Tomato-Free Lasagna

Tomato-Free Lasagna

Lasagna with no tomato?! Don’t take my word for it. Simply imagine the smell of fresh, summery basil and zucchini. This high-fiber, vegetarian lasagna is light and full of colorful vegetables (the yellow in the sauce is from turmeric). Don’t worry, it’s still high in protein from cheese and tofu. When I brought this to work for lunch, my colleagues couldn’t stop asking me what smelled so good. Give it a try!


For the vegetables:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 can black olives, chopped

2 cups mixed frozen vegetables, such as peas, corn, carrots, or broccoli (I used peas, corn, and a little broccoli in the photo)

1 cup chopped kale or spinach

For the tomato-free sauce:

1 zucchini

1 package silken tofu

1 package chopped fresh basil (about 1/2 cup)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1/2 tsp salt


2 cups low-fat cottage cheese, divided

1/4 tsp salt, to taste

9 no-boil lasagna noodles

8 oz. (2 cups) freshly grated low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Prepare the veggies: In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the frozen vegetables, bell pepper, olives, and salt. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until they are golden on the edges, about 8-12 minutes.
  3. Add a few handfuls of spinach or kale. Cook, stirring frequently, until the greens have wilted. Repeat with remaining greens and cook until all has wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, to prepare the tomato-free sauce: Slice the zucchini and sautée it in olive oil. Transfer it to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the tofu with its liquid, basil, olive oil, turmeric, and salt.
  5. Pulse the mixture until it’s spreadable. Pour it into a bowl for later (you should have a little over 2 cups of sauce). Rinse out the bowl of the blender or food processor and return it to the machine.
  6. Pour half of the cottage cheese (1 cup) into the processor and blend it until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl of whipped cottage cheese. Top with the remaining cottage cheese, then add salt. Stir to combine.
  8. Spread the 1/2 cup tomato-free sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9×9″ baking dish. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top. Spread 1/2 of the vegetable and cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with 3/4 cup tomato-free sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese on top.
  9. Top with 3 more noodles, followed by the remaining vegetable and cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese on top.
  10. Add 3 more noodles, then spread 3/4 cup tomato-free sauce over the top to evenly cover the noodles. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining shredded cheese. The layering should look something like this:
  1. Wrap a sheet of aluminum foil around the top of the lasagna (don’t let it touch the cheese). Bake for 18 minutes. Uncover, rotate the pan by 180° and continue cooking for 10-12 more minutes, until the top turns spotty brown.
  2. Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 15-20 minutes, so it has time to set and cool down to a reasonable temperature. Slice and serve.
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