by Olena

Zucchini Lasagna (Video)

by Olena

5 from 15 reviews

Zucchini lasagna in a baking dish

Healthy Lasagna

Zucchini lasagna with meat, cottage cheese and zucchini noodles. It is delicious (even zucchini hating kids love it) and not too watery. This zucchini noodle lasagna is an old recipe of mine that I significantly improved by getting rid of majority of moisture, maximizing the flavour and adding easy to follow video instructions.

How to Make Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

I will be very honest and say that this healthy lasagna requires about 40 minutes of prep (I counted about 20 sighs from my videographer during 5 hours of filming) but result is totally worth it. Once you make it a few times, things will go even faster. I can’t wait to make this zucchini lasagna recipe again, it was that good!

Pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s do it!

1. Make Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini is a star of this healthy zucchini lasagna. Make zucchini lasagna noodles using a mandoline or grater with slicing blade. I highly recommend to wear cut resistant gloves.

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 casserole.

In the meanwhile, we go and prepare other ingredients for turkey zucchini lasagna (see step 2).

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. Using your hands squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach and set side.

Tip: Look for straight zucchini. If it is very large (garden), cut in half and slice.

how to make zucchini lasagna noodles using mandoline

2. Prepare Meat Sauce, Spinach and Cottage Cheese

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 acidity of tomatoes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, wilt fresh spinach in batches. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. If using thawed spinach, squeeze liquid well.

Now onto a cottage cheese mixture. I prefer it to ricotta as it’s lower in fat. We 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.

Tip: If using not low sodium tomato sauce, reduce salt.

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

3. Assemble Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

assembled layers of zucchini noodle lasagna

Now it’s finally time to assemble our low carb zucchini lasagna. They key is to have all ingredients ready. Hopefully, you are not too drunk by now.:)

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.

Here is an order of layers:

  1. Turkey meat sauce (a bit)
  2. Quinoa (a bit)
  3. Zucchini noodles
  4. Turkey meat sauce
  5. Cottage cheese mixture
  6. Mozzarella cheese
  7. Spinach
  8. Zucchini noodles
  9. Turkey meat sauce
  10. Cottage cheese mixture
  11. Mozzarella cheese
  12. Spinach
  13. Zucchini
  14. Turkey meat sauce (a bit)
  15. Mozzarella cheese
  16. Parmesan cheese

Hope I haven’t lost you.:)

zucchini noodle lasagna recipe layered

How Long to Bake?

It takes about 50 minutes to bake zucchini lasagna. Bake at 375 degrees F 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.

Extra Liquid: We salt and pat dry zucchini with paper towels. Then add quinoa at the bottom of the pan for absorbing 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. Also, I tried pre-baking zucchini noodles and that didn’t work well.

Can I Make It Ahead or Freeze?

To be honest I have not tried yet. Zucchini contain 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.

How to Store Lasagne

Leftover zucchini lasagne lasts for up to 5 days in the fridge. It is already baked, settled and lost all its extra moisture. Cover and refrigerate.

More Healthy Zucchini Recipes to Try

Watch Olena Make Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!

Print

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

5 from 15 reviews

Healthy Lasagna Recipe with ground turkey and made low carb with zucchini instead of pasta noodles.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Return skillet to medium heat, add spinach in batches as it starts to wilt, stirring in between. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, add cottage cheese, egg and 1/2 tsp oregano. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

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.

49 comments on “Zucchini Lasagna (Video)

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  1. 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!

  2. 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. 😉

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.:)

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!!!

  13. 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.:)

  14. 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

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