So I have a severe dairy allergy and I often have a hard time eating out or enjoying some pretty standard recipes. There are certain dishes that I would avoid all together because I thought they would taste horrible without milk, butter or cheese. Until one day, I was pleasantly surprised. At a family gathering/pot luck dinner for some holiday or another, my sister-in-law surprised me with her famous lasagna especially made for me…with no cheese and surprisingly it was delicious! I was inspired to try to make other dishes dairy free including replicating this yummy lasagna. Here is my version of the dairy-free lasagna:
What you will need:
- A box of oven-ready lasagna noodles (there are all types – whole wheat etc.) – you choose
- 2 cans of tomato sauce (Hunt’s makes a great kind with Italian seasoning)
- One onion chopped
- A package of lean ground beef (3/4 of a pound)
- Sliced Mushrooms (package)
- Optional: Shredded zuchinni
- Salt, Pepper and oregano to taste
- A tablespoon of sugar
What you do:
Preheat your oven to 350′
Get a large rectangular pyrex dish and place about 15 noodles (almost the whole package of lasagna) in the pyrex dish. Boil a kettle full of water.
At the same time, chop on onion. Slice your mushrooms. Grate some zuchinni if desired. Set these ingredients aside.
Heat a medium saucepan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook on medium. Add the onions and let them sweat. Then add your ground beef, chop it up with your spatula and allow it to brown. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper. Add your mushrooms and grated zucchini.
While this is cooking, pour boiling water of your noodles so that they soften (even though the noodles are oven-ready and find that they taste better when you pre-soak the noodles). *The key is not to let them soak too long in the water or they will start sticking together.
Once the meat and vegetable mixture is cooked, remove any extra liquid (I recommend a small bowl). Now open your two cans of tomato sauce and pour over the mixture. Season with a bit of salt, pepper, oregano and add the tablespoon of sugar which will cut the acidity of the tomato sauce. Let the tomato sauce simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
Turn the stove top off. Spoon the first layer of tomato meat sauce into the bottom of the pyrex. Create a thin layer. Now carefully remove the noodles from very hot water. I would say 5 noodles per layer works. Place 4 lasagna noodles vertically and 1 horizontally. Scoop a generous portion of the tomato/meat mixture over the noodles and make sure that they are completely covered. This time, change the order of the noodles. Lay the horizontal noodle and vertical noodles on the opposite side. Add the mixture and repeat one more time. You should include a thin layer of sauce on top of the last layer of noodles.
Cover the pyrex with tin foil. Cook in the oven at 350′ for about 45 minutes. If the noodles are soft, the lasagna is ready.
Enjoy this delicious lasagna with a nice salad and crusty garlic bread. The kids say two thumbs up!