Virtual Vegan Potluck: Raw Tomato Zucchini Lasagna with Basil Pesto

This post is my contribution to the Virtual Vegan Potluck and it includes some serious lasagna. When I was a kid, lasagna had meat and cheese in it and it was baked perfectly in the oven. I loved meat and being a vegetarian was impossible and something I would never consider doing in a million years.

Then I became a vegetarian. I no longer cared for lasagna because it needed to have meat in it. Lasagna without meat just wasn’t lasagna. Eventually I started eating veggie lasagna packed with spinach and zucchini and tomato sauce and cheese and cheese and cheese. I could never give up cheese. Ever. I loved cheese. I could totally do this whole vegetarian thing forever but giving up cheese would be impossible and something I would never consider doing in a million years.

Then I became vegan. And suddenly there was no way I was eating lasagna without cheese. That would be crazy! If you don’t have meat in the lasagna, you should at least have cheese. Eventually I started eating lasagna made with tofu instead of cheese. Had I truly gone mad? Would I someday… dare I say it… eat completely raw, vegan lasagna?!

Today is that day. And today I know that my history with vegetarianism and veganism is proof that I can never say never (ugh, Justin Bieber has ruined that phrase forever). Someday I could become a raw vegan. Or a magician. Or a princess. Or an inflatable couch. I can accomplish anything because, after all, I’ve already completed the impossible twice.


Ricotta Cheeze

  • 1/2 cup untoasted pine nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Dash of salt

Marinara Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (or 1 small ripe tomato, diced)
  • 1/8 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

Basil Pesto

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp water

Lasagna Noodles

  • 1/2 medium zucchini, cut widthwise
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


1. For the cheeze, marinara, and pesto, blend the listed ingredients together and set each of the three sauces aside. A blender will work faster and more effectively than a food processor for this step.

2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin, long strips for the noodles. I found using a chefs knife to be the easiest way to do this although you could use a mandoline or a vegetable peeler. You only need about 6 strips so it’s ok if a couple slices don’t turn out beautifully.

3. Slice the tomato into three large round slices.

4. Lay a couple zucchini noodles flat on a plate side-by-side for assembly. Brush the zucchini with olive oil. Top with 1/3 of each of the three sauces prepared earlier. Place one slice of tomato on top and sprinkle with oregano and thyme. Repeat the stacking process twice more until you have a little tower of raw lasagna to stand back and admire. Garnish with basil leaves and enjoy!

Yields one lasagna slice

Adapted from: New York Magazine & The Pink Avocado

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57 thoughts on “Virtual Vegan Potluck: Raw Tomato Zucchini Lasagna with Basil Pesto

    • It turned out much better than I thought it would. I ended up making some extra and throwing it in with some spaghetti marinara. It tasted exactly like a cheesy pasta dish. Thanks for visiting!

  1. What an amazing photo!! Mouthwatering. I so agree with you – going vegan showed me I could keep changing, evolving, learning. I also “gave up” lasagna. No need to! Thank you for this lovely, fresh recipe!

  2. This looks so good! Have you ever tried making with another nut other than pine? I love pine nuts, but they are a bit on the pricey side. Beautiful pictures!

    • You can use walnuts for the basil pesto or cashews for the cheese. The pine nuts required for this recipe cost me about $5. Definitely expensive for just a couple ounces of pine nuts!

    • It’s very creamy and smooth- good for spreading on sandwiches and adding to pasta dishes. Way more expensive than regular cheese but we’ll take what we can get 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  3. I can’t believe how good this looks! I too thought lasagana was a thing of the past once I went veg. I know I will be making this one day, but I won’t share the photos cause I know it won’t look how yours looks!

  4. Yummm…..I will eat this by myself since my husband hates zucchini. (I don’t know why. Makes no sense.) Also- I think I saw your “V” mug at Anthropologie. Is that where you got it? I love mugs.

  5. this is beautiful and looks delicious! it’s funny how we think we will “never” eat a certain way/a certain thing… and then that becomes your “normal!” i can identify. not a self-proclaimed vegan by any means, but i choose to eat vegan meals more often than i reach for something with meat. love your site!

  6. Pingback: A Year of Vegetables! « V is for Vegetables

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