The Very Best Gluten-Free Tomato-Free Lasagna (with dairy-free option)!
This recipe is gluten-free, tomato-free, egg-free, sugar-free, nut-free, low acid/GERD-friendly,
and can be made dairy-free, low-FODMAP/Fructose-friendly
Who doesn’t love lasagne?!
I’m totally lasagne crazy. Nuts, in fact, about this hot-from-the-oven, multi-layered, moist and cheesy pasta dish which never, ever fails to satisfy!
Growing up, lasagne was a bit of a treat. My mum would only make it every now and again, and usually as a special surprise on weekends. We would dig in with eager enthusiasm, and literally scrape down the tray in order to secure the very last bite.
Lasagne is pretty indulgent really. It is rich meats, bechamel, pasta, and of course cheese.. A hearty helping of lasagna will not win you any points with your personal trainer, in fact, it may pop your buttons, but if there is one dish worth running an extra mile for, it’s gotta be lasagne!
Sure, there are ways you can make lasagne on the light and remove some of the calories (I’ve added a low-fat option to the recipe), but if you can, you should enjoy this lasagna to the full. Calories and all!
This recipe is rich, indulgent and scrape-the-bowl-delicious from the first bite to the next day’s leftovers!
You might also like: Cheddar, Walnut and Rosemary Savoy Cabbage Gratin
No Tomato, No Worries!
You may have tried my “Gluten-free spaghetti meatballs with the best tomato-free pasta sauce ever!“. If so, you already know that you don’t need tomatoes to make great pasta sauce!
The reason I’m cutting down on the tomatoes at the moment, is that I have been faced with two awesome (not) new challenges, namely GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and IC (Interstitial Cystitis). TMI? Maybe, but I figured that as private as these things are, it is kinda my job now to share, so I might as well put all my cards on the table. That’s what I’m here for!
Both of these issues came more or less thrown at me from nowhere, but something tells me they are both somehow linked either as a result of, or in relation to my coeliac disease, so watch this space, I will have to put some research into this topic.
In any case, tomato is a no-no on the management diet for both these disorders, as it is a highly acidic fruit which antagonises both acid reflux and inflammation.
But, who needs tomato with this incredibly delicious tomato-free sauce!
Note: If you are currently being treated for GERD, a rich or fatty meal may worsen your symptoms. This lasagna can be made low-fat by cutting out the butter and opting for low-fat cheese (or use the dairy-free option which uses bread crumbs instead of cheese). People with GERD should also cut out the garlic and halve the amount of onion.
The Ultimate Gluten-Free Tomato-Free Lasagna
This recipe is everything you want in a lasagna. It truly is every inch the rich and mouth-watering Italian treat. Layers and layers of it!
To make lasagna for 4 people, you’ll need:
- 400 grams of lean ground beef/mince (5-10% fat is ok, but you can use whatever you prefer)
- 200 grams of semi-lean ground pork/mince (10%)
- 9 or more (depending on your lasagne tray) gluten-free lasagne sheets. The lovely people at Schär sent me a pack of their gluten-free lasagne sheets and they were really good, so that’s what I used.
- 1/4 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Dairy-free option: Sub the cheese for 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
Low-FODMAP option: choose lactose-free cheese
Low acid/GERD option: choose low-fat meat and low-fat cheese or bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp butter (or dairy-free substitute)
- 500 ml whole milk (or rice milk -don’t use soy milk as it will lend a distinct flavour to the sauce)
- 200 ml of vegetable stock
- 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 50 g gluten-free flour (Learn how to mix your own gluten-free flour!)
- 50 g grated parmesan cheese (skip for dairy-free option)
Dairy-free option: Sub butter for dairy-free alternative, sub milk for rice milk, and skip the parmesan
Low-FODMAP option: Use lactose-free dairy products
Low acid/GERD option: Use low-fat dairy products or mak dairy-free
“Nomato sauce” Tomato-free sauce:
- 4 small to medium carrots, grated
- 1 large stick of celery, trimmed and chopped
- 5 medium or 4 large red capsicum (peppers) in strips
- 1/2 cup diced butternut squash
- 1/2 beetroot diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cups vegetable stock (free of MSG and yeast extract)
- 100 ml cream (can be skipped or substituted with dairy-free)
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped basil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
- 2 laurel leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (skip for acid-intolerants and people with Interstitial Cysticitis)
- Salt to taste
Fresh herbs will give the best flavour, but dried spices are totally ok.
Dairy-free option: Sub cream for dairy-free cream, or skip altogether.
Low-FODMAP option: Remove garlic, and use garlic infused olive oil instead of regular olive oil, remove onion, use lactose-free cream, skip beetroot.
Low acid/GERD option: Skip vinegar, use low-fat milk instead of cream, skip the garlic and sub the oil for garlic infused oil, and halve the amount of onion.
Tip: I recommend doubling it (or more) to freeze or can for later! That way you only have to do the “big” job once in a while, and you can simply whip up the next lasagna using your pre-made tomato-free sauce from a jar!
Preheat your oven to 200 c/400 f
- Chop all the vegetables and herbs, and place all the ingredients for the sauce, bar the cream, into a large pot. Bring to a boil, and let it simmer until all the vegetables are soft.
- Once the veggies have softened, set the pot aside, leaving the lid on.
- Start your bechamel by melting the butter in a heavy-based pot. Add the gluten-free flour, and stir vigorously with a wooden spatula until smooth. Add a splash of milk, and once again stir until smooth. You can use a whisk if you prefer. Keep repeating the process with the rest of the milk, until your bechamel is smooth, at which point you stir in the vegetable stock.
- Add the parsley, nutmeg and parmesan last, and stir it through. Set aside.
- Heat a pan with a bit of oil, and fry the beef and pork mince until it is cooked through.
- Once the meat is cooked you can pour the vegetable mix into a blender or food processor, and mix on high until the sauce is too your liking. Some like “lumps” and some like it smooth. It’s up to you! If you are using cream, add it last.
- Pour the tomato-free sauce over the browned mince, and stir it through. Put the meat sauce back on the heat for a few minutes, and let the juices soak into the meat. 5 minutes should do.
And now to the magic:
8. Dig out your best lasagne tray. -I love mine! It was a gift from my friend, the wonderful Fiona (thanks Fi!) and it is absolutely awesome because it is made to perfectly fit the lasagne sheets! No more breaking them off to fit the rounded corners! Hooray!
Mine is from Mason Cash (no, I am not an affiliate. I just like it a lot!). You can find it on google if you click on the image.
9. Start by covering the base of the lasagne tray with the meat sauce. Top the meat with three gluten-free lasagne sheets, then cover the sheets with bechamel. Repeat the process until you’ve filled the tray. My tray makes three layers (9 sheets of gluten-free pasta), but yours might make more or less. The important thing is that your last layer is bechamel sauce, which you top with cheese.
10. Mix up the three cheeses and spread it evenly over the last layer of bechamel sauce. If you have opted for the dairy-free or low-fat version, sprinkle bread crumbs over top instead. It really does taste awesome too!
11. Cover the tray with tinfoil, and pop your delicious gluten-free tomato-free lasagna in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you can remove the tin foil, and leave the lasagna in the oven until the cheese (or breadcrumbs) is beautifully golden!
Serve piping hot, with my 5-minute Hot Gluten-Free Garlic Ciabatta and a fresh, crispy salad on the side!
Yum yum yum!!
What about you? Do you eat tomatoes? If not, why? Leave your comment below to share your opinions, tips or questions! 🙂