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Whole30 Lasagna with Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream

Whole30 Lasagna with Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream | The Foodie Eats
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Whole30 Lasagna

With Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream

I know, I know. How in the world can lasagna taste amazing when you take away the noodles and the cheese? But, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how delicious this Whole30 lasagna tastes. This from the guy who last week said he didn’t like eggplant. But… I also said “unless it’s covered it in sauce” – which, by the way, is the real reason why this recipe works so well!

This is the perfect kind of dish when serving a crowd. Not only is it Whole30 compliant, but it’s also gluten-free and dairy-free. And trust me, no one will care!

What the Heck is Cashew Cream?

It sounds weird. And I was a skeptic. But this stuff really worked! I had heard of cashew cream in the past, but really had no desire to try it. The only reason I chose to this time is because of my desire to come as close to traditional lasagna as possible. And it totally looks, and tastes, like a cheese layer! Just make sure you soak your raw cashews the night before. Super simple to make.

The Tools

I love cooking my sauce in a Dutch oven. It’s basically a large cast iron pot with a ceramic lining. It’s perfect for anything you want to cook for a long time – like pot roast or stew. I also highly recommend using a v-blade mandoline slicer for the eggplant “noodles.” It’s both easier and more consistent than using a knife.

Be Patient. Let it rest.

Now to everybody’s least favorite part of the process. Once your lasagna is all done cooking, take it out of the oven, and walk away! The longer you let it rest, the more likely it will hold together when slicing. I would say a minimum of 30 minutes, but a solid hour of rest time is best. Please don’t throw tomatoes.

Whole30 Lasagna with Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream | The Foodie Eats

The Method

4.5 from 2 votes
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Whole30 Lasagna with Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream

This Whole30 lasagna recipe is some of the best you will ever eat. The noodles and cheese have been replaced with eggplant and cashew cream.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 231 kcal
Author The Foodie Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 large globe eggplants cut lengthwise into 20-1/4-inch slices
  • 18 oz. frozen spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh nutmeg
  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked overnight in 4 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef and onions over medium heat until beef is browned. Then add mushrooms, garlic, and balsamic vinegar and cook until juices from mushrooms have evaporated. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile - Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick spray and place eggplant pieces in single layer. Season both sides of eggplant slices with sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes (until tender and beginning to brown) turning halfway through. Remove from oven and allow eggplant to cool. Can be roasted 1 day ahead and refrigerated.
  3. Make cashew cream - Soak 2 cups of cashews in 4 cups of water overnight. Drain the water in the morning. Transfer soft cashews into a blender with 2 cups of new, warm water and puree in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Defrost frozen spinach. Drain and squeeze out all liquid (don't be fooled, there's a lot). Place in large bowl and break apart thoroughly. Season with a bit of nutmeg and mix well.
  5. Assemble in a 9 x 13 glass dish. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Add a layer of meat sauce (about 2 cups). Then a layer of 9-10 eggplant noodles. Then gently and evenly spread a layer of cashew cream. Take half of the spinach and break up into an even layer atop the cashew cream. Repeat all steps. Then finish the top with a layer of sauce, and then a layer of cashew cream. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Then switch oven to low broil setting and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Cut with a sharp knife and scoop out with a spatula.
Nutrition Facts
Whole30 Lasagna with Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 713mg 30%
Potassium 970mg 28%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 82.8%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 10%
Iron 27.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Whole30 Lasagna with Eggplant Noodles and Cashew Cream | The Foodie Eats

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Kim
    March 18, 2018 at 6:09 am

    I’m impressed! This looks so yummy – can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Kaitlin
    July 24, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Hello! Planning to make this, and I’m considering either making a smaller dish (1/2 the recipe) or making it all and freezing half. Did you happen to freeze any of it? I’m wondering how it would hold up. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      July 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Hmmm… We did not freeze any of it either time we cooked it. Quite frankly, we ate every bit of it! Please let us know how it goes.

  • Reply
    Kaitlin
    July 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks for getting back to me! I made the entire dish, and it’s delicious! The prep time was definitely more than 10 minutes for me, but it was worth it. A few notes – I got 2 eggplants, but only used 1 (maybe my mandoline slices too thin or my eggplant was larger). Also, I think I accidentally bought roasted cashews, so I have a feeling my cashew cream came out slightly different, but it was still very good and toasted up like cheese (and i have some leftover). I made this lasagna for me and a traditional lasagna for my boyfriend – he actually couldn’t tell which was which before biting into them. With all of that being said, mine didn’t stay in perfect square forms when serving, but that is probably due to the errors i mentioned here. I won’t be freezing it just because I don’t think it will hold up. But wow, it really compares to “real” lasagna! Excited to have leftovers for a few days and pretty much end my whole30 with this!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    August 28, 2018 at 8:46 am

    LOVED this recipe! I tried it last night with some tweaks like on the herbs, plus I forgot to get spinach and I used only passata instead of combined tomato products. I found it to be a lot of work but 100% thought it was worth the time and effort! I was so surprised and impressed by the cashew cheese even after nearly goofing that up too. (I forgot to pre-soak my raw cashews and had to resort to a rapid-soak method. Then, I found out that I didn’t buy enough raw cashews, but another rapid-soak method of a few roasted cashews did the trick.) Maybe next time I’ll be better prepared instead of one huge hot mess. Thank you for this awesome recipe!!!

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      August 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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