Hi friends! Here’s a warm and comforting recipe for you: Healthy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna! It’s gluten-free, vegan and a much healthier version to the traditional, using thinly sliced zucchini for lasagna noodles.
As the weather cools, we are all looking for warm and hearty recipes to keep us satiated. I love this vegan zucchini lasagna because of its comforting warm flavours. But most of all, I come back to this recipe because it’s a much healthier version to traditional lasagna – swapping traditional noodles for zucchini. So I don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in this comforting dish over and over.
Time to put on your favourite fall sweater and cozy up to a big dish of this healthy vegan zucchini lasagna. You’re going to love it!
Healthy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
This zucchini lasagna follows pretty much the same preparation method as a traditional lasagna. By layering a casserole dish with vegan bolognese sauce, lasagna noodles (in this case zucchini), and homemade cheese sauce (in this case vegan). The only real noticeable difference is in preparing the zucchini noodles.
I will say, that a lasagna recipe requires time – it’s not one of those (easily-whipped-together-in-20-minutes type recipes), but unless you’re buying a ready-made lasagna, let’s just call this industry practice. And so, I’ve given this recipe my chef stamp of approval. Because it’s a chef worthy, crowd-pleasing dish, that you’ll want to make a little time for.
All-in-all this recipe is perfect to make for date-night or a weekend of entertaining. It’s certainly a recipe worth sharing! Whether you’re vegan or not.
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How to make zucchini noodles:
So, let’s get into how to make the zucchini noodles for this dish. Zucchinis in general have a high water content, and so the goal is to remove some of the excess water before baking your lasagna. Otherwise it will be too watery.
To do this you’ll want to thinly slice the zucchini using a mandoline, and lay onto paper towel sheets. Place more paper towel on top and gently press the water out.
Now, we’re not quite done. The next step is to lay your zucchini noodles onto a baking tray and place in the oven on broil for 5 minutes. This will help to bring out more water from the zucchini. Let zucchini cool slightly, then gently pat out any excess moisture with paper towel.
I promise this is the most cumbersome part of the recipe. And tbh – it’s really not too tricky. If you’re into lasagna, it’s much easier than making your own lasagna noodles!
How to make vegan bolognese:
Now this part is simple. Made by combining garlic, tomato puree and green lentils. And simmering until thickened.
This simple vegan bolognese can also be used as an easy mid-week tomato sauce for quick pasta dishes.
How to make homemade vegan cheese sauce:
Lucky for you, making this homemade vegan cheese sauce is also simple. The ingredients are:
- cashews (soaked)
- nutritional yeast
- lemon juice
- onion powder
- sea salt
Just add the ingredients to a blender until smooth and creamy. You won’t believe just how cheesy this vegan sauce is!
Vegan mozzarella to sprinkle:
I’ve also used a store-bought vegan mozzarella cheese. However, it’s optional to use.
It’s not always easy to find vegan cheese, but your best bet is at an organic grocers. The brand I used for this recipe is Daiya Mozzarella Shredded Cheese, and I bought it at Wholefoods. I like this brand because it melts well for a stringy style cheese. And it’s similar in texture and taste to real mozzarella. I also like the ingredient list. As it’s minimal and easy to understand.
However, if you can’t find vegan mozzarella cheese at your grocers than you can can omit the mozzarella altogether and just use my homemade vegan cheese sauce.
Now for the fun part! Assembling your vegan zucchini lasagna.
It begins by lathering a layer of your vegan bolognese into a casserole dish. Next, layer the zucchini noodles on top, side-by-side to cover.
Then, pour a thin layer of homemade vegan cheese sauce, and sprinkle with a thin layer of vegan mozzarella cheese (optional).
Repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up (ending with the vegan mozzarella cheese or homemade vegan cheese sauce).
Now it’s time to bake!
A few tips for this recipe:
It’s important to follow the instructions for removing excess water from your zucchini before baking this Healthy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna. Otherwise, the outcome will be too wet. Be sure to follow the instructions in the recipe below, or see how to make zucchini noodles above for more details.
I’ve sliced my zucchini into thin noodles using a mandoline. You can also do this by hand, but I find the mandoline is easiest. You can buy mandolines for cheap on Amazon. See Shop my Kitchen below for the one I use.
I’ve also used a store-bought vegan mozzarella cheese in this dish, but it’s optional. It’s not always easy to find vegan cheese, but your best bet is at an organic grocers. The brand I used for this recipe is Daiya Mozzarella Shredded Cheese, and I bought it at Wholefoods.
If you can’t find vegan mozzarella at your grocers, you can omit this step and just use the homemade vegan cheese sauce.
Other recipes you might like:
If you like this recipe for Healthy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna, you might also like:
Shop my kitchen:
I’m always asked what items I like to use in the kitchen. So, I’ve included my favourites for making this Healthy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna. You can also find more of my favourite kitchen essentials and products on my Shop page.
Used to slice the zucchinis very thin
This is the blender I use. To pulse the lentils, and blend the homemade vegan cheese sauce.
used as the vegan cheese in this recipe
So there you have it! A warm and comforting healthy vegan zucchini lasagna that’s gluten-free and delicious. I’m sure you will be making this recipe whenever you want a dish to impress your loved ones. This is certainly a plant-based recipe worth sharing!
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Healthy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna (gluten-free)
- 3 zucchini
- 3 cups vegan mozzarella , grated (*optional)
For the vegan bolognese:
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2.75 cups pure tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 lemon , juiced (about 4 tbsp)
- pinch sea salt
- 1.5 cups green lentils , cooked
For the homemade vegan cheese sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked overnight and strained
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon , juiced (approx. 4 tbsp)
- 1 cup water , plus more if needed
- 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Using a mandolin thinly slice zucchinis to be 1/8 inch thick. Lay out onto paper towel sheets. Place more paper towel on top and gently press the water out of zucchini as best you can.
- Turn oven to broil and line baking tray with parchment paper. Lay zucchini slices onto tray without crowding, and place in oven for 3 minutes. (You might have to do this in a few batches so as not to overcrowd the tray). Remove and gently flip zucchini slices to bake other side, place back in the oven for another 2 minutes. (This will help to get more moisture out of the zucchini as they contain a lot of water). Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then gently pat out any excess moisture with paper towel.
- To make your vegan Bolognese: Finely chop garlic and add to a saucepan with tomato sauce, tomato paste, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer. Pulse lentils in blender (or food processor) and add to a saucepan. Cook sauce for 30 minutes until thick, and liquid is reduced by almost half.
- Make your homemade vegan sauce. In a blender add soaked cashews (strained), nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, water, onion powder (optional) and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Turn oven to 375F/190C, and build your lasagna: In a 8x11 casserole, spread a thin even layer of vegan Bolognese on the bottom and layer the zucchini on top to cover. Pour a thin layer of homemade vegan cheese sauce over top of zucchini. Then sprinkle with a thin layer of vegan mozzarella cheese. Repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up (ending with the vegan mozzarella cheese, or homemade vegan cheese sauce).
- Cover with foil and bake zucchini lasagna for 30 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.