Oh man- 7 months pregnant, got an upcoming glucose test, trying to cool it on the carbs, craving Italian flavors. Enter- Zucchini Lasagna! This no fuss recipe is simple easy, and combines whole ingredients for a healthy-ish dinner your family will love. Zucchini strips replace lasagna noodles for a low carb take on an old Italian classic.
Zucchini lasagna is the same as traditional lasagna- layers of zucchini ‘noodles’, meat sauce with marinara, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella. The only difference is this version is low carb because it has no pasta in it.It’s a win-win! I did not miss the noodles because the flavor is so good.
Let’s get started! First off- preheat your oven to 375 degrees farenheit.
Step 1: Cut ends off of zucchini after washing, and using a mandolin (preferably with safety glove or safety attachment!) slice lengthwise into slices. Using a mandolin ensures that all of the zucchini slices are the same size. We recommend using the mandolin on 3mm. Lay the zucchini on either a baking sheet or a cutting board, and sprinkle salt on both sides. This helps remove excess water (see picture below- you can see the water droplets forming!). Let salt sit on zucchini while we move to the next step.
If you don’t have a mandolin- fear not! You can use a potato peeler (though the slices won’t be as large and it will take longer) or you can just slice them by hand.
Step 2: Cook ground turkey in a skillet with 1 diced onion, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Once meat is fully cooked, add 24 ounces of marinara sauce, making sure to reserve 1/2 cup for later on. Set aside and allow to cool. While allowing sauce to cool, use a paper towel to ‘dab’ excess water and salt off of both sides of zucchini slices.
Step 3: Mix 2 eggs with 15 ounces of ricotta cheese. Set aside. Adding these 2 eggs to the ricotta makes the ricotta stay fluffy when baking.
Step 4: Add reserved 1/2 cup of marinara to bottom of pan. Begin to assembly lasagna. We like to do this in the following steps (see picture below!).
- Zucchini noodles
- Meat sauce
- Ricotta Mixture
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Repeat for one more layer, and end with a final top layer of zucchini noodles and shredded mozzarella on top.
Step 5: Bake your noodle free zucchini lasagna at 375 degrees farenheit for 40-45 minutes. I like mine to be fairly well broiled on top so during the last 5 minutes I switch the oven to a high broil, and let it brown. If you do this, watch it closely- broilers can vary and I don’t want to be the bad guy that burnt your dinner! 🙂
Now- let’s answer all of your zucchini lasagna questions!
- How else can I make sure the zucchini doesn’t get watery?
- In addition to salting the zucchini and ‘dabbing’ it with a paper towel, you can then grill it or roast it in the oven with a little bit of olive oil. I prefer to do this in a grill pan as I like the grill marks it makes on the zucchini.
- What kind of pan did you use?
- I use a 9×13 porcelain casserole dish. This one here, to be precise!
- What kind of mandolin do you use?
- I use this one from Amazon. It comes with safety gloves. PLEASE use safety gloves or a guard if you are using a mandolin for ANYTHING. They are dangerous and can do serious damage to your fingers.
- What kind of ground turkey did you use?
- I use Jenny-o 93/7 ground turkey. Isernios is another great brand.
- What other meat can I use?
- Sausage, ground chicken or ground beef would work great as well.
- What kind of marinara sauce did you use?
- I use Newmans Own. Trader Joes is great as well. Rao’s from Costco has a recent cult following though I haven’t tried it yet (but want to!0. Any marinara sauce of your choice would work.
- How can I make this vegetarian?
- Use equal amounts of diced vegetables instead of ground meat. I suggest dicing mushrooms, canned artichokes, eggplant (though make sure you salt it to remove bitterness), and spinach.
- What kind of ricotta did you use?
- I use whole milk Galbani ricotta cheese. It is sold at most grocery stores.
- What kind of shredded mozzarella did you use?
- I use Kraft shredded mozzarella. I do recommend buying fresh and grating it yourself if you have the time though- the flavor and texture is much better.
- What other vegetables can I add?
- Cherry tomatoes, fresh roasted garlic, mushrooms, spinach, canned artichoke hearts, eggplant, even garbanzo beans would be delicious.
- What other recipes with Zucchini do you suggest?
- What other low carb dinners do you recommend?
Here’s to delicious and healthy dinners! – Rachel
A delicious, low carb dinner that replaces regular noodles for zucchini noodles! Our recipe is no fuss, and only takes a few steps to make.
- 4 large zucchini sliced into strips with a mandolin or potato peeler
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 24 ounces marinara sauce reserve 1/2 cup for later
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella
- 2 tbsp salt to remove exess moisture- more may be needed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut ends off of zucchini after washing, and using a mandolin (preferably with safety glove or safety attachment!) slice lengthwise into slices, about 3mm (or 1/8 of an inch) thick. Lay the zucchini on either a baking sheet or a cutting board, and sprinkle salt on both sides. Allow to sit while you complete the next 2 steps (at least 15-20 minutes)
Cook ground turkey in a skillet on medium high with diced onion, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Once meat is fully cooked, add 24 ounces of marinara sauce, making sure you reserve 1/2 cup for later on.
Mix eggs with ricotta cheese. Set aside
Use a paper towel to 'dab' excess water and salt off of both sides of zucchini slices.
Add reserved 1/2 cup of marinara to bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Begin to assemble lasagna, allowing enough to use 2 layers for each ingredient.
Repeat for one more layer, and end with a final top layer of zucchini noodles and shredded mozzarella on top.
Bake your noodle free zucchini lasagna at 375 degrees farenheit for 40-45 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
- I like mine to be fairly well broiled on top so during the last 5 minutes I switch the oven to a high broil, and let it brown. If you do this, watch it closely- broilers can vary and I don't want to be the bad guy that burnt your dinner! 🙂
-Zucchini Lasagna will by nature (zucchini is 95% water) be a little more 'watery' than you are used to. Use a large spoon to drain some moisture and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving to help.
*Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This does not cost you any extra and helps keep the ovens running at the Laughing Spatula kitchens!