Looking for an easy vegan, gluten-free lasagna recipe that aligns with your healthy eating habits? This one is definitely a winner! With zucchini and spinach, it's packed with nutritious veggies. Plus, the simple tomato sauce bursts with flavor. Your family will love this delicious and healthy meal!
Although zucchini is considered a summer squash, and you will definitely get the better-tasting ones during the summer season, they are usually available year-round.
This vegan zucchini lasagna recipe was inspired by my vegetable casserole made with layers of eggplant, sweet potatoes, cooked lentils, and vegan bechamel sauce. Still, we wanted to make a simpler version made with zucchini and spinach! It is made with homemade tofu ricotta and a simple tomato marinara tomato sauce.
This zucchini lasagna is made with simple ingredients and doesn't even include lasagna noodles to make it extra healthy and low-carb. However, we provide variations below if you want to make it more hearty and include pasta sheets.
- Marinara sauce
- Vegan ricotta ingredients: firm tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt.
Optional: pesto and dairy-free parmesan cheese.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
Start by cutting the zucchini into thin slices. The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline. (cut lengthwise)
Lay the zucchini noodles across a baking sheet and sprinkle coarse sea salt and leave to sit for 15 minutes.
Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, and spinach to a food processor.
Blend the vegan ricotta on low speed until well combined into a thick paste
Start by spreading evenly a thin layer with ¼ of the tomato sauce on the base of the baking dish.
Then spread a third of the tofu ricotta cheese.
Hint: Pad-dry the zucchini strips with a paper towel and spread them evenly, slightly overlapping each other.
Repeat this 2 more times. Then finish with a final layer of zucchini slices and the final layer of tomato sauce.
Add dollops of pesto to the top (optional) and bake uncovered.
Hint: garnish with fresh basil.
🥢 How to serve
- Tofu - use firm or extra-firm tofu and drain, but don’t press it. The water content inside the tofu will help the ricotta filling blend.
- Tofu Ricotta cheese - you can use alternative cashew or almond-based vegan ricotta cheese.
- Marinara sauce - you can make your marinara sauce, use store-bought one, or simply use good quality tomato sauce (passata) and season it with Italian seasoning or dried basil.
- Vegan pesto - we love our basil pesto, but kale or arugula pesto works perfectly on this recipe.
- Zucchini - although zucchini is at the heart of this recipe since it has a bland flavor, you can substitute it with other summer squashes with similar textures, such as cousa, pattypan, or yellow summer squash.
- Mushrooms - if you want to add extra veggies, go for raw sliced mushrooms or sauteed mushrooms.
- Spicy - add 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the ricotta mixture while in the blender.
- Chunky - add crumbled vegan sausage in between the lasagna layers.
- Cheesy - instead of vegan parmesan, you can use your vegan grated cheese of choice, like vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Zucchini - instead of salting the zucchini to get rid of their excess moisture, you can make the zucchini grilled; then use the grilled zucchini after each layer of marinara sauce. Another option is to bake them briefly in the oven using parchment paper to avoid them from sticking.
- Lasagna noodles - if you which to add pasta and make it more similar to traditional lasagna but still keep it gluten-free, look for gluten-free lasagna noodles in addition to the zucchini noodles; otherwise, you can make your own pasta sheets. Simply add each layer after each layer of tomato sauce and before the thinly sliced zucchini.
- Mandoline slicer - if you don’t have a mandolin, the best alternative is a potato peeler which you can use by applying quite heavy pressure to peel thick slices. Otherwise, use a sharp knife and cut as thinly as possible.
- Food processor - you can also use a blender, immersion, or nutribullet.
- Casserole dish - if you have a smaller or larger baking sheet.
- Fridge – store vegan lasagna in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezer – can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
💡 Top tip
If you want a thicker vegetarian zucchini lasagna, simply double the recipe's quantities, making a double-decker dish. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
If you don’t have a mandolin, the best alternative is a vegetable peeler which you can use by applying quite heavy pressure to peel thick slices.
Otherwise, use a sharp knife and cut as thinly as possible.
Make sure to salt the zucchini to draw out water, and then they must be dried. Otherwise, the lasagne will come out too watery. The slices will be more delicate once the water has been drawn out, so be careful, but this step is necessary and shouldn’t be missed.
Yes. Simply freeze and then thaw overnight. Then heat in a preheated oven to 200 °F or 100 °C, with a couple of tablespoons of water for 15-20 minutes. Make a small cut right in the middle and check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer or your finger. The inner temperature should be about 165 °F.
Fresh spinach generally has a more intense flavor than frozen spinach, but it can also be more expensive and might not be as readily available in some areas. Frozen spinach is cheaper and can be easier to find, but it can also have a slightly weaker flavor than fresh spinach. Ultimately, it's up to personal preference which type of spinach you use in your lasagna.
Absolutely! Zucchini lasagna is a great dish to freeze because it contains all the same ingredients as traditional lasagna but is much lighter and lower in calories.
Freezing zucchini lasagna does not require any special preparation - simply assemble the dish as you normally would and then tightly wrap it with plastic wrap or foil before placing it in an airtight freezer container. To reheat, thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator, then bake according to your recipe instructions.
When freezing zucchini lasagna, there are several key tips to keep in mind that will help ensure its success.
First, use a wide shallow container so that all of the layers remain intact when frozen.
Second, adding extra sauce on top helps protect it from drying out while stored in the freezer.
Finally, be sure to label and date everything before freezing so that you know exactly what is inside and how long it has been there for future reference. Following these simple tips will guarantee delicious results when it’s time to serve your freshly thawed zucchini lasagna!
📚 More zucchini recipes
Try out this lemony winter risotto made with lemon zest, a simple and delicious crowd-pleaser.
Finally, if you love ceviche but haven't tried a vegan version, this vegan ceviche is for you.
⭐ If you try this wonderful recipe for vegan zucchini lasagna, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Lasagna with Zucchini and Spinach
- Start by cutting the zucchini into thin slices. The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline.
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
- Once you have the thin slices of zucchini, lay them across chopping boards or baking trays and liberally sprinkle salt on them and leave to sit for 15 minutes. This helps to remove water from the zucchini, so the lasagne isn’t too wet.
- Make the tofu ricotta. Meanwhile, add the tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, and spinach to a food processor. Blend on low speed until well combined into a thick paste – it shouldn’t be dry and crumbly or too wet. If it’s too dry, add a little water or extra olive oil, but only a very small amount at a time until it stops looking dry.
- Salt zucchini. After the zucchini has sat for 15 minutes, carefully dab the slices with paper towels to remove the salt and water that has been released. Optional: rinse them off to ensure all the salt has been removed, but still dab them dry afterward with paper towels.
- To build the lasagne, start by spreading ¼ of the marinara on the base of the casserole dish. Then add slices of zucchini, slightly overlapping each other. Followed by ⅓ of the tofu ricotta. Repeat this 2 more times. Then finish with a final layer of zucchini slices and the final ¼ of the marinara sauce. Add dollops of vegan pesto to the top (optional). So the layers should be as follows: 1. Marinara sauce 2. Zucchini 3. Ricotta
- Continue in that order and finish with marinara sauce and pesto sauce on top.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes uncovered, turning halfway.
- Optionally add vegan parmesan to the top, then return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Leave to sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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