[Just to note: I want this blog to be a distraction from all the chaos going on in the world. If you need a moment to breathe, you’re more than welcome here.]
Have I ever mentioned how surprised I am by how versatile zucchini is? It’s delicious roasted with garlic, it fits great with stir fry, you can turn it into dessert, and when you prepare it right, it makes a fantastic substitute for pasta.
The only thing: How do you keep it from getting watery and mushy when you use it as a pasta substitute? It’ll vary slightly from one dish to the next, but I found a simple 2-step remedy for this Zucchini Lasagna. The first step is to cut the zucchini a couple hours ahead of time and lay them flat in a single layer on a cooling rack. Then, when you’re baking the lasagna, uncover it halfway through the baking process. This will allow the extra water to evaporate, and your lasagna’s texture will be great!
As far as sauces go… The store bought sauces taste great, but they routinely have added sugar in their recipes. If you’re making this as part of a keto or a low-carb diet, you’ll want to skip the jarred marinara and make your own tomato sauce instead. I have a recipe provided below, and it’s easy to customize the flavor to your taste.
This lasagna will make a perfect dinner with your family!
2 medium zucchini
1 lb beef or Italian sausage
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 batch of Low Carb Tomato Sauce (recipe below), or 24 oz jar of marinara
1 TBSP dried parsley flakes
15 Oz ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided
Using a mandolin (carefully!), cut the zucchini to 1/8” slices; lay flat in a single layer, and set aside for a couple hours.
In a large, deep sauté pan, brown the sausage over medium-high heat. Once browned, add the onion, garlic, and seasoning, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the marinara, then cover and let simmer for 5 minutes before taking off the heat.
In a large bowl, use a fork to mix together the parsley flakes with the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the egg until just combined.
In a greased 9×13 baking dish, spread out 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom, then place a single layer of the zucchini slices on top. Spread half the cheese mixture over that, then repeat the process, finishing with a layer of the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover the dish with foil, then bake at 375 for 50 minutes. About halfway through, remove the foil and let the lasagna finish baking uncovered to keep the zucchini from getting too watery.
Makes about 8 servings.
Low-Carb Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic with the olive oil until fragrant, making sure that the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Use immediately, or store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.