This vegan zucchini lasagna is a healthy and low carb take on the classic lasagna! No dairy and no noodles are needed, and it’s a simple yet showstopping main course that is sure to impress!
Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
If I could eat one cuisine without getting sick of it, it would be Italian food. Pasta, lasagna, and pizza should be their own food groups and I eat some kind of it at least three times a week.
Recently, I’ve been trying to be more mindful of how many carbs I’ve been eating. I’m not someone to deprive myself but after a day of sandwiches, toasts, and rice, come dinner time, I’d like to have something a little lighter. Instead of omitting my favorite carb-heavy foods completely, I’ve opted to give them healthier makeovers. One of my favorite comfort foods is lasagna so making a healthy lasagna was my mission. Instead of using lasagna noodles, I opted to use zucchini and was thrilled with the results!
This vegan zucchini lasagna is a healthy and low carb take on classic lasagna. It’s packed with vegetables and protein and has NO lasagna noodles in them. Don’t fret though- This tastes so good, you won’t even miss them! It’s layers of thinly sliced zucchini, vegan ricotta cheese, a vegan bechamel, and a homemade vegan ‘meat’ sauce. It’s cheesy, gooey, and epitomizes comfort food!
I had some friends over for dinner the other night and served them this zucchini lasagna and NO ONE believed that it was low carb- They thought it still had noodles in them!
How do you make a vegetarian zucchini lasagna?
- Olive oil– To fry the filling in.
- Onion and garlic– For flavor for the lasagna ‘meat sauce’ filling.
- Vegan meat substitute– Use your favorite ground meat crumbles or similar. I used vegan ground beef.
- Tomato sauce– Also known as passata. Half will be used for the filling and the other half to line the bottom of the baking dish.
- Zucchini– Even and thinly sliced so they cook evenly throughout.
- Cheese sauce– Homemade vegan cheese sauce, which works exactly as a bechamel would.
- Vegan ricotta– To layer between the zucchini and the cheese sauce. We used homemade vegan ricotta.
- Shredded cheese– To top the lasagna with and an extra dose of cheese.
Start by preparing the sauce filling. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Next, add the vegan beef and mix it into it and cook until slightly browned. Add the tomato sauce and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens.
Now, start layering the lasagna. Grease a large baking dish with cooking spray. Place the tomato sauce in it and spread it out to cover the base of the dish completely. Next, add a single layer of the zucchini slices. Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese, followed by cheese sauce. Repeat the process until all the zucchini, ricotta, and cheese sauce has all been used up. Sprinkle the shredded vegan cheese to cover the top of the lasagna.
Finally, bake the lasagna for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are bubbling and the cheese has melted. Let the lasagna sit for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving.
How do you keep zucchini lasagna from becoming watery?
Ensure your zucchini is very thinly sliced and NOT overripe. The riper the zucchini, the more prone to seeping out extra liquid.
Tips to make the best zucchini lasagna
- To make this recipe easier, make sure your ricotta and cheese sauce is prepared in advance.
- Oven makes and models differ, and you may need to bake your lasagna longer than 40 minutes. If you use a smaller baking dish, this should not be an issue.
- If you’d like to add lasagna noodles, swap out half the zucchini with it. Be sure to use pre-cooked or quick cooking lasagna noodles so they cook quickly.
Storing and freezing vegan zucchini lasagna
- To store: Leftover lasagna should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week.
- To freeze: Place the lasagna in a freezer friendly container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: Reheat the lasagna in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 10-12 minutes, until warm and bubbling.
More vegan main course recipes to try
Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a large baking dish and set aside.
- Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add the vegan ground beef and cook for several minutes, until no longer pink. Add 1 cup of the tomato sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until it has thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the remaining tomato sauce into the greased baking dish and spread out to cover the base completely. Add a single layer of the sliced zucchini, followed by a layer of the ricotta, a layer of the cheese sauce, and a layer of the vegan 'meat' sauce. Repeat the process until all the ingredients have been used up. Sprinkle with the vegan shredded cheese.
- Bake the lasagna for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling and the cheese has melted. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving.