Vegan Lasagna Roll-Ups with Walnut Basil Sauce is dinner friendly, can be make-ahead, and comes together in within an hour.
About 3.5 years ago, I made Kale, Spinach, Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups for Valentine’s day. We were both under the weather and needed something comforting, gooey, and somewhat fancy (cue: valentine’s day). That time, I didn’t know he was not a lasagna person, but from what I remember he cleaned up the plate. Lasagna is basically pasta, no? He loves pasta but something about lasagna, I don’t know. Fast forward 3.5 years, he still doesn’t care for it but I thought I’d give another shot with Vegan Lasagna Roll-Ups with Walnut Basil Sauce. In my head, lasagna roll-ups are a happy medium between pasta & lasagna – dinner friendly for both casual or special moments and can be made ahead. Instead of the cheesy version (which I equally adore) I made the sauce utilizing California Walnuts (which by the way supplies 99 percent of the US and three-quarters of world trade) along with fresh basil from my patio and zucchini but you can easily use veggies of your choice. Walnuts are a staple in my pantry; they are a nutritional power house for many nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, copper, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, and fiber to name a few. Nuts in general are good for us in moderation (about an ounce or handful) but walnuts contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid, required by the human body. An ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of omega-3 ALA and U.S Institute of Medicine recommends an ALA intake of 1.6 grams per day for men and 1.1 grams per day for women. For more nutrition information, you can visit California Walnut as they have lots of resources and information on the industry itself. In the past, I have shared recipes featuring walnuts in the form of energy balls, overnight oats, cookies, and topping for salads (here and here). Walnuts as you can see are super versatile, I took the savory route and made pesto-ish sauce/filling whatever you want to call it with to go with the lasagna roll-ups. The sauce is the star of this recipe – lovely notes from basil and garlic when combined with olive oil and walnuts makes everything so delicious. You can enjoy the walnut basil sauce as a dip (make it little thicker) with crackers, toss it with pasta, or simply spoon it over roasted veggies. Vegan Lasagna Roll-Ups with Walnut Basil Sauce is pretty simple to put together – sautee veggies, pulse the ingredients together for the sauce, roll-up, bake and baam! I think rolling lasagna sheet tightly was probably the difficult part for me – it’s a work in progress.
….and you all must be wondering if the boyfriend liked my Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups with Walnut Basil Sauce? While he wasn’t too excited about the roll-ups, he did clean up his plate again and said it tasted good. It must be the lasagna sheets because he gobbled up roasted veggies with walnut basil sauce happily. I hope you will use Vegan Lasagna-Rolls Ups with Walnut Basil Sauce as an inspiration to make whatever tickles your fancy. You can use seasonal veggies as you please -mushroom, squash, spinach, eggplant; if lasagna is not your thing, take the pasta route or simply enjoy your veggies/crackers/bread with the walnut basil sauce. Either way you are off to a delicious and nutritious road with walnuts!
PS. California Walnuts are not genetically modified and they support sustainable growing practices through its production research program for over 20 years.
- 4 lasagna sheets (not the oven ready kind)
- 3 medium sized zucchini, diced
- 2 cups tomato sauce of your choice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup walnut basil sauce (recipe to follow)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- For walnut basil sauce:
- 1 cup walnuts (I used California Walnuts)
- about ½ cup olive oil
- 2 cups fresh basil, packed
- 4 garlic cloves
- ¼-1/2 cup water (start with ¼ and add more to get the desired consistency)
- salt, pepper to taste
- Boil lasagna noodles according to the package and set it aside.
- In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and zucchini and sautee for few minutes until zucchini is soft. Season with salt and pepper and set it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a food processor, add walnuts, basil, olive oil, garlic clove and pulse until it crumbles into somewhat fine mixture. Slowly add water and continue pulsing until it reaches thick-sauce like consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small baking dish, pour 1.5 cups of tomato sauce and set it aside.
- Arrange lasagna sheet on a flat surface, spoon 2-3 tablespoon of walnut basil sauce followed by sauteed zucchini. Roll it up tightly and place it on the baking sheet with seam side down.
- Repeat with the remaining noodles and pour remaining sauce over the noodles.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes until the sauce starts bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy.
- You can reheat the leftovers within 1-2 days.
- You may have some walnut basil sauce left but it can be utilized for other purposes.
I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.