Swap the lasagna sheets for zucchini noodles in this Vegan Lasagna with Zucchini and Summer Squash dish. It’s the perfect, vegan and gluten free dinner option when your garden is bursting with overgrown zucchini or you’re craving a lighter meal. Just 5 easy ingredients!
I love eating pasta and lasagna year round, but when the weather warms up I often crave dishes that are lighter and packed with veggies.
This lasagna is the best of both worlds – it’s made cheesy and delicious with homemade tofu ricotta and marinara yet packed with 10 cups of zucchini and summer squash!
Why This Recipe Works
- Sprinkling the zoodles with salt helps draw out excess moisture and prevents the lasagna flavors from being watered down.
- Tofu ricotta gives this healthier lasagna the flavors of classic lasagna without the need for dairy cheese.
- Using jarred marinara sauce and even pre-made zoodles cuts the prep time needed for this recipe down to 20 minutes.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- zoodles – I like to use a combination of zucchini and summer squash and spiralize the noodles myself at home. To make this recipe even easier, use store-bought zoodles!
- vegan ricotta – I make my own homemade tofu ricotta cheese with just 7 ingredients I almost always have on hand. If you don’t want to make your own, the brands Kite Hill and Tofutti each sell a store-bought vegan ricotta.
- marinara sauce – I use Rao’s in this lasagna. It’s one of the most flavorful marinara sauces I have ever used. Try finding it at your local Costco for the best deal.
- vegan mozzarella cheese shreds – I opted for store-bought shredded mozzarella to cut the prep time, but if you prefer a homemade version, try the mozzarella recipe from my Vegan Cheesy Garlic Bread (Pull Apart Bread!).
Step by Step Instructions
- Spiralize your zucchini and or summer squash.
I have used this Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer for years and love it! For purposes of making this recipe as universal in baking time as possible, I used the most common width I generally see for zoodles in stores and other recipes (3×3 mm).
You can spiralize the noodles to your preferred thickness, but understand thicker noodles will require a longer bake.
If you are in a rush, you can often find pre-spiralized noodles at your local grocer in the same section as other pre-cut produce.
- Draw the excess moisture out of the squash. Zucchini and summer squash are water rich vegetables and when baked, all that excess water comes out.
To prevent this lasagna from getting too watery, spread the squash out on a clean tea towel or two and sprinkle with kosher salt. Set it aside for 10-15 minutes and allow the salt to draw all that excess moisture out.
Wrap the noodles up in the towel(s) and gently squeeze the moisture out over the sink.
You will notice the squash shrinks considerably in size. This is good!
- While the salt draws the moisture out of the squash, prepare the tofu ricotta. You can also do this ahead of time and have it ready to go in the refrigerator.
How to Layer the Lasagna
- Layer the lasagna and bake! Once the excess moisture has been drawn out of the squash, build the lasagna.
I like to layer the ingredients into my baking dish like you would with a classic lasagna, but if preferred, you can also toss together the zoodles, tofu ricotta and marinara in a large bowl and then simply transfer to a baking dish.
- Step 1: Layer half of the zoodles in the bottom of your baking dish. I used a 10″ round oven safe skillet, but you can also use a 9×13 baking dish.
- Step 2: Layer half of the tofu ricotta on top of the zoodles.
- Step 3: Layer half of the marinara on top of the ricotta.
- Step 4: Layer remaining zoodles on top of marinara.
- Step 5: Layer remaining tofu ricotta on top of zoodles.
- Step 6: Layer remaining marinara on top of ricotta.
- Step 7: Layer of vegan mozzarella (optional). I like to melt the mozzarella prior to baking because I find it melts very poorly in the oven (as do most vegan cheeses).
- Step 8: Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes, or until mozzarella is browned and zoodles are your desired doneness.
Then serve with fresh basil, more mozzarella and Vegan Cheesy Garlic Bread (Pull Apart Bread!).
Zucchini and summer squash have a very high water content (about 90%!). For this reason, they will naturally release a lot of water while baking. To combat this, it is imperative you salt your zoodles and ring out that extra water prior to baking. Even when doing this, your lasagna will be saucy but it should NOT be watery tasting.
This lasagna will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and is just as good for leftovers! I sometimes prefer the leftovers.
I have not tested this recipe with spaghetti squash, but it will likely work if the spaghetti squash is cooked separately beforehand. I have a Vegan Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats recipe you may enjoy!
- Use your overgrown garden zucchini to make this recipe! I made this recipe specifically because I had huge zucchini and summer squash and needed to use up a lot at once. It’s the perfect way to use it up!
- Taste the lasagna at the 35 minute cook mark and see how you like the doneness of the zoodles. I like mine to have a slight crunch, but some prefer a lot softer texture.
- Use a high quality marinara sauce. Since this recipe is just 5 ingredients, you want to use quality ingredients. The marinara you pick can make or break the flavor here!
More Vegan Pasta Recipes to Try
- Garlic Butter Pasta with Whipped Tofu Ricotta
- Vegan Tofu Bolognese Sauce
- Vegan Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
- Broccoli and Kale Creamy Pesto Pasta
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Vegan Lasagna with Zucchini and Summer Squash
- 1 lb summer squash - spiralized (about 4-5 cups)
- 1 lb zucchini - spiralized (about 4-5 cups)
- 25 ounces marinara sauce
- 1 cup vegan mozarella cheese shreds - for topping optional
- basil - for topping
- 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, Fahrenheit.
- Spread spiralized summer squash and zucchini over two large, clean tea towels and sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Allow to sit on the towel for 10-15 minutes. This is going to draw excess water out of the squash and prevent the lasagna from being too watery.
- While the salt draws the moisture out of the squash and zucchini, prepare the tofu ricotta and set aside.
- After 10-15 minutes, wrap the squash and zucchini up in the tea towels and lightly squeeze out the excess water.
- Add half of the zoodles to the bottom of a round 10" oven safe skillet or 9×13" casserole dish. Layer ½ of the ricotta on top, then ½ of the marinara sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients have been added to the casserole dish (I was able to do two layers). Finally, top with vegan mozzarella cheese, if using.
- Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes, or until noodles are soft to your liking.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately topped with additional vegan mozzarella, fresh basil, red chili flakes etc.
- Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Will stay fresher longer in glass container. Reheat in microwave.
- This recipe has been updated on June 30, 2021 to include a better written recipe.
- If you prefer, you can toss together the zoodles with the marinara and tofu ricotta instead of layering.
- The exact spiralizer I use (highly recommend): Paderno Word Cuisine 4-Blade Folding Vegetable Slicer/Spiralizer Pro.
- If your summer squash has a lot of seeds inside, first slice squash in half, scoop out seeds, then spiralize. This recipe is perfect for those jumbo zucchini and squash that grow too long in our gardens!
- I like to melt vegan cheese shreds in the microwave with a couple of splashes of water or unsweetened milk before pouring on the lasagna to bake because vegan cheese shreds do not melt well on their own.
Note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
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This recipe was originally published August 2, 2020 and was updated on June 30, 2021 to include an improved recipe, new recipe photos including step by step process photos, FAQs, and expert tips.