Walnuts provide a “meaty” texture in this flavorful, completely plant-based recipe for lasagna, which features layers of zucchini “noodles”, a rich tomato-walnut sauce, and plant-based cheese.
Zucchini “Lasagna Noodles”:
- 4 small zucchini squash
Walnut Tomato Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 5 ounces (about 2 cups) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 32-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 ½ cups ground walnuts, divided*
- 1 cup shredded plant-based cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- Slice zucchini horizontally into long, thin slices (about 5 horizontal slices per squash). Place on paper towels and set aside (to soak up extra moisture).
- Place a Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium heat and add olive oil, bringing it to a heat.
- Add onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add mushrooms and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add marinara sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, red wine, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt (optional). Stir well and cover. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and vegetables are tender.
- Measure out 1 ¼ cups ground walnuts* (may chop in a food processor or high-powered blender; should resemble consistency of course grains of sand, but should not be overly processed to a flour texture), reserving remaining ¼ cup ground walnuts for topping. Add the 1 ¼ cups ground walnuts to the sauce, and heat for 2 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place one-third (6-7 slices) of the zucchini slices on the bottom of the dish. Layer with one-third of the walnut tomato sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the shredded plant-based cheese. Repeat layers two more times, for a total of three layers of zucchini “noodles”, walnut tomato sauce, and plant-based cheese.
- Place baking dish in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes.
- Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup ground walnuts over top of lasagna and set oven to broiler setting. Broil for 2 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from oven, garnish with fresh chopped parsley, slice into squares, and serve immediately.
Written by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian for the American Institute of Cancer Research and California Walnuts.
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: American, Italian
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 282
- Sugar: 12 g
- Sodium: 231 mg
- Fat: 17 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 26 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 5 g
Keywords: vegan lasagna, healthy lasagna, vegan zucchini lasagna