Zucchini lasagna is a fresh take on a classic comfort food dish. It’s loaded with veggies, but still has the rich flavors and scrumptious texture of a traditional lasagna. Top it off with some grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves, and you’ll have the perfect weeknight meal for the whole family.
When it comes to making weeknight meals a little easier, casseroles can’t be beaten. You may have already tried my Whole 30 Chicken Broccoli Casserole or Healthy Breakfast Casserole. But you can never go wrong with a good ol’ lasagna right? Especially a healthy one.
So with several zucchinis left in my fridge, I thought, why not make a zucchini lasagna! Not only is this version gluten-free, low-carb, keto-friendly, and packed with vegetables, but it’s still got that hearty, cheesy lasagna flavor. Albeit a little lighter and healthier (which is a definite win).
HOW TO CUT ZUCCHINI FOR LASAGNA
You can use a mandoline, peeler, or vegetable sheet cutter. But because many people don’t own a vegetable sheet cutter, I’m showing you how to cut your zucchini using a mandolin or a peeler today.
I prefer a mandolin because it allows me to control the thickness of my zucchini and I find it to be faster and easier than a peeler. But it’s up to you.
HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI LASAGNA LESS WATERY
You may recall from my zucchini noodles post that zucchini is 95% water. That means when you cook it, it will naturally become watery. But if you’re looking to have a little less juice in your lasagna, I do have a few tips:
- Slice your zucchini into thinner slices: thinner slices mean less zucchini, thus less water.
- Salt your zucchini and let it sit for 15 minutes: salt draws the water out of the zucchini. Then, just blot it dry with a paper towel.
- Grill it to reduce the moisture: grill the zucchini for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Personally, I don’t mind if my zucchini is a bit more watery. I just scoop it out with a spatula that has holes to allow any water to drain. But feel free to use the method that works best for you.
Lastly, note that this recipe also uses more zucchini than other zucchini lasagnas, as the slices are layered on top of each other. So it will come out a bit more watery than expected. I personally love biting into the chunks of zucchini, so my motto is the more the better!
WHAT OTHER VEGGIES CAN YOU USE IN LASAGNA?
The beauty of lasagna is that you can pack it with any thin vegetables. Vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, onions, or eggplant can be easily added as a layer. Or you can slice pumpkin or sweet potato into alternating slices with the zucchini. The possibilities are endless.
ZUCCHINI LASAGNA INGREDIENTS
The ingredients for zucchini lasagna are pretty basic: zucchini, ground beef, pasta sauce, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, egg, basil, and parsley. But there are a few small details to watch out for when it comes to the texture and consistency. Let’s take a look:
- Small vs. large zucchini: Either size will work. Just make sure you have about 2 pounds of zucchini which is about 5 small zucchinis or 3 large zucchinis.
- Part-skim vs. whole milk ricotta: Whole milk ricotta has a richer, creamier texture while part-skim will save you some calories and fat. Both work great, it’s up to you.
- Mozzarella vs. parmesan: I suggest using both! In this recipe, I mix the ricotta and parmesan together and grate the mozzarella on top. I love the variety of cheeses.
HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI LASAGNA
It’s easier than you think to make zucchini lasagna. It’s really all about layering. Watch the video below to see exactly how I do it, step-by-step.
- Slice your zucchini lengthwise into slices. If you’d like to make your lasagna less watery, use one of the tips above.
- Make your bolognese sauce in a large pan over medium-high heat. Break down the ground beef into small pieces and cook until it’s browned. Then, stir in the pasta sauce.
- Make the ricotta mix by stirring together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, and some salt and pepper.
- Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Place your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce, then add 1/2 of the bolognese sauce and spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture evenly on top of that.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the grated mozzarella, along with some chopped parsley and basil.
- Repeat these layers one more time! Feel free to press down on your zucchini in the second layer to get it nice and flat.
- Top the zucchini with a sprinkle of more herbs and 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella.
- Pop the lasagna in the oven and let it cook for about 40 minutes. Then let it boil for 5 minutes to get a nice golden brown top.
- Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve!
HOW TO STORE ZUCCHINI LASAGNA
Once the lasagna has slightly cooled, place it in a storage container. It can last for 3-5 days in the fridge or a couple of months in the freezer. It’s tasty meal prep for sure!
The best zucchini lasagna recipe is hearty, healthy and delicious. It's gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly.
- 4 large zucchini
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 24 ounces pasta sauce
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan regianno
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- small handful fresh parsley and basil , chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit (200 degrees celsius).
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, as thin or thick as you'd like. Set aside.
Add the ground beef to a large pan over medium high heat. Finely break down the ground beef with a spatula and pan fry it until browned and no longer pink.
Pour the pasta sauce on top of the ground beef (remember to reserve 1/2 cup) and stir together, then remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, make the ricotta mix by stirring together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper.
Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of your 9×13-inch casserole dish.
Add your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce. They can overlap or you can place them side-by-side.
Top the zucchini with 1/2 of the bolognese sauce, and evenly spread 1/2 the ricotta mix on top of that.
Add 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella on top of the ricotta, along with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil.
Repeat these layers one more time.
Top the lasagna with a final layer of zucchini slices, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
Place the lasagna in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes. Broil for a couple of minutes to get a nice golden top.
Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve.
CALORIES: 362kcal, CARBOHYDRATES: 7g, PROTEIN: 25g, FAT: 26g, SATURATED FAT: 12g, CHOLESTEROL: 104mg, SODIUM: 603mg, POTASSIUM: 626mg, FIBER: 2g, SUGAR: 4g, VITAMIN A: 720iu, VITAMIN C: 16mg, CALCIUM: 270mg, IRON: 3mg
- I used store-bought pasta sauce (I love Rao’s) but if you’d like to make your bolognese from scratch, you can follow my bolognese recipe.
- This is the mandoline I love…and don’t forget to use cut-resistant gloves as well. Your fingers will thank you.
- The casserole dish is 9×13 for those looking for exact measurements.