Zucchini lasagna is a delicious variation on traditional lasagna that gives you all the flavor of our favorite classic comfort food without all the carbs. Whether you’re doing the keto thing or simply want to cut empty carbs from your diet, or if you just love zucchini, this zucchini lasagna is a crowd-pleaser that’s so good and so easy.
Zucchini Lasagna – A Tasty Twist on Comfort Food
As I write this – in the dead of winter when the sky is gray and the temperatures have plummeted – I’m reminded of exactly why I love comfort food. It’s comfortable. It’s right there in the name. Comfort food.
Of course, lasagna is one of the ultimate comfort foods in the winter months. It’s hot and cheesy, and it fills you up while warming you up. All of those things are perfect for the winter months. That being said, lasagna is one of those dishes that’s perfect any time of year. It’s always welcome, and it always satisfies.
Whether you’re making it for a weeknight dinner, a family gathering, or a potluck, lasagna is a tried and true dish. This zucchini lasagna takes everything that’s so great about the classic lasagna and replaces the noodles with zucchini. It’s utterly delicious and perfect for getting extra veggies into your family while getting rid of carbs that have very little nutritional value. It’s a win all the way around!
Today, I’m going to show you how to make one of the most delicious zucchini lasagna recipes you’ve ever had, and by the time we’re done, I think you’ll be chomping at the bit to whip up a batch for your family, so let’s get started!
Important Tips To Know
While this lasagna recipe isn’t difficult to make, there are a few important tips to be aware of to ensure that you end up with the best possible outcome. There are a few differences between making traditional lasagna and zucchini lasagna, and we’re going to go over them here.
Addressing the Moisture in Zucchini
Zucchini has a high water content, and it’s important to remember that when using zucchini in a lasagna recipe like this one. After slicing your zucchini, lay each slice out on paper towels to help absorb some of the moisture prior to layering. Add additional paper towels on top of the slices and start another layer of zucchini slices covered by more paper towels.
You’ll notice that the sauce for this recipe is on the thicker side. It’s supposed to be that way. Again, zucchini has a high water content, and some of that water will leech out during the cooking process, thinning out the sauce a bit.
Finally, there’s no need to peel the zucchini. The skin will cook up nicely, and it contains tons of vitamins. In addition, it saves time, which we all love.
Simmering the Sauce is Key
Many cooks, especially those who are newer to cooking will often think that if they boil something rather than simmering it, it will reduce the time needed to cook. However, simmering is not only about cooking. It’s about allowing flavors to meld.
Don’t rush the simmering process. The minimum amount of time for this sauce to simmer is 25 – 30 minutes, but simmering it longer is wonderful, as well. Simmering allows the various tomato products to come together and the spices to really impart their flavor throughout the sauce.
Go Easy on the Water
If you find your sauce is just too thick, you can add a little water to thin it out. I referenced in the instructions below, only add about a tablespoon of water at a time until the sauce is slightly thinner.
I cannot underscore this enough. Do not thin your sauce out too much. It needs to be thick to balance with the water content in the zucchini. So be delicate with your additional water should you need to add any.
Substitutions or Additions
There are some substitutions and/or additions that can be made in this lasagna to add a slightly different flavor profile or simply replace ingredients you may not like or have on hand.
- You can use diced tomatoes in the sauce if you love their texture, however, drain them first to eliminate excess liquid.
- If you’re not a fan of ricotta cheese, you can substitute it with cottage cheese.
- Italian sausage can also be added in addition to the ground beef.
- Zucchini lasagna can be made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. It will have a different taste but will be delicious as well.
Serving Zucchini Lasagna
Like any other lasagna, this zucchini variation is a hearty dish that is a meal all its own. It needs very little in the way of sides. Simply served up a plate of this delicious lasagna with a simple side salad and a big hunk of garlic bread. That’s all you need for a simple, delicious meal.
Storing Zucchini Lasagna
This lasagna is absolutely delicious right out of the oven, but in my opinion, it’s even better the next day! After a day of sitting in the fridge, all those delicious flavors really meld together to give an extra kick of flavor. That’s great because leftovers are always welcome.
This zucchini lasagna will last for about 3 to 5 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. For longer storage or meal-prep options, you can freeze it for a couple of months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.
Your Family Will Love This Zucchini Lasagna
This zucchini lasagna has everything we love about traditional lasagna, making it the perfect dish to serve to your family and friends. Packed with beefy, cheesy goodness, this lasagna always satisfies. And with zucchini used in place of traditional noodles, it’s a lighter dish that fills you up without weighing you down.
Ingredients Needed For Zucchini Lasagna
This is a from-scratch lasagna recipe, so you won’t find any canned spaghetti sauce here. You’ll be making your own sauce using tomato sauce, paste, and crushed tomatoes, along with some seasonings, spices and ground beef. That being said, there’s no need to be intimidated. Spaghetti sauce is one of the easiest things in the world to make. To make this zucchini lasagna, you’ll need.
- Ground Beef
- Diced Onions
- Minced Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Tomato Sauce
- Tomato Paste
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Parmesan Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
These are all the ingredients required to make this lasagna from start to finish, so on the whole, it’s not an involved recipe. A big bonus here is that you’ll probably have all the ingredients you need to make this dish in your pantry already. You might have to buy some ground beef and zucchini, but every store in the world has those readily available.
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
Now that you know what ingredients you need to make this dish, it’s time to put them all together. It all starts with the sauce and ends with layering and baking. It’s a very straightforward recipe. You don’t need any special culinary knowledge or devices. You just need an oven, a baking dish, and a pan.
Making The Lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Slice the zucchini length-wise into thin slices, 1/8th inch. There’s no need to peel it.
- Mix the ricotta cheese, egg, and parsley until completely combined.
- In a large pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add ground beef and onions and cook until meat is completely browned and the onions are translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Drain the grease from the beef mixture and return it to the pan.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The sauce will be thick. If it’s too thick, add a little water – about a tablespoon at a time – thin it out slightly.
- Add 1/4 of the meat sauce to the bottom of the dish, evenly covering the bottom.
- Place 1/3 of the zucchini slices over the meat mixture.
- Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the zucchini.
- Next, spread 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the ricotta.
- Sprinkle with 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.
- Add another layer of meat sauce, zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, followed by a final layer of meat, zucchini, ricotta, and mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
That’s all there is to it. As you can see, this dish only requires a little sautéing, simmering, and layering, and you’re all done. It’s one of the easiest from-scratch lasagna recipes out there, so you can rest easy knowing that it should give you no problems whatsoever.
Try This Delicious Zucchini Lasagna Today
Give this zucchini lasagna a try, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s one of the best lasagnas you’ve ever made.
Here are a few more delicious recipes that can be found on the blog:
- Three Alarm Garlic Cheese Bread
- Garlic Cheese Toast
- Easy Healthy Pasta
- Turkey Parmesan Meatball Pasta Bake
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1½ tsp oregano
- 1½ tsp basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 15 oz can crushed tomatoes, do not drain
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 3-4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise ⅛ inch thick, no need to peel
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 15 oz Ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray. Set aside.
Mix the ricotta cheese, egg, and parsley until completely combined.
In a large pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
Add ground beef and onions and cook until meat is completely browned and onions are translucent.
Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1 too 2 minutes. Drain the grease and return it to pan.
Pour tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, fennel seeds, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper into pan, stir.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water, about a tablespoon at a time to thin it out slightly.
Add 1/4 of the meat mixture to the bottom of the dish, evenly covering the bottom.
Place 1/3 of the zucchini slices over the meat mixture.
Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini slices.
Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta.
Sprinkle with 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.
Add another layer of meat, zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, followed by a final layer of meat, zucchini, ricotta, and mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the zucchini lasagna from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.
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