Inspired by dishes like butternut squash ravioli, and those fancy upright rigatoni baked dishes, these Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-ups are a creamy, savory-sweet way of bringing a bit of pizzazz to your plant-based holiday table.

Canned pumpkin is one of those pantry staples that just lives in the back of the cupboard for 9 months out of the year, and is only allowed to come out and play during the holidays when you need to use a can or two of it to make pie or a sweet treat… like my Vegan Salted Pumpkin Spice Cookies.

And admittedly, that old faithful shelf-stable ingredient originally had no place in this recipe. I was convinced that I wanted to use butternut squash: peeled, cubed, baked, and pureed all at home. 

Thankfully, I got over that real quick.

When I realized how much squash I would need, and just how much of an effort that would be, for something that would completely go unnoticed, I decided to scrat that idea, and just use a big ‘ol can of pumpkin puree instead. 

The canned pumpkin is not only a perfect time and energy saver, but when you get one of the big cans, it’s the exact amount you need to make a batch of lasagna. No measuring. No extra tablespoons of pumpkin that you’ve got to try to integrate into other dishes throughout the week. One and done.

Admittedly, the recipe appears a bit daunting, but truly, each component compes together in a snap. You could even make each of the components a day or two in advance and assemble just before baking. Even better, you could just make and assemble the whole dish the night before, bake it off right before serving.

Because I’m obligated to put a serving size, I said that this serves 4. You could easily feed 6 or 8 people if you’re serving this as a side dish. You could also easily double it and use a 9×13 baking dish instead. Leftovers heat up well, and it’s a great dish to have hanging out in the fridge to eat-on through the work week.

Unrelated side note: I didn’t take any great pictures of this dish, so what you see are just screenshots from the recipe video. You should definitely watch that if you want a demonstration of how simple this dish is to make.

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-Ups
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 

Rich and creamy vegan pumpkin lasagna made easier with the "Roll-Up" method. Perfect plant-based holiday side dish for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Course: Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Michael Monson
Ingredients
Noodles:
  • 1 package lasagna noodles (16 noodles)
  • salt
For the Pumpkin Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon miso paste
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground sage
  • pinch fresh grated nutmeg
  • pinch red pepper flake (optional)
  • 1 large can (29 ounces) canned pumpkin puree, or about 3 cups pureed cooked squash or pumpkin
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar or agave
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the Tofu Spinach “Ricotta”:
  • 1 block (14 ounces) firm or extra firm tofu
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Cashew Béchamel Sauce:
  • 2 cups water or veggie broth
  • 1 scant cup raw cashews or raw cashew pieces
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons vegan chicken bouillon (enough to make 2 cups of broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook lasagna noodles to al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and then leave submerged in cool water until ready to assemble.

To prepare the Pumpkin Filling:
  1. To a saucepan on medium heat, add everything down to the red pepper flake. Stir, and allow the spices to bloom in the oil, and the shallot and garlic to soften slightly. After about 3 minutes, before anything starts to burn, stir in the pumpkin puree, and nutritional yeast. Continue to stir until everything is combined, and the pumpkin pure is warmed through. Add walnuts, brown sugar or agave, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to assemble.

To prepare the Tofu Spinach “Ricotta”:
  1. Drain the tofu, and then place it into a clean kitchen towel. Lightly twist the towel and remove as much water as possibly without crushing the tofu too much. Crumble the tofu with your hands as you transfer it to a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Thaw the spinach completely, and then transfer it to a clean towel, as you did the tofu, but this time, squeeze it and twist it until no more liquid can possibly come out. Frozen spinach isn’t always as “chopped'' as you would think, so run your knife through it until you have something more like spinach “confetti”. Transfer the spinach to the bowl containing the crumbled tofu.

  3. Add the remaining “ricotta” ingredients to the bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands) until the spinach and seasonings are distributed evenly. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Cover and set aside or refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To prepare the Cashew Béchamel Sauce:
  1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed or Bullet-style blender, and blend for 45 seconds to a minute, until there are no remaining bits of cashew. The mixture will be very thin — more milky than creamy

  2. Transfer the cashew mixture to a saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the mixture starts to thicken, homogenize, and bubble. As soon as you can feel a textural difference, and one or two bubbles rise to the surface, immediately remove the pot from the heat. Cover and set aside until ready to assemble.

  3. Note: If the Cashew Béchamel Sauce thickens too much and you have a gravy instead of a thick cream, stir in a bit of water or unsweetened plant-milk to thin it out slightly.

To Assemble the Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-Ups:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Begin by flooding the bottom of your 8×8 baking dish with the Cashew Béchamel Sauce. You may use a bit less than half of the sauce, making sure that the entire bottom of the dish is completely covered.

  3. Note: You’re going to be working in groups of four, so as you assemble, keep in mind that with each round, you’ll be using ¼ of the ingredients.

  4. On a large cutting board or clean work surface, lay out 4 lasagna noodles so that the frilly edges are touching each other. Using a rubber scraper or offset spatula, spread about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the Pumpkin Filling across each noodle. Each noodle should be covered in the filling, but not overflowing.

  5. Next, evenly sprinkle ¼ of the Tofu Spinach “Ricotta” over the 4 lasagna noodles.
  6. Gently roll up each noodle separately, and not too tightly. Place each roll into the baking dish so that the swirl is facing up.

  7. Continue working in groups of 4 until you have filled your baking dish with 16 Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-Ups.

  8. Carefully spoon or pour all of the remaining Cashew Béchamel Sauce over the top of the Roll-Ups, making sure that some is dripping over the edges of the noodles, and falling into the spaces between the Roll-Ups.

  9. Bake uncovered at 400 F. for about 30 minutes. You will notice that the sauce is bubbling up around the sides of the pan, and the top is gently golden brown.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.