Zucchini Lasagna

This vegan zucchini lasagna recipe features layers of delicious Italian flavors but using thinly sliced zucchini instead of pasta noodles. This is a low-carb, healthy, vegan dish you can serve any night of the week!

A slice of zucchini lasagna sits on a plate. There are breadsticks in the background and a bowl of steamed broccoli.

I love recipes with layers. It’s one reason I made my Vegan Baked Ziti with layers, too. When you combine savory red sauce with this vegan ricotta and top it with vegan mozzarella shreds, you’ve got a feast. This one is even better because it’s made with zucchini instead of pasta noodles. It’s a great gluten-free way to get your lasagna in!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Zucchini noodles are made from cutting the vegetables into thin strips
  • Adding salt to the zucchini noodle strips helps them release their juices, resulting in less moisture in the finished dish
  • Baking the casserole covered with foil traps in the steam, cooking the noodles and sauces together until perfectly tender and delicious!

What You’ll Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Vegan Ricotta — You can buy vegan ricotta these days, or make your own homemade vegan ricotta.
  • Zucchini — You’ll need 2 to 3 medium zucchinis.
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic — You’ll need 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Veggie crumbles — I like adding veggie crumbles to the sauce, although this is optional. You can substitute some crumbled Vegan Pepperoni or Vegan Breakfast Sausage.
  • Tomatoes — We’ll be using a 28-ounce can or two 15-ounce cans of crushed or petite diced tomatoes.
  • Basil — You can use fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil.
  • Vegan mozzarella shreds — We most often use Follow Your Heart or Daiya Mozzarella.

How to Make Zucchini Lasagna

  1. Use store-bought or make your own vegan ricotta.
  2. Prepare the zucchini by cutting into thin slices, sprinkle with salt, and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Blot the salt and moisture off the zucchini strips and return them to the pan.
  4. Place the pan in the heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 
  5. Cook onions in an oiled skillet until tender.
  6. Add the veggie crumbles and garlic and cook until heated through. 
  7. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens.
  8. Spread layers of the red sauce, zucchini strips and ricotta in a casserole dish.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes. 
  10. Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:

Step One: Make Vegan Ricotta

  1. Drain the water from the tub of tofu. There’s no need to press the tofu.
  2. Combine soaked cashews, tofu, water, lemon juice, yeast flakes, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor.
  3. Pulse several seconds to combine.
  4. Use a spatula to push down ingredients from the side of the bowl.
  5. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until a spreadable consistency is achieved. It should take no more than ¼ cup of water.

Step Two: Prepare the Zucchini

  1. Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice into 1/8″ thickness. You can use a mandoline or a kitchen knife to cut zucchini.
    Zucchini slices are sitting on a wire rack.
  2. Place them on a pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes until they release their juices.
    Zucchini slices are on a roasting pan.
  3. Use a paper towel or kitchen towel to blot the salt and moisture off the zucchini.
  4. Return the zucchini to the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the heated oven and bake for 10 minutes, until tender.

Step Three: Make the Red Sauce

  • Add oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook until shimmering.
  • Stir in onions and cook for 5 minutes until tender.
  • Add the veggie crumbles and garlic and cook for another minute, until heated through. 
  • Pour in the tomatoes and basil and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens.

Step Four: Lasagna Layers & Baking

  1. Spread about ½ cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×9 casserole dish.
  2. Add one layer of zucchini strips on top.
  3. Spread half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles, followed by ½ cup of vegan mozzarella shreds.
    A hand is placing a zucchini slice over red sauce in a baking dish.
  4. Repeat this process until you run out of ingredients, ending with mozzarella.
    A hand is distributing mozzarella cheese over red sauce in a baking dish.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Then use tongs to remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Serve zucchini lasagna with any of the following:

Storage Tips

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 7 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Frequently-Asked Questions

How to make zucchini lasagna not watery?

Zucchini is a vegetable with high water content. As a result, to make your zucchini noodles you need to minimize the water content. We do this by letting it marinate with salt, which helps extract fluids. Then we bake the zucchini strips briefly to remove even more of their water content.

Can zucchini lasagna be frozen?

You can freeze this dish in individual servings or the entire casserole. Make sure they’re in a freezer safe container or freezer bags where they can keep for up to 2 months.

Vegan Italian Recipes

If you love this vegan zucchini lasagna, here’s even more plant-based Italian recipes you’ll love:

A serving of zucchini lasagna sits on a plate. There's another slice barely visible in the background.

Vegan Zucchini Lasagna

This vegan zucchini lasagna features layers of delicious Italian flavors but using thinly sliced zucchini instead of pasta noodles. This is a low-carb, healthy, vegan dish you can serve any night of the week!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 412kcal

Ingredients

Vegan Ricotta

  • 1 cup cashews , soaked in water 2 – 4 hours
  • 15 oz extra firm tofu
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 clove garlic , peeled and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Zucchini Lasagna

  • 3 medium zucchini (8 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups veggie crumbles
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds

Instructions

For the Vegan Ricotta

  • To soak the cashews, cover them with water and soak for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. Then drain the soaking water.
  • Drain the water from the tub of tofu. There's no need to press the tofu.
  • Combine soaked cashews, tofu, water, lemon juice, yeast flakes, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse several seconds to combine. Use a spatula to push down ingredients from the side of the bowl. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until a spreadable consistency is achieved. It should take no more than 1/4 cup of water.
  • Storage: You can store this in the fridge for 3–5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month to use in lasagna.

For the Zucchini Lasagna

  • Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
  • Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice into ⅛" thickness. You can use a mandoline or a kitchen knife to cut zucchini. Place them on a pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes until they release their juices. Use a paper towel or kitchen towel to blot the moisture on the zucchini. Place the pan in the heated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Add oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook until shimmering. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Add the veggie crumbles and garlic and cook for another minute, until heated through.
  • Add the tomatoes and basil and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens.
  • Spread about ½ cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×9 casserole dish. Add one layer of zucchini strips on top. Spread half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles, followed by ½ cup of vegan mozzarella shreds. Repeat this process until you run out of ingredients, ending with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then use tongs to remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

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Notes

The nutritional estimate is provided for each cup of the ricotta. 
 
Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1304mg | Potassium: 1083mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 517IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 7mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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