Lasagna is a classic Italian dish that many families love. However, traditional lasagna is often made with carb-heavy pasta noodles, making it a less-than-ideal option for those who are trying to eat healthily or are following a low-carb diet. That's where zucchini lasagna comes in! This delicious and healthy dish swaps out lasagna noodles for zucchini slices, making it a great option for those who want to enjoy lasagna without all the carbs. especially during the summer months. This Zucchini Lasagna is a less traditional, veggie-friendly take on the original.
If you're looking for a completely meatless version this can easily be done by adding any protein of your choice in place of the ground turkey-just be sure to take a look at the measurements and factor that in. In this post, I'm sharing my best zucchini lasagna recipe, as well as some tips on how to serve, store, and customize your zucchini lasagna.
Medium zucchini squash acts as the base and takes the place of pasta (make sure they're similar in size and shape for the best results. Ground turkey, crushed tomatoes, and an array of spices create the tomato sauce base. Egg acts as the binding agent and keeps the lasagna together. Fresh basil, sliced into a chiffonade acts as the garnish and gives a little bit of extra flavor. Cheddar and parmesan cheeses make an extra cheesy lasagna. Fresh onion adds extra flavor in addition to dried garlic, parsley, paprika, oregano, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Olive oil is used to cook the ground meat and add even more flavor.
Watch me make Zucchini Lasagna here
Steps to make Zucchini Lasagna
Making this delicious lasagna is quite easy but you'll want to be sure to follow these steps carefully.
First complete all prep work necessary- slice the tops and bottoms off the zucchini and slice them into even slices horizontally. Follow the steps below to draw out the extra moisture. Chop the onion into small diced pieces.
Brown the ground turkey with olive oil and all seasonings in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the turkey has been cooked through, add the crushed tomatoes. Allow these ingredients to simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Add chili oil if desired. Once cooled, add the egg, stirring quickly until completely combined.- this step can be done while the mixture is still fairly warm however, be sure to add the egg and stir quickly and vigorously so the egg does not cook.
Place the slices of zucchini into the baking dish vertically. Spread one-third of the tomato sauce mixture on top and spread into an even layer. Repeat this step two more times alternating the direction of the zucchini from horizontal to vertical (this will help hold the lasagna together). Bake the lasagna in the oven uncovered for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. After 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top with cheese-return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted completely.
Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Key Equipment needed
9x9 or 13x9 baking dish
large saucepan or skillet
How to Serve Zucchini Lasagna
Zucchini lasagna can be served as a main dish for lunch or dinner. It's also a great option to bring to a potluck or family gathering. Here's how to serve zucchini lasagna:
- Let it rest: Once your zucchini lasagna is cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will help it hold together better and make it easier to cut into slices.
- Add fresh herbs: Before serving, add some fresh basil or other herbs on top of your zucchini lasagna. This will give it a burst of flavor and make it look more appetizing.
- Add red pepper flakes: If you like a bit of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of your zucchini lasagna.
As you can see below, there is a multitude of spices required for this dish. The main reason is because of the ground turkey-I find that ground turkey is extremely bland, even with the addition of salt and pepper. Here recently, I've been adding some red pepper flakes to this blend and I am LOVING IT! Anytime I make something that required this meat, I always ramp up the seasoning...do this for optimal outcome!
How to Store Zucchini Lasagna
If you have leftover zucchini lasagna, you'll want to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh. Here's how to store zucchini lasagna:
- Let it cool: Before storing your zucchini lasagna, let it cool to room temperature.
- Cut into small pieces: If you have a lot of leftover zucchini lasagna, cut it into smaller pieces before storing it. This will make it easier to reheat later.
- Wrap tightly: Wrap your zucchini lasagna tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent excess moisture from getting in.
- Store in an airtight container: Place your wrapped zucchini lasagna in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat properly: To reheat your leftover zucchini lasagna, place it in a baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
How to prevent watery lasagna
I recently learned of an amazing technique that can be used to reduce the amount of liquid that collects in the bottom of the pan--salt the zucchini. I know it sounds odd but here's exactly how to do it: Lay out a layer of paper towels (or anything clean that collects moisture). On a cutting board, slice the zucchini in preparation for the lasagna. Lay each slice next to each other and sprinkle generously with salt. I know this process may seem like you're adding gobs of sodium to your meal but it's not. The salt will create a chemical reaction and draw out the excess water. Now it won't bring out every drop but it will significantly decrease the amount of water expelled during the baking process.
Substitutions and Variations
One of the great things about zucchini lasagna is that there are so many different ways to make it. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:
- Meat sauce: You can use ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, or Italian sausage to make your meat sauce. If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can use a veggie crumble or omit the meat altogether.
- Cheese: Mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese are both great options for zucchini lasagna. You can also try other types of cheese, like ricotta or goat cheese.
- Extra veggies: If you want to add some extra veggies to your zucchini lasagna, try adding some chopped spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers to your meat sauce.
- Different ways to slice the zucchini: You can slice your zucchini into thick slices or thin strips, depending on your preference. Some people also like to peel their zucchini before slicing it.
- Use marinara sauce or tomato paste: Instead of making a meat sauce, you can use marinara sauce or tomato paste for a vegetarian option.
If you make this recipe please rate and review it on the recipe card below. I would love for you to tag me on Instagram @belovedplate https://www.instagram.com/belovedplate/
MORE RECIPES WITH VEGGIES!!!Print
This Zucchini Lasagna is a less traditional, veggie-friendly take on the original. If you're looking for a completely meatless version this can easily be done by swapping out the ground turkey and adding another protein in its place.
4 medium-sized zucchini squash
1 sprig of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
1 lb ground turkey
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil for the pan
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- Grate cheeses if need be, set in the fridge for later. Chop up onions, cook until translucent. Add ground turkey and all spices, brown meat until cooked through. Add tomato sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced. Let cool, add an egg, and stir.
- Spread one-third of the tomato sauce mixture on top and spread into an even layer. Repeat this step two more times alternating the direction of the zucchini from horizontal to vertical (this will help hold the lasagna together). Bake the lasagna in the oven uncovered for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. After 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top with cheese-return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted completely.
Remove pan from oven and top with cheese. Return pan to oven, baking until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: One 3-inch square
- Calories: 391
- Sugar: 6.8 g
- Sodium: 1441.1 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.9 g
- Protein: 30 g
- Cholesterol: 129.1 mg
Keywords: zucchini lasagna, zucchini, lasagna, vegetable lasagna