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Zucchini Lasagna: A Flavorful Low-Carb Meal

Indulge in a healthier version of the classic Italian dish with our Zucchini Lasagna recipe. Perfect for a low-carb diet, this dish doesn’t skimp on flavor!

April 30, 2024
Zucchini LasagnaPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Medium
Servings 8 people
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 40 mins
Total 60 mins



Prepare the Zucchini

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
  2. Lightly salt the zucchini strips and set aside for 10 minutes to draw out moisture. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. On a grill pan or in a skillet over medium heat, grill the zucchini strips until tender and slightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.

Make the Meat Sauce

  1. In a large skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, sautéing until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the ground beef or turkey, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Cook until browned.
  3. Stir in the marinara sauce, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, letting the flavors meld.

Prepare the Cheese Mixture

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Stir until well blended.

Assemble the Lasagna

  1. In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom.
  2. Arrange a layer of grilled zucchini slices over the sauce.
  3. Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  4. Repeat the layering process until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of mozzarella on top.


  1. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  3. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before slicing. This helps the layers set and makes it easier to serve.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Zucchini Lasagna
Serves 8
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20 g25.6%
Protein 25 g50%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use a mandoline slicer for uniform, thin slices of zucchini. Thin slices ensure they cook through and mimic the texture of traditional lasagna noodles.
  • Drain zucchini well. After salting the zucchini slices, lay them out on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. This prevents a soggy lasagna.
  • Don’t forget to season each layer with salt and pepper to enhance the flavors of the zucchini and filling.
  • Use quality cheese. High-quality ricotta and mozzarella make a difference in flavor and texture. Opt for whole milk ricotta for creaminess. For more, check out our ‘Types of Cheeses’ article.
  • Allow the lasagna to rest for at least 10 minutes after baking. This helps the layers set, making the lasagna easier to cut and serve.
  • Feel free to add layers of sautéed spinach or mushrooms for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • For a nicely browned top, broil the lasagna for a few minutes at the end of baking.
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Zucchini Lasagna is a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional lasagna. By replacing the usual pasta layers with thin slices of zucchini, you get a dish that's not only lighter in calories but also packed with nutrients. This dish layers zucchini with a rich, hearty meat sauce and creamy cheese, creating a delicious meal that will satisfy even the most devout pasta lovers.

Origins of The Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini lasagna is a modern twist on the traditional Italian lasagna, creatively adapted to meet the needs of various dietary preferences, including gluten-free, keto, and vegetarian diets. This dish cleverly replaces the typical lasagna noodles with slices of zucchini, significantly reducing the carbohydrates and removing the gluten, making it ideal for those following a gluten-free or keto diet. The popularity of this variation has soared as more people seek out healthier, low-carb alternatives without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.

The origin of zucchini lasagna can be traced back to the increasing demand for healthier versions of beloved classics. As the awareness of dietary restrictions and preferences grew, inventive cooks began experimenting with vegetable substitutes. Zucchini, with its mild flavor and versatile texture, proved to be an excellent replacement for pasta. Not only does it absorb flavors well, but it also contributes additional nutrients, making the dish a nutritional powerhouse. The concept of layering zucchini in place of noodles aligns perfectly with traditional lasagna-making techniques, ensuring that the essence of the dish remains intact while aligning with modern health trends.

Over the years, the recipe for zucchini lasagna has been refined to cater to various tastes and dietary needs. From keto zucchini lasagna, which focuses on high-fat and low-carb components, to vegetarian zucchini lasagna, which is packed with vegetables and sometimes substitutes traditional cheeses with plant-based alternatives, the flexibility of this recipe is one of its strongest points. As more people embrace diets that focus on health and wellness, dishes like Gluten-Free Zucchini Lasagna continue to gain popularity, providing a delicious way to enjoy a gourmet meal that fits within the parameters of dietary restrictions. This dish not only caters to the health-conscious but also offers a delightful culinary experience that highlights the versatility and adaptability of Italian cuisine.

How To Cut Zucchini?

Cutting zucchini for lasagna requires a technique that creates uniform, thin slices that can mimic the layers of traditional pasta. Here's a step-by-step guide to effectively prepare zucchini for your lasagna:

Tools Needed:

Mandoline slicer: This is the best tool for making evenly thin slices. It's quick and efficient but requires careful handling to avoid cuts.

Sharp chef's knife: If you don’t have a mandoline, a sharp knife will work, though it might not produce as uniform slices.

Steps to Cut Zucchini for Lasagna:

  • Wash and Dry: Start by thoroughly washing the zucchini to remove any dirt or pesticides. Dry them with a towel to reduce moisture content, which is crucial for preventing a watery lasagna.
  • Trim Ends: Trim the ends of each zucchini. This makes it easier to slice and removes the hard end pieces that are not pleasant to eat.
  • Slice Lengthwise: For lasagna, you need long, wide strips that resemble lasagna noodles.
  • Drain Excess Moisture: After slicing, lay the zucchini strips out on paper towels and lightly salt them. The salt helps draw out excess water. After 10 minutes, pat the strips dry with another paper towel. This step is crucial to avoid making your lasagna too watery.
  • Pre-Cooking (Optional): To ensure the zucchini is not too crunchy and to remove even more moisture, you can pre-cook the slices. Grill them on a stovetop grill pan for 1-2 minutes on each side or until you see grill marks. Alternatively, you can blanch them in boiling water for one minute then dry thoroughly.

By following these steps, you can prepare zucchini that will layer beautifully in your lasagna, holding up well during the cooking process and complementing the other ingredients without making the dish soggy.


Exploring variations of the traditional zucchini lasagna can keep this dish exciting and suitable for different tastes and occasions. Here are some creative twists you can try to personalize your zucchini lasagna:

1. Meaty Variations

Spicy Italian Sausage: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, replacing ground beef with spicy Italian sausage adds a robust flavor.

Chicken or Turkey: Use ground chicken or turkey for a lighter, leaner version that still packs plenty of flavors.

2. Vegetarian Delights

Mushroom Spinach Layer: Add a layer of sautéed mushrooms and spinach for an earthy flavor and extra nutrients.

Ricotta and Herb Blend: Mix ricotta with basil, parsley, and chives for a fresh, herby taste that complements the mild zucchini.

3. Vegan Options

Cashew Ricotta: Substitute dairy cheese with cashew ricotta for a vegan-friendly version that remains creamy and satisfying.

Tofu and Nutritional Yeast: Blend silken tofu with nutritional yeast for a cheese-like layer that's entirely plant-based.

4. Low-Carb/Keto-Friendly

Increase the Cheese: Amp up the amounts of mozzarella and Parmesan for those not avoiding dairy, to increase the fat content for keto dieters.

Add Avocado Slices: Incorporate slices of avocado between layers to add healthy fats and a creamy texture.

5. Seafood Twist

Shrimp or Crab Layer: Introduce a layer of cooked shrimp or crab meat for a seafood version that brings a taste of the ocean to this comforting dish.

These variations not only allow you to tailor the zucchini lasagna to specific dietary needs but also help keep the meal exciting with different flavors and textures. Whether you're serving it at a family dinner, a festive occasion, or just indulging in a healthy meal at home, these tweaks can make zucchini lasagna a versatile staple in your cooking repertoire.

What To Serve with Zucchini Lasagna?

Zucchini lasagna pairs well with a variety of side dishes to create a balanced and satisfying meal.

Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Zucchini Lasagna:

How To Store Zucchini Lasagna?

Storing zucchini lasagna properly is key to maintaining its freshness and flavor, whether you're keeping leftovers or preparing the dish ahead of time. Here’s how to store zucchini lasagna effectively:

Storing Cooked Zucchini Lasagna:

Cool Down: Allow the lasagna to cool to room temperature after cooking. Do not leave it out for more than 2 hours to avoid bacterial growth.


  • In a Container: Transfer the lasagna to an airtight container, or leave it in the baking dish and cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Storage Duration: Properly stored, cooked zucchini lasagna can last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  • Freeze in Portions: If you plan to freeze the lasagna, consider cutting it into portions for easier thawing and reheating.
  • Wrap Well: Wrap each portion tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn and to preserve flavor.
  • Storage Duration: When stored properly, zucchini lasagna can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Thawing and Reheating:

Thawing: Thaw frozen lasagna in the refrigerator overnight. For quicker thawing, you can use the microwave, but be mindful that this might change the texture slightly.


  • Oven: Reheat the lasagna in the oven at 350 °F (175 °C) until it is heated through. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes if refrigerated, or longer if from frozen.
  • Microwave: For quicker reheating, use the microwave, covering the lasagna with a microwave-safe lid or wrap to keep moisture in. Heat on high for a few minutes, checking periodically, until it's hot throughout.

Storing Uncooked Zucchini Lasagna:

Assemble and Refrigerate: You can assemble the lasagna and store it in the refrigerator a day before baking it. Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or a lid.

Assemble and Freeze: If you want to prepare your lasagna well in advance, assemble it without baking, wrap it tightly, and freeze it. When ready to eat, bake it straight from the freezer (add about 10-15 extra minutes to the baking time).

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy your zucchini lasagna at its best quality for both immediate meals and future enjoyment. Proper storage not only extends the dish’s life but also helps in maintaining its taste and texture.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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