Delicious Dishes

Interstellar Lasagna from Micaela Cook Karlsen

A Plant Based Life Cookbook Author Micaela Cook Karlsen shares her delicious and nutritious recipe for lasagna with Urban Suburban Mommy.  Read our full interview with Micaela here.

Interstellar Lasagna

“I finished perfecting this recipe the week that NASA’s Kepler Mission found a new Earth-like planet, 452b, so I named it in honor of the discovery,” she said.


Layer 1: 1 medium onion, 1 16-ounce package firm tofu (drained), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons white miso , 1/3  cup nutritional yeast, 1/3  cup packed fresh basil leaves

Layer 2: 1 medium onion, 1 10-ounce package cremini mushrooms (stems trimmed), ½ cup frozen spinach, ¼ cup pine nuts, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, salt to taste

Additional components: 1 10-ounce box whole-grain lasagna noodles  and 3 to 4 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (or try Chef AJ’s Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara)

Toppings:  1 medium tomato, sliced thinly, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Make layer 1: Place the onion in a food processor, and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the tofu, garlic powder, miso, and nutritional yeast and blend until everything is evenly mixed. At this point the mixture will be like a dry puree—grainy and not too wet. Add the basil leaves and pulse until the basil is chopped into small bits and evenly distributed in the mixture. Transfer the contents of layer 1 to a medium bowl.

Make layer 2: Place the onion in a food process and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add the mushrooms, spinach, pine nuts, Italian seasoning, and salt and blend until everything is evenly mixed.

Assemble the lasagna: Divide your noodles into three equal piles, to correspond with the three noodle layers in the final dish. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13–inch glass pan with ¾ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water. Use a spoon to mix the two and evenly distribute the liquefied sauce. Place one layer of lasagna noodles on top of the sauce-water mixture. Cover the noodles with 1 to 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, using a spoon to evenly distribute it. Add the mixture for Layer 1 to the pan. Cover layer 1 with the second layer of noodles. Add the mixture for Layer 2 to the pan. Cover Layer 2 with the third/top layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups tomato sauce using a spoon to evenly distribute it.

Add the toppings: Place tomato slices on top of the sauce evenly around the pan. Sprinkle each slice with a bit of salt for added flavor, if desired, then sprinkle the nutritional yeast evenly on top of the tomatoes.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes, then remove cover and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the top surface has developed a skin. Serves 6-8.

Micaela Karlsen

MICAELA COOK KARLSEN is a founding employee and former Executive Director of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. A contributor to the New York Times bestseller Forks Over Knives and the creator of, a free online database of research on plant-based nutrition, she holds an MSPH in Human Nutrition from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a PhD candidate in Nutritional Epidemiology at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She is the author of A Plant-Based life: Your Complete guide to Great Food, Radiant Health, Boundless Energy, and a Better Body (AMACOM). She lives in Boston.