Summertime equals zucchini. So much zucchini its almost comical. If you get a CSA box, get ready to love zucchini, because you’re going to get a lot of it, if you haven’t already.
But, don’t fear, there are many ways to enjoy zucchini in different ways that won’t make you sick of zucchini. Zucchini such a versatile ingredient that I didn’t really take full advantage of until I went full gluten-free and saw just how much I can use it as a grain swap.
In addition to the ever popular zucchini noodles or zoodles for pasta, you can also thinly slice zucchini and use that as a flat noodle or a lasagna noodle. I have a soft spot for lasagna. It’s comfort food and you can get lots of milage out of one pan. And, traditional lasagna has gluten (boo) and dairy.
I’m not eliminating dairy, just trying to cut down on it. With my eczema healing up I’m trying to cut down on as many inflammatory foods as possible, and dairy is high on the inflammatory list. Also, grass-fed/organic dairy is expensive! While I totally understand why, I also prefer not to break the bank on lasagna. A grass fed steak sure, but not lasagna. Some of my friends are also cutting out dairy for health reasons, so making things dairy-free has been more on my mind lately.
Living a gluten and dairy free life doesn’t have to be a FOMO struggle, and this Zucchini Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta proves that. It’s a great marriage of being satisfying, gluten free and dairy free. The layer of cashew ricotta adds a nice richness to the lasagna and you would never miss the regular version. The fact that the ricotta is made from cashews also adds a good dose of healthy fats and proteins. I’ve also added in a basil pesto of sorts to give the top a little extra since there’s no cheese. Basil is also aplenty in the summer and adds a nice depth of flavor to it.
In addition to the cashew ricotta and the basil pesto, this lasagna also has a layer of kale and of mushrooms. As always, I encourage you to swap out with ingredients you like/ have on hand. If you prefer another kind of green, go with that. I will say, if you do spinach, sauté that down first to release the water so you don’t get a soupy lasagna. Soupy lasagna isn’t fun. Heartier greens like Swiss chard and collards you’re fine with adding in raw.
You can choose whatever mushroom you like (I chose cremini) or you can swap it out for another summer vegetable. Eggplant would work great and add more heft to this meal. Broccoli, cauliflower, or another summer squash would also be a great filling.
This lasagna is a great weekend cook or meal prep day addition. Real talk, I made the components for this lasagna in two parts. One day I made the ricotta and prepped the fillings, the next day I made the sauce, the pesto, and assembled the whole thing. Do what works for you!