This recipe is such an awesome way to get into eating meatless meals if you’re currently trying to get into a vegan lifestyle. If you are already vegan, this recipe is a fantastic way to show any of your meat-eater family or friends that eating a vegan diet does not mean depriving yourself of tasty food.
I’ve been staying with my parents for the last several months and in that time I’ve been prepping a lot of vegan dinners for them. As I’m breaking them further into a plant-based lifestyle, I’ve been creating more vegan-dupe dishes for old family favorites. This gluten-free vegan zucchini lasagna has been in the rotation because it’s hearty, satisfying, and super tasty. It’s also long in fat and free of oil (other than in preparing the baking pan), which is rare in Italian dishes. I used chickpea liquid (or aquafaba) to get the consistency of the ricotta just right in this dish. To round out this dish, serve it with a giant kale salad to for a full meal packed with plant-based nutrients
- 12oz extra firm tofu, drained
- 2 large zucchini, ends removed
- 1/4 cup dried or 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 7 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp ground cashews
- 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt (plus more for sprinkling on zucchini)
- 2 tbsp chickpea liquid (from a can of chickpeas)
- juice from 1-2 lemons
- 2 cups organic marinara sauce (or other spaghetti sauce)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Drain tofu and wrap 12oz block in several layers of paper towels. Place on a plate and place heavy pot (like a cast iron skillet) on top of tofu to press out any extra liquid. Press for 15 minutes while prepping zucchini.
- Slice zucchini vertically into long ribbons. Please zucchini in a single layer on several pieces of paper towels. Sprinkle side facing up with salt and let rest for 10 minutes to draw water to surface (sweating zucchini out). After 10 minutes, blot with paper towels to remove water. Flip zucchini over and salt other side. Let rest for 10 minutes while prepping ricotta. After 10 minutes, blot again with paper towels to remove excess water.
- Combine pressed tofu, basil, oregano, nutritional yeast, ground cashews, 1/2 tsp ground sea salt, 2 tbsp chickpea liquid, and juice from one lemon in a blender. Blend until fully combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Add salt or pepper as needed, nutritional yeast for to up cheesy flavor, lemon to brighten the dish, or ground cashews to increase complexity.) Blend again.
- Assemble lasagna. In a pan prepared with cooking spray or a very slight coating of coconut oil, add 1/2 cup of marinara. Add a layer of sliced zucchini. Spread 1/4 of the tofu ricotta on zucchini. Repeat this process 3-4 times. Finish top of lasagna with a thick layer of marinara and a sprinkle of ground cashews, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. (Watch video for a how-to!)
- Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
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