Dinner With My Family #23: Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna Recipe

One of my favorite food blogs out there is Peas and Thank You, which focuses on healthy cooking with children in mind. I often find myself browsing it when trying to think of interesting food ideas that my children might really enjoy.

Recently, I came across a wonderful recipe for zucchini and quinoa lasagna there, one that I immediately wanted to try. After a few little modifications, that’s exactly what we did – and it was a big hit with my family.

What You Need

Here’s what you need to pull off this recipe.

2 large zucchini, cut into 12 thin, 1/4 in. thick slices
salt
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock or broth or water (you really can make your own stock)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons cream cheese (we usually use a non-dairy type)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (we often use non-dairy Daiya)

The Night Before (or Early That Day)

As always, cutting up the vegetables in advance is a great tactic. You can also prepare the entire lasagna in advance if you’d like, preparing it to the point that it’s ready to pop in the oven. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready or freeze it for future use.

Sliced zucchini

Preparing the Meal

Preparing this dish is really simple.

Prepping the herbs

Preheat the oven to 400F. Spreat out the zucchini slices on paper towels and sprinkle them with a bit of salt and pepper and let them sit while you prepare the quinoa.

In a saucepan, bring the stock (or broth or water), the quinoa, the tomato sauce, the onion, and the oregano to a boil. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 25 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed by the quinoa.

Take the mixture off the heat, then add the cream cheese, the basil, and the parsley and stir thoroughly until it’s consistent.

Layering on the lasagna

At this point, you’re going to make a series of layers. Starting from the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish, you’ll want 1/2 cup marinara sauce, spread evenly. Going up from that, you’ll want four zucchini slices (spread evenly), then half of the quinoa mix, then 1/2 cup marinara sauce, then four more zucchini slices, then the rest of the quinoa mix, then 1/2 cup marinara sauce, then the remaining zucchini slices, then the remaining marinara sauce, then the shredded cheese.

Finished lasagna

Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes and you’re ready to serve! We served it with a salad and some bruschetta.

Finished plate

Optional Ingredients

As always, this recipe is quite flexible. One spectacular ingredient to add is mushrooms, which you can add directly to the quinoa mix. Many other vegetables work as well, as do Italian sausage, ground beef, or chopped poultry of your choice. Just add things to the quinoa mix and see what you get!

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  1. DOT says:

    I love the peas and thank you blog! I made this the day she posted it and it IS DELICIOUS.
    I am not a vegetarian or vegan, however we do eat a lot of meatless meals and I would recommend this dish to anyone.

  2. Karla says:

    I also love Peas and Thank You! Sarah’s pictures are hilarious and the recipes are fantastic. I have been wanting to try this for a while and am glad to have the reminder.

  3. We need to make that. My husband has been growing some HUGE zucchini so anything to use it all up lol

  4. Ann says:

    This looks divine! I’m going to make it this weekend. Thank you for all the great vegetarian/vegan recipes you post.

  5. kristine says:

    Great recipe! And perfect for this time of year- I have most of the ingredients in my garden!

  6. Carole says:

    This is also naturally gluten free which is a big plus as far as I’m concerned.

  7. valleycat1 says:

    We like to sub a thin layer of mashed sweet potatoes in our lasagna for the cream cheese or ricotta. Or sub lengthwise slices of sweet potato for the zucchini.

  8. Cheryl says:

    DH won’t eat zucchini…how about eggplant?

  9. Michele says:

    I have a couple of questions- do you par boil the zucchini? I’ve made zucchini lasagne before and they all recommend par boiling the zucchini slices or you end up with hard layers!
    Also, the cheese looks wierd in the photo. Do you use a vegetarian cheese? It looks like it didn’t melt. Thanks for another meatless option…guess I’ll have to check out peas and thank you.

  10. Sue says:

    Your best recipe offering yet! I love quinoa; one of my favourite cookbooks is Quinoa365. If you google their website, there are a few recipes posted there to check out. Just made a quinoa/lentil loaf yesterday adapted from a recent Alive magazine, and it was fantastic!

    I tend to use organic yogurt instead of cream cheese; if you strain it in a fine sieve over a bowl in the fridge for a few hours, it becomes much thicker and has a great tart flavour. The non-dairy cream cheeses (even most of the dairy ones) have just too many chemical ingredients. You can make a kind of vegan cream cheese, too, with cashews, water and lemon juice; a rough recipe is to soak raw cashews first in water for a few hours, drain, then blend with an equal amount of fresh water and some lemon juice.

  11. Janis says:

    Timely post for using up some of the abundance of zucchini now in season. The only problem for me is firing up the oven – we have no AC and it’s hot enough in the kitchen already. Perhaps I can adapt this for the slow cooker. Any suggestions for doing that or for another alternative?

  12. cynthia says:

    this looks great. i am cooking this now with zucchini from our garden. i grated the zucchini so i could spread it more easily. thanks for the recipe.

  13. cynthia says:

    Trent,
    thank you again. my daughter loved this!

  14. joan says:

    Excellent recipe idea! I just made a cold quinoa salad for a potluck yesterday, so am excited to try this. Thanks, Trent!

  15. joan says:

    @ #9 Michelle: I’d personally prefer a little texture and crunch in this dish, but if you slice the zucchini thin enough it would probably cook enough to soften without turning mushy.

  16. lisa says:

    Hi! This looks wonderful, but zuchinni is expensive at the store $2.99 a pound.You can also use the weed GARLIC MUSTARD IN lasagne too . It’s delicious.

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