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Kosher Meat Lasagna


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Kosher Meat Lasagna


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Kosher Meat Lasagna

On tasting my lasagna, Italian converts to Judaism swear it must be treif (non-kosher). The secret to making this taste like the real deal, in addition to the mock cheese layers, is in the fennel seed and red pepper flakes, which make the meat sauce taste as though it contains sausage. I usually double and sometimes triple this recipe! Trust me, you’ll want leftovers.


  • Prep Time : 15 min
  • Cook Time : 25 min
  • Ready Time : 40 min




    For the sauce

    • 2 T. olive oil
    • 2 lbs. ground beef
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 16 oz. can tomato sauce
    • 3 oz. tomato paste
    • 1/2 t. salt
    • 1/2 t. pepper
    • 1/2 t. oregano
    • 1/4-1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
    • 3/4 t. ground fennel seed
    • 1 T. basil

    For the mock cheese layer

    • 12 oz. tofu
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 4 t. corn or canola oil
    • 1 1/2 t. garlic salt
    • 1 T. flat-leaf parsley

    For the assembly

    • 6-8 lasagna noodles, boiled and drained


    1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven on medium heat. Brown meat and onion in oil until meat is no longer pink.
    2. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, ground fennel seed, and basil. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
    3. Place tofu, egg yolks, oil, garlic salt, and parsley in blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth. Set aside ¼ cup of the tofu mixture to be used for topping the lasagna.
    4. Grease a 1 ½ quart rectangular baking dish. Make a bottom layer of 3-4 lasagna noodles. Spread with half of the tofu mixture. Ladle on half of the meat sauce. Repeat.
    5. Take reserved ¼ cup tofu mixture and place dollops of the mixture atop the lasagna. Flatten the dollops slightly with the back of a spoon moistened with water.
    6. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.


    About Varda Epstein


    Varda Epstein is a Communications Writer at  Kars for Kids and blogs her own views at the Times of Israel and Judean Rose. Varda is passionate about her Jewish faith, Israel, genealogy, music, writing, parenting, and food. An expatriate third-generation born Pittsburgher, Varda has lived in Israel for over three decades while growing her family of 12 children and (thus far) 9 grandchildren (girls are ahead, 5-4). Her work has appeared in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Press, Ami Magazine, Avotaynu, Binah, and Horizons.




    20 Responses to Kosher Meat Lasagna

    1. avatar says: leslie

      I’m trying to pin this on Pinterest and It’s not working because the picture isn’t coming through. Can you guys fix it so I can?

    2. Hi Leslie–I just experimented by pinning it to a board I created for that purpose and it worked. Maybe you can repin it from there: http://pinterest.com/pin/187321665723534520/

    3. avatar says: chaya

      I was wondering, where can I buy tofu in Israel?


      • I have found tofu available at the Mega Super Market chain in most major cities certainly Holon and Lod has it. Even the brands I remember from the states.

    4. Any well-stocked supermarket should have tofu. This is usually sold vacuum-packed with little liquid. It will be in the dairy section.

    5. avatar says: lirihm

      I tried this recipe and it was delicious! My dinner guests were raving about it. I made it with brown rice pasta because one of my guests had a wheat allergy, but it still turned out amazing. Thanks so much for this.

      • So happy you took the time to write and tell me of your success. I’m so glad the lasagna was a hit!

    6. the recipe sounds amazing
      cant wait to try it

    7. avatar says: Karen

      This looks great. can it be frozen?

      • Karen, I see no reason why not. All of the components should stand up well to freezing. I’ve never done it before because we always eat it up right away!

    8. Just made this. It’s a great cold weather dish. I used only 1/4 tsp of chopped red pepper and was pleased with the spicing, however, I don’t like very spicy food. Do you think we could cut the amount of oil? Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and slipped out of the baking dish readily, but it was perhaps more than I would routinely want. Thanks! We will definitely make this again and again. :-)

      • Hi Eileen,
        I assume you mean “crushed” red pepper and not “chopped” red pepper which would be something different.

        I would say you could cut the oil for browning the meat and onions if your meat has a nice amount of fat in it. The onions need that fat to saute. If you cut back, they’ll steam instead of sauteeing. That would affect the texture and taste adversely.

        What I wouldn’t do is cut the canola oil in the tofu mixture, as cutting the oil here would make the tofu mixture dry and crumbly. It would be difficult to spread and unpleasant to eat.

    9. avatar says: Rebecca

      I’ve never cooked with tofu and know very little about it. What type of tofu do you recommend I use for this recipe? Thank you!

      • Hi Rebecca,
        Japanese silken tofu works best for this recipe, but it doesn’t much matter. Whatever tofu is available will work just fine.
        Good luck!

    10. avatar says: Alanna

      This was the best kosher lasagna recipe I’ve come across yet. The “cheese” was superb. Thank you for the great recipe!

      • Thank you, Alanna. Made me feel good to read your comments :-)

        Happy cooking!

    11. avatar says: fschipper

      What can I use instead of the 4 egg yolks?
      Can I use 2 yolks and 2 egg whites?

      • Fschipper, I imagine that would work, though I have never used that substitution. The egg yolks are mainly to help hold the tofu filling together and add richness. The whites will give you a lighter filling, but should hold the mixture together the same way as yolks would.

    12. avatar says: Eli

      I can’t find ground fennel seed in my area and was wondering what I can substitute it with? Cumin powder?

      • Eli, cumin is not anything like fennel seed. Fennel seed has a licorice flavor while cumin is similar to caraway.

        Can you find whole fennel seeds? You can grind them in a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle.

        Another alternative is fennel tea. Steep a tea bag in your sauce during the last 15 minutes of the cooking time.

        Try looking for the seeds or the tea in a health food store.

        Last resort? Leave it out. But that is really the spice that makes this dish taste like the real thing.

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