9 Layer Lasagna – Grain Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free (Dare I say Paleo??)

9 Layer Lasagna (Grain and Dairy Free)I got this idea in my head to do a lasagna. It would have to be free of grain, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, citric acid, brewers yeast. No problem right? Actually, it wasn’t hard. Time consuming, absolutely. I won’t kid you there. Honestly, it took most of the day. In the end it was more worth it than anything else I can think of. It made a huge pan so there were leftovers for days. As I write this I am making it for a second time so that I can freeze it and then take it with us on vacation in a couple of days. We are going to San Diego. We rented a condo on the beach so that I will still be able to cook most of our meals. Eating out isn’t really an option so I need to make stuff ahead of time. Along with this lasagna I am making a no bean paleo chili, my Banana Pecan Muffins, NutBars, beef jerky, honeyed almonds, fruit leather, bread (for the kids), Almond Chocolate Chip Scones, Brownies, Almond Rosemary crackers, Chocolate Power Balls and chicken liver paté. We leave in 2 days. I have so much to do that I am feeling more than a little overwhelmed. So why am I sitting at the computer??? I have to get moving. Here is the recipe. I do hope you will give it a try. I bet you’ll love it!

If a vegan or vegetarian meal is what floats your boat I think that this would work great if you omitted the beef and eggs. I have not tried it so I can’t say for sure but would bet it would be great.

9 Layer Lasagna – GF, DF, SF, CF, Grain Free

Cashew Cream Layer (aka Ricotta Cheese Layer)

2 cups raw unsalted cashews – soak for approximately 6 hours or overnight

juice of half a lemon

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

4 eggs

In a large bowl add cashews and cover with water. Soak for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse. Add cashews, lemon juice, salt and water to blender. If you have a Vitamix this will go really quickly. If you don’t have one a blender works just fine. Blend until smooth. This takes several minutes. Be patient. It really does get as smooth as sour cream. Add the eggs and blend to combine. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Squash Layer

Grilling Eggplant

Grilling Eggplant

3 yellow squash

2 zucchini

1 eggplant

olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Slice all vegetables to about 3/8 of an inch thick. Spread out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat BBQ/grill to high. Grill veggies in batches until they are soft but not mushy. Let them get a bit browned before turning them. The grilled flavor is amazing in the lasagna. The purpose of grilling is to not only add a ton of flavor to somewhat bland veggies but also to let them release their water so that your lasagna does not end up looking like soup. When veggies are browned and cooked removed from grill and set aside.

Mushroom Layer

1 lb sliced button mushrooms or whatever type you have on hand

fat of choice (I used expeller pressed coconut oil)

Coconut aminos (tastes much like soy sauce without the soy) or salt and pepper to taste

Saute mushrooms on high heat in your fat of choice. When they are nearly done and browned a bit add the coconut aminos or S&P. Remove from heat and set aside.

Beef Layer

1 lb grass-fed ground beef

1 T fat of choice (FOC)

1 small onion

3 cloves of garlic

S&P to taste

Heat saute pan and FOC. Add ground beef. Meanwhile add onion and garlic to mini food processor and process until it is chopped up fine. You can do this by hand too if you don’t have or want to drag out the food processor. Add onion, garlic, S&P to beef. Continue to cook until beef is cooked through and onion and garlic are cooked and soft. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Marinara Sauce


1 onion

1 large carrot

4 cloves of garlic

1 can of tomato paste

1 tsp Italian seasoning (Without fillers. Ingredients should be only dried herbs.) Or use fresh chopped herbs if you have them, such as basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary.

S&P to taste


Heat FOC in medium sauté pan. Add onion, carrot and garlic to mini food processor and process to a fine chop (or chop finely by hand). Add veggies to pan. Add S&P and saute for 5-10 minutes until cooked. Do not brown. Add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add Italian seasoning and approximately 1 1/2 can (tomato paste can) of water to pan. Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Let cool for a bit then add the marinara sauce back into the food processor. Process until you have a pureéd sauce instead of a sauce of visible veggie bits. Check seasoning and adjust if needed. Set aside.

Spinach Layer


1/2 – 3/4 lb fresh baby spinach


freshly grated nutmeg

Heat sauté pan and FOC. Add spinach, salt, pepper and several grates of freshly ground nutmeg. Cook spinach down and continue to cook until all liquid has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.

The Assembly

This part is quick. Heat your oven to 350°.

1) In the bottom of a deep lasagna pan (I used a 12x8x3 inch pan) pour approximately 1/3 of the marinara sauce in the bottom and spread evenly to coat.

2) Using all of the squash, lay it flat to form an even layer.

3) Using all of the mushrooms create your next layer.

4) Combine approximately 1/3 of the cashew cream and the second 1/3 of marinara to create a pink sauce. (You have got to taste this. Think of the possibilities!) Pour this over the mushrooms as evenly as possible.

5) Using all of the eggplant create your next even, flat layer.

6) Evenly spread all of the beef on top of the eggplant.

7) Lay all of the spinach on top of the beef. Yes, you sort of have to lay it out piece by piece.

8) Pour remaining two thirds of cashew cream over the spinach.

9) Pour remaining third of marinara sauce over the cashew cream.

Cover lasagna pan with foil. Bake at 350° for approx 1 1/2 hours or until it is heated through. Remove from oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes to let it set. If you can restrain yourself long enough this part really pays off. If you don’t wait until it cools a bit it will not stand up in pretty layers. Slice and serve.

***Since writing this we have returned from our vacation. I made this lasagna and froze it. When we got to the condo I left it in the fridge to thaw. Two days later I baked it at 375° for about an hour and a half. It came out just as good this way as it did the first time.

This post was entered in the Monday Mania 5/23/11 over at The Healthy Home Economist.

This post was entered in Primal Cave #3 at Primal Toad

This post was entered in The Weekend Gourmet May 23 at Hartke is Online

This post was entered in Traditional Tuesdays Blog Hop May 24 at Real Food Whole Health

This post was entered in Grain-Free Tuesday 12 at HellaDelicious

This post was entered in Real Food Wednesday May 25 at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

This post was entered in Real Food Weekly May 26 at The Whole Gang

This post was entered in Fight Back Friday May 27 at Food Renegade


38 thoughts on “9 Layer Lasagna – Grain Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free (Dare I say Paleo??)

  1. This was yummy! I did it in about 3 1/2 hours, and that included clean up! Not sure I did the marinara sauce right, but mine was a little thick, and so I added a can of tomato sauce. I had to broil my squashes and eggplants cuz I don’t bbq. I only soaked my cashews for an hour, and I also made a macadamia “ricotta cheese” with basil. I used Italian Sausage cuz the beef was frozen. I baked at 400 cuz I didn’t realize I was suppose to bake it for so long. I guess my point is, it was fabulous, thank you, you can switch it up a bit and people should not be intimidated by it taking “all day” = )


    • Thanks for the feedback. I love to hear the way people tweek my recipes. 3 1/2 hours, that’s impressive. I just hired a housekeeper for the first time. I have been amazed at how much she can accomplish in 5 hours. It got me thinking about why everything takes me soooo long. I think it’s because I have a 3, 4 and 6 year old that seem to need something every 30 seconds. It’s a wonder I can accomplish anything at all. It’s good to hear that it doesn’t have to take so long. I too thought Italian sausage would be good in it. I just need to find a brand that is corn, soy etc and additive free.


  2. What a divine, fabulous meal this was & is!! I love all of your tasty & lovely recipes,..;so creative & so many flavours in here that are truly well combined!

    I will make tjis fab lasagne again & again! 🙂


  3. I made this over the last two days, and I think it turned out well! Of course, now it’s ten pm and I had to eat something else for dinner, but I tried a small piece that tasted great! I was “lazy” and used a sugar-free store-bought sauce to save one step. I also used almond butter instead of soaking and grinding the cashews (since I didn’t have cashews). Thanks for the recipe, and I’m sure lunch tomorrow will be fantastic!


    • How did it taste the next day? I never would have thought of using almond butter. Was it good? Did it taste like almonds? Yes, it does take a long time to make but thankfully it makes a huge pan so you can have it for a few days. I would encourage you to try the cashew cream sometime. It is soooo good.


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  6. My husband, who NEVER craves anything mentioned yesterday he wanted lasagna…in a soy and dairy free house I really didn’t think it was possible. I made this lasagna with a few tweaks (added 2 layers of lasagna noodles, subbed pine nuts for cashews and on top of that put some Daiya mozzarella sub. which i just learned about today). We just finished dinner. It was incredible. Thank you so so so much for posting it. Happy Valentine’s day!


  7. Oh my gosh, here I am thinking how brilliant it would be to make a paleo eggplant lasagna with the cashew ricotta cheese recipe I just came across/am currently making; The recipe I’m making actually requires fermentation of the soaked & blended cashews for 16 hrs with the use of added (paleo safe) probiotics… originally I thought I could just add a little lemon to the creamed cashews to give it that tart flavor but I’m excited to see how the fermentation process is going to work in that department- supposedly, it creates the tart flavor in most cheeses. Anyhow, I am so glad I came across this recipe as I plan to make it this week- I am SO excited and will post the results of my lasagna using my fermented cashew ricotta. Thank you so much for posting this!!!


    • Sorry for the late reply. I thought I did reply but I guess I didn’t. Did you try this fermented “cheese”? I keep thinking about it. Sounds promising and like it could be a great thing. I’d love to know how it worked out for you if you did it.


  8. I’m finally making the move to a healthier family eating plan. love the lasagna meal. I made homemade hummus yesterday out of cauliflower and its awesome! is there a recipe for the fake cheese option with cauliflower?.


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  11. I made this recipe last year sometime and have come back to it for the cashew cream alone- it’s so simple yet fantastic! We made lasagna again a few nights ago, but with a meat sauce using ground chicken thighs & a ton of veggies, brown rice lasagna noodles & the cashew cream mixed with some steamed spinach. So delish ❤


  12. This recipe is sensational! I’ve just made it for the 2nd time and added a layer of roasted peppers… can’t wait to have it for lunch tomorrow!


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