Dairy Free lasagna
1 lb ground beef
2 24oz jar bolognese sauce (or your favorite spaghetti sauce)
1 12oz box of no-boil lasagna noodles
Besciamell sauce (recipe follows)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional or for those without a dairy allergy)
Butter or non-dairy margarine to grease the lasagna pan
Dairy free Besciamell Sauce:
1/2 cup butter or non-dairy margarine
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 1/2 cups unflavored coconut milk
A couple grates of fresh nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground beef and crumble. Drain. Add in spaghetti sauce and heat through with ground beef. Meanwhile make white sauce by melting the butter in a medium pan. When melted stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes without letting the flour brown. Warm the milk in the microwave. Whisking constantly, slowly add the warmed coconut milk to the butter and flour mixture. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and season the sauce with ground nutmeg, salt and pepper. Allow both red sauce and white sauce to cool slightly.
Grease your lasagna pan. Just a note, I made two separate smaller lasagnas, one that was dairy free for me, and one with parmesan cheese in it for my husband. Preheat the oven to 375. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of Bolognese sauce. Then a layer of noodles. Then more Bolognese and a thin coat of besciamell sauce. Note: If you are using the parmesan cheese, sprinkle some cheese on top of the white sauce, if you are staying dairy free, skip the parmesan. Continue the layering ending with a hearty layer of the besciamell sauce on top. Make sure all of your noodles are covered in sauce so they cook evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes. If you wish you can do the last 5 minutes of cooking time under the broiler if you desire a little bit of crisp on the top of your lasagna. I sprinkled some dried parsley on top for a little color before serving. Lasagna may certainly be served with parmesan on top of individual servings for the cheese lovers in the house.
This whole adventure started when I saw a cooking channel episode where they made a lasagna without layers of ricotta and other cheeses. I was intrigued by the fairly dairy free lasagna recipe. I tried the white sauce using coconut milk and it came out fine so I decided to try the whole experiment. I made one lasagna with the gated parmesan in all of the layers for my husband. He had trouble telling the difference between the taste of his and my dairy free version. In the future I will just make one lasagna with no dairy and let him parmesan his serving if he desires. I had also bought the pre-cook lasagna noodles (I had no idea there were two kinds of noodles), so my version took boiling noodles also. I am also pretty sure that you could use any homemade bolognese sauce you like. It just depends on how much time you have. I have not tried freezing this lasagna before baking yet, but that will be my goal next time I try this adventure. I would love if I could make two or three small lasagnas at a time and freeze two. With only two of us in the house, we don’t need leftovers for weeks!