Dairy and Egg Free Lasagna and etc.

Another crazy few weeks around here! I’m sure you all are feeling the end of the school year pinch too. Field trips and parties are the common theme these last few weeks, and so that usually means the final push of food issues…that is until camp starts. One recent story comes to mind:

Religious Ed Donut Party: My son came home from religious ed Sunday morning totally bummed because apparently his teacher handed out Dunkin Donuts as a reward for something earned by the class. The teacher did ask if any children in the class had any food allergies and if so to raise their hand. Um, hello, it’s MAY. He doesn’t know that one of his students has a life threatening food allergy at this point in the school year? It’s all over the paperwork I fill out when I register him for class and every week he brings a bright red allergy medicine bag with him. Not only could this have put John at serious risk but it was so unnecessary for a one hour religious ed class. Why oh why oh why must we keep using food, and sugary donuts at that, as a reward for positive behavior? What upset me most was how excluded and bummed John felt, being the only kid in that class to not eat anything during their donut party. I wasn’t even notified ahead of time so I could have sent something different. I’ll handle this with the religious ed department, and believe me they’ll get an earful. In the meantime, John asked if I could make a glazed donut or one with frosting and sprinkles. It’s time I start making donuts again; I want to make the best version possible for him and everyone else. 🙂 Stay tuned on that….

I also wanted to share my newest favorite Dairy and Egg Free Lasagna recipe; it’s made with ground turkey and spinach but you could certainly omit or add anything you want. This recipe is completely adaptable to your family’s personal tastes. I’ve used several lasagna recipes in my life, many with gobs and gobs of yummy REAL cheese, and then of course the last eight years, I’ve made a few dairy free lasagna recipes with every type of dairy and cheese substitute imaginable. I have to admit, I love cheese and I miss it especially in dishes like lasagna. Baked pasta dishes are meant for cheese. I’ve played around with various lasagna recipes for years and this is the one I think I’ll keep. My Italian husband LOVED it, and my FA son John really loved it. My FPIES son Michael loved the meat and noodles, and especially the crumbled tofu. My other three children loved the meat and noodles. It is a great recipe that everyone loved. And it’s even better the next day. It also freezes very well for one month.

You could use my tomato sauce recipe from a few posts ago for the sauce, (the one with the turkey meatballs), and add browned, cooked ground turkey. To save time, you could also just use a jarred sauce (I use Bertolli Red Wine Marinara)  and add browned turkey or browned ground beef. I also like to add some fresh herbs to the final sauce to freshen the flavor. A few other tips to save time: use oven ready pasta sheets or you could use whatever egg free pasta brand you like. The “ricotta” mixture is actually crumbled tofu with a little sweetener and vinegar. I love to add thawed frozen spinach to the tofu mixture, and sometimes I’ll even add finely chopped leftover cooked broccoli, zucchini, etc. too. But make sure to finely mince it. I also like to make a dairy free Bechamel sauce while I’m browning the ground turkey. The bechamel is mixed with the tomato meat sauce mixture to make a creamier, “cheesy” sauce. I use the dairy free mozzarella cheese sparingly in between layers because it isn’t real cheese and gets too gooey if you over do it. The bechamel makes up for the lack of “cheesy” layers. One more note about the dairy free cheese: you’ll want to broil the top of the lasagna at the very end for a couple of minutes to get that beautiful browned cheese look. Finally, I like to make this recipe in two 8 inch glass baking dish, one for smaller lasagna for today, freeze the other for another night. If you use the old-fashioned kind of noodles that need to be boiled, just cut the noodles in half to fit the 8 inch square dish.  Alternatively make the dish in a 13 x 9 glass baking dish.  Enjoy!


Tomato Sauce:

1 large jar marinara sauce or 2 c. homemade sauce

1 tsp. olive oil

1 lb. ground turkey

1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Dairy Free Bechamel Sauce:

4 T. dairy free margarine

3 T. flour

2 c. dairy free soy or rice milk

salt and pepper to taste

pinch nutmeg

Dairy Free Ricotta Mixture:

2 packages Firm Tofu, undrained

3/4 tsp. agave nectar

1 1/2 apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thoroughly squeezed and drained

For Layering

1 package dairy free mozzarella cheese, shredded (I use Follow Your Heart, but many people love Daiya’s shredded cheese. We cannot use it because it contains pea protein)

1/2 package no boil lasagna noodles or other egg free noodles, (if using regular noodles, cook and drain according to manufacturers’ directions).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and rub the bottom of two 8 inch glass baking dishes with dairy free margarine. Set aside.

To make tomato sauce, heat large skillet on medium high and add 1 tsp. olive oil. When hot add ground turkey, add a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt and cook until no longer pink and cooked through. Add tomato sauce to skillet, and add fresh basil and herbs. Simmer on low and start making Bechamel sauce.

To make Bechamel Sauce, melt dairy free margarine on low in a saucepan. Add the flour to saucepan and whisk mixture until flour is incorporated and not lumpy, about 1 minute or so. Slowly add the soy or rice milk, and a little kosher salt and pepper to taste. Whisk constantly for about 10-15 minutes or until mixture resembles heavy cream and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Once sauce is thick, add to the tomato sauce mixture and simmer on low to heat through.

To make “Ricotta”, mix all Ricotta ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

To make layers:

Ladle 1/4 c. tomato/bechamel sauce on each 8 inch glass pan. Add pasta sheets, layer “dairy free” tofu ricotta mixture on top of sheets, then the tomato meat sauce, then a 1/4 c. or so dairy free cheese. Repeat mixture 2 times, ending with tomato sauce mixture on top. (Feel free to cover the other lasagna pan tightly with foil and freeze. ) Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle a 1/4 – 1/2 c. dairy free mozzarella cheese on top. Switch oven to broil and broil for 2 minutes or less to get a slightly browned look on top.

Let dish settle for 10-15 minutes and serve.







48 Responses

  1. Kelly, do you have any suggestions for a substitution for the Tofu? This is almost perfect for us (dairy/egg/soy/peanut allergies). Thanks!

  2. @ the above poster- Jen…

    I’ve not made this recipe yet. It looks delicious! But I was trying to think of something white to replace the tofu as you asked. Anyway, this is a crazy idea but what about a thick cauliflower puree with a tiny bit of the dairy free mozzarella cheese mixed it. It’s white, and fluffy kind of like ricotta?? Just a thought! 🙂

    Thanks Kelly for another delicious “meal” idea! This is the area I really struggle in so I love your dinner recipe posts! Looking forward to trying this one!

  3. Great recipe.

    I also can’t wait for a new donut recipe. Donuts are one of the few things that really gets to Nick when he can’t have one. This year I was surprised to see how many times people brought Dunkin Donuts in for morning preschool snack time. In a pinch I have used your French Puff Muffin recipe in a donut pan and it works great.


  4. Kelly, I’m so glad you are starting to post recipes for savory dishes too! I have been following your blog for all the yummy baked goodies, but am always looking for good meal ideas…

    @ Jen: I’ve made a similar dairy and egg free lasagna, but instead of crumbled tofu, I’ve used eggplant! I cut in half and roast in a hot oven until it’s soft (kind of like when you are making baba ganoush), mix in some salt and garlic and layer in. It adds a really nice creaminess!

  5. @EllieC.. I was just about to ask the same question as Jen. Your suggestion sounds perfect!!!!! i’m thrilled to try it this weekend.

    @Jen.. my son has the same exact allergies.. they suck!

    Thanks for the awesome meal suggestion! can’t wait to try this one.

  6. Kelly, do you have any brand names that you suggest for egg-free noodles? We eat Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta but I would love some alternatives (and I don’t think they make lasagna noodles). Thanks!

  7. Yes! Another dinner recipe!! Thank you!!!

    As everyone else, I am also really looking forward to the doughnut update. This is a sore spot around here too.

    @Liz: Thanks for the idea about Kelly’s French Puff in a doughnut pan idea. Have to try that =)

  8. Kelly,
    Thanks for sharing your righteous anger about the donut party. It is so good to know that I’m not the only one who feels that way about such events.
    I’d love to hear how your follow-through pans out.
    One quick note for parents of kids with egg allergies. We always ask at pizza joints about egg in the dough. Two places recently told us at first that there was no egg in the dough but then double-checked and let us know there was egg in the flour itself. That was really surprising to me. I had not previously thought to take it to that level.

  9. Thanks Kelly – the addition of the dairy free bechamel sauce is an interesting twist I’ve not tried yet – Charlie is usually happy with his personal lasagna of noodles and meat sauce, but I’m excited to give this one a try, they LOVE your Bolognase Sauce recipe!

    We also have the donut issue since he’s diary, egg, PN & TN – it’s especially difficult during the monthly children’s mass at church when they end the mass with coffee & donuts. We try to scoot out fast, but my non-allergic 5 year old is now on to us when he sees the big white bakery donut boxes! This past weekend I found Charlie up at the donut table and when I asked what he was doing he said “getting a donut for Tom….can you make me some of mine when we get home?” It was all I could do to hold back the tears! I did find a recipe for “Cinnamon Puffs” once – no idea where, but it’s basically a muffin type recipe that you make in mini-muffin tins (similar to your French Puff recipe, but a little denser), it has an egg but I use a non-egg substitute – they are baked, which just makes for a quicker, cleaner, easier process but at the end you dip them in “safe” melted butter then immediately in a cinnamon sugar mixture – it creates almost a shell on them and they are somewhat similar to DD munchkins – the family loves them – 24 were gone in 1 day this past weekend! Hope that helps someone

  10. Just this weekend my husband brought home donuts for my non-allergic children (we never buy donuts – it just doesn’t seem kind to my egg/dairy/peanut and treenut allergic daughter). Of course she wanted some. So I went out and bought some donut pans. Now I need some good recipes to use with them. Most of the recipes I have found have been for fried donuts. I suppose I could try those with substitutions, but I read that they don’t hold together very well without egg. As long as your experimenting….a yummy “healthier” donut recipe would be awesome!

  11. Thanks for the recipe! I haven’t seen it in the stores yet but I read that Tofutti is coming out with a “Better Than Ricotta” product, similar to their “Better than Cream Cheese” and Better Than Sour Cream.” I’m assuming it is also soy-based.

    Regarding donuts…I have used allergen safe refrigerator biscuits…make a hole in the middle, fry em, and frost or dip in sugar. Easy donuts for our kids to enjoy!

  12. I so appreciate your recipes. I can so relate to the anger of the doughnuts in class. My son is a teenager and I spoke two years ago to his seminar teacher about his food allergies. She was so glad to know of them and soooo concerned, but has NEVER done a thing for any of their food parties or acknowledged them, which happen almost every month. He will have this teacher for another two years. Seems maybe I should say something as well. People are so incredibly clueless. It takes so little effort to be specially considerate of others, but people don’t want to go out of there way. That goes for parents of friends also. It is so frustrating. I guess our kids have to become more “thick skinned” for all of the life situations that involve food.

  13. @Liz, I’ve been using the French Puff muffin recipe in a doughnut pan as well! I made the muffins for a “muffins with mom” school event awhile back, and thought, these taste like a doughnut!

    I second the eggplant suggestion. I just slice it thinly (peeled and raw) and layer it. It’s delicious.

    That bechamel sauce is useful on so many things. Thanks for the recipe Kelly!

  14. Hi Kelly! I’m so sorry to hear about the incident in RE class! I feel for John & you!! Nothing makes me sadder than having our children with FA’s feel excluded. If only you had known, you could have sent him with a “safe” alternative to enjoy with his RE classmates. Why must food always be used as a reward? And, sugary, unhealthy food, at that. Looking forward to hearing your outcome. Take care, Annmarie

  15. To those needing soy-alternatives:

    I LOVE using northern white beans (blended +garlic) as cream/cheese/ricotta subs. A few breadcrumbs added could probably add to its thickness. I second the suggestion to use cauliflower as well!

    Be well, mamas! 🙂

  16. Thank you both EllieC and Ellen, those both sound like great ideas. I can’t wait to try this out – I’d say that you have no idea how much I miss cheesy pasta dishes, but I think you do.

  17. I would love suggestions for a soy substitute- my daughter is dairy/soy/egg/strawberry. I would suggest the apple, cinnamon doghnut recipe in Kelly’s cookbook- they are fabulous! we served them at a brunch we had and noone new they were allergy friendly.

  18. Kelly,

    Thanks for posting your frustrations with the non-allergic public (parents/teachers) not paying attention to how the food-treats affect our allergic kids. My D/E/PN son will be in preschool next year. I feel like my years of fighting are just about to begin. When I saw a child in our church preschool room with a sippy cup of milk I FREAKED out, and my husband told me I shouldn’t try to infringe on the other kid’s rights to have her milk. He doesn’t think we should restrict what other kids can have. This, needless to say, is really frustrating to me. (In the end, we asked the other child’s parents if they could send anything EXCEPT milk, and they were more than happy to comply.) Anyway, thanks. I’m not excited to be “that mom”. But I’ll do anything I need to do for my son.

  19. This looks so good! Thank you for the recommendation of “cheese” brands, as it’s always good to hear from someone who has actually tried the brands before i fork over the money to purchase one. Thank you also, to the moms who posted ideas for the soy free alternatives. My 2 year old daughter has diary, egg, peanut, soy and cinnamon allergies, and finding diary and soy free alternatives takes a bit of detective work. I’d love to see your recipe, Kelly, for a glazed doughnut. It sounds wonderful! I recently made ice cream for her for the first time (from coconut milk) and she was so enthusiastic, (it brought tears to my eyes) that I would love to let her try a doughnut next. All of your hard work is so appreciated Kelly! Thank you very much!

  20. My oldest daughter, Jazlyn, is anaphylactic to egg, dairy and nuts. We started a food allergy blog about a year ago so that others with food allergies could eat the wonderful foods that she is able to.

    I developed a really yummy baked doughnut hole recipe that is very similar to the Dunkin’ Donut kind. In fact, our Church is having a celebration on Sunday that includes the Dunkin’ Donut holes, so Jazlyn will be bringing these along. If you would like to look at the recipe, I’ve included the link.


  21. I made your lasagna for dinner tonight and my whole family LOVED it!! My daughter (who does not have any allergies) often dislikes tofu but she ate this lasagna up so quickly. She said it was so good and it didn’t have tofu. She was so surprised when I told her that in fact all that white stuff was tofu. She couldn’t believe it!

    The one recipe question I have is, exactly how much apple cider vinegar is in the tofu mixture? Is it 1 1/2 teaspoons? That’s what I used and it came out wonderfully. I’m planning on using this “ricotta” mixture to make homemade ravioli soon!

    Thank you for all the great recipes that you share. We love your cookbook and your website!

  22. Your lasagna looks so delicious. My husband and I love lasagna. My son is somewhat allergic to egg and he has been on diet to avoid possible allergens too.

    I found your blog from circle of moms. I got interested since my son and I developed some allergies last month. There are now some food that the doctor told us not to eat. I will be back here to read your other posts. It helps to learn from other moms as well.

  23. Recipe looks delicious. Sorry to hear about the school incident, that is so frustrating. We’ve been there- and it kills me because not only should they know (it’s not good for the other kids anyway!) but all it would have taken was a phone call to you the day before and you could have brought a treat for the whole class or a good alternative. The fact that your son felt left out was completely avoidable and as a FA parent I find that’s one of the most frustrating things about it all.

  24. This is completely off the subject of your post, but I have some Great news to share! My 9 year old son just completed his first food challenge to peanuts and he is no longer allergic! He was a trooper and made it through all 7 doses without a reaction! We can now cross peanuts off of his list of allergies. I had to share this news with people that understand how exciting that really is! This is the first food allergy that he has out grown. We have a long way to go, but we will take what we can get!

  25. For the dairy free cheese, I highly recommend Galaxy brand Rice Shreds mozzarella flavor! It melts perfectly, isn’t greasy, and has the most realistic texture and flavor to the real deal.

  26. Galaxy brand has casein in it, which is a milk protein. So steer clear of that, if your child truly has a dairy allergy.

  27. This looks amazing! I can’t wait for our family to try it. I have been craving lasagna lately. Perfect timing!

  28. wondering if you could suggest egg free lasagna noodles. I’ve never been able to find any spaghetti that either don’t have egg or aren’t “made in a facility with egg” so I never even tried lasagna.

  29. @Sarah A – I used ‘De Boles’ brand Rice Lasagna noodles. Ingredients are Rice Flour and Rice Bran Extract. Purchased them at Whole Foods, then noticed that our Kroger sells them in the natural foods section at a comparable price.

    Kelly – Awesome recipe. We bought a bag of frozen cauliflower and boiled it down so it could be chopped up fine then substituted that for the tofu – I added a little extra vinegar and agave nectar to that. Ended up using another six ounces or so of tomato sauce as well, it just looked too dry (and I didn’t have enough of the sauce/bechamel mixture to cover the layers. The next time I make it I’ll go ahead and just use another 8oz can of tomato sauce to start with. It tastes great – so much so that I like it better than I’ve ever liked my own traditional lasagna. Thank you!

  30. What an amazing recipe, Kelly! I have to admit, I was skeptical, but it was fantastic!

    Any chance you’re working on a the Food Allergy Mama’s Cook Book companion to the Baking Book!

    Thank you for everything you do. You are an inspiration!

  31. Hi, I would also love it if you have more dinner/savory recipes for everyday meals you could share. My 2 year old has just had peanut, milk, and egg allergies confirmed and we seem to be eating the same 4 or 5 boring meals over and over again every week. Not to mention, they aren’t the most well balanced meals either. Or, if you have any other cookbooks/recipes you could point me to, I would truly appreciate it! Thank you for all that you do! I am very overwhelmed and felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders once I found your cookbook and blog.

  32. Maria,

    My 9 year old daughter is also allergic to egg, dairy and nuts and we have a food allergy blog that has the recipes for all of our breakfasts, dinners, desserts and snacks. If you would like to visit, it’s jazzyallergyrecipes.blogspot.com.

  33. I do something similar. The bechamel sauce looks like a good addition. I’ll have to try that.

    For my “ricotta” mixture, I add a tub of Tofutti cream cheese to the crumbled tofu. It ends up being very creamy and the texture is spot on for ricotta. I season mine with olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and parsley. I eat it by the spoonful while I’m preparing the lasagna. We also use Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet. I don’t like Daiya as well and I’m beginning to think DS might have a pea allergy too.

    I’ve never tried it, but I’ve wondered if a seasoned mashed potato mixture wouldn’t stand in well for those with soy allergies.

    As for egg-free pasta, I use brands that list “made in the same facility” all the time. Everybody’s allergies are different and everyone needs to make their own decision, but it’s the only product I allow egg cross-contamination warnings and we’ve never had a problem. I do avoid same equipment warnings since I can always find a brand with a facility warning. I have occassionally seen store brands without any warnings, but I’ve never called to double check them.

    Kelly- You mentioned pea protein being a problem for your son. Are you aware that Earth Balance is replacing the soy in many of their butters with pea protein? We’ve had to switch to the Soy Garden flavor only. The sticks are still pea-free for now.

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  35. So happy you are providing main course ideas! Thank you.

    For anyone who needs a donut recipe without eggs or dairy, I recently made my allergic kid these baked vegan donuts:

    They were super easy — and I used frosting I had around, which melted nicely since I did it when the donuts were still on the warm side. (Use sprinkles or something else fun.) The one food allergic person and three other non-allergic family members all gave this one a big thumbs up. You do need a donut pan, though, which I got on amazon.com for about $10 or so. Not too bad!

  36. Kelly this looks fantastic, we are going to try it this weekend. I must share my latest discovery in vegan cooking and that is Chef Chloe. She won the Food Network cupcake wars with her vegan cupcakes and her mac and “cheese” is excellent!

  37. Hey Kelly,
    When I was a kid and my Mom/Dad would make a big deal out or my food allergies I would get extremely embarrassed. I would hate to be your poor child..

    • Hi Jason, Sorry you feel that way. But I’m sure your parents were doing their best to keep you safe and look out for you and your health. Perhaps you should take a moment to look at that from another perspective.

      • Kelly,
        Cannot wait to try this! YUM! As for John, I am certain he feels loved and appreciates (as much as a young boy can) your dedication and AMAZING skills in the kitchen. Far beyond inspirational……you ease some of my fears, put words to many of my emotions and reassure me that there IS a leg to stand on in paving a safe walkway to the doors of normalcy for my little boy. I’m not much for following recipes but, I will ALWAYS follow yours to a T. Thanks!

  38. Just a thought…I have celiac disease and wanted to try going dairy free to see if that would clear up my other problems. What about using a special three part lasagna pan? My food allergies in one side and my husband’s regular lasagna in the other portion? Or would that have too much cross contamination?

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