by Olena

Zucchini Lasagna

by Olena

Zucchini Lasagna made low carb with layers of zucchini instead of pasta, flavorful turkey tomato sauce and gooey cheese. Classic comfort food experience at only 318 calories per huge slice.

It is guilt free comfort food with traditional flavor and rich texture of classic Italian lasagna.

Zucchini lasagna in a baking dish

Healthy Lasagna

Zucchini lasagna with layers of delicious garlic and herb meat sauce, low carb zucchini noodles and melted cheesy goodness on top. It is so good even zucchini hating kids loved it!

Zucchini lasagna is definitely a labour of love and requires about 40 minutes of prep but result is totally worth it. Once you make it a few times, things will go even faster. Pour yourself a glass of wine, crank up Frank Sinatra and enjoy the process.

I can’t wait to make this healthy lasagna again, it was that good!

How to Slice Zucchini for Lasagna

Zucchini is a star of this lasagna. Look for straight zucchini. If it is very large garden squash, cut in half and then slice.

  • Using a mandoline. It is my favorite method because zucchini “noodles” will come out even thickness. I highly recommend to wear cut resistant gloves.
  • On a box grater. A typical box grater like this one has a slicing blade. It is not as sharp but can be used.
  • Slice with sharp knife. A sharp utility knife will be the best as it is smaller than a chef’s knife. The key is a sharp knife and time. 🙂

how to make zucchini lasagna noodles using mandoline

How to Make Lasagna Less Watery

Here are 4 tips to make zucchini noodles less watery:

  • Salt. Place sliced zucchini in a single layer and sprinkle with salt, repeating with remaining zucchini. Set aside for 30 minutes. Salt will pull away moisture from zucchini making less watery casserole.
  • Paper towels. Line large baking sheet with double layer of paper towels. Right before assembly, we pat dry each zucchini layer with paper towels transferring to another dish. You want to absorb moisture between each zucchini layer as much as possible.
  • Quinoa sprinkled on the bottom of the pan will help absorb extra liquid during cooking. Don’t worry about liquid while baking. Once squash lasagna rests for about 20 minutes you will see there will be not that much liquid left.
  • Grill. You can grill sliced zucchini before assembling. To do so, cut them a bit thicker.

How to Make Zucchini Lasagna

  • While zucchini is losing its juices, make turkey meat sauce by cooking ground turkey for 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring. Then we add dried oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to cook for 30 seconds. Frying dried herbs makes them more fragrant. Add tomato sauce and maple syrup to offset the acid in tomatoes.
  • Wilt fresh spinach in batches in the same skillet. If using thawed spinach, squeeze liquid well.
  • Combine cottage cheese with egg and spices so it has flavor and holds better. Sub cottage cheese with ricotta if you wish, just keep in mind latter one is lower in protein and higher in fat, carbs and sugars. I pureed cottage cheese for smoother consistency and it made a huge difference.

turkey meat sauce, spinach and cottage cheese mixture for healthy lasagna

  • Now it’s finally time to assemble lasagna. The key is to have all ingredients ready. In 9″ x 13″ baking dish, add a few tablespoons of tomato meat sauce, spread with a spoon and sprinkle with quinoa.
  • Place sliced zucchini overlapping a bit to create a single layer. Spread 1/3 of tomato meat sauce, then 1/3 of cottage cheese, sprinkled with 1/4 of mozzarella and 1/3 of spinach.
  • Repeat until you run out of ingredients finishing with a layer of zucchini, topped with a bit of meat sauce, then sprinkled with remaining mozzarella and all of Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake lasagna for about 50 minutes at 375 degrees F covered with aluminum foil or silicone lid for first 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes before slicing. This step is super important as flavors will settle, “marry” each other and the whole dish will re-absorb a lot of liquid.

assembled layers of zucchini noodle lasagnazucchini noodle lasagna recipe layered

How to Make Ahead and Store

Leftover zucchini lasagna can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. It is already baked, settled and lost all its extra moisture. Just place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

To be honest, I have not tried freezing lasagna. Zucchini contains 90% of water, so it is not good vegetable to freeze and thaw. We took out a lot of water but I can see still lots left during baking. My gut tells me it is not a good idea to freeze zucchini lasagna. If you try, please let me know.

To make ahead, assemble and refrigerate tightly covered for up to 24 hours. Before baking you can remove extra water accumulated at the bottom of the dish with a turkey baster. Let ceramic or glass dish warm up on the counter for about 15 minutes before baking.

More Zucchini Recipes

zucchini lasagna

zucchini lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna made low carb with layers of zucchini instead of pasta, flavorful turkey tomato sauce and gooey cheese. Classic comfort food experience at only 318 calories per huge slice.
4.97 from 28 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Olena

Ingredients

  • 5 medium zucchini cut lengthwise into 1/8" thick slices
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp avocado il
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt + more for zucchini
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce low sodium
  • 11 oz box fresh spinach
  • 17 oz tub cottage cheese
  • 1 egg large
  • 3 tbsp quinoa uncooked
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Line large baking sheet with double layer of paper towels.
  • Place sliced zucchini in a single layer and sprinkle with salt, repeating with remaining zucchini. Set aside for 30 minutes. Salt will pull away moisture from zucchini making less watery zucchini lasagna.
  • In the meanwhile, preheat large skillet on medium-high heat, swirl oil to coat and add turkey. Cook for 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring.
  • Add 1 tsp oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Add tomato sauce and maple syrup; stir, bring to a boil and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Return skillet to medium heat, add spinach in batches as it starts to wilt, stirring in between. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  • In a medium bowl, add cottage cheese, egg and 1/2 tsp oregano. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside.
  • Pat dry each zucchini layer with paper towels transferring to another dish. You want to absorb moisture between each zucchini layer as much as possible. Using your hands squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach and set side.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Now it’s finally time to assemble zucchini lasagna.
  • In 9" x 13" baking dish, add a few tablespoons of tomato meat sauce, spread with a spoon and sprinkle with quinoa.
  • Place sliced zucchini overlapping a bit to create a single layer.
  • Spread 1/3 of tomato meat sauce, then 1/3 of cottage cheese, sprinkled with 1/4 of mozzarella and 1/3 of spinach.
  • Repeat until you run out of ingredients finishing with a layer of zucchini, topped with a bit of meat sauce, then sprinkled with remaining mozzarella and all of Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake covered with aluminum foil or silicone lid for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes before slicing. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.
  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.
  • Make Ahead: Assemble and refrigerate tightly covered for up to 24 hours, then bake.
  • Freeze: Do not.

Video

Notes

  • You can slice zucchini using mandoline or grater with slicing blade.
  • If using not low sodium tomato sauce, reduce salt.
  • Sub cottage cheese with ricotta, just keep in mind nutritional info will change.
  • Use 1  package of frozen spinach but thaw and squeeze well.
  • Quinoa is for absorbing extra liquid.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

83 comments on “Zucchini Lasagna

Our “happiness” software deletes rude comments without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. Please see our full comment policy:).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious. My girlfriend asked me if I could make this dish for her. You should have seen the look on her face after she took her first bite. My friend saw my IG story and asked me about this dish On the same day. I sent him the recipe and he loved it as well.

  2. 5 stars
    Love love love this recipe! I’ve made your Zucchini Lasagna recipe several times – it’s that good. Low carb and very nutritious. I also want to say that I love your foodblog – it is one of the best out there, sincerely

  3. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I didn’t have turkey so used ground beef with onion and garlic. I used the mandolin to slice a huge zucchini and salted with the paper towel layers. That got a lot of the moisture out as described. After that I grilled the zucchini on the stove top grill, and then assembled just as instructed. It was honestly one of the best lasagnas I have ever had. Taste and texture were perfect. We all had seconds! Thank you for posting this great recipe!

  4. I had an overabundance of zucchini in my garden and was really glad to see this come up on my instagram. It was so good.. we ate leftovers for breakfast!!

  5. I grilled the zucchini and added peppers – the reviews for the outcome were generous with their praise. I would definitely make this again. Also not as time consuming and fussy as I feared.
    Thanks Oleana!

  6. 5 stars
    This was a great dish.. for someone that doesn’t eat flour it actually was a great treat to have a lasagna dish. Double bonus family loved it.

  7. all your recipes look so delicious and healthy. Would it be possible for you to list the saturated fat information.

    Thank you so much

    1. Thank you! Some recipes have it and some don’t. Older ones don’t and I have to turn it on one by one. I will do it for this one now. Enjoy!

  8. 5 stars
    Amazing! My husband and I absolutely loved this dish…even my two year old liked it! It was easy and delicious.
    P.S. – I love your blog! It’s my new fave!

  9. 5 stars
    Amazing! My husband and I loved this…even my two year old daughter liked it! Very delicious and so much flavor.

  10. I was fascinated to see this recipe because I made up a similar recipe for “veggie lasagna” last year almost identical to this process but made it Totally VEGAN! My version is DAIRY FREE, EGG FREE and MEAT FREE and of course GLUTEN FREE and my family loved it! I attempted this because my daughter & granddaughter are gluten, egg & dairy intolerant! And none of us eat “meat”! Here are the changes I made to the process. I used veggie burgers (instead of turkey); I used 3 types of DAIRY Free cheeses; and I used “EGG replacer” in lieu of the eggs. I have made it twice and added sautéd onions & red/yellow pepper as well. I even laid out my zucchini strips and salted them on paper towels to absorb excess water. I did learn a great trick from your recipe! I would have never thought about sprinkling quinoa over the tomato sauce on the bottom to absorb excess moisture!! Can’t wait to make it again and try that addition!!!! I am new on your site and look forward to learning new healthy recipes from you!! I love to be in my kitchen…cooking …with my JAZZ music playing in the background!! It’s my “happy place”!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! It is so flavorful and tastes much lighter than traditional pasta lasagnas. It was very juicy, but we didn’t mind. In fact, we took a spoon and poured all the juices over our pieces. My husband and I loved it so much, we finished 3/4 of it in one night. So unfortunately, we didn’t have much leftover. We will definitely make this recipe again:)

  12. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite zucchini dishes. I purchased the safety gloves to use w my mandolin (highly suggest all do).
    Thanks Olena!!!!

  13. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner yesterday, it was absolutely delicious!!! Made a few changes, I didn’t have any fresh spinach so I skipped that. I also added about 1-2 tsp. crushed fennel to the sauce which really elevated the flavor immensely! Fennel goes into all of my tomato sauce recipes and it makes a huge difference. Served the lasagna with a mixed green salad with Olena’s strawberry salad dressing recipe, the flavor combinations were absolutely perfect!

  14. Is there anything I can substitute quinoa with? It seems I’m intolerant to quinoa (my stomach can’t seem to digest it!) and can’t consume it for that reason.

  15. 5 stars
    Olena — forgot to add to my last review. Feel free to amend it. The zucchini was better than eggplant lasagna I’ve made b/c it is a bit “el dente”, which gives the recipe just the right texture; it’s a closer and better replacement in texture for lasagna noodles.

  16. 5 stars
    Thanks for another great, low carb recipe Olena! I of course had to mess with it to reduce carbs further. I used ground flax seed for the thickening agent (replacing the quinoa), and replaced honey with Truvia. I also added sauteed onion and mushroom in with the spinach for additional veggie count and flavor.

    My whole family loved it – rare. This is going in my every day recipe book for reuse, as it’s a great all-in-one dish.

  17. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! I would really like to be able to make it ahead for a larger family dinner. Olena have you or anyone else tried freezing it yet?

  18. 5 stars
    This dish was amazing – I had a lot of zucchini and love low carb, so gave it a try-AWESOME!!! Delicious!!! Also, had never used quinoa before. I will definitely make this again.

  19. I enjoyed the lasagna. It was soupy even though I had squeezed the heck out of the zuc. The flavor was quite good.

    Side note: I use a mire pax in my cooking a lot. It is an easy way to sneak in some veggies. I added my left over zuc. In my more pax of onion, carrots, and celery in a meat sauce tonight.

  20. 5 stars
    This recipe is fabulous! I left out the spinach and cooked green bell peppers & onions in with the turkey. Family Loved it! No one missed the noodles & I liked it better!

  21. 5 stars
    Ground turkey is on sale this week near me but I was feeling pretty uninspired until I stumbled across this recipe. Mid-summer in southern California means we have more zucchini than we know what to do with, so this will be perfect. I already started on my homemade marinara with my morning harvest of tomatoes and I can’t wait for this lasagna tomorrow night. I can taste it already. I think this one will remind my wife why she keeps me around. 😉

  22. I made this recipe today and although it was delicious I found there was quite a bit of water after I cooked it but I would make this again my husband loved it

  23. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I didn’t have cottage cheese so I substituted plain yogurt for the cottage cheese. It came out amazing. I can’t wait to make it again!

  24. 5 stars
    I believe I have made this recipe before, like a year ago. The recipe was absolutely delicious but my forgetful self forgot to save it to my favorites. My question is; have you changed this recipe since last year? I’m positive that i had gotten the lasanga recipe from your page because the steps are very similar but I don’t remember making the cottage cheese mixture. I only remember putting the cottage cheese and mozzarella directly onto the lasanga.

    1. Sorry for delayed reply. I did change it a little bit by adding more spices and flavor especially to the cottage cheese mixture. You can still add plain cottage cheese. I just find this way it’s better. Not much changed otherwise though.:)

  25. 5 stars
    So good. I have shared this recipe with many friends. It’s amazing how the zucchini actually resembles pasta noodles in texture.

  26. 5 stars
    Wow! Very delicious with lots of flavor. My husband and I cleaned our plates along with my sister and mom the next day. I plan to try your chicken zucchini casserole next. Thank you Olena!

  27. I thought this was absolutely delicious! It was a really satisfying meal. One of my favorite meals was your zucchini noodles with sauce, and this was equally good. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  28. Hi Olena. The recipe you shared looks wonderful and I am trying it tomorrow evening for dinner. I was wondering if you have to cook the dish covered? All of my casserole dishes have plastic covers so definitely can’t use those!

    Thanks!

  29. Hi Olena…I just tried your recipe and it was delicious!! My kids, 10 & 6, also HATE zucchini but both had 2 servings!!!

    1. Hi Lisi. My boys are exact same age and hate zucchini too. In all fairness, I wasn’t a picky eater as a kid but couldn’t stand zucchini. So, let’s give them some credit.

  30. I cannot wait to try this one either sounds really good! I like your suggestion of frying up other veggies in it. I bet that would taste even better than just the zucchini.

  31. Hi Olena, just met my sons girlfriends parents tonight and the mothers name is Elana which I had never heard of until I read your story , and the background of your name and origin , so interesting ! I love learning about different people and their stories , what an awesome world we live in , if we only took the time ! You are a beautiful women and your family sounds like lots of energy and fun , if eating clean helped you achieve even some of that I’m on board ! Thanks for the added sun to my very cold cloudy day , I’m turning up the radio and staring my first recipe of yours , the zucchini lasagna !!!! Keep making me feel like I can do this !!!! Your blog is fabulous, interesting and fun to follow . The way you reply to your followers makes it easy to see what a truly genuine person you are !

    1. Hi Meg. Aren’t you sweet?! Thanks so much. I try to be here as much as I am in real life. I love honesty and can’t stand anything fake. The older I get the more it turns me off. I shut off and lose interest in anything and anyone fake. Life is short.
      My friend has a friend and her name is Elana and she is from South America or Philippines. I forgot. Where is this Elana from? My name in Russian is Elena and in Ukrainian Olena. But truth is my short real name is Lena who nobody can pronounce right.
      I am glad I could inspire you. I will keep trying to do that as I keep to inspire myself on a daily basis lol. Some days are better than others but life is like that. It is all good.
      Yes, our active lifestyle and outlook on life is thanks to clean food. For sure. We feel great!!!

  32. I there the pic looks awesome was wondering if the ground turkey is a big part in the recipe I don’t eat animal is there anything besides that that I can use I’m using tofu for the exchange wit the cottage cheese cuz I don’t do dairy I really don’t want to rat just a big pan of zucchini an tofu..lol..any suggestions thanks in advance

    1. Tofu and zucchini doesn’t sound too appetizing lol. I would use cooked quinoa instead of turkey. Probably with panfried bell peppers, onions and mushrooms for more flavour. Kinda veggie vegan lasagna.:)

  33. I made the zucchini lasagna, it was wonderful and very tasty easy to make. The only item I change was the cottage cheese, I’m lactose intolerant, I used creamy tofu and added some spices n herbs. It was very very good and even better the next day. thank u

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

This page may contain affiliate links. ifoodrealcom.bigscoots-staging.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!