This dairy-free lasagna recipe is super fun to make, and is packed with nutrient dense vegetables, whole foods, herbs, and loads of flavor! 

Instead of regular wheat based lasagna noodles, this lasagna uses zucchini noodles. When cut thinly with a mandolin, zucchini makes a really nice lasagna noodle alternative.

Instead of cow’s milk-based ricotta cheese, parmesan and shredded cheese like you’d normally find in a classic lasagna dish, I used Boursin dairy free garlic and herbs spread, vegan parmesan shreds, and vegan mozzarella shreds.

And lastly, instead of using only tomato sauce, I used about ⅔ puréed pumpkin and ⅓ organic pasta sauce. I like this method because it cuts down on the acidity of the tomatoes and adds a bit more flavor, texture and fiber.

Enjoy this dairy free comfort food dish with the whole family!

Recipes substitutions and variations

Canned pumpkin substitutions: In this recipe I use a combination of canned puréed pumpkin and tomato-based sauce. If you want you can omit the canned pumpkin altogether and use only tomato-based sauce.

Tomato-based pasta sauce or pizza sauce substitutions: If you prefer to avoid tomatoes/nightshades or high acid foods, you can omit the tomato sauce altogether and use only canned pumpkin purée. You’ll be surprised, canned pumpkin makes an excellent alternative to tomato and has a very similar consistency and flavor once you’ve added all the herbs and seasonings to your dish.

Fresh garlic substitutions: Instead of using fresh garlic cloves in the egg & cheese sauce and meat & vegetable sauce, swap it out for 1 tsp garlic powder in each.

Dried herb substitutions: If you prefer fresh herbs, feel free to use fresh oregano, basil, and parsley in this recipe. Fresh herbs always have a more aromatic and fresh flavor in recipes! Use double the amount if you are using fresh. Or use your favourite Italian seasoning blend. 

Ground turkey substitutions:  In this recipe, I chose to use ground turkey but you can very easily swap it out for ground beef, ground chicken, ground pork, or Italian sausage. Basically, whatever type of ground meat floats your boat! If you use ground beef or pork, keep in mind they are fattier cuts of meat and this may contribute to the overall level of moisture (or “watery-ness”) of the lasagna. Or for a vegan version, substitute the meat for the veggie ground that’s available from most grocery stores. That, along with omitting the eggs makes this version free from animal products!

Fresh green onion substitutions: Instead of fresh green onions, you can use freeze-dried green onions or chives. If you are using freeze-dried, instead of two bunches of fresh green onions, use 1 to 2 tablespoons dried.

Boursin dairy free herb and garlic spread substitutions: There are many vegan ricotta and vegan cheese options on the market these days. Any of them will work whether they are cashew based, coconut oil/starch based, or otherwise. Spread’em Kitchen has some really awesome cashew cheeses.

Vegan parmesan cheese substitutions: There are a number of brands these days that make dairy-free cheese. Grab whatever you can find, or alternatively you can just use additional vegan mozzarella or cheddar shreds which are more widely available in grocery stores.

Dairy-free cheese substitutions: If you’re avoiding these options altogether, nutritional yeast (and a bit of lemon juice) sprinkled on top can add a lot of cheesy flavor.

Egg substitutions: To make this recipe without eggs, simply omit them from the cheese sauce layer. That layer might not firm up as well, but it won’t compromise flavour at all!

Zucchini lasagna noodle substitutions: If you’re just not feeling the zucchini lasagna noodles, swap them out for gluten free noodles or organic rice flour pasta, or any other sliced vegetable of your choice. Eggplant works really well! If you have a mandolin, you can slice all kinds of vegetables to use in your lasagna.

Vegetable substitutions: Add additional vegetables such as organic spinach or bell pepper.

Dietary modifications for this recipe

Make this recipe nightshade free: Omit the tomato sauce and instead use only puréed canned pumpkin.  

Make this recipe lower acid/gastritis diet friendly: Omit the tomato sauce and instead use only puréed canned pumpkin. 

Make this recipe lower oxalate: Omit the tomato sauce and instead use only canned pumpkin purée. Instead of garlic and onion powder, use fresh onion and garlic cloves. Omit the celery and carrots from this recipe. Make sure all of your dairy free cheeses do not contain cashews, almonds or peanuts. From my experience, the coconut oil/potato starch cheeses are going to be lower in oxalates than say cashew based cheeses.

Make this recipe lower FODMAP: Omit the onion powder, onions and fresh garlic cloves. You can still use the green onions as they are lower in FODMAPS than regular onion. Reduce the amount of celery and mushrooms or omit them altogether. When choosing your dairy free cheeses for this recipe, preferably go for the ones that don’t have onion and garlic.

Make this recipe elimination diet friendly: Omit the eggs and instead of using tomato sauce, use only canned pumpkin purée. Look for dairy free cheese shreds with suitable ingredients or omit them.

Make this recipe vegan: Omit the ground turkey and eggs from this recipe for vegan lasagna.

Make this recipe paleo: All of the ingredients in this recipe are paleo except for potentially the dairy free parmesan and mozzarella shreds. Check the ingredients to see whether they are suitable. If not, you could consider swapping it out for just cashew cheese.

Pro tips for this recipe: 

Cool this zucchini lasagna before cutting into it

If you want really nicely shaped and clean-cut pieces of lasagna to serve to your family or guests, cool this lasagna completely in the fridge before cutting into it for the first time. This will ensure that it completely stays intact and that you can see the various layers of the lasagna on the sides. Once you cut your pieces cleanly, put them on a microwavable plate and reheat in the microwave and serve. 

Invest in a mandolin for cutting your zucchini

The trick to making the best zucchini lasagna noodles is using a mandolin. Mandolins allow you to get a super thin, consistent slice. The thinner the zucchini is, the less watery the dish will be overall.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep zucchini lasagna from being watery?

If your dish is packed with a lot of vegetables, it’s easy to go in the direction of being too watery because of their natural water content. If you find your meat and vegetable sauce is too watery after cooking it, feel free to drain off some of the liquid before adding it to your roasting pan. Another way to avoid a watery lasagna is making sure that your zucchini lasagna noodles are super thin. 

How do you get moisture out of zucchini slices?

Salt your zucchini slices to draw out the liquid and then blot them with a dry paper towel before using them in your dish. It is also helpful to cut your zucchini slices as thinly as possible. The thicker they are, the more moisture they hold.

square serving of dairy free zucchini lasagna sitting on a white plate with fork on side

Tried my recipe for dairy free lasagna?

Please leave me a rating and review below, and post a picture of the dish to Instagram and tag me at @foodsnfeels 🙌

You might also like: 

If you liked my recipe, you might also like my paleo spaghetti recipe which also uses pumpkin instead of tomato sauce.

square serving of dairy free zucchini lasagna sitting on a white plate with fork on side

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe (Dairy & Gluten Free)

Tara Klippert
This dairy free zucchini lasagna recipe is super fun to make, and is packed with nutrient dense vegetables, herbs, and loads of flavour!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 511 kcal

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Stove top or induction burner
  • Oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Roasting pan with lid (or baking dish)
  • Mandolin
  • Food processor
  • Cutting board
  • Large knife
  • Freezer-safe container (or aluminium foil)

Ingredients
  

Meat and vegetable sauce

  • 1 small can puréed pumpkin (398 mL – 14 oz)
  • 1/2 small can tomato or pizza/pasta sauce (roughly 200 mL)
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 3 small carrots
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freeze dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp freeze-dried basil
  • 1 tbsp freeze-dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional, if needed)
  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (optional)

Cheese and egg layer

  • 2 bunches of fresh green onion
  • 2 packages of dairy free garlic and herb cheese spread (I recommend Boursin or Spread’em)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves

Zucchini lasagna noodles layer

  • 2 zucchini

Top cheese layers

  • 1/2 package of vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 1 package of vegan parmesan shreds

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your conventional oven up to 350 Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly chop up the celery, carrots, and 2 garlic cloves in preparation for the meat and vegetable sauce. Put them into your food processor and blend until everything is diced up really fine. This way you won't end up with large chunks of carrot or celery in your meat and vegetable sauce and you won't even know it's there! Set aside for now.
  • Dice up the white onion and mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.
  • In a large pot on low to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add your diced up white onion and fry, stirring often until the onions are starting to caramelize and brown up.
  • Next add your carrot, celery and garlic mixture from your food processor. Keep cooking on low until the carrot and celery mixture starts to soften up.
  • Add your diced up mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently for another few minutes until the mushrooms start cooking down.
  • Add the ground turkey to the vegetable mixture and keep cooking, stirring often until the ground meat is mostly cooked.
  • Add your seasonings including salt, basil, parsley, oregano, and onion powder. Stir everything together thoroughly.
  • Add your pumpkin purée and tomato/pasta sauce to the meat and vegetable mixture and stir everything up until it's well mixed together. Continue simmering on low for an extra 10 or 15 minutes to let everything cook down and for all the flavours to mingle together.
  • While the meat and vegetable sauce is simmering, you can make the cheese and egg layer. In your food processor, blend together 2 bunches of green onion (just the green parts), 2 packages of dairy free herb and garlic cheese spread, 3 eggs and 3 cloves of garlic. Set aside for now.
  • While the meat and vegetable sauce is simmering you can also start preparing the zucchini noodles with your mandolin. Cut off both ends of your zucchinis with a knife and very carefully slice thin, round layers of zucchini with your mandolin. If you want you can also slice your zucchinis lengthwise to get a more classic lasagna noodle cut. If you do not have a mandolin, you can still cut the zucchini with a knife into thin pieces. Be very careful while using the mandolin and make sure your fingers are protected.
  • Once your meat and vegetable sauce is done, you are ready to start layering your lasagna in your roasting pan.
  • Add a 1 inch thick layer to the bottom of your roasting pan (or roughly ⅓ of the meat and vegetable sauce).
  • Next, add a layer of thinly sliced zucchini on top of the meat and vegetable sauce. Distribute the zucchini slices evenly, making sure to cover the bottom layer (see video below for layering examples).
  • Top the zucchini layer with your blended cheese and egg mixture, making sure to evenly distribute it all the way to the edges of the roasting pan.
  • Add a second layer of zucchini slices.
  • Add a second layer of meat and vegetable sauce.
  • Sprinkle on 1 package of vegan parmesan shreds and spread them around evenly.
  • Add a third layer of zucchini slices.
  • Add 1/2 package of vegan mozzarella shreds and spread them around evenly, being careful not to move any of the zucchini slices.
  • Bake your lasagna at 350 Fahrenheit covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven up to 400 Fahrenheit and bake, uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Store leftover lasagna in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for longer.

Video

Notes

Above in the blog post I provide recipe ingredient substitutions as well as dietary modifications. I also provide step-by-step instructions with photos for how to make the egg and cheese mixture, how to cut your zucchini slices with your mandolin, and how to layer your zucchini lasagna step-by-step.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 40gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 14.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.7gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 1000mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6.4g
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, grain free, paleo
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Tara Klippert
About the author Tara Klippert

Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. She shares her gluten free, dairy free & allergy friendly recipes.