This lasagna is a lot of things. Gluten-free. Grain-free. Filled with produce, protein, and fat. Easy to make.
One thing it’s not? Your grandma’s lasagna.
This Keto Lasagna w/ Cashew Ricotta isn’t meant to replace the real thing. When asked about my dedication to the paleo lifestyle over the last three years, I always make sure to mention to others, “If I were in Italy, I would most definitely eat the lasagna”. I have the privilege of allowing gluten and dairy into my diet on special occasions as I am not allergic or extremely sensitive to these items. I don’t have an autoimmune disease that flares up if I don’t follow a paleo or ketogenic lifestyle. I eat paleo 90% of the time because I know that choosing nutrient-dense foods will help me feel stronger, more energetic, and overall healthier.
What this lasagna DOES do is provide a delicious alternative to those who are allergic or sensitive to wheat. Or those who haven’t ruled out any one food group, but want to a eat a lighter version of a family favorite for tonight. Or those who are stuck with an abundance of zucchini in the middle of July and are using it in absolutely everything.
While I am extremely happy with how rich and flavorful this lasagna turned out, it didn’t make great leftovers. Something about the beef and the cashew ricotta together just didn’t reheat right. Rather than meal prepping this for myself for the week ahead, this is a recipe I will be saving for when I am cooking for a group of friends or family and we can eat most of the pan in one sitting!
Keto Lasagna w/ Cashew Ricotta
This dish is hearty and indulgent while being gluten-free and low-carb. If you’re tolerant of small amounts of high-quality dairy, the browned and bubbly buffalo mozzarella on top makes an impressive finish!
1 pound cashew pieces
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt
¼-½ cup almond milk
4 large or 6 medium zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 jar marinara sauce
8 ounces buffalo mozzarella, sliced, optional (or sub Daiya shredded cheese for dairy-free alternative
For cashew ricotta: place cashew pieces in a shallow bowl and cover with water. Soak for minimum 30 minutes, up to 4 hours. Strain water from cashews. In a small high-powered blender, blend cashew pieces, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and ¼ cup of almond milk until completely smooth. Add up to ¼ cup additional almond milk if needed to bring everything together into desired consistency. I generally aim to use as little almond milk as possible, but some blenders need a little more help than others!
For lasagna: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut rounds ends off of zucchini. Slice lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices (video) and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, heat olive oil over medium heat on the stovetop. Add ground beef and brown on all sides, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Once everything is fully brown and cooked (5-7 minutes), add jar of marinara sauce. Mix thoroughly and remove from heat.
To assemble, start by spreading ½ cup of sauce along the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Then lay single slices of zucchini side by side, with as little overlap as possible. Spread ½ of the cashew ricotta over zucchini slices, and top with 1 ½ cups sauce. Make another zucchini layer, then the rest of the cashew ricotta, then 1 ½ more cups sauce. Top the lasagna with your last zucchini layer, the rest of the sauce, and slices of buffalo mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until zucchini is slightly soft. Do not overbake or the zucchini will become flimsy and watery!