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Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Lasagna Without Noodles

4.59 from 12 votes

What’s Inside: Follow these instructions at home to make this nourishing gluten-free, dairy-free lasagna for dinner. It’s made with half-moon slices of butternut squash rather than noodles, plus a homemade cashew cheese sauce and kale pesto. The recipe is Whole30 and Paleo diet friendly.


A portion of Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna on a white plate with a blue trim. That lasagna n has lots of layers and is topped with orange butternut squash. You can see the white vegan cheese sauce as well as the green kale pesto.

The Best Gluten-Free Lasagna

If you have a dairy-free or gluten-free lifestyle, that doesn’t mean food should be boring, and cooking shouldn’t be a chore either. I want to help everyone enjoy their food and stick to the nutritional plan you have given yourself without stressing over the little things.

As a holistic nutritionist, I love to create recipes that not only nourish your body and fill it with the nutrients and goodness it needs, but also meals that satisfy your cravings and keep you full for a long time.

This gluten-free lasagna is the perfect balance between need and want.

You can skip the noodles in this plant-based lasagna! Butternut squash is the perfect replacement and tastes even more flavorful than your average soggy pasta. With the addition of Kale pesto and vegan cheese, this gluten-free lasagna is going to be your new favorite.

Pic 1: Close up of the white dairy-free cheese sauce
Pic 2: View from above of the but-free pesto in a glass jar with no lid.
Pic 3: Half moons of butternut squash on a baking sheet having just been roasted.

Just getting started on AIP (or need a refresh)? Here’s an easy 1-week meal plan using some of my most popular AIP recipes to make it stress-free and delicious.

How to Make Vegan Cheese

This simple dairy-free staple is one of the best-tasting vegan cheeses out there! If nuts are your friend, having some cashew cheese in the fridge for dishes like this is a must. If you need something nut-free, check out my post here for 3 delicious dairy-free cheese sauce recipes.

All you need is:

  • Cashews: 2 cups, soaked in water for at least 2 hours & drained
  • Filtered water and lemon (for the juice) as the liquid to blend with.
  • Some garlic powder and sea salt to add more flavor.
  • Nutritional Yeast is the secret weapon to make dairy-free, vegan cheese taste like cheese! (so definitely don’t skip this ingredient)

Real talk: my husband thought this was all real cheese when he first tried it. I dare you to give this to the biggest cheese lover!

View from above of gluten-free lasagna. Half moons of butternut squash are sitting on the top of the glass dish. White vegan cheese sauce and nut-free pesto is layered in between.

Nut-Free Kale Pesto

Okay, and let’s talk PESTO! This dairy-free lasagna is nightshade-free, meaning no tomatoes, peppers, or other nightshade spices that might not sit well. I also happen to love a “white” lasagna like this with pesto as the sauce. And, yes the pesto is nut-free and dairy-free too! Turns out it’s quite easy to leave out the parmesan and it’s still majorly flavorful thanks to other ingredients we’re using.

Nutritional yeast is a great addition for that cheesy flavor I love. It sits much better in my stomach than Parmesan or cheese and tastes just like cheese! so it’s often a huge hit for me in many of my dishes.

This would make a great meatless meal, but you can also easily throw in a layer of ground meat as you wish for more protein! No matter what, this dairy-free lasagna has the sweet, salty, creamy, gooey thing going on – all the things you love about this comfort food.

View from above of the cooked dairy- free butternut squash lasagna. A portion has been scooped out and the large serving fork is left in the hole it made in the casserole dish.

Assembling Lasagna Without Noodles

Making this lasagna without noodles may seem daunting, but it’s actually so much easier than you would expect.

Have your cashews soaking in advance so when you come to prepare your vegan cheese, and nut-free kale pesto, all they need is a quick blend in the blender. Meaning you can focus on your butternut squash.

Once your butternut squash is peeled and chopped, it needs to be roasted for 20 minutes. This is just to soften it up a little. As your butternut squash is replacing your noodles, we want to make sure it has that delicious, soft, and buttery texture to it: roasting first is the perfect way to ensure this.

And that’s it! Once your moon-shaped butternut squash has cooled (enough to handle) you can get to work building your lasagna without noodles. I like to start with a little of the ‘cheese’ and pesto on the bottom, just a dollop and spread it out.

Add your pieces of butternut squash on top of the sauce and repeat. Adding big dollops of your sauce and topping with your squash until it is all used up.

Pic 1: View from above of the corner of the glass casserole dish, filled with lasagna ingredients. Butternut squash is sitting in a layer and the white vegan cheese and green nut-free pesto are dolloped on top.
Pic n2: More butternut squash has been placed on top of the dollops to look more like lasagna.

All that is left now is to bake in the oven, although you can also pause at this point and either store it in the fridge or freezer if you are making this up in advance.

Tips for How to Store Dairy-Free Lasagna

  • You can easily make the pesto, cashew cheese, and roasted butternut squash pieces ahead of time, storing them each in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days. Then, on any weeknight, layer it all together and pop it in the oven!
  • To store as leftovers, simply store the whole lasagna in the fridge for up to 5-6 days in an airtight container and reheat in the oven until warm in the center.
  • To batch cook, make the lasagna, and assemble but hold off from baking it. Store the lasagna in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1-month, let defrost at room temp. and cook in the oven as directed below.
Side view of the lasagna without noodles. All the layers of butternut squash, dairy-free cheese and nut-free pesto are clearly visible as a piece of the lasagna has been removed.

Hungry For More Low-Carb, Gluten-Free “Pasta” Dishes:

If you made this Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Lasagna without Noodles, please consider leaving a star rating and comment below. Or you can tag me, @foodbymars, on Instagram and Facebook. I love seeing your recreations!

gluten free butternut squash lasagna made with kale pesto and cashew cheese

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Lasagna Without Noodles

4.59 from 12 votes
Follow these instructions at home to make this nourishing gluten-free, dairy-free lasagna for dinner. It’s made with half-moon slices of butternut squash rather than noodles, plus a homemade cashew cheese sauce and kale pesto. Recipe is Whole30 and Paleo diet friendly.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4

Ingredients

Squash (noodle replacement!)

  • 1 medium-large butternut squash
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Kale Pesto:

  • 4 cups kale ripped (no stems)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup+ olive oil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper

Cashew Cheese:

  • 2 cups cashews soaked in water for at least 2 hours & drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

Instructions:

  • Make the cashew cheese first, Drain the water from 2-hr soaked cashews and add all cheese ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth, and set aside.
  • Make the pesto next, mix all ingredients in a food processor, add more olive oil as necessary (I add maybe 1-2 tsp more). Set aside.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 450f degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Peel the butternut squash, cut the "neck" off from the bulb and discard seeds. We'll mostly use the "neck" pieces but you can add in more squash from the "bulb" as needed Cut the "neck" into (approx. 1/4 inch thick) half-moon-shaped slices. You should have enough for about 3 layers of the lasagna using an 8-inch dish.
  • Toss the butternut squash slices with 2 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper, arrange slices in a single layer on the baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes until tender.
  • Let squash cool for 10 minutes until you can handle the slices, reduce the oven heat to 350f degrees.
  • Assemble: Lightly grease a glass dish or casserole dish and start by arranging the squash slices slightly overlapping. Next, add dollops of pesto all around, then the same for the cashew cheese. Add your 2nd layer and continue until you're done,  you may have a little pesto or cheese leftover depending on how much you use.
  • Bake lasagna for approx. 25-30 minutes and serve! This can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-6 days in an airtight container.
Diet: American, Italian
Keywords: lasagna, paleo
Course: Main Course
-Alison Marras
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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67 comments

  1. I have been making this lasagna for my “Thanksliving” (vegan Thanksgiving dinner) since 2016, and every year since it has impressed my friends and family with its savory sweet simplicity. It has become canon in my home, and I am so grateful to Food by Mars for inventing it!

  2. This recipe haunts my dreams. I’ve been making it for years. I’m not vegan or paleo or gluten-free, I’m just obsessed with the combination of silky squash with this creamy cashew cheese and the bite of the kale pesto. I always double the recipe and make a 9×13 pan so I can eat it all week.

  3. I made this for Easter and it went over AMAZING with everyone. There are almost no leftovers lol.  Cannot recommend enough. I’ll be using this “cheese” and pesto in lots of others dishes. Thank you so much for posting! 

  4. I follow an AIP diet, could I use one of your other cheese sauce recipes instead of the cashew cheese version?

  5. Made this tonight and my husband said it was one of his top 5 favorite dishes I have ever made! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. This dish is incredible. I also added a layer of sauteed mushrooms and onions the second time I made it which my family loved. The cashew sauce is outstanding, thank you for the recipe.

    • Thank you so much, I love it too!! And yum, mushrooms make everything better. So happy you enjoyed it! Xo

  7. I never comment on blogs, but this has become a favorite in our house so I decided to make an exception. So tasty and hearty! I add chili flakes to the pesto for a little kick and top the whole thing with sautéed shitake mushrooms. My bf asked for this basically once a week. Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • Seriously, you made my evening with this comment so thanks so much for the kind feedback. Nothing makes me smile more than hearing this!! XO!

    • Hi! So happy you liked it! Nutritional yeast is a very common ingredient in vegan cheeses because it tastes similar to cheese. And the good news is… it’s nutritious hehe (spoiler alert with the name there). It makes a great topping/sub for Parmesan too.

  8. This recipe is a favorite in my house. I use the cheese recipe with other recipes all the time, it’s the best nut cheese recipe on the interwebs. Could you add a print recipe button?

    • Leslie, thank you! You’re so sweet and that makes me smile ear to ear!

      Do you have the drawer of social media icons on the left side? <— The last green button is for printing.

  9. Put the ingredients in a program and it will give you calories.

    Used sweet potato and zuchinni instead cooking now!

    Thank you

  10. One tray of roasted squash is definitely not enough to make one lasagne like you described. I would say at least two trays needed!

    • I think it depends on the size of the butternut squash as well as the dish you use. I used an 8 inch pyrex and had 3 layers as noted above – but over preparing never hurts! Having leftovers is always good 🙂

  11. I tried this and I’m not sure if your squash was huge but mine wasn’t enough to make more than a tiny lasagna. Next time I’ll do two squashes to make sure I’m covered. Love the cashew cheese!

  12. I made this with zucchini (cut into long, thin slices) instead of squash and it was great! Oh, and I also added some pine nuts to the pesto and some fresh basil to the cashew sauce. 🙂

      • Thank YOU for the amazing recipe. I shared leftovers with coworkers and they went nuts for it! They were convinced it had ricotta cheese in it.

  13. This was simply divine! I realized I only had 1 cup of cashews soaked but made it with the same ingredients and it was so tasty. I didn’t have a food processor for pesto but made it in my blender. It’s more liquidy that way as I had to add water but still worked out! My new recipe for Lasagna! Amazing! Thank you!

    • So glad it was easy to modify, I love how flexible the recipe is. Sounds like you made a delicious dinner, Lisa!! Xo

    • This is one of my most popular recipes – you should definitely try it!! Good question on the nutrition – I can post it for you. Will ping you when it’s up!

    • I’m so happy to hear that!! It’s one of my favorites and it’s great for making in bulk too. Have a lovely evening! XO

    • Yes, definitely! If you use frozen spinach, ring out as much water as you can otherwise use fresh. Hope you love it!!

  14. Made this for a graduation celebration with both vegans, and non-vegans….it was a huge hit among all! Super delicious. 10/10 will make again.

  15. How would this go freezing it? Could I make up all the ingredients but just freeze one half and cook the other straight away?

    • I’ve frozen pesto before, so I could definitely see doing that. You could probably freeze cashew cheese but it may get watery after it defrosts- I haven’t tried it. For the squash, you can chop them up and freeze them raw and save until you’re ready to cook.

      I also made the pesto and cheese the night before and stored them in the fridge. I then made the squash the next day and assembled!

      Hope this helps!

  16. This recipe looks DELICIOUS! Just wondering if it all needs to be eaten right away? or could it be refrigerated and heated up a few days later?

  17. Oh wow!! I might add some zucchini and sliced tomato to mine!! What else do you use your cashew cheese for??? I see great promise for some butternut squash ravioli or portobello mushroom ravioli w a gluten free pastry dough. !!!

    • Those all sound like great ideas! Let me know how it turns out. I use cashew cheese as a sauce if you add more water to make it thinner and just used it in a new recipe I’ll post this week- ricotta pancakes! It’s so versatile and yummie! Oh also in place of sour cream on baked potatoes 😉

  18. Holy… this looks amazingggg. I’ve been holding on to my butternut squash for 2 weeks now and I really need to cook it! Must try this mmmmm 😛

  19. I love the idea of cashew cheese.. it’s something I’ve never tried before and you definitely have inspired me here to make it. This lasagna looks super delicious.. and it’s great that it’s so healthy too!

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