Vegan zucchini lasagna is layered with pasta sauce, tofu ricotta, fresh basil & spinach. This mini casserole is just the right size for one. And it’s ready in only 30 minutes thanks to the air fryer! Perfect for when you need something cozy fast.
When you’re a family of two (cats not included), there’s not a lot of occasion to make casseroles.
And that’s a real pity. Lasagna is so cozy.
Layer after layer of sauce, fresh basil, spinach, and creamy tofu ricotta… Then there’s the tactile pleasure of pushing your fork through noodle after noodle until you have the perfect bite.
What’s a lasagna loving person to do?
Enter vegan zucchini lasagna for one – made in the air fryer. (This must be what the Flight of the Conchords were singing about…)
That’s right. You don’t have to heat up the house for this dish. No leaving the oven on for an hour for everything to firm and crisp. Ideal for warm weather months!
This dairy-free lasagna is ready in just a half an hour.
Use mini loaf pans to make lasagna for one
To make individual lasagna, I’m using the 5.75 inch mini loaf pans frittering away in the cupboard.
I bought them for gift-sized zucchini bread or banana bread. But the rest of the year, they gather dust.
They are the just the right size for a miniature casserole.
(Remember: Any cookware that can go in the oven can also go in the air fryer.)
One mini loaf pan of lasagna feeds one person generously as a meal all on its own. And who needs side dishes when already have your vegetables, proteins, and grains in the form of lasagna?
How many mini lasagnas can fit in the air fryer?
A couple notes about the ingredients
When buying noodles, remember to read the ingredients. Some lasagna noodles contain eggs, and obviously you’ll want to skip those.
I use jarred pasta sauce for this recipe. When I’m making this dish, I’m all about convenience. When getting jarred pasta sauce, keep an eye out for any hidden dairy in the ingredient list.
And if you’d prefer to make sauce from scratch, go for it!
How to make this air fryer recipe
Start by breaking two 10-inch lasagna noodles in half. For one mini lasagna, you’ll need four 5-inch long noodles.
If you don’t break the noodles exactly in half, it’s no big deal. Once it’s all layered, it won’t make a big difference.
If you really want it to be perfect, another option would be to boil the noodles whole. Then cut them in half with kitchen shears or a knife once they are cooked.
Bring a pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt. Follow the package directions on boiling the noodles. (The noodles I use need to boil for 8 minutes.)
Drain the noodles. Then move them to a clean kitchen towel, so that they are completely dry.
Get out a 5.75-inch mini loaf pan. Put a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom, so that the noodles don’t stick to the pan.
Then add a 5-inch noodle. Sprinkle on your toppings of tofu ricotta, shredded zucchini, chopped fresh basil & spinach.
Add another noodle. Top with sauce, tofu ricotta, shredded zucchini, chopped fresh basil & spinach.
Add another noodle. You know the drill.
Finally, it’s time for the last noodle. Top that one with sauce and some dollops of tofu ricotta.
Then cover the top of the loaf pan with aluminum foil. Pop it into the air fryer. Air fry the covered lasagna for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Then carefully remove the foil. Air fry uncovered for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, so that the top can get some color.
The top should look nice and brown on top with some crispy outer sections. Even a little bit of black on top is a-okay.
Remove from the air fryer. The lasagna will come out of the pan a little easier if you let it sit for a few minutes before removing it.
Now it’s time for the toughest decision – whether to eat the lasagna on a plate or straight out of the tin. (Being careful not to burn yourself, of course!)
When I was testing this recipe, I always ate it right out of the tin. But for photo purposes, you get to see more of the enticing layers when it’s on a plate. Your call!
Do I have to use aluminum foil?
If you have an issue with aluminum foil, you don’t have to use it. Covering the casserole for the majority of the cooking time helps everything to become more cohesive. And it helps the inside of the lasagna to get warm without burning the top layer.
However, everything in this recipe is fine to eat at whatever temperature. So even if it’s a little saucier or not quite as warm in the middle, it will still be fine to eat.
If you’re not going to use aluminum foil, you could even try warming the sauce first before adding it to the lasagna.
And if you’re going to substitute with vegetables like mushrooms, for example, you could sauté them first, so that they’re already warm.
To make this recipe without the foil, I’d recommend cooking it for 8 to 10 minutes. After that, the top will likely get overdone.
Make it your own
This recipe is rife with possibilities. You could easily switch it up to suit the season and your preferences.
To make it your own:
- Instead of jarred pasta sauce, use your own homemade sauce.
- Use store-bought non-dairy cheese instead of or in addition to tofu ricotta.
- Brown some seitan sausage and add it to the lasagna.
- Substitute the zucchini or spinach with onions, browned mushrooms, sautéed bell peppers, garlic, and/or jarred artichoke hearts.
- For one or two of the layers, substitute cilantro basil pesto instead of pasta sauce.
- Just remember not to go overboard with the thickness of the layers. You want everything to gel, and all of those layers add up. So sprinkle lightly!
Can I freeze it?
Yes, it freezes well!
To freeze & reheat, layer your lasagna as written in the instructions, and cover it with aluminum foil. Don’t bake it! Instead, put the lasagna in loaf pan into a freezer bag. Then freeze it.
When you’re ready to eat, remove it from the freezer bag. Put the foil-covered frozen lasagna into the air fryer.
Air fry it covered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the aluminum foil. Air fry for another 1 to 2 minutes until nicely browned on top. Remove from air fryer & enjoy!
Vegan zucchini lasagna for one
- Break two lasagna noodles in half, straight down the middle. After breaking them, you'll have 4 noodles that are about 5 inches long.
- Bring a soup pot full of water to boil with a generous pinch of salt. Boil the noodles according to package directions. (On my noodle package, it says to boil the noodles for 8 minutes.) Drain the noodles. Then move them to a clean kitchen towel to fully dry.
- Next you'll need a 5.75-inch mini loaf pan. Line the bottom of the loaf pan with about 2 Tablespoons of pasta sauce. Then top it with one 5-inch noodle. Top the noodle with about a Tablespoon of tofu ricotta, a pinch of chopped basil, a pinch of chopped spinach, and a pinch of shredded zucchini. Scatter everything evenly across the noodle.
- Now add another noodle. Top that noodle with a couple Tablespoons of pasta sauce, about a Tablespoon of tofu ricotta, a pinch of chopped basil, a pinch of chopped spinach, and a pinch of shredded zucchini.
- Add another noodle. Top that noodle with a couple Tablespoons of pasta sauce, about a Tablespoon of tofu ricotta, a pinch of chopped basil, a pinch of chopped spinach, and a pinch of shredded zucchini.
- Finish with the last noodle. Top with a couple more Tablespoons of sauce, being sure that the noodles are fully covered, and a sprinkling of tofu ricotta.
- Cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil. Put the loaf pan into the air fryer. Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil from the loaf pan. Air fry for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the lasagna has some nice color & crispiness on top.
- If you can wait two or three minutes, the lasagna is easier to remove once it's had a little time to cool. Move the lasagna to a plate or bowl to eat, or carefully dig in right in the loaf pan.
For more Italian-style dinners in the air fryer, check out this vegan eggplant parmesan.