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Zucchini Lasagna

This low-carb zucchini lasagna is 100% pasta free, yet doesn’t taste like a compromise. In this recipe, red sauce meets “green energy”: we’re referring to all the veggie power that one-and-a-half pounds of fresh zucchini packs into this delicious Italian-inspired dinner dish!

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Zucchini is a master of disguise–we love hiding it in chocolatey baked goods, snacking on crispy breaded slices that remind us of potato chips or french fries, frying it up in a fritter, or even subbing it in for pizza crust. Any way you slice it, zucchini is an awesomely versatile vegetable for when you want more of the good stuff but don’t feel like salad.

This recipe is another great zucchini hack: it use strips of zucchini to replace the noodles in lasagna! We got creative with a pretty layer of criss-crossed zucchini slices, but no worries if you’re not artistically inclined–because you’re going to cover them up with cheese anyway! Speaking of cheese, this lasagna has bubbling ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mozzarella. Plus, seasoned ground beef and a homemade tomato basil sauce means that there’ll be no doubts about the deliciousness of this zucchini lasagna. Our only question is why we didn’t think of making this swap ages ago!

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Zucchini Lasagna


Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds zucchini (about 3-4 medium zucchini), sliced lengthwise ¼-inch thick
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about ½ large onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef (lean is OK)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 12 ounces (3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Using a mandoline slicer or sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices.
  3. Place the zucchini slices in a bowl, sprinkle them with salt, and toss to coat the slices evenly. Set them aside for 10-15 minutes. (Salting removes a lot of the excess moisture in the zucchini).
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  5. While the zucchini is being salted, heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft (about 3-5 minutes).
  6. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add the ground beef, season it with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces as it browns (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  8. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, and honey. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is very thick.
  9. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and pepper. Stir well.
  10. After the zucchini has been sitting for about 10-15 minutes, use paper towels to blot the excess moisture that the zucchini has released.
  11. In a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, spread about ⅓ of the sauce on the bottom and layer about ⅓ of zucchini slices in a criss-cross pattern to cover the sauce.
  12. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta cheese and egg mixture over the zucchini, and then top that with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  13. Repeat the layering process until all of your ingredients are used up.
  14. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked through and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  15. Let the lasagna stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
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What’s your favorite way to sneak in zucchini?

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.