MSG in some products) and farmers markets. I’m all about buying the produce that’s in season and therefor cheap, and then taking it home and packaging it into single serving sizes (old plastic food tubs, etc) and freezing it. I do this a lot. Also, I think it’s necessary to find and befriend your local Asian market. Often, because they’re the only alternative spot in town, they’ll carry other ethnic staples, like Mediterranean dolmas or Mexican enchilada sauce. And of course all the Asian goodies like quality rice, nori, miso, curry paste, vermicelli, etc. Hope that helps!

    @ Kerri – Yay! I’m glad you found it – I was worried you wouldn’t check back. When you try the recipe, let me know how it works out for you!

    @ Charley – Haha, it is amazing, truly decadent. I just checked out your site – love your jewelry!

  • Kate

    I think I’m going to make this for dinner tonight. xoxox

  • Kate

    p.s. everyone LOVED it!!!

  • Sayward

    @ Kate – YAY! I’m so flattered you made it, and that’s rad that it was a success! Best coupled with tequila, I hear. ;-)

  • Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA

    Wow that looks so good! I love polenta. And I like the step-by-step pictures. It’s helpful to see what the inside should look like.

  • Vegan Version

    I just put a variation of this in the oven and the house smells wonderful. Thanks for sharing this!

  • elyse cepull

    I’m getting ready to cook this! Thanks:)