Vegan Grilled Zucchini Lasagna with Spinach Basil Cashew Cheese
Hello & Happy Wednesday!!
Out of hundreds of recipes, there are some that just never get old, like this vegan Zucchini Lasagna! Back in undergrad at NYU I started to get my feet wet with cooking, and this was actually one of the very first concepts I produced. At the time I wasn’t a pasta enthusiast. I saw it as a food product that packed no nutritional value and as a result it never appealed to me. (gasps lol)
However, today I’m all about embracing balance, and there is just nothing better than homemade pasta. If you can’t get homemade, pasta is still the perfect medium to pack on the veggies making it a win win. So while I don’t shy away from pasta anymore, I still love a good zucchini lasagna and knew I had to revisit this classic dish.
What’s fab about this zucchini lasagna, is everything! Surprisingly quick, features staple ingredients, perf for meal prep Sundays, perf for entertaining, easy, cheesy, veggie packed, zucchini takes on the same texture as pasta and grilling beforehand enhances the flavor, you can use a ready made sauce, and it’s perf for any season!
If you love all things lasagna and are searching for healthier alternatives, you’re going to love my vegan Zucchini Lasagna with spinach and basil cashew cheese!!
Why this recipe rocks:
Packed with veggies
Cashew basil cheese
Can be made in bulk
Non vegan approved
Eat Drink Shrink
Yields 6-8 slices
25 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 cup unsalted cashews, soaked
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (10-15 leaves)
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt & pepper as needed
- 2 tbsps nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large 128 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Red pepper flakes, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5-6 medium zucchinis
- Salt and Pepper as needed
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Basil-Cashew Cheese: Soak the cashews in a bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Add the remaining basil cashew cheese ingredients to a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth.
- Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until onions are softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, basil and oregano. Season with red pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer on medium low for 10 minutes.
- Zucchini Lasagna: Preheat the griddle to medium/high. Slice each zucchini into 1/2-inch thick slices. lightly coat with olive oil and season salt and pepper and cook each side for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Spread a 1/2 cup red sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay 4-5 zucchini slices side-by-side on the bottom of the dish. If you're slices aren't long enough for the entire casserole you can add another vertical row or place some slices horizontally to fill the space. Top the slices with ½ cup red sauce and ¼ cup cashew cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a final layer of zucchinis and a little red sauce. You can top with vegan parmesan if you like.
- Bake on 350, covered, for 15 minutes and then bake, uncovered for 15 minutes. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with more fresh basil and vegan parmesan.
With 5 small zucchinis I got about 3 layers, but if you use more zucchini's you could create 4-5 with the cheese/sauce.
If you want to pack on the veggies more, you can create more zucchini layers and throw in fresh spinach as well.
If you don't have a griddle: Set the oven to broil at 500 degrees F with the rack about 5-inches from the element (usually the second position down from the top).Slice the zucchini into even 1/4-inch thick slices. Lay out single layers of zucchini slices on baking sheet pans. (Do not line the baking sheet pans with wax paper or parchment. They will burn.) Lightly brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip over the slices and repeat for the other side. One baking sheet pan at a time, broil for 8 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Place the slices on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Repeat for remaining slices.