Whether you are looking to make the most of summer bounty or exploring pasta-free options, this zucchini lasagna is layered with flavor. The slices of zucchini become so tender you won’t miss the pasta for a second. This is Summer’s lasagna.
And the zucchini doesn’t stop there—try zucchini noodles or keep it simple with zucchini fries.
This is my family’s favorite lasagna—only I’ve swapped zucchini for the noodles—and it’s just as satisfying as the original. This is one of the first recipes I ever posted on the blog, and it keeps topping the list of requests—which means you love it as much as I do!
Sure it’s lighter than a classic lasagna, but it’s still plenty filling. Make it a casual one-bowl meal or serve it with a salad and some garlic bread. The zucchini is mild, tender, and highlights the layers of sauce and cheese just like a classic pasta.
So whether you’re looking for a gluten-free twist or a new mouthwatering meatless Monday, this zucchini lasagna is destined for your dinner plate. – Linds x
Is Zucchini Lasagna Keto? Low Carb? Gluten Free? Paleo?
- Keto + low carb – Yes, this keto zucchini lasagna is made from all low carb, high fat ingredients and would work well for both a low carb or keto eating plan.
- Gluten free – Sure is! This gluten free lasagna is made with zucchini instead of wheat noodles.
- Paleo – No, the mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan are not paleo ingredients.
All ingredients you’d expect from traditional lasagna, plus zucchini. Here are things to note:
- For the noodles: zucchini and salt (optional). Long/wide zucchini will make for better noodles. Salt is used to remove water from the slices, however, I prefer other methods. More on that below.
- Meat layer: Italian sausage, yellow onion, garlic, and spaghetti sauce. To keep this zucchini lasagna keto and low carb, be sure to look for a sugar free spaghetti sauce. Rao’s marinara sauce is a great option, as well as Trader Joe’s brand. Feel free to use sweet or spicy Italian sausage. It’s often hard to find ground Italian sausage–I typically purchase raw sausage and remove/discard the casings.
- Ricotta layer: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan, mozzarella, fresh basil. I prefer whole milk ricotta as it’s creamier, feel free to swap for park-skim if you’d like to save some calories.
- Topping: parmesan, mozzarella cheese, basil.
How To Cut Zucchini For Lasagna
The best way to cut your lasagna noodles is with a mandolin, as it’ll give you consistent-sized noodles. These cook more evenly and help prevent soggy lasagna. Using a mandolin also enables you to choose the thickness of your noodles–thicker noodles will water down the dish.
You can also use a sharp knife…
How do you cut zucchini for lasagna with a knife?
Although I prefer the mandolin, using a knife works as well. (It’s how I slice zucchini medalions when oven roasting them, or making zucchini nachos). Simply chop off the top and bottom, and cut the zucchini into thin slices. A quality, sharp knife will help you here. Know they won’t be perfect, but they’ll be delicious!
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
1. Prepare your zucchini.
2. Brown sausage in a large skillet.
3. Remove cooked meat to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove excess grease in the pan with paper towels.
4. Saute onion until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
5. Add tomato sauce and set aside.
6. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta mixture ingredients.
8. Spread a layer of the meat sauce along the bottom of a baking dish.
9. Then a layer of zucchini.
10. Then a layer of the ricotta.
11. Finish with a layer of meat sauce, followed by the remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven until heated through.
How To Make Zucchini Lasagna Less Watery
There are a few ways to make zucchini lasagna less watery, but it’s important to note that zucchini is 95% water, therefore, any zucchini lasagna recipe will be more watery than traditional lasagna. To help, you can…
1. Use thin zucchini slices. You know how zucchini bread still sets? It’s because you use small, thin slices. I find the easiest way to achieve thin slices is with a mandolin.
2. Broil the zucchini by placing the zucchini strips on a rimmed baking sheet, and spraying with cooking spray. Place on an oven rack 6″ away from the broiler. Do this for about 5 minutes on each side.
Psst–you can also grill the slices.
3. Sweat the zucchini by sprinkling them with salt and allowing them to sit for 15 minutes. Dab off the moisture, flip, and repeat on the other side.
What Other Veggies Can You Use In Lasagna?
Most veggies are delicious lasagna noodle substitutes, just be sure to remove water when and however possible. Know that all veggie substitutes for pasta will be more watery. Some ideas are…
Eat this zucchini lasagna within 3-4 days. You can also freeze it! I like to do this in small resealable bags. It defrosts easily in the microwave.
- Use a different kind of meat. Although it’d be less flavorful, ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey, will also work.
- Double the amount of meat added.
- Or skip it altogether.
More Healthy “Pasta” Recipes
Zucchini LasagnaPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 Large Zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon avocado or vegetable oil
- 1 Pound Italian Sausage casing removed
- 1 Yellow Onion chopped finely
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 – 24 Ounce Jars of Keto Spaghetti Sauce OR, no sugar added marinara
- 2 Teaspoons Dried oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 32 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Cups Parmesan Cheese divided
- 4 Cups Mozzarella Shredded divided
- Fresh Basil thinly sliced
- Remove the top and bottom of each zucchini, and slice them lengthwise to form 1/4” thick "lasagna" noodles, you can do this with a sharp knife or mandolin (I prefer a mandolin).
- Remove excess water from zucchini. You can do this 1 of 2 ways:1. Sweat the zucchini by placing the slices on a paper towel-lined surface and sprinkling them with salt. Allow zucchini to sweat for 15 minutes, then dab liquid off using paper towels. Flip and repeat on the other side.2. Broil the zucchini by turning your oven to broil and placing sliced zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray, and broil on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until the slices have color.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Cook Italian sausage in a large skillet until no pink is left, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Place cooked meat on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Carefully remove excess fat from the skillet with a paper towel and tongs.
- Add vegetable oil. Once shimmering, add yellow onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in pasta sauce and meat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine dried oregano, basil, salt, black pepper, ricotta cheese, large egg. Plus 1 cup of parmesan and 2 cups of mozzarella.
- Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce along the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Then 1/2 the zucchini, followed by 1/2 of the ricotta combo. Next, 1/3 of the meat sauce, the remaining zucchini, and the remaining ricotta. The final layer should be meat sauce. Sprinkle 1 cup of reserved parmesan and 2 cups of reserved mozzarella on top.
- Place your casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet and in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes–you'll know it's done when the top is golden brown and the dish is heated through. Allow lasagna to cool slightly before serving, and enjoy!