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The vegan lasagna that fuels tennis pro Novak Djokovic

Photo: Kelsey Cioffi
Photo: Kelsey Cioffi

You might not have 12 Grand Slam tennis titles under your belt, but you can definitely fuel your workouts just like racket-wielding powerhouse Novak Djokovic.

That’s because, unlike some athletes (cough, Michael Phelps, cough), the US Open favorite isn’t scarfing down burgers before a match. In fact, Djokovic is one of the many successful sports pros who get their energy from a plant-based diet—he even opened a vegan restaurant, Eqvita, in Monte Carlo this year. (Take that, Tom Brady.) The tennis star started eating a strict vegan diet about a year ago, and has seen major changes since then. “I feel better than I ever have before,” he says. “I have much more energy, and I’m proud to be a vegan athlete.”

“I have much more energy, and I’m proud to be a vegan athlete.”

And it’s not just on the court where his talents lie; in the kitchen, Djokovic has become a whiz as well, whipping up delicious, filling vegan dishes featuring seriously edgy ingredients. Case in point: His raw, plant-based lasagna recipe features food blogger-beloved cashew ricotta.

We got to taste it ourselves at a recent dinner at New York City’s Refinery Rooftop, where the tall, lithe tennis star dug in next to us. The dish—which is super-satisfying without landing like a thud in your stomach—is being served on a Jacob’s Creek wine pairing menu at the hotel’s restaurant on, Parker & Quinn, from August 29-September 2. Too busy watching the US Open to book a reservation? Djokovic shared his recipe with Well+Good. Consider it the food world equivalent of a courtside seat.

Keep reading for Novak Djokovic’s raw, vegan lasagna recipe.

Get Started


Novak Djokovic’s Zucchini Lasagna

For the cashew ricotta
1 cup soaked cashews
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 Tbsp salt

For the pistachio pesto
3/4 cup packed basil leaves
1/4 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup pistachios
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of pepper

For the red pepper marinara
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hour, then squeezed of water
1 tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 Tbsp salt
2 pinches red chili flakes

For assembly
1 zucchini, ends trimed and sliced on a mandolin
1 medium tomato, sliced
Fresh arugula
Olive oil
Oregano, cashews, and red chili flakes, for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients for the cashew ricotta in a food processor and set aside.

2. Place all ingredients for the pistachio pesto in a food processor and blend until well combined. Set aside.

3. Combine all ingredients for the red pepper marinara in a food processor and set aside.

4. On a plate, create a layer of cashew ricotta. Top with layer of zucchini slices. Next, add a layer of pistachio pesto. Top with slices of tomato. Add a layer of red pepper marinara on top of the tomatoes. Finish with fresh arugula.

5. Drizzle olive oil on top, and garnish with oregano, cashews, and red chili flakes.

If, like the tennis star, you heart plant-based dishes, you’ll probably approve of these 10 paleo and vegan recipes. Or, for an energy boost powerful enough to fuel you through any workout, try on of these insanely delicious fat bombs.