Walnut Tomato Sauce with Zucchini Lasagna Noodles

Walnut Tomato Sauce with Zucchini Lasagna Noodles


Offering a modern reinvention of lasagna, this plant-based dish is based on zucchini noodles and a tomato sauce filled with the goodness of walnuts in place of ground beef. Finely ground walnuts take on a “meaty” texture and add a boost of nutrition to this deliciously hearty dish.

Total Time
1 Hr, 25 Mins
Serving Size
1/8 of recipe

Total Time

Prep Time
20 Mins
Cook Time
1 Hr, 5 Mins
Total Time
1 Hr, 25 Mins


282 cal
Total Fat
17 g
Saturated Fat
4 g
0 mg
231 mg
26 g
Dietary Fiber
5 g
Total Sugars
12 g
5 g


  • Zucchini “Lasagna Noodles” or 4 small zucchini squash

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 5 ounces (about 2 cups) mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 1 32-ounce jar marinara sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

  • 1 ½ cups ground walnuts, divided*


  • 1 cup shredded plant-based cheese or dairy based cheese, if desired


  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


  1. Slice zucchini horizontally into long, thin slices (about 5 horizontal slices per squash). Place on paper towels and set aside (to soak up extra moisture).

  2. Place a Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium heat and add olive oil, bringing it to a heat.

  3. Add onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add mushrooms and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

  5. Add marinara sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, red wine, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt (optional). Stir well and cover. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and vegetables are tender.

  6. Measure out 1 ¼ cups ground walnuts* (may chop in a food processor or high-powered blender; should resemble consistency of course grains of sand, but should not be overly processed to a flour texture), reserving remaining ¼ cup ground walnuts for topping. Add the 1 ¼ cups ground walnuts to the sauce, and heat for 2 minutes.

  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  8. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place one-third (6-7 slices) of the zucchini slices on the bottom of the dish. Layer with one-third of the walnut tomato sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the shredded plant-based cheese. Repeat layers two more times, for a total of three layers of zucchini “noodles”, walnut tomato sauce, and plant-based cheese.

  9. Place baking dish in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes.

  10. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup ground walnuts over top of lasagna and set oven to broiler setting. Broil for 2 minutes, until golden brown.

  11. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh chopped parsley, slice into squares, and serve immediately.