Vegan Zucchini Lasagna with Spinach Tofu Ricotta
Making this I was worried that it would be really watery or not hold together well but it turned out to be just the opposite. The tofu spinach ricotta does a great job binding everything together and, surprisingly, there’s only a minimal amount of water produced by the zucchini.
Two Prep Options!
My first attempt at this recipe I used a gluten free “no boiling” lasagna noodle in between the zucchini and spinach ricotta and it turned out great!
You can definitely make this without any lasagna noodles and it still turns out great!
If you’re new to plant-based eating or want to impress someone that’s skeptical about it, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! It’s one of our favorites and I have a good feeling you’re going to love it too. :)
Zucchini Lasagna Noodles
Replacing traditional pasta with zucchini like I did in my Raw Vegan Spaghetti Pasta, creates a really nice and light dish! Because zucchini is a water dense veggie, it is critical to remove some of that fluid before serving. We are not making soup, we are making lasagna!
My preferred method when making lasagna noodles is not to cut them lengthwise but thinly sliced in a circle, and carefully overlapping each other. I like to use my mandolin to get the desired thinness I’m looking for.
Vegan Spinach Tofu Ricotta
For this I drain my tofu and use a food processor or a potato smasher to crumble the tofu into cheese. Then I blend up some cashew, nutritional yeast, garlic in my high speed blender making it into a nice cheesy mixture and pour that over the crumbled tofu.
And voila!… You got ricotta cheese. Now just adding in some cooked spinach and if you want to make it easy for yourself buy frozen spinach. Just be sure to drain it before adding it to the ricotta, you don’t need any extra water.
- For The Ricotta!
- 2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
- 1 14oz extra firm tofu (drained)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 16 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted
- For The Marinara!
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning
- 1 (15 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounces) can diced tomatoes
- For The Parmesan!
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- To make the ricotta cheese, drain and rinse the soaked cashews and transfer them to a blender or a food processor, along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and one teaspoon of salt.
- Blend on high until smooth adding one tablespoon of water at a time as needed with a texture similar to ricotta cheese. You will probably need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides in between blending.
- Spoon the cashew cheese out into a large bowl and set aside. Crumble up your drained tofu with a fork or pulse in the food processor until all the tofu is at a crumble. Add it to your bowl. Once the frozen spinach has defrosted, place it in a strainer. Then add it to the bowl with cashew cheese and a dash of salt & pepper then stir everything together until well-combined.
- For the marinara warm one tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan/skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt & pepper, stir together and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Next add the dried herbs, both cans of tomatoes and their juices and the tomato paste. Cover the pan and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the marinara and ricotta cheese is complete preheat the oven to 400°F. Using an 8 x 8″ baking dish. Arrange zucchini slices along the bottom. Spread ⅓ of the cashew cheese mixture on top of the zucchini then top with ⅓ of the lentil mushroom marinara. Add another layer of sliced zucchini on top and repeat the same steps twice more, until you have three layers total. Combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, and sea salt in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.. Sprinkle it on top of the lasagna, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into separate pieces. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!
I hope you give this recipe a try, if so leave a comment it, rate it (this helps me improve future recipes) and don’t forget to tag your creation (as well as other Live Simply Natural recipes) with a #livesimplynatural hashtag so I can see them! I repost my favorites on my social media!