Whoa. Like whoa.
Guys, you’ve never had lasagna like this before. Trust me.
Origins of Lasagna
Perhaps like many of you, we were under the impression that lasagna originated in Italy. Turns out, its origin history is more complicated!
Some say the concept originated in ancient Greece where layered dough sheets (called laganon) were cut into strips and baked. Others claim it resembles a Roman dish recorded in a cookbook in the 1st century AD. And still others place its origin in England or Italy in the 14th century, where cookbooks describe the concept of layering cheese and pasta in a dish and baking it. (source)
But it wasn’t until the 16th century that tomato-based versions were recorded that more closely resembles today’s lasagna. Those versions came from Italy. So to everyone who ever contributed to the invention of lasagna, we’re forever grateful!
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
What sets this 8-ingredient lasagna apart from the rest is two things: Veggie ‘noodles’ and a brand new-to-me vegan ‘ricotta cheese.’
Have you guys tried macadamia nut ‘cheese’ yet? You know how I love my tofu ricotta, but this macadamia version is ridiculously easy (no soaking required!) and very close in flavor and texture to the real thing!
Plus, it turns out all fluffy and cheesy and green from fresh basil. Ooh mama.
In place of noodles, I opted for ribboned (thinly sliced) zucchini squash, but you could also sub eggplant, sweet potatoes or gluten-free lasagna noodles.
You could also use the macadamia ricotta to adapt my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bake for another delicious lasagna-inspired dish!
I hope you all LOVE this lasagna! It’s:
Protein- & fiber-rich
This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you want something hearty, healthy, and more special than pasta and red sauce (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It’s delicious on its own but would also pair well with a Garlicky Chickpea Salad or these Vegan Pesto Parmesan Breadsticks (not GF).
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!
8-Ingredient Zucchini Lasagna (GF)
- 3 cups raw macadamia nuts or soaked blanched almonds* (or 1 16-ounce block extra firm tofu*, drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes // amount of tofu is as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 medium lemon, juiced (~2 Tbsp or 30 ml as original recipe is written)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional // for flavor + richness)
- 1 tsp sea salt + pinch black pepper
- 1/2 cup water (plus more as needed // reduce if using tofu as it requires less)
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (optional // plus more for topping)
- 1 28-ounce jar favorite marinara sauce (I like Trader Joe’s organic tomato basil)
- 3 medium zucchini squash thinly sliced with a mandolin (or sub eggplant with this recipe as a guide)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (176 C).
- Add macadamia nuts to a food processor or blender and mix to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You’re looking for a fine meal.
- Add remaining ingredients: Nutritional yeast, fresh basil, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil (optional), salt, pepper, water and vegan parmesan cheese (optional). You are looking for a well-puréed mixture/paste.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for brightness.
- Pour about 1 cup (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) marinara sauce into a 9×13-inch (or similar size) baking dish and line with thinly sliced zucchini.
- Scoop small spoonfuls amounts of ricotta mixture over the zucchini and gently spread into a thin layer. Spread on a layer of marinara sauce and then top with more zucchini slices. Continue until all filling and zucchini are used up. The top two layers should be zucchini and then sauce. Sprinkle on vegan parmesan cheese (optional), and then cover with foil.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more. The zucchini should be very easily pierced when cut with a knife. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve immediately with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Leftovers keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*If subbing tofu, make sure it’s firm (not silken). Adjust seasonings as needed as the tofu requires a little bit more nutritional yeast, salt and basil.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without vegan parmesan cheese or olive oil.
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