I totally fooled my family with this one, and I didn’t even try!
I did tell them it was zucchini lasagna – so I wasn’t trying to be sneaky or anything. But they thought it was regular lasagna, with some extra zucchini added. Nope! The noodles were replaced entirely with zucchini. There was not a single noodle in the whole thing. And it was A-mazing. With a capitol A!
They didn’t even believe me at first. They said, “That lasagna was SO good!” and I said, “Can you believe it didn’t have any noodles in it?” And they were all like “What do you mean? I saw the noodles.” And I was like “Nope, those were noodle-sized zucchini slices.”
Everyone loved it, and I am quite sure that your family will love it, too.
And I even made this with only one functioning knee, too – so you don’t even have to be in perfect health to make this for dinner, ha ha 🙂 You may have noticed that I haven’t posted much in July and August this year. Well, that’s because I messed up my knee ( torn meniscus). I was pretty much off my feet for 5 weeks, then I had knee surgery to fix it, and now I am recovering from surgery and it’s kind of a slow, painful process. However, during this time I managed to create 1 new thing – this lasagna. So hey, if I can make this, you can surely make this with ease!
This recipe has a lot of pictures and steps to it, but it really isn’t hard to make – so let’s dive right in to the recipe! Here is the written recipe ( with the option to print), then I will show the steps below:Print
Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna
Replacing the noodles with zucchini strips is the best thing to happen to lasagna! This easy to make casserole is loaded with a rich, meaty, tomato sauce, and ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses. A low-carb dieter’s dream come true 😀
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 9 servings
- Category: dinner
For meat sauce:
- 1 can of tomato puree, 29 oz.
- 1 can of tomato paste, 6 oz.
- 2 cloves of minced (or pressed) garlic
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 tsp. basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
For ricotta filling:
- 1 container of low fat ricotta cheese, 16 oz.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp . salt
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp . pepper or to taste
- one large zucchini, or enough to equal about 1.5 pounds
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or to taste
- Use a wide vegetable peeler to peel long strips of zucchini that are similar in length to lasagna noodles. This is a great way to use those large zucchini that grow in the garden!
- Place the zucchini strips in a large bowl or dish, and sprinkle them with salt on both sides. This will draw out the moisture so they won’t make the lasagna too watery when it cooks, and it softens the zucchini so it has more of a noodle texture. Let them sit while you prepare the meat sauce.
- Make the meat sauce:
- In a big skillet or wide pan, brown the ground beef and the minced garlic on medium high heat.
- Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, and a can of water ( from the tomato paste) or 3/4 cup of water.
- Add the spices and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer while you make the ricotta filling.
- Ricotta filling:
- In a bowl, add ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mix well until ingredients are combined.
- Take the meat sauce off the heat.
- Assemble the lasagna:
- Rinse the salt off the zucchini strips and pat dry.
- Then lay down a layer of zucchini strips, overlapping them slightly.
- Next, add a few spoonfuls of sauce.
- After that, drop a few globs of ricotta filling, and sprinkle with mozzarella ( however much you like).
- Top with more zucchini, sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella, ending with a layer of sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella on top.
- Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook about 10 minutes more until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
- Let cool for about 10-15 minutes before eating, or a little longer. It gets more firm and easier to cut if allowed to cool a bit.
If you want, you can put together the casserole and freeze it to bake at a future date if you pre-cook the zucchini a little bit before assembling the casserole. You can do this by covering the zucchini strips with water in a microwave-safe dish and cooking on high for 1 or 2 minutes. Drain and pat the zucchini dry, assemble the casserole, seal tightly with foil and freeze.
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
Step 1 – Prepare the Zucchini:
First of all, take your large zucchini and (as shown in the picture) peel long, wide strips. this is a great way to use up that extra large zucchini that comes from the garden!
You will need an extra wide peeler to make the strips look like lasagna noodles. I put a link to an extra wide peeler in the Store section of this website, to make it even easier to locate one. Click on the link to my Store, check the box in the search menu on the upper right side that says “Useful Tools” and you will see the wide peeler that I recommend. You can find that link right here
Now here’s a nifty little trick:
Place the zucchini strips in a large bowl or dish, and sprinkle them with salt on both sides. This will draw out the moisture so they won’t make the lasagna too watery when it cooks, and it softens the zucchini so it has more of a noodle texture. Let them sit while you prepare the meat sauce.
*Note: if you want to freeze this meal for an easy dinner in the future, it will help to cook the zucchini strips briefly in the microwave before assembling the lasagna. After you draw out the moisture with salt, place the dish in the microwave for about a minute – that’s all it takes to pre-cook the zucchini so it won’t go bad in the freezer and ruin your lovely, healthy masterpiece 🙂 Then drain off any remaining liquid, and you’re ready to make the meat sauce and ricotta filling
*Update: I have found I get better results when I rinse the salt off the zucchini “noodles” and pat them dry with a towel or paper towels before assembling the lasagna.
Step 2 – Make the Meat Sauce:
Brown the ground beef and garlic together in a medium to large pan, on medium-high heat.
Then add the tomato puree, tomato paste, and 3/4 cup water. Add the spices and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Step 3 – Make the Ricotta Filling:
In a bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix well – it should look like this:
Take the meat sauce off the heat. Now let’s make some lasagna magic!
Step 4 – How to Assemble the Zucchini Lasagna:
First lay down a layer of zucchini strips, overlapping them slightly.
Then add a few spoonfuls of sauce.
Next drop a few dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture.
Sprinkle with mozzarella ( however much you like)
- Repeat the layers of zucchini strips, sauce, ricotta dollops, and cheese. If you have enough zucchini strips, lay down one more layer on top of it all.
- End with sauce.
- Top with a sprinkle of cheese.
- Cover with foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil to allow the cheese to brown on top. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting in to it. Don’t worry – it will still be piping hot after 15 minutes. Trust me!
My husband reports that this lasagna is even better the next day for lunch. Some foods are like that – the flavors tend to meld and develop even more after spending the night in the fridge. This is one of those foods!
I am super excited about how well this turned out, and I’d love to know what you think of it. and better yet, if you try it out, please leave me a comment and let me know how it worked for you!
I’ll even give you a sweet image to pin: