I love the combination of Moussaka and lasagne in this recipe. It kind of contains elements of both, a hearty and cosy lasagne filled with roasted eggplant and zucchini and topped with homemade cashew cheese. It is that perfect weeknight dinner that you eat leftovers for lunch that week, both filling and nutritious.
Its easy to throw together, but be warned you want an hour up your sleeve to master all the elements (isn’t that always the case with lasagne?).
Lets take a look at how we make the Eggplant and zucchini lasagne components
Make the tomato and walnut sauce
You will begin by sautéing onion, carrots and walnut in olive oil for 5-10 minutes. The trick here is to very finely chop the walnuts- if you ave a food processor that would work well here. The smaller the walnuts the better. Large walnuts don’t cook well and you end up with chewy chunks rather that the tiny meaty-textured pieces we are after.
Next you’ll add garlic, passata, herbs, balsamic vinegar and tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or more. I prefer to really cook it down for 30 minutes, but 20 will do.
Prepare the veggies.
Thickly slice your eggplant and zucchini lengthways and salt, leaving for 1/2 hour so taht the salt can draw some water from the vegetables and create a crispy, more flavoursome final product.
After rinsing the salt off the vegetables pat dry and rose in the oven. Make sure you leave room between each piece to prevent steam building up between the produce, which will cause your veggies to become soggy instead of crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Make the creamy cashew cheese sauce
Soak cashews in just boiled water for this step, making them very soft for blending. If you are worried about your blender not being powerful enough you can boil the cashews for 10 minutes instead, which will help.
Next, add the drained cashews and the remaining ingredients to your blender and blitz until smooth.
I love adding white miso into the sauce for extra umami flavour, but you can omit if you don’t have it on hand.
Assemble your lasagne
This is basic layering of each element, that looks like this;
- Add 1/3 of your tomato walnut sauce
- Add 1/2 of the baked veggies, layering to create a layer
- Place a layer of lasagne sheets on top to entirely cover the surface
- Add the second 1/3 of your tomato walnut sauce
- Place the remaining 1/2 of the veggies on next, spreading out to form a layer
- Top with more lasagne sheets, making sure you cover the entire surface
- Spread the last 1/3 of the tomato sauce over the lasagne sheets
- Top with cashew cheese. The cheese will be thick, so dollop it around and spread as best you can.
Finally, cover the lasagne with aluminium foil or a lid and bake until sauce is bubbling through the top layer and the pasta is tender when checked with a skewer.
We hope you enjoy this Moussaka-inspired Eggplant and zucchini lasagne as much as we do. If you’re after more delicious, cosy meals you might like:
- Zucchini, kale and black bean enchiladas
- North Indian rajma masala
- Veggie packed vegan lasagna
- Vegan panzanella bread and tomato salad
As always, we love you feedback and appreciate any reviews or questions below.Print
This wholesome Moussaka inspired lasagne is packed full of flavour and nutrition, is filled with seasonal veggies and topped with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. It is yummy, cosy and comfort all in one.
For the veggies
3 medium zucchini
2 medium egg plant
For the tomato walnut sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
¼ tsp salt
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 cups walnuts, very finely chopped (see notes)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 750ml jar passata
2 tsp dried Italain herbs
1 x 400g can crushed tomatoes
Cashew cheese sauce
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1 hour
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1/3 tsp fine salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup water
optional; 1 tsp white miso
8 large lasagne sheets, gluten free if needed
Make the tomato walnut sauce
- Thinly slice the zucchini and eggplant longways, into slices around 1 cm thick. Lightly salt and set aside.
- Add a medium pot to the heat, and once hot add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low. Add onion and salt, saute for 5 minutes, then add carrot and walnuts and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Preheat the oven to 180 C, fan forced.
- Now, add garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding all the remaining sauce ingredients. Place the lid on the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. If your pot does not have steam holes, move the lid so it is slightly ajar. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is well cooked and tender. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent sticking. While your sauce cooks, move onto the following section and prepare the veggies and ‘cheese’ sauce.
Prepare the veggies
- Rinse your salted veggies (from step 1 above), then use a paper towel or clean tea towel to pat dry.
- Drizzle 2 baking trays with olive oil, then lay down the veggies on each, taking care to lay them side by side and not overlap. Ideally you want a little space between all the veggies so try to achieve this if possible. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, however you must watch them and ensure they don’t burn- it is best to check them regularly. While the veggies bake and your sauce simmers, move onto making the ‘cheese’ sauce.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
Cashew cheese sauce
- Drain cashews and add to a high speed blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth. You may need to use your blender tamper, or add extra water if your blender is having trouble blending. If your blender doesn’t quite create a smooth blend, don’t worry. It will still taste delicious. Set aside.
Assembling your lasagne.
- Increase the oven temperature to 200 C. Using a large, deep baking dish begin by adding about 1/3 of the tomato walnut sauce into the bottom. Spread around evenly. Now add ½ of the baked eggplant and zucchini, overlapping and distributing evenly. Next, add enough lasagne sheets to completely cover the veggies.
- Repeat step 1, then add the final 1/3 of the tomato walnut sauce onto the paste sheets and spread to cover. Finally, add the cashew cheese sauce in dollops (it will be quite thick) and spread it around as best you can. Cover the top of the dish with 2 x sheets of tinfoil (or a lid) and bake for 40 minutes. After this time remove the foil/lid and bake a further 10-20 minutes. Once you see sauce bubbling up through the top of the lasagne take a skewer and test that the pasta is tender (it should be).
- Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil. Enjoy immediately.
The finer the walnuts, the better. Aim for them to be the size or dried lentils at the most.