These vegan zucchini lasagna sandwiches are made with panko crusted zucchini piled with creamy tofu ricotta and marinara sauce.
My boyfriend suggested I make fried zucchini with some of my garden crop. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be yielding as big a crop as I’d anticipated. I had a lot of blossoms about a month ago, but most withered away before giving me any squash. The leaves also started to dry out, despite having plenty of rain. I have no idea what’s going on, and if anyone reading this does, I’m glad to hear what you’ve got to say. Fortunately I did get a few zucchini before all of this went down. At this point I’ve got one more developing squash and a few remaining blossoms in the garden. Keeping my fingers crossed they’ll turn out okay.
Anyhow, I decided to go along with my boyfriend’s suggestion, but with a twist, as I’m sure you gathered by now. He grew up eating fried zucchini. It wasn’t vegan though, nor was it incorporated into a sloppy vegan lasagna sandwich. Yes, sloppy would be the word for this. It’s one of the sloppiest sandwiches I’ve ever eaten, but fortunately, sloppy, for whatever reason, often seems to go along with delicious. I guess when something tastes really good we’re all willing to deal with a bit of bib wearing and food faces.
The idea of a “lasagna sandwich” seems rather complicated, but this recipe is actually pretty simple and comes together quickly. I recommend homemade marinara sauce, which I always make in large batches so I can keep it stocked in my freezer for stuff like this. Once you’ve got that part of the recipe taken care of, the rest is easy. Tofu ricotta takes all of two minutes to blend and the zucchini cooks up in about ten. Lasagna on a sandwich is way easier to make than the traditional version, and honestly, way better if you ask me. I might just start turning all of my favorite meals into sandwiches. Let the sloppiness begin.
Panko Crusted Zucchini Lasagna Sandwiches
For the Tofu Ricotta
- 1/2 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 lb. extra firm tofu
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp. unflavored soy or almond milk
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- dash pepper
For the Panko Crusted Zucchini
- 1 cup panko
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch thick slabs or rounds
- 1/3 cup water + 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds whisked together and allowed to sit for at least 10 minutes
For the Sandwiches
- 4 6- inch sandwich rolls or 1 baguette cut into 4 sections and sliced open
- 2-3 cups marinara sauce
Make the Tofu Ricotta
- Place onion and garlic into food processor bowl. Process until finely chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended.
Prepare the Panko Crusted Zucchini
- Stir panko, salt and pepper together in small bowl.
- Coat a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat.
- Working carefully and with one piece at a time, coat top and bottom of each zucchini piece with flax mixture, followed by panko mixture.
- Transfer to skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes per side, turning very gently between sides.
- Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.
Assemble the Sandwiches
- Divide zucchini slices and arrange on bottom half of rolls.
- Top zucchini slices with ricotta, then with sauce.
While flax seeds work as a great egg substitute, they don't bind quite as well as eggs. Handle your zucchini carefully during frying, and do it in batches if necessary, to avoid the panko coating flaking off.