Vegan Gluten-Free Zucchini Lasagna

By Alexandra Caspero on June 3, 2022

Zucchini Lasagna that happens to be vegan and gluten-free! This lasagna is SO good! Zucchini noodles with eggplant, mushrooms and cashew-cauliflower ricotta.

Oh man, this vegan gluten-free zucchini lasagna is so good. Like, so, so good. So good that I kinda recommend going out and getting a completely unnecessary piece of equipment to make this recipe.

A vegetable sheet slicer! You guys. I bought this on a whim one night and I’m hooked, completely hooked. The perfect accessory to make vegetable lasagna, zucchini roll-ups, vegetable spring rolls and so much more.

Of course, you don’t need this thing. A sharp knife or a mandolin works in the same way; but it’s more fun to play with this thing. If you think that you’ll make a lot of vegetable based pasta, then I do recommend this one. Let’s get to making this!

glutenfree vegan zucchini lasagna

We are making the ultimate vegan and gluten-free lasagna. A lasagna made almost completely out of vegetables, which is crazy cool. For those who don’t think vegetables are versatile and delicious, make them this recipe.

Tomato sauce,  zucchini lasagna sheets, cauliflower-cashew ricotta, roasted mushroom and eggplant then repeat. Then bake until hot and bubbly and DIVE RIGHT IN.

I made this for BL and after a few bites he said, wow- this is vegan? Yeah, babe. Dairy-free, gluten-free and so delicious. Because, you know I don’t care too much about those things. I love pasta (um, I wrote an entire book on it) and really enjoy a good piece of cheese. However, I also really love vegetables and think this lasagna is pretty freaking epic.

Ingredients for Zucchini Lasagna

For this lasagna, you’ll need the following ingredients. As you can see, it’s really is mostly vegetables and entirely plant-based!

  • eggplant
  • mushrooms
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • red pepper flakes
  • cauliflower florets
  • raw cashews
  • basil leaves
  • zucchini
  • marinara sauce, or my fresh tomato sauce
vegan glutenfree zucchini lasagna
vegan glutenfree zucchini lasagna

How to make this zucchini lasagna vegan recipe

This recipe is a few steps, but once they all come together it’s easy to assemble. You can make the separate items ahead of time, like the roasted vegetables and cauliflower ricotta

  1. Roast the vegetables

    Start by tossing together the eggplant, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt until well coated, then bake until tender.

  2. Make the cauliflower ricotta

    Make the cauliflower ricotta cheese by placing the cauliflower, cashews and salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until cauliflower is very soft, then drain and cool. Place in a blender along with olive oil and water and puree until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Stir in the chopped basil and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Make the zucchini lasagna noodles

    Very thinly slice the zucchini into strips. You can do this using a mandolin, a vegetable sheet slicer or a sharp knife. Lay zucchini strips on a paper towels or kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for at least 10-15 minutes until the zucchini starts to “sweat,” where water will be drawn to the surface. Pat the zucchini dry and set aside. This step makes the lasagna not watery after it’s cooked.

  4. Assemble the lasagna

    Spread a little tomato sauce in a thin layer in the base of a baking dish, then place zucchini noodles on top along with the cauliflower ricotta mixture and cooked vegetables. Repeat with another layer (sauce, zucchini, ricotta, veggies), then another layer and finish with a final layer of zucchini noodles and remaining tomato sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

  5. Time to eat

    Remove lasagna from oven and remove foil. Dollop remaining cashew ricotta on top, let cool for 20 minutes, then drizzle olive oil and fresh basil leaves on top right before slicing.

vegan glutenfree zucchini lasagna

I hope this recipe proves how delicious plants really can be. More and more, that feels like my mission. As a predominantly plant-based dietitian, I prefer to focus less on labels and way more about enjoying delicious food.

That’s what this recipe is to me. A celebration of delicious plants that everyone can enjoy. A complete transformation of what you typically think of lasagna– no ground beef, mozzarella cheese, bechamel sauce or traditional ricotta required! The layers of roasted vegetables and thin zucchini noodles with creamy ricotta make for ultimate texture and flavor.

I can’t wait for you to try this one, I know you are going to love it as much as my family does.

Wishing you all a great week. We are headed to Wisconsin next week to see BL’s parents, then a few days at the lake with his siblings. It’s been a wild few months and I’m looking forward to being in a place where we are surrounded by family and still feel safe. I cannot wait to unplug, relax and eat. Always eat. I made a batch of these triple chocolate brownies to bring with us and I know that we’ll be digging into them a few hours into our trip. 

Now go make this lasagna. xo

vegan glutenfree zucchini lasagna

FAQs for Zucchini Lasagna

Why is my zucchini lasagna so watery?


Because zucchini naturally holds water, you’ll need to salt and let the zucchini rest before assembling the lasagna. Use paper towels or dish towels to absorb the excess moisture.

How to you cut thin sliced zucchini?


I use a vegetable slicer specific to making vegetable pasta sheets, but you can also use a mandolin to make thinly sliced zucchini sheets or a very sharp knife.

How long does zucchini lasagna keep?


Because of the zucchini noodles, this lasagna doesn’t keep long. It’s best eaten the day that you make it, but you can roast the vegetables, make the sauce (if making tomato sauce and not using jarred) and the ricotta cheese ahead of time and then assemble the day of.

More Zucchini Recipes:

Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins
Vegetarian Zucchini Enchiladas
Simple Weeknight Zucchini Pasta
Zucchini Noodle Pasta Primavera
Roasted Zucchini, Corn and Bulgur Salad

If you try this zucchini lasagna, come back and leave a comment and a rating. Your feedback helps other readers and seeing your feedback makes me day! 

Print

Vegan Gluten-Free Zucchini Lasagna

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 60 minutes
  • Yield: 9 slices 1x
  • Category: main, dinner, entree
  • Cuisine: Italian, American-Inspired, Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Vegan GlutenFree Zucchini Lasagna! This lasagna is SO good! Zucchini noodles with eggplant, mushrooms and cashew-cauliflower ricotta.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 60 minutes
  • Yield: 9 slices 1x
  • Category: main, dinner, entree
  • Cuisine: Italian, American-Inspired, Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 60 minutes
  • Yield: 9 slices 1x
  • Category: main, dinner, entree
  • Cuisine: Italian, American-Inspired, Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound mushrooms (any kind will work, I used white button mushrooms), trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 4 cups marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Toss together the eggplant, mushrooms, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast, about 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. The eggplant should be tender with most of the juices evaporated. Remove and set aside.
  3. While the mushrooms are cooking, place the cauliflower, cashews and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan and cover with water by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cooking mixture until cauliflower is very soft and falls apart when touched with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the noodles. Very thinly slice the zucchini into strips. You can do this using a mandolin, a vegetable sheet slicer or a sharp knife. The slices should be no longer than the length of your pan, about 12-13″; cut them if needed. If using the vegetable sheet slicer, use the thin blade.
  5. Lay zucchini strips on a paper or kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for at least 10-15 minutes until the zucchini starts to “sweat,” where water will be drawn to the surface. Pat the zucchini dry and set aside.
  6. When the cauliflower is just cool enough to place in a blender, add the cauliflower and cashew mixture to a food processor or blender along with 3 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons water. Puree until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Stir in the chopped basil and set aside.
  7. Time to assemble! Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F with an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan and spread tomato sauce in a thin layer to cover (about 1 cup). Place zucchini noodles in a single layer, you may have to cut them to get them to fit. Spread a little more than 1/3 of the cauliflower-ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed by 1/2 of the cooked eggplant and mushrooms.
  8. Repeat with another layer of sauce, zucchini, a little more than 1/3 of the cauliflower mixture, remaining eggplant mixture. Finish with a final layer of zucchini noodles and remaining tomato sauce. Place remaining cashew mixture in the fridge for now. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven and remove foil. Dollop remaining cashew ricotta on top (or spread in an even layer). Let cool for ~20 minutes before slicing, so it doesn’t become a soupy mess.
  9. Right before serving, drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil and fresh basil leaves, if desired. YUM.

Notes

Loosely adapted from the Hearty Vegetable Lasagna from America’s Test Kitchen

This recipe was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated in 2020.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/9th recipe
  • Calories: 257
  • Sugar: 14.2 g
  • Sodium: 650 mg
  • Fat: 17.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 6.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.3 mg

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Carrie
      June 3, 2020 AT 10:54 am

      Excellent lasagna with wonderful flavors! Especially love the cashew/cauliflower ricotta. Since it’s only my hubby and me, can leftovers be frozen for enjoying again later?

      1. Alex
        June 3, 2020 AT 2:07 pm

        Hi Carrie– maybe? I haven’t tried freezing this one– my only thought is that the zucchini may release too much water once it’s defrosted.

    2. Nicole
      October 28, 2019 AT 3:44 pm

      OMG! This is the most amazing lasagna I have ever had. Even my meat eaters loved it! We will definitely making this again 🙂

      1. Alex
        October 30, 2019 AT 8:41 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks Nicole!

    3. Gayla Gongwer
      August 4, 2019 AT 6:34 pm

      I haven’t had lasagna for YEARS – ever since I had to go dairy-free. But I bought a giant zucchini at a pick-your-own farm, and knew I had to find a good vegan lasagna. So I landed here.

      I love the addition of the roasted veggies – so much so that I added a red pepper to the mix. I made it oil-free, too.

      And it was amazing. And I bet even my grandkids will eat it. 🙂

    4. Ruth
      January 28, 2019 AT 8:42 am

      Amazing! Absolutely loved it ❤

      1. Alex
        January 29, 2019 AT 5:43 am

        So glad! Thanks Ruth!

    5. Stephanie rice
      January 7, 2019 AT 7:51 pm

      This was amazing!

      1. Alex
        January 8, 2019 AT 7:08 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing!

    6. Carly
      September 12, 2018 AT 9:45 am

      This is our new favorite lasagna! Cannot believe it’s both vegan and gluten-free. The cheese sauce is fantastic, will be using this recipe over and over again.

    7. Kadi
      July 18, 2018 AT 1:11 pm

      We made this today with the first zucchini from our garden this year. It was delish! 😉 I added a bit of nutritional yeast to the “ricotta” mixture as well and maybe I just haven’t had the original thing a long time but it tasted a lot like real ricotta. Anyway the whole family enjoyed this lasagna and it was fun to make too. Thank you!

      1. Alex
        July 20, 2018 AT 11:32 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks Kadi!