Another zucchini recipe! Lasagna is one of my all time favorite foods, hands down, no doubt about it, I love lasagna! I love Italian food. I love zucchini lasagna as much as I love original lasagna. I almost can’t even tell the difference between zucchini lasagna and pasta lasagna, and I bet you won’t be able to either with this recipe! Kris said he couldn’t tell the difference, and that’s something! The trick is to make sure the zucchini doesn’t make the lasagna too watery. I use my favorite lasagna recipe and simply substitute in zucchini for the lasagna noodles.
I used a mandolin to slice the zucchini, just a little over an eighth of an inch. To keep the zucchini from making the lasagna too watery, I salted the zucchini and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The salt pulls a lot of the moisture out of the zucchini. I then patted the zucchini slices dry and baked them for 10 minutes to dry them out even more. You could really use any lasagna recipe and substitute in zucchini for the lasagna noodles, just make sure to salt and bake the zucchini first so you don’t end up with a watery, mushy lasagna-type casserole.
My favorite part of lasagna is the marinara meat sauce. I could eat the meat sauce plain, by itself, a meal in and of itself for me. Just feed me a red meat sauce and I’m in heaven. This meat sauce is perfect, my favorite. It has fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomato paste, parsley, basil, and grass-fed ground beef. And it’s all simmered together for 30 minutes to create a thick, flavorful, rich marinara sauce.
The cheese filling for this lasagna is pretty standard. I use cottage cheese, but ricotta works too. It’s cottage cheese, parmesan, eggs, and parsley mixed together. Mozzarella gets a full layer all to itself. I buy a chunk of low-moisture mozzarella cheese and slice it into rounds so there’s lots of melty mozzarella. To assemble the ingredients into this masterpiece, you layer the zucchini, cottage cheese mixture, marinara, and finally the mozzarella. Repeat.
I made this zucchini lasagna a few nights ago; we got a few good meals out of it. Dinner, lunch, and more dinners. It easily makes six to eight servings. Honestly, I think I almost prefer using zucchini in place of pasta. This would definitely be considered a low-carb meal. If you’ve been following, you might have noticed that I’m all for low-carb eating. I feel better when I keep my carbs low. I didn’t feel that way at first but once I adapted to a lower carb intake, my energy level stabilized, I was no longer hungry all the time, and some mild stomach issues went away. I never had any serious digestive problems (just some occasionally bloating….) but I do have Hashimoto’s, which is a common auto-immune thyroid condition, and you often will see people with Hashimoto’s have a gluten intolerance. So I’m all on board for a low carb, low gluten diet (not no carb or gluten-free, I still eat pizza sometimes!).
I’m going to the Low Carb USA conference in San Diego this weekend and am pretty excited about it. Excited for some research articles! And for some food inspiration of course. San Diego has amazing restaurants! Full update when I return.
- 2-3 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about ⅛ inch thick
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cups roma tomatoes, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (1 tbsp dry parsley)
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped (1 tbsp dry basil)
- 12 oz of tomato paste (2 - 6oz cans)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 24 oz cottage cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh parley, finally chopped
- 1¼ cups (5oz) parmesan, shredded
- 1 pound low-moisture mozzarella, sliced into thin rounds
- Olive oil
- To prepare zucchini, slice lengthwise into strips, about ⅛ inch thick. Lay zucchini flat and generously salt. Let rest for 10 minutes to allow salt to draw moisture out of zucchini, blot dry with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place zucchini on parchment paper on baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground beef to skillet with onion. Cook ground beef until brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, garlic cloves, salt, parsley, basil, and tomato paste.
- Let meat marinara sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While meat marinara sauce simmers, in a large bowl, mix together, eggs, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and parmesan.
- To assemble lasagna, lightly grease a 9x13 pan with olive oil. Layer half the zucchini, half cottage cheese mixture, half the meat marinara, and half the mozzarella. Repeat layers.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.