Zucchini Lasagna Pockets with Tofu Ricotta

Whether you’re looking to cut gluten or wheat carbs or you simply want to add more veggies in your life, you’ve more than likely encountered zucchini lasagna. The problem is that most recipes simply substitute zucchini for lasagna noodles and make layers of zucchini. However, the zucchini strips are a challenge to cut for serving when it comes time to enjoy your delicious meal.

Welcome to the world of lasagna pockets! I’ll admit that I don’t like zucchini noodles, AKA “Zoodles,” because they are just long slimy things, but the zucchini strips for this recipe I honestly enjoyed. The recipe card in this post is for a tofu ricotta, but if you read on I give instructions and a “recipe” for the full dish. Even though I made mine using a tofu ricotta you could use your own filling choice: dairy ricotta, meats, seitan, etc.

The recipe is quite simple, but you need to get the right sized zucchini for it to work well. I used a vegetable peeler to slice perfectly thin strips that were tender but were strong enough to withstand cooking. When you’re looking for zucchini for lasagna find one that is approximately the size of your vegetable peeler! The zucchini I used for this recipe, which filled a 9×13 baking dish, was 14″ long and 4″ in diameter.

When peeling, discard the outermost later, the green one, because it is too fibrous and won’t cook as well as the inner layers. Peel down into the zucchini, turning it with each peel so that you get even width layers. When you get to the seedy core, stop. The seedy section could be saved for other meals, but it won’t work for the “noodles” in this recipe.

In order to make larger lasagna pockets I did a simple weave of 4 strips of zucchini noodles. I filled each pocket with 3 tablespoons of filling and then wrapped/folded to enclose the filling. When making the pan of pockets I sprayed the baking dish with a little oil, spread out a thin layer of tomato sauce, placed all of the lasagna pockets into the dish in a single layer, and poured sauce over the top. I used approximately 3 cups of tomato sauce for the full dish. I also added sliced carrots, because I wanted cooked carrots.

I baked my lasagna, “zusagna,” at 425 F for 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. You could add cheese as a topping or other veggies before or after the tht initial cook time.

Simple weave of 4 strips

3-4 tablespoons of filling

Wrap the strips then turn over so that the “bottom” becomes the “top”

Place zucchini pockets on top of thin layer of sauce, cover with more sauce, then bake

Baked zucchini pockets

If you make this recipe, either the same or modified, make sure to let me know and tag me on social media! I love feedback and I take suggestions seriously.


Tofu Ricotta

This recipe is easy to make and can be used for lasagna layers, pasta bakes, or savory pie fillings. Unlike dairy based ricotta this will hold its shape and not melt or leak out.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces firm tofu (Chinese style in plastic tub)
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbl white miso paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Instructions

Prep the Tofu

  • This recipe works best if you first prep the tofu by freezing it in the sealed plastic tub. Freeze the tofu in its sealed package overnight then allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 days prior to using. (See notes below for explanation)

Make the Ricotta

  • Drain water from the tofu tub and squeeze the tofu using your hands to remove as much water as possible. It's okay if your tofu block cracks or breaks because you will be smashing it for the recipe.
  • Add drained tofu and the rest of the ingredients to a small bowl. Mash using a potato masher, pastry cutter, or heavy spoon. You want your tofu to be in small pieces and have the same look and texture as ricotta. Using a food processor will puree it too much.
  • Your ricotta is ready to use!

Notes

Freezing your tofu in the plastic tub creates larger “pockets” inside of the already porous tofu. As water freezes it expands and this expansion stays once the tofu thaws. This makes it easier to squeeze liquid out of the tofu and it makes it more crumbly. You could make ricotta using firm tofu that you’ve drained and compressed; however, your end result will be much better if you use the freezing and thawing method.Β 
There are two main types of tofu: silken and standard. Silken tofu is the Japanese style and it has a much higher water content. You can find silken tofu in shelf stable boxes at most grocery stores. The brand I use is Mori-Nu. The other style of tofu is the Chinese style and it can be found in the refrigerated section at your grocery store. It’s sold in a plastic tub that’s filled with water.Β Β 

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