An easy vegan + gluten-free lasagna recipe made with zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms, plus a delicious homemade chickpea ricotta cheese! This healthy lasagna is so satisfying and easy to customize with your favorite veggies.
This easy vegan lasagna recipe includes tasty layers of pasta, tomato sauce, veggies, and dairy-free ricotta cheese.
The homemade vegan ricotta is made with chickpeas (and no tofu or cashews). It is thick, creamy, and a great replacement for traditional ricotta cheese.
The prep time for lasagna is a bit longer, but here we keep it simple with no-boil noodles and jarred pasta sauce.
Ingredients for Vegan Lasagna
For the lasagna and vegetable portion you will need:
- Lasagna noodles: I use an 8 oz. box of Chickapea oven ready gluten-free noodles. The ingredients are only organic chickpeas and lentils, and do not require precooking.
- Mushrooms*: I use cremini mushrooms, but white button, shiitake, or portobello would work too.
- Fresh baby spinach
- Marinara sauce: Either use two full 26 oz. jars of store-bought marinara sauce, or Homemade Marinara Sauce. (If using my homemade sauce, you will need to double the recipe.) You need at least 6 cups of marinara sauce for this recipe, or more if you like it extra saucy.
*Don't care for mushrooms? No problem! Simply omit and stir in more spinach or other veggies instead.
Ingredients for Chickpea Ricotta
For the vegan ricotta cheese you will need:
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): Use a 15 oz. can chickpeas, or about 1.5 cups freshly cooked chickpeas.
- Almond flour: I use super-fine almond flour from Bob's Red Mill. This helps bind the mixture and gives it a buttery, creamy texture and taste. (I have not tried substituting soaked cashews in place of the almond flour, but I suspect it would work just fine.)
- Nutritional yeast: This is what gives it a savory, cheesy flavor. You can add more if desired.
- Fresh lemon juice: A little acidity is essential to help brighten and bring it all together.
- Garlic powder: Or roasted garlic or 1 clove garlic. (Roasted garlic is really tasty.)
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe.
- Water: You will add a little water to the mixture to help thin to desired consistency.
Fresh basil is a great addition as well.
The ricotta can be made 1-2 days ahead of time if desired. Simply prepare in a food processor, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Or use your own favorite vegan ricotta for this recipe!
Tips for No-Boil Noodles
If you can find oven ready no-boil lasagna noodles, they won't require boiling before assembling. They are super convenient, however not always perfect. Here are a few tips for better success:
- Use plenty of marinara sauce which helps them soften and cook. A thinner marinara sauce works best.
- Make sure the noodles are completely covered in sauce before baking.
- Cover the dish with foil to help keep moisture in.
- The noodles expand during baking, so I leave a little space in between when placing them in the dish.
If you want to use regular lasagna noodles, that's great too! Simply precook them in boiling water until they are still al dente (slightly firm).
Customize the chickpea lasagna how you see fit. A few ideas include:
Vegetables and herbs: Switch it up and include carrots, peas, kale, bell pepper, onion, or garlic cloves. Use about 3-4 cups raw veggies. A tablespoon or more of fresh basil and fresh parsley add great taste and aromatics.
Make it meaty: Add cooked lentils or your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles in place of the veggies. (Cook the crumbles separately according to package instructions before layering them in.)
Make it extra-cheesy: We use the vegan ricotta for cheesy flavor, but you can add other vegan cheese too. Sprinkle vegan mozzarella cheese shreds on top for the last 10 minutes of bake time.
Note: My favorite "meaty" variation is using Beyond Meat plant-based ground beef (omitting the zucchini + mushroom). Then topping the lasagna with Follow Your Heart mozzarella shreds during the last 15 minutes of bake time.
Some easy sides to pair this with include:
- Simple tossed salad
- Garlic bread
- Steamed veggies (such as green beans, asparagus, or broccoli)
This makes 8 large servings, or 10-12 smaller/medium servings. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days. We love to enjoy them throughout the week.
Freezing: If saving some for later in the freezer, it is best to freeze in individual portions. This helps for easier thawing and reheating.
For more inspiration, browse all vegan main dish recipes.
Easy Vegan Lasagna with Chickpea Ricotta
For the lasagna:
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles* (gluten-free if desired)
- 1 medium zucchini
- 8 oz. mushrooms
- 5-6 oz. fresh baby spinach
- Two 26 oz. jars marinara sauce (or at least 6 cups homemade)
For the chickpea ricotta:
- 15 oz. can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1/3 cup almond flour (super-fine, natural)
- 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or garlic cloves or roasted garlic)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup water (more/less to desired consistency)
- Optional: fresh basil, dried basil, Italian seasonings
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Make the ricotta:
- Add all ricotta ingredients to a food processor and blend. I start with about 3 Tbsp. water, then add more 1 Tbsp. at a time to achieve desired consistency. (It should be creamy, but very thick.) You will need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times between blending. Taste and adjust flavors if desired.
Prepare the veggies:
- Dice mushrooms and zucchini.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté mushrooms for 3 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Add zucchini, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add spinach, stirring often, until slightly wilted. Turn off heat and set aside.
Layer the lasagna:
- In a deep 9" x 13" casserole dish, spread 1.5 cups marinara sauce on bottom. Then add 4 noodles.
- Add half of the ricotta in small dollops, then half of the veggies, then 1.5 cups marinara.
- Place 4 more noodles, then the rest of the ricotta and veggies, and 1.5 cups sauce. Finish with 4 noodles, and top with 1.5 cups marinara. Be sure noodles are covered in sauce.
- Cover dish with tin foil. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Then remove foil and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this gluten-free vegan lasagna recipe with zucchini and chickpea ricotta, also check out:
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Love the chick pea ricotta, love the vegan lasagna!! The family loved it too!! Thank you for the recipe!!
Great to hear your whole family enjoyed, Joanne! Appreciate you coming back to leave such kind feedback - thank you! 🙂
I just made this and both my wife and I thought it was wonderful - and easy to make! The chickpea ricotta was a great addition and really made the overall flavor pop! Also, my first time using oven ready lasagna noodles (I'm 48 and am just NOW learning of this...?!!), and they turned out with the perfect texture. Next time, I think I'll add an Italian seasoned vegan sausage - I think that's the only flavor that was missing - but it also tasted perfectly great as-is! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
Hello Rob! So wonderful to hear you and your wife enjoyed the lasagna and chickpea ricotta. Your idea of Italian sausage sounds fantastic! I actually just made this again a few days ago and added cooked Beyond beef crumbles (and omitted the mushrooms + zucchini). Then topped it with Follow Your Heart mozzarella shreds during the last 15 minutes of bake time. The "meaty" version is so tasty too! Thank you for taking the time to share your very kind and thoughtful feedback! Wishing you and your wife a lovely weekend.
Amazing recipe! I added some onion and it made it perfect. Will be making again soon. Thanks a ton for sharing.
Wonderful to hear, Kirsten! And great addition with the onion - good call. Thanks so much for giving it a try and reporting back!
Can you omit or replace the almond flour in the hummus ricotta? Would ground flax seed work?
I can’t have most nuts due to intolerances. I only can have macadamia, hazelnut, and walnut and they won’t go well with this recipe. I’m also omitting the mushrooms as well just a personal preference.
I plan on making this for the first time tomorrow so i wanted to make sure!
Hi Elle! Sorry for the delay in my response - I was away from my computer last week. I haven't tried substituting the almond flour with anything else so I can't say for sure if it will work, but ground flax seed is a creative idea. Would be curious to hear if you gave it a try!
Hi, would regular flour work instead of almonds flour?
Hi Kara! I made the ricotta with almond flour in mind since it is so rich and "buttery" and gives the cheese a moist/tender texture. I'm not sure how well regular flour would work as a substitution, and haven't tested it so I can't guarantee the results. Another nut flour (or soaked cashews) might be a better bet for a substitute. Would love to hear if you give it a go!
This dish was deelish! I told Kaitlin that I had wanted to take a photo for Instagram, but it was too good to bother. I was too busy gobbling it up! One thing to note is that it doesn't fill a normal 13" x 9" lasagna pan all the way because the noodles are too short. That just means you have to build it a little more carefully than you might with a 12 oz. box of noodles and plan on serving it to only a few people, e.g. six would be too many, especially since it's also not as deep/thick as some lasagna recipes. If you're serving a crowd I would try doubling it and using a 10" x 14" dish.
Thanks so much for sharing your great feedback, Cara! And so glad you enjoyed it!
Very good! Used my spouse's marinara sauce which might be a little unfair. Served it to the picky 3 y.o. and he ate it. Then the 8 and 11 year olds. They did too. Had it for breakfast the next morning - once was heated in the oven and a second time in the microwave. It was even better. The ricotta chickpea cheese was interesting and reminiscent of what I might expect in a real lasagna cheese. I liked the texture. Recipe added to the list. Will be making it again. So tasty!
Hi Brandon! That's awesome. So glad your family enjoyed. Thanks for giving it a try and sharing your kind and thoughtful feedback - very appreciated. Wishing you all a great weekend!