Just because you are out of eggs doesn't mean you can't whip up a tray of lasagna. As with many classic foods, there are countless variations to make this traditional dish of cheese, meat and sauce. Choose from vegan, vegetarian and meat lasagna options that leave the eggs out and still manage to hold their own as timeless comfort foods.
The Role of Eggs
In a traditional meat or vegetarian lasagna, eggs are added to the ricotta cheese before baking to play a dual role in the finished lasagna. The first, and most notable purpose of the eggs is to hold the lasagna together. Once cooked, the eggs set and act as a binding agent. This keeps your lasagna intact and firmer when cut and served, as well as prevents the cheese from separating when heated. The second role of the eggs is that the whites lend fluffiness to the cooked ricotta mixture that would otherwise be drier and have less structure. While you can simply omit the eggs in your recipe, for the best results in quality, consider substituting the ricotta cheese for another ingredient that can bind the lasagna better without the use of eggs.
Make a meat lasagna using ingredients like lean ground turkey or chicken, or choose ground beef or sausage for an Italian-style lasagna. Use a mixture of cottage cheese and ricotta cheese to create a creamier filling that will remain intact once cooked without the use of eggs. Cut calories and use a tofu ricotta-style cheese that rivals the thickness and spreadability of ricotta, but stands up to cooking better than ricotta alone. Or if you are set on the flavor of ricotta, simply skip the eggs and expect a looser, but still delicious lasagna.
Keep in mind that many types of noodles are made using eggs, so along with avoiding the use of eggs in the filling, it is important to source egg-free lasagna noodles to avoid eggs in your lasagna altogether. Find egg-free lasagna noodles at health food stores, specialty stores and from online retailers. If you are allergic to eggs and need to completely avoid them, it is important to note that many brands of noodles are prepared on equipment that makes egg products; search for those that are not to avoid exposure.
Vegan and Vegetarian Lasagna
For vegan lasagna, use ricotta cheese-style tofu or another cheese substitute mixed with miso and tahini to create a thick, creamy filling without using eggs. You have more options for substitutions in a vegetarian lasagna, as there are many cheeses that you can use for a filling without relying on eggs. Opt for a mixture of Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and cottage cheese to create a fluffy, cheesy layer that is high in flavor and has an intense creaminess from the inclusion of cottage cheese.
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