Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna

While brainstorming ways to make a summery lasagna with the same flavors as the classic casserole, Matheny chose to replace lasagna noodles with zucchini, and use high-protein quinoa instead of a meat filling.



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2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 12 ¼-inch-thick slices
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1 tsp. salt
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2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
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½ cup tomato sauce
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¼ cup finely chopped onion
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1 tsp. dried oregano
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¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
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¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
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2 Tbs. nondairy cream cheese, such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, optional
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1 25-oz. jar marinara sauce
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½ cup shredded nondairy cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place zucchini slices on bed of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels, and let stand to release moisture while preparing quinoa.

2. Bring broth, quinoa, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in basil, parsley, and cream cheese, if using.

3. Spoon 1/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Blot remaining moisture and salt from zucchini slices, and lay 4 zucchini slices over marinara sauce in pan. Spoon half of quinoa over zucchini, and cover with 1/3 cup marinara. Repeat with 4 more zucchini slices, remaining quinoa, and 1/3 cup marinara. Top with remaining 4 zucchini slices, remaining marinara, and shredded cheese, if using. Bake lasagna 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and top is bubbly.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
4 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
39 g
0 mg
735 mg
7 g
15 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

i really liked this. I used fresh ricotta instead of the cream cheese and topped with both mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I also added spinach to the quinoa filling.


The flavor of this dish is SO good! I made it just like the recipe except I used regular (dairy) cheese. Also, I had to make 4 layers of zucchini instead of 3. My "large" zucchini must have been extra-large. I love lasagna but I never make it because it is so high in fat. Did you read the nutritional info for this recipe? 4g of fat! I don't feel guilty about eating this!

Is it 4 grams of fat using dairy or non-dairy cheese? Because dairy cheese unless it's fat free usually contains more fat than non-dairy.

This is delicious. Also, if using super-small zucchinis ( like ones from my pitiful garden :) ), you can shred them the same way and turn this into kind of a take on spaghetti - with the zucchini as the noodles and everything else on top. It's just as good.

WOW! This recipe was spot on! Veggie hating grandkids and carnivore daughters were very pleased and went for seconds. My first time using quinoa, and it added a nice texture to the dish. I'll definitely will be making this again!

this is the first vegan dish I have ever made and I found it easy to make and very tasty.

Very good! I loved it!My only issue was that I sliced the zucchini a little bit uneven and it didn't cook as evenly as I hoped! But that was all my fault, just make sure you cut the slices as evenly as possible!

This is delicious! It was a hit with my 4 year old and 14 month old. I didn't have veggie stock so just used water & used dairy cheeses. This one is going into my recipe box (a real one... not a computer one!).

I made this, as written, with the exception of adding goat cheese instead of cream cheese (didn't have any) and low-fat mozz on top. Ive made it twice and have loved it both times!


I gotta say- I don't get this recipe at all. The zucchini got all messy when you serve it-- more like a casserole/stew than a lasagna. It was just kind of unappetizing and it made me wish I was eating lasagna.

This was alright. I was really excited about a low calorie lasagna, but I felt like it was missing something flavor wise.

This was a wonderful lasagna! I used the Tofutti and Daiya products and the result was a rich, creamy, very satisfying dish that I will be making again before summer is over.

I love this recipe. A friend made it and gave me a sample and I have been making it for Pot Luck diners ever since. I always manage to tweek the recipe a little each time I make it, but mostly stay with the basic recipe. It freezes great for quick lastminute diners.

Ohhhh... I just made this and it was SOOOO good! Can't wait to make it again! I don't think that I cooked the zucchinis the whole time but they turned out slightly crunchy and firm which we really liked!

I've made veggie lasagna with zucchini, spinach &amp; eggplant, but haven't tried it with quinoa (which I LOVE, btw!!!). This looks great...gotta love low cal, gluten-free, will feed the entire family! I'm always looking for tasty new recipes to try, that are healthy, too!

Absolutely PHENOMENAL!! And even better as leftovers!!

Thank you for this recipe! My boyfriend and I love it! I have made lasagna before with zucchini for noodles, but i really like the quinoa twist in this one. I made the recipe with a little bit of mozz cheese on top and about 2/3c low fat ricotta inside, so it wasn't vegan, but still delicious! I'm excited to make this again :)

Wow - absolutely excellent! Made this without the non-dairy cream cheese so my husband could eat it fat free. I put regular shredded mozzarella on my half after it had baked for 15 minutes. It was very tasty and hearty.

Very pleased with this dish - the quinoa is a good substitute for ground beef, and the creaminess of the marinara sauce was very satisfying. We used fresh basil, which was lovely. We also topped it with Parmesan at times or goat cheese sprinkles. Will def try this again!

The quinoa twist on this is so creative. I had some giant zucchini from the garden that needed used and I was so tired of zucchini bread. This was the perfect use for it. It is in the oven now, but smells delicious. Thanks!

I LOVE this recipe and have made it 5-6 times so far...sometimes adding in a layer of chard or sauteed mushroom or other veggie on hand... used toffuti cream cheese but real mozzarella on top...great as a full meal w/side salad or as a side cut smaller...tip: get a mandoline to slice the zucchini extra thin- makes the dish more elegant

this Recipe was awesome. I slice zucchine thin too.. had kind Salty taste to it.

Love ya, VT, but what is up with this photo?

I was looking for a gluten free lasagna and I really don't like rice pasta. I found this recipe a was skeptical, but tried it anyway. Boy, am I glad I did. It is so YUM!!My son and husband both loved it also. Hubby went back for seconds. Thanks for a great, healthy, gluten-free version of lasagna.

I made it with eggplant instead of zucchini. It was super good and super filling!

Made this using my own vegetable/tomato sauce instead of a jar of marinara sauce. It turned out great - my husband and I both really enjoyed it. I didn't use any cream cheese and used organic mozarella cheese as a topping.

Zucchini quinoa lasagna

try this immediately

Sounds good but the photo is pretty unappetizing.


This really turn out great. The next time I will add some fresh garlic

Wonderful recipe. So often baked zucchini turns to mush, but between absorbing the moisture in the paper towels and the firmness of the quinoa mixture, this had a perfect texture. I added sliced, fresh roasted peppers to one of the layers.

Runs over, so put alum. foil on your baking sheet, under dish. 8" square is too small - next time will use a small lasagna pan instead. Messy...

I have made this several times and shared with many non vegetarian friend. Everybody just loves it!

Fantastic alternative! Just like regular lasagne!

I was skeptical about this recipe as I do not cook vegetarian meals very often. I made this last night and it was delicious. I am going to use if for my school's teacher potluck as it is a great vegetarian and gluten free menu option. Thanks for the recipe.

I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious. So full of flavor. Next time I think I will bake it for a few minutes covered with aluminum foil so that the zucchini "steams" and gets tender faster, then take it off and bake the remaining time. Regardless, it was a hit with my husband too! Thanks for the recipe. I will try it with eggplant next time.

I tried this too, and am really glad I did. I'm glad to have a quinoa recipe I can enjoy. Will definitely be making this again. I skipped the optional cheeses specified. That left it a little bland, so we added fresh grated parmesan on top, and it was great. There was a little quinoa left over after assembly, and so was able to enjoy that for additional leftovers. I never care for parsley, so skipped it and doubled the basil.

I was looking for something " out of the ordinary" and stumbled across this recipe. I had all the ingredients, so I made it for supper. I added 2 cloves of grated garlic, after the quinoa was cooked. Also, I added a layer of spinach to the first layer of sauce. I did mine in a 9x13 dish and it turned out perfect! Excellent recipe!

Absolutely delicious!

Excellent recipe! Husband loved it, too! I think I like this better than regular lasagna. The only thing I added was a little bit of olive oil and a teaspoon of butter to the quinoa before cooking it. The house smelled incredible just while I was coooking the Quinoa. :-) I served it with a side of green beans. It will be on my rotation list for weeknight dinners for sure! Thank you VT!