Try our recipe for easy zucchini lasagna and you will be so surprised at how much it tastes like traditional lasagna even though substituted the noodles with zucchini. It is quick and easy to make and delicious to eat with all of the cheesy goodness.
If you are a big lasagna fan, you will really love this zucchini lasagna recipe with meat sauce and lots of cheese. It tastes like the “real thing”. Even our friends that we have served it to say they love it and don’t even miss the noodles.
We were looking for a low carb lasagna so that we could eat it anytime that we wanted to, and we are happy to say that your family will love it as much as our family does.
If you liked our Keto Lasagna then you will really like this recipe!
What is Zucchini Lasagna?
Zucchini lasagna is a low carb version of the classic lasagna that we all love, with one main difference. Instead of using pasta noodles you use zucchini cut in long strips as the “noodles” to form your layers.
Just add some tomato/meat sauce and lots of cheeses and then you have a zucchini lasagna. By replacing the pasta noodles with zucchini it saves a lot of calories and carbs.
What Does Zucchini Lasagna Taste Like?
There is not much difference between traditional lasagna with noodles and this low carb zucchini lasagna. Once you add some meat sauce and all the creamy, cheesiness you will think that you are eating yummy traditional lasagna.
What Ingredients are in Keto Zucchini Lasagna?
Zucchini – This is a mild green squash that is very popular and can be found in the grocery store year round.
Tomato Sauce – The rich tomato flavor from homemade or jarred sauce, both are good.
Mozzarella – Lasagna needs mozzarella to get that creamy, stringy effect.
Ground Beef – I use 80/20 but you can use 85/15 if you prefer.
Egg – This helps bind the lasagna together. It is mixed into the ricotta mixture.
Ricotta – This cheese adds stability and creaminess to the zucchini lasagna. Since the zucchini is salted, it is best to use no salt ricotta.
Parsley – Fresh is the best but you can also use dried if you don’t have fresh.
Pepper – Ground, black.
Garlic Powder – An essential spice when you are making Italian food.
Onion Powder – Onion flavor without real onions.
Italian Seasoning – A blend of spices used in Italian foods.
Parmesan Cheese – This is a common grated cheese for Italian foods. You can also use grated Romano if you prefer.
Salt – This is used to draw the water out of the zucchini so that your lasagna does not end up soggy.
How to Choose Your Zucchini
When you go to the store to pick out your zucchini, small to medium-sized ones are the best. They are more tender and have tiny seeds which means they have more flesh and less moisture and seeds.
Also make sure the zucchini is free from cuts and bruises and feels firm.
We put 3 different cheeses in the best zucchini lasagna:
Mozzarella -This is an essential cheese to use when making lasagna. It helps hold the zucchini lasagna together and gives it the elasticity that it needs. It is a mild tasting cheese and also gives the lasagna its traditional taste.
Parmesan – This is in a grated form to sprinkle over each layer and also on the top. You can also use romano grated cheese too.
Ricotta – This is another common cheese in lasagna, not in Italy but in the United States. It offers some creaminess to the casserole.
You can feel free to add to these or replace one for another. For instance Romano can be added or it can replace the parmesan.
How to Cut Zucchini Lasagna Noodles
The best way to cut your zucchini noodles is with a mandolin slicer if you have one. That way you can set it for one thickness and slice the zucchini noodles the same thickness which will make your layers uniform.
After cutting off the ends of the zucchini, set your thickness setting, then you raise the zucchini up over the slicer and slide it down until it makes a slice.
Raise it back up off the slicer and repeat the procedure until all of the squash is finished.
How Do You Keep Zucchini Lasagna from Being Watery?
Zucchini has a lot of built in water inside so you need to get the water out before you bake it otherwise it will end up on the bottom of the pan making everything soggy.
Salt the zucchini slices on both sides and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. You will see the water bead up on the slices. Then you take a bunch of paper towels and thoroughly dry the water off both sides of the slices.
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
Zucchini lasagna is a fun recipe to make and easy to do, especially with our step by step instructions. We will show you how to make it step by step.
STEP 1: Wash the Zucchini
Rinse your zucchini under cold water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Place them on your cutting board.
STEP 2: Slicing
The next step is to take a sharp knife and cut off both ends of the squash. If you plan to slice the squash with a knife, then do so now. You will need to slice it long from top to bottom to get the longest and widest strips possible to resemble lasagna noodles.
If you have a mandolin slicer, then use it to slice the zucchini length-wise, about ⅛ inch thick.
Raise the zucchini up over the slicer and slide it down until it makes a slice. raise it back up off the slicer and repeat the procedure until all of the squash is finished.
Step 3: Salting
This is an important step so don’t skip it. It pulls the water out of the squash keeping your lasagna from getting too wet and soggy.
After the zucchini has been sliced then lay them out flat on cookie sheets lined with paper towels to absorb the moisture that will be coming out of it.
Shake some salt over both sides of the zucchini and let them sit for 30-45 minutes.
After the water beads on the zucchini slices then with some more paper towels dry each piece thoroughly to absorb as much water as possible. Set them aside.
STEP 4: Preparing the Sauce
While the zucchini is prepping, take a non stick frying pan and brown up the meat.
With a colander, drain the excess grease from the ground beef and then put it back into the frying pan.
Ground Turkey, Sausage, or Chicken instead of ground beef.
Spinach, Mushrooms, Peppers or Onions can be added to the lasagna or can replace the meat.
Vegetarian or Meat Sauce?
If you do not eat meat then by all means make it a vegetarian lasagna. (Take a look at our eggplant lasagna). Just use tomato sauce instead of meat sauce.
If you like meat, then for sure make a meat sauce in order to add it to the layers of lasagna. It’s so easy to do by browning up the ground beef and adding your tomato sauce to it. If you choose to, you can add some chopped onions, which are optional, to make a yummy meat sauce.
FAQs and Best Tips
We are going to answer some commonly asked questions and also give you some tips to help you be successful in making this zucchini lasagna.
There is no need to peel the zucchini. In fact if the zucchini strips did not have the peels on them they would fall apart and be mushy.
Do not take a short cut by skipping the salting step,because it is essential to avoid wet, runny lasagna in the bottom of the pan.
When the zucchini lasagna comes out of the oven, let it rest for about 10 minutes so that it will set up. Then it will be ready to cut into servings and dish out onto a plate.
Do not use too much sauce or else it will make the lasagna runny.
Be sure to drain the grease off of the meat so that the lasagna is not greasy.
If you have oversized zucchini in your garden, this is not a good way to use them because the skin is usually very hard, and the seeds are too large too.
Be careful of your fingers when using the mandolin slicer so that you do not cut your fingers.
How Thinly Should I Slice the Zucchini?
By using a mandolin slicer you can make your zucchini strips uniform in size. You can make it any thickness that you want to but I am going to suggest ⅛ of an inch thick seems to work well for us.
If you don’t have a mandolin slicer, then you can for sure use a knife to cut the strips, but it will be a little harder to get them uniform in size.
How Many Layers Do You Put in Zucchini Lasagna?
In most lasagnas there are 3 layers because that’s about how many layers will fit into most 13 x 9 inch pans. 3 layers gives it just the right depth and stability.
If you only put 2 layers, it’s not enough and the zucchini noodles lasagna will be kind of limp and sloppy. And anymore than 3 and it would flow over the top of the pan.
Should I Cover Zucchini Lasagna in the Oven?
If you cover the keto lasagna with zucchini noodles in the oven it will trap in the moisture and only add to making the casserole wet and soggy. Bake it in the oven without a cover and watch the cheese on top get bubbly and somewhat brown….yum.
What to Serve with Zucchini Lasagna?
There are so many things that will go well with your keto zucchini lasagna and here are a few suggestions:
Make Ahead: Lasagna is one of those popular casserole dishes that is always a good make-ahead dinner. You can put it together the day before and then just pop it into your refrigerator until the next day and you are ready to bake it.
It’s nice to know that you can do the same with our easy zucchini lasagna. This not only allows you to have your meal all put together in advance but while the lasagna is sitting in your refrigerate overnight the flavors are soaking in to make a more delicious meal the next day.
How to Store Leftovers: If there is any leftover low carb zucchini lasagna, and that’s a big IF, then wrap it tightly and stick it into the refrigerator. It will last about 5 days in the refrigerator so eat it up quickly.
How to Reheat
It’s easy to reheat leftover low carb zucchini lasagna and it only takes a few minutes. Here are a couple ways to reheat it:
Microwave: Cover your dish with a paper towel and heat for 1-2 minutes.
Oven: Place your lasagna on a tray or oven safe dish and heat it uncovered for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Can You Freeze Zucchini Lasagna?
I’m happy to say that you can for sure freeze this zucchini lasagna and that’s one of the best things about making it!! Once you make it and you have leftovers you can put the rest in the freezer for another day.
When you come home after a long day at work and your dinner has already been made, all you have to do is heat it up and eat.
It freezes well if you wrap it properly in an airtight plastic container, and then stick it into a freezer ziploc bag. It will last in the freezer for 2-3 months, if you don’t eat it by then!!
Take it out of the freezer the night before and put it into your refrigerator to thaw slowly overnight. If you think of taking it out at the last minute before dinner, you can pop it in the oven then, it will just take longer to heat up.
Diets This Recipe is Good For
Keto/Low Carb – This zucchini lasagna has all the acceptable ingredients which make it perfect for keto, and also a low carb diet.
Nut-free – There are not nuts or nut products in this recipe.
Sugar-free – There are no added ingredients with any sugar and the zucchini is a veggie that is very low in carbs.
Gluten-free – There is no gluten in this recipe, there is no pasta.
How Many Carbs are in Zucchini Lasagna?
There are only 3 NET Carbs in each serving of zucchini lasagna, as compared with traditional lasagna, which has an average of 35 Net Carbs.
Tools to Use
Non-stick frying pan – To make the meat sauce in.
Baking dish – This is to bake the recipe in.
Mandolin slicer – To cut your zucchini slices.
Knife and cutting board – To cut off the ends of the zucchini squash.
Bowl – To make the cheese mixture in.
Spatula – To spread the meat sauce and the cheeses and another to serve the lasagna with.
Other Similar Low Carb Recipes
Here are a few of our other easy and delicious recipes that you may also like to make:
This is the best Zucchini Lasagna recipe and you will be surprised how much it tastes like traditional lasagna in spite of the fact that it does not have any noodles in it. This recipe is easy to make, is full of creamy cheeses and is a keto and low carb recipe that everyone will love.
4zucchini, sliced into long strips
¼ cupKeto tomatosauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ½ lbs ground beef
¾ cupKeto tomato sauce
1 cup chopped freshparsley
½ cup grated parmesancheese
Prepare the Zucchini:
Rinse the zucchini with cold water and then dry them thoroughly with paper towels.
With your cutting board and knife cut off the ends of the zucchini.
By using a mandolin slicer, raise the zucchini over the slicer and slide it down until it makes a slice about ⅛ inch thick.
Raise it back up off the slicer and repeat the procedure until all of the squash is sliced.
After the zucchini has been sliced, lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the moisture that will be coming out of it.
Sprinkle salt on both sides of the zucchini and then let them sit for 30-45 minutes.
After the water beads up on the zucchini slices then dry them off thoroughly with more paper towels to absorb as much water as possible. Set them aside.
Preparing the Sauce:
While the zucchini is prepping, take a non stick frying pan and brown up the meat.
Drain off any excess grease so that your lasagna is not greasy.