Zucchini Lasagna

grain free low carb lasagna Zucchini Lasagna

Are you grain free now, but sometimes wish you could indulge in a pasta dish without the insulin spike and “brick in the stomach” feeling? My husband had been requesting pasta for a long time, and I’ve been meaning to experiment with a good grain-free lasagna recipe. Thanks to reader Desiree for the inspiration!

I never liked pasta much, even when we ate grains, so, to be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for this! I even used frozen zucchini that we had from last year’s garden, so I wasn’t sure the texture would be great… but to my surprise, it turned out excellent. In my (non-Italian) opinion, it was better than regular Lasagna! Even if you aren’t grain-free, this is an easy way to get some extra vegetables in a meal, and it was definitely kid-approved!

Zucchini Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A grain free version of the classic Lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles. Delicious and healthy!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8+
Ingredients
  • 1-1.5 lbs ground beef (can also use ground Italian sausage for part)
  • 2 (24 ounce) jars of pasta sauce (check ingredients!) I used 1.5 quarts of homemade pasta sauce
  • 1 large container Ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • 8 eggs
  • 3-4 medium zucchini (depending on size), thinly sliced lengthwise
  • spices to taste (We like a lot of flavor, so I used about 1 tbsp each of basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, granulated garlic, onion powder etc. and about ½ tsp each of salt, pepper, etc. Spice to your own preference!)
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch slices or smaller. Place on well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until just starting to brown and get tender. It isn't necessary to peel, but it might be a good idea if you are trying to hide the vegetables from any picky eaters!
  2. While zucchini is cooking, brown meat in a large skillet. If there is room, add the pasta sauce to skillet to warm. If not, add meat and pasta sauce to large pot and heat to a simmer. Add any desired spices.
  3. Mix large (approx 32 ounce) Ricotta cheese with eggs, Parmesan, and half of grated mozzarella cheese. I also added garlic powder and basil to the mixture. Set aside.
  4. When zucchini is done, remove from oven. In large 9x13 glass baking dish (or 10x16) start layering: meat/sauce on bottom, followed by zucchini slices, then ricotta mixture. This made 2 thick layers for me, but could be spread out into three layers if you dish is deep enough. Make sure the meat/sauce layer is on the top when done. (If you are making ahead, throw in the freezer at this point, and it will be ready to bake when you need it.
  5. When you have added all ingredients in layers, place back in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until egg/ricotta mixture is set and middle is not jiggly. It will firm up as it cools too.
  6. About 15 minutes before done, add remaining mozzarella cheese to top and put back in oven.
  7. Serve immediately. (I recommend a side of Italian music and a salad!)

grain free zucchini lasagna recipe Zucchini Lasagna

Desiree has another variation of this recipe that I’m looking forward to trying. I couldn’t this time because my zucchini was pre-sliced and frozen, but her recipe seems easier! Desiree shared her recipe:

It’s very easy! For a 9 x 13 pan: Mix 2 cups shredded zucchini or summer squash or riced cauliflower with 2 eggs and 2 cups shredded cheese. Then just use your favorite lasagna recipe, adding at least one egg to the ricotta mixture (I used 2) and in place of the noodles smoosh in a layer of the veggie/egg/cheese mixture. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 325 until just set (not wobbly when you shake the pan). It takes about an hour or so. Because it takes so long, I’d recommend making your top layer sauce and adding shredded cheese towards the end of cooking, otherwise it will be very dark. It holds up beautifully, no slippery noodles to collapse and tastes amazing!

Ever cooked Italian food without the grains? How did it turn out? Share your recipe below!

Reader Comments

  1. says

    Wow, it’s like you’ve read my mind. We recently indulged in “regular” lasagna the other day and the thing I love about it the most are the layers of meat, cheese & creaminess (not necessarily the lasagna noodles). I was wondering what could take its place without making it an overly sloppy mess — and thought, hmm, maybe zucchini? But I’m not a recipe-creator so I’m glad someone else has done the dirty work for me! Looking forward to trying this sometime!

  2. Lisa says

    This looks super yummy! I’m going to try it with alfredo. My husband is allergic to tomatoes, so the grain-free lifestyle also has to be tomato free too. Talk about a challenge! But I usually put some pasta sauce on the side for dipping or topping my own…I LOVE tomatoes!

  3. says

    I could easily make this grain free version for myself and make regular lasagna for the kids. Yay! I wanted to have roasted vegetable lasagna for mother’s day but didn’t have any idea how to replace the pasta. :)

  4. Bean says

    I can’t wait to try this. I have a similar recipe for a casserole that leaves out the tomato sauce and the zucchini is in chunks. My meat loving, grain loving (sigh)family loves it. Very flavorful.

  5. says

    Wow, this looks great, and will be a welcome change of pace at my house. We don’t eat pasta, but my kids miss this kind of pasta-type dish. I think I’m pretty creative in the kitchen, but swapping the pasta noodles for zucchini never occurred to me!

  6. Rebekka says

     In the winter you can use white cabbage in place of the zucchini. You need to blanch the leaves until tender first. The sauce should be thicker than with pasta because the cabbage doesn’t absorb any of the liquid. I’ve never tried it with zucchini but can vouch for the cabbage version. It has a more intense flavor than with pasta, but is not too cabbage-y and the tomato/cabbage combo is really good.

  7. Becca james says

    I just made this to rave reviews from kids and husband alike.  Really good. I put a couple cubes (frozen in ice cube trays) of pesto from last years’ garden in the ricotta mixture – very good. Thank You 

  8. says

    This look amazing, but approximately how many cups of zucchini are needed for this recipe? Or alternately, how many zucchini in a pound? I’m buying my produce from a co-op and we split shares which are by the pound, not by numbers, hence the questions :)

    • says

      I haven’t measured exactly, but I’m guessing it would be around 3
      pounds of Zucchini. You could definitely make it work with whatever
      you have by slicing them thinner or thicker to have enough for two
      layers.

  9. Wanda says

    I have made a zucchini lasagna, and it was so watery and sloppy when it was warm :S I did slice them thin with a vegetable peeler, and salted them to bring out the moisture, then rindes and dried them. Didn’t make that much difference, tho… so I am thinking I will def try cooking and maybe freezing the zucchini first. I also didn’t have any eggs from my farmer friend that day so the ricotta probably compounded the problem. I was SO disappointed, so I’m reluctant to try it all again but I will, just cause I miss that meat, sauce and cheese goodness!  Thanks for the recipe!

    • Cindy M says

      Wanda: Try her eggplant parmesan recipe if you’re looking for “meat, sauce and cheese goodness”. It’s excellent!

  10. Andrea says

    I might try this in the crock pot, I have a regular lasagna recipe for the crock pot and hopefully this will transition well.  :)

  11. Bonnie Mahan says

    Made this dish tonight using Desiree’s method (I used ground turkey) and added coconut flour to my zucchini mixture. It was absolutely awesome! I am loving your recipes, you are really helping me with my new grain-free healthy lifestyle!

  12. Ashley says

    This recipe is one of my favorites, but I have to admit the first time I made it I was a little disappointed. I didn’t feel like it had enough flavor. I recently made it again and this time I replaced half the ricotta cheese with pureed cauliflower, substituted all the spaghetti sauce for 16oz tomato sauce and 8oz tomato paste, and added tons of delicious veggies to the meat (onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms, carrots) and it really added a ton of flavor to it. Even my anti-grain free family loved it!

  13. Barb says

    Hi Katie – My family absolutely loved this lasagna recipe! So much flavor that we didn’t even miss the pasta!! Can you please share your homemade pasta sauce recipe? I have been using organic store bought, but would love to try your homemade version. I’m sure it is great because so far all of your recipes that I have tried have turned out awesome. Going grain-free is not as hard as I thought it would be. I am so glad I found your website!! I have joined your meal plan service and just love that too!! Thank you so much for the great recipes and all the helpful information!!

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