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 Recipe (Gluten Free)
- 1-1.5 lbs total ground beef and/or Italian sausage
- 2 24 ounce jars of pasta sauce
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 16 ounce container cottage cheese I recommend Good Culture brand because it is grass fed and delicious
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese shredded, divided
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 8 eggs
- 3-4 medium zucchini thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 TBSP basil
- 1 TBSP oregano
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 TBSP garlic powder
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Thinly slice zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch slices.
- Place on well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is just starting to brown and get tender. It isn't necessary to peel the zucchini, but it might be a good idea if you are trying to hide the vegetables from any picky eaters!
- While the zucchini is cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet.
- Once the meat is cooked, add the pasta sauce to the skillet to warm if there is room. If not, add meat and pasta sauce to large pot.
- Add spices to meat sauce and heat to a simmer.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- In large 9x13 glass baking dish start layering: meat sauce on the bottom, followed by zucchini slices, then ricotta mixture. This made 2 thick layers for me, but could be spread out into three layers if your dish is deep enough. Make sure the meat/sauce layer is on the top when done.
- If you are making ahead, throw the dish in the freezer at this point, and it will be ready to bake when you need it.
- When you have added all ingredients in layers, place the lasagna in oven at 350°F for 45-60 minutes or until egg/ricotta mixture is set and middle is not jiggly. It will firm up as it cools too.
- Top with the remaining half of the mozzarella for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Serve immediately. I recommend a side of Italian music and a salad!
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!