Zucchini Lasagna

No pasta noodles means no gluten! And there is still tons of meaty goodness in the sauce (vegetarian alternative obviously possible). This is a pretty simple to make lasagna but takes a bit of time to prepare and cook.

The Recipe:
1 lb. lean beef
1 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 onion, diced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
15 oz. part-skim ricotta
16 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 large egg

1. In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to remove any fat.

2. Add olive oil to the pan and sauté garlic and onions about 2 minutes.

3. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer covered on low for at least 30-40 minutes (the sauce should be thick).

4. Meanwhile, lightly salt zucchini slices and set aside for 10 minutes. Salting removes a lot of the zucchini’s natural moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel.

5. On a grill or grill pan, grill zucchini until cooked, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.

7. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan and egg. Stir well.

8. In a 9×12 casserole, spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the ricotta mixture, then top with the mozzarella. Repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce and mozzarella; cover with foil.

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9. Bake 45 minutes covered, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5-10 minutes before serving.

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My Experience:

So, I am apparently very bad at thinly slicing zucchini length-wise. My top layer looks pretty, but I won’t tell you what the rest looks like… I need to work on that skill. You could also use a mandolin slicer. If you are not skilled in slicing, I would suggest you have an extra zucchini because the middle is obviously the easiest to slice.

Instead of ricotta, I used 2% cottage cheese. No ricotta was on sale, while the cottage cheese was. Made my decision easy. I just added a bit extra Parmesan to thicken up the cheese mixture a little.

As usual, I used dried basil. I even decided to top the entire dish with a little basil after it came out of the oven.

You could easily double the sauce recipe while you are at it and freeze some for another dish. It’s a great simple meat sauce, perfect for any pasta (or alternative) dish. You can obviously use store bought sauce, or your own recipe. It is very versatile just like any other lasagna.

I made a smaller portion but the recipe is supposed to serve 8.

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