Vegan zucchini lasagna is the ultimate comfort food dinner. Zucchini takes the place of noodles in this healthy dish, and filled with savory mushrooms and fluffy tofu ricotta. This delicious recipe is dairy free and gluten free.
Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
Like Garfield the cat, lasagna has always been one of my favorite foods. It's really the perfect food, as the entire meal is cooked together in one dish, and there's just something about layered food that I love. (Maybe it has something to do with my need to keep everything tidy and organized.)
We had lasagna often when I was little. My mom made it with layers of cooked noodles, mozzarella cheese, and jarred sauce. That was it. I had no idea ricotta was used as a filling until I was in my 20s. Shortly after discovering ricotta, I went vegan. It's easily replaced with tofu, so I'm not missing out on anything.
This is a low carb recipe, but by no means a low carb person. My philosophy is bring on the carbs! Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient. Our bodies and our brains need it for fuel.
I've used zucchini in the place of pasta in this dish in order to sneak extra veggies into my meal, which makes it an accidentally low carb meal. I've also added spinach to the tofu ricotta to sneak in even more veggies.
How to Slice Your Zucchini
The trickiest part of this recipe is slicing the zucchini into thin strips. If you have a sharp knife and a steady hand, you can slice them yourself. I find that a mandoline slicer is the best option. Be very careful not to slice your fingers, though! Cut the ends off your zucchini before slicing it into strips.
You can also slice your zucchini into disks, rather than strips, using a food processor, if you have one.
Making Your Zucchini Less Watery
Zucchini is a watery vegetable, and your lasagna may turn out a little watery if you use it as is. To reduce the water content:
- Lay the zucchini strips out on a towel and sprinkle them with salt.
- Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes and then blot them dry.
- You can flip them and salt the other side, if you wish, but I usually just salt one side.
- To further dry your strips out, you can grill them for about 2 or 3 minutes. I've actually never done this, but I've heard it works great.
How to Make Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
Don't let all of the steps in this recipe scare you - it's actually easy to make!
- First you make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cooking them for about 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, you make the ricotta by mixing the tofu, lemon juice, garlic and nutritional yeast together in a food processor until it looks like ricotta cheese. Then you pulse in the spinach until it's all mixed together.
- Next you cook the onion in the olive oil in a large pan over medium-heat for about 5 minutes, until it begins to brown. Then you add the garlic and cook another minute or two. And then you add the mushrooms for 5 more minutes or so, until they've browned as well.
- To assemble your lasagna you spread ¼ of the tomato sauce into the bottom of your casserole dish. Then you layer ⅓ the zucchini slices, ½ the tofu ricotta mixture, half of the mushrooms followed by another ¼ of the sauce. You repeat by layering the another ⅓ of the zucchini slices, the rest of the tofu ricotta mixture and mushrooms and another ¼ of the sauce. Then you top it with the remaining zucchini slices and the rest of the sauce.
- Then you cover the dish with foil and bake it for 30 minutes. Next you remove the foil and sprinkle the dish with vegan mozzarella, if you're using it. Finally, you bake your dish for another 15 minutes, uncovered.
How to Customize your Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
You can easily make this zucchini lasagna your own!
- If you don't want to make your own sauce, you can use jarred sauce.
- Cashew ricotta can be used in the place of tofu ricotta. You can also use store-bought dairy-free ricotta. I love Kite Hill's.
- You can add more veggies to the mushroom mixture, if you really want to amp up your veggie intake. Try broccoli florets, sliced red peppers, or cubed eggplant.
- Instead of spinach, you can use baby kale or arugula in your ricotta.
- You can serve your lasagna with or without vegan mozzarella.
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- a few fresh basil leaves torn
- 1 14-ounce container firm tofu drained
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 pound mushrooms coarsely chopped
- ½ cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese optional
- Preheat oven to 375°Fs.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. Lay the slices out on a towel and sprinkle them lightly with sea salt. Allow sit for 10-15 minutes, and then blot dry.
- To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Crumble the tofu into a food processer fitted with an s-blade. Add the lemon juice, garlic, and nutritional yeast and blend until the mixture is thick and looks like ricotta cheese. Add the spinach and pulse until it’s mixed in.
- In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil for about five minutes, until translucent and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and browned slightly.
- To assemble lasagna, spread ¼ of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish. Then layer ⅓ the zucchini slices, ½ the tofu ricotta mixture, half of the mushrooms followed by another ¼ of the sauce. Repeat by layering the another ⅓ of the zucchini slices, the rest of the tofu ricotta mixture and mushrooms and another ¼ of the sauce. Top with the remaining zucchini slices and the rest of the sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with vegan cheese, if using, and bake for 15 more minutes.
Originally published December 21, 2012. Updated September 22, 2021
More Lasagna recipes you might enjoy include:
- Polenta Lasagna
- Spinach Mushroom Lasagna
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
- Lasagna Soup
- Vegan Lasagna Tart
More Zucchini Recipes you might like include:
- Crispy Zucchini Fritters from Vegan Comfort Cooking by Melanie McDonald
- Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pesto
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- Peanutty Pad Thai Zoodles