I’ve always loved lasagna, but this recipe makes it even better! The zucchini gives the dish a fresh new flavor and texture. Thinly sliced zucchini combined with meat sauce, Italian seasoning, and cheese for a dish rich in flavors of traditional lasagna but without all those carbs!
To bring this homemade zucchini lasagna to life, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Zucchini. Sliced lengthwise into thin strips, we use fresh zucchini in place of lasagna sheets in this delicious veggie-loaded lasagna.
- Cheese. You will need a combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses for this dish. These are the cheeses traditionally used in homemade lasagna recipes, but feel free to swap any out for another cheese if needed.
- Meat sauce. This is made from a base of ground meat (or ground meat alternative for a vegetarian lasagna), tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. I like to add hot sauce for a bit of kick, but that’s completely optional.
- Spices. We will be making a lasagna spice blend with the following spices: Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and red chili flakes.
- Crumble topping. It’s a simple mixture of bread crumbs, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. This is the metaphorical icing on the cake, and it’s seriously delicious, so I don’t recommend leaving it out.
Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
This recipe for zucchini lasagna is broken down into 3 easy components: zucchini prep, meat sauce, and lasagna assembly. From start to finish, this dish takes just under 2 hours to make, with just 30 minutes of total prep time.
How to Prepare Zucchini For Lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Arrange the sliced zucchini in a single layer on the baking sheets without overlapping. Sprinkle the seasoning blend onto both sides of the zucchini strips, then roast for 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer the zucchini strips from the baking sheet to a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture, then set aside and reduce the oven heat to 350°F.
How to Make Lasagna Meat Sauce
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat your olive oil and onions, then cook for 3 minutes or until the onions have softened.
- Add ground meat and your seasoning blend, then cook until the meat has browned. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks.
- Stir in the rest of your meat sauce ingredients, then simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes and set aside.
How to Assemble Zucchini Lasagna
- Combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan, and seasoning blend in a small bowl.
- Lightly oil a 9×13” baking dish, then begin assembly by spreading a few spoonfuls of meat sauce evenly across the dish.
- Add ¼ of the sliced zucchini in a single layer, ¼ of the mozzarella, then a layer of meat sauce, and lastly ⅓ of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the process 2 more times, gently pressing down with each layer of zucchini.
- After adding the last layer of sliced zucchini, add the remaining mozzarella cheese and top with the homemade garlic crumble.
- Bake the lasagna for 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Let the lasagna sit for 20-30 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other veggies can you use in lasagna?
There are tons of options for vegetables that work well in lasagna. Some of my favorite options include onions, spinach, mushrooms, squash, and bell peppers. In place of the zucchini, you could also try using eggplant.
How do you make zucchini lasagna less watery?
After slicing your zucchini into strips, lay out the strips on a paper towel, sprinkle salt over them, and top them with another paper towel. Leave them for a few minutes, and the paper towels will absorb a lot of the water, leaving you with much less watery zucchini for your lasagna. You can repeat this process a few times if you want to get as much water out as possible.
Can you freeze zucchini lasagna?
Absolutely. You can freeze zucchini lasagna before baking by assembling the ingredients in the dish and covering it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or after baking, by transferring it to an airtight storage bag. Either way, it will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Now it’s your turn!
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- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Cooking spray
- 4 medium zucchini sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick pieces
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cups mozzarella shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 lb ground meat or ground meat alternative
- 7 cloves garlic minced
- 24 oz can plain tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs I used a blend of Italian & panko
- 3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Make Seasoning Blend: Add all seasonings to a bowl and stir until combined.
- Prepare Zucchini: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Arrange sliced zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet without overlapping. Use 3 teaspoons of seasoning blend to sprinkle on top of zucchini on both sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes. Remove the zucchini slices from the baki pop ng sheet and place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F.
- Make Meat Sauce: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. And onions and cook for 3 minutes or until onions are soft. Add ground meat and 3 teaspoons of the seasoning blend and cook until browned, approximately 6 minutes. Use a wooden spoon the break up the ground meat while it cooks.
- Stir in garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, and an additional 3 teaspoons of the seasoning blend and let simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Assemble Lasagna: Combine ricotta, egg, parmesan, and 1 teaspoon of the seasoning blend in a small bowl.
- Lightly oil your baking pan. Start assembly by adding 3-4 spoonfuls of the loose sauce across the bottom of the 9-by-13-inch baking pan, then add ¼ of the zucchini slices in a single layer. Sprinkle over ¼ of the shredded mozzarella, followed by a layer of meat sauce (approximately 1 heaping cup)—next spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture in dollops across the pan. Repeat two more times by layering the zucchini slices, mozzarella, meat sauce, and ricotta mixture. Be sure to gently press down with each layer of zucchini.
- Finally, top with the last layer of zucchini slices and then the last of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Make Garlic Crumble: Add garlic, bread crumbs, parmesan, remaining seasoning blend (approx. ½ teaspoon), and oil to a bowl and toss until fully combined. Sprinkle the garlic crumble across the top of the lasagna.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 50 minutes. The top should be golden brown and bubbly on the edges. Let the lasagna sit for 20-30 minutes before serving.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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