Summer Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

No wheat-based noodles here, so this is perfect if you are seeking a fresh twist on vegan lasagna. This casserole is a delight to serve at summer’s end when nights are cooler and yellow summer squash is widely available from the farm market. Bonus: beets, sunflower seeds and walnuts mixed with a few pantry staples stand in beautifully for the meat in this satisfying main dish.

Mediterranean/Vegan Diet

Mediterranean/Vegan Diet

Lasagna Noodles Ingredients

  • 2 large and long yellow summer squash

Meaty Layer Ingredients

  • 3 slices vegan whole-grain bread (use gluten-free variety for a gluten-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup peeled and grated raw beets

Cashew-Bean Cheese Layer Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup water

Additional Ingredients

How to make

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. To make the squash lasagna “noodles,” slice each squash lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick strips using a very sharp knife.
  3. To make the “meaty” layer, put the bread, Italian seasoning and ¼ teaspoon sea salt into a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumb mixture to a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Put the walnuts and sunflower seeds in the blender and process into coarse crumbs.
  5. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir to incorporate.
  6. Add the grated beets and stir to combine.
  7. To make the cashew cheese, put the white beans, basil, garlic powder and sea salt in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until combined.
  8. Put the cashews and 1/3cup water in a blender and process until smooth, adding a bit more water if needed, until the cashews look like thick whipped cream.
  9. Add the cashew mixture to the white beans and mash to achieve a “ricotta cheese-like” consistency.
  10. Spread 2/3 cup marinara sauce evenly in the bottom of a 9- x 12-inch or similarly sized casserole dish. Arrange one-third of the squash “noodles” over the sauce.
  11. Spread the beet mixture over the squash in an even layer. Spread 2/3 cup of the marinara sauce over the beet mixture.
  12. Arrange one-third of the squash “noodles” over the beet mixture. Spread the cashew cheese over the squash in an even layer.
  13. Cut the remaining squash “lasagna noodles” into strips by slicing them lengthwise into long strips.
  14. Arrange the squash strips in a criss-cross pattern over the cashew cheese layer (see photo above).
  15. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of marinara sauce in between the squash strips.
  16. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons chopped basil over the top.
  17. Tent with foil and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbling and squash is soft.
  18. Uncover and bake 5 to 7 minutes more to brown the top slightly.
  19. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
  20. Garnish with more fresh chopped basil and serve.

Preparation Time

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Serves: 4-6 people

Recipe from Vegan For Everyone by Laura Theodore. Published by Scribe Publishing Company, ©2020. Reprinted by permission.

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