I absolutely love lasagna. However, if you read my post on my favorite easy, meat lasagna, you’ll know that I’m pretty picky about my lasagna. No ricotta or cottage cheese allowed, and it has to have the perfect blend of meats, spices, sauce, and cheeses that I like. I never buy lasagna at restaurants because it’s always full of things I don’t like. It’s one of the only things I’m really picky about!
Because of this pickiness, I’m not usually willing to make adjustments to my mom’s lasagna recipe. I mean, why mess with perfection? But, one day, I was perusing Pinterest, and I came across this recipe for zucchini lasagna from Skinny Taste, and it really intrigued me. I didn’t care much for the sauce recipe, but the thought of using zucchini instead of lasagna noodles was tempting. The more I thought about, the more it made sense to me. I felt like it could definitely still taste like lasagna…but a whole lot healthier!
My sister-in-law, Doris, and a friend were coming over for dinner on Sunday, and I decided it would be the perfect time to make it. Because, you know, that’s always the best time to try out new recipes. So the day before, I went to the store and bought some zucchini. Or at least, I thought I did. When I checked out, I didn’t seem to care that the price rang up differently from what the sign side, or that the “zucchini” I bought didn’t have a stem like most zucchini had. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I had bought cucumber. Not zucchini.
Can I still pretend I have pregnancy brain?
I was SO sad. And since it was Sunday, I wasn’t going to go to the store and get one, so I put out a desperate plea on Facebook for zucchini. Which no one responded to. Fortunately, my sister-in-law had a zucchini, and I was able to borrow it. As such, I was only able to make about half of our lasagna with zucchini. So, blonde/tired mom moment on my part, but I was happy I was still able to try out the zucchini/pasta switch.
And the verdict? I really couldn’t even tell the difference. If anything, I may have liked it more than regular pasta. Even if you don’t like zucchini, I wouldn’t totally count this idea out. It has the same texture and consistency of pasta, but not the carbs! And, I didn’t feel bad eating more of it. So, win-win all around. My favorite, perfect lasagna recipe, just tweaked a little bit, is even better than before.
I included instructions in the recipe on how to prepare the zucchini, but I’ll do a little recap here. Zucchini has A LOT of moisture, so you need to prepare it a specific way. First, you’ll need to cut thin (about 1/8″ thick slices) of the zucchini, which is most easily done with a mandolin. Then, lay the slices out on a paper towel and sprinkle salt on them; let them sit for about 10 minutes. Finally, get rid of the excess moisture, and grill them on the stove top (preferably with a grill pan, but a skillet will do) for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Also, a few notes on the ingredients. I typically would use ground beef, but in an attempt to make it healthier, I used ground turkey. Couldn’t tell a difference. I also recently discovered Jimmy Dean All Natural Sausage at Costco. Not only does not contain nitrates, but it’s the cheapest place I’ve found for sausage. I also really like Honeysuckle white turkey sausage, which makes it even better-for-you. I also loved using Ragu sauces in any pasta dish I make, because they are so hearty and have lots of veggies in them! All these things combined together make a winning combination!
Check out this page if you need another delicious lasagna recipe idea. We have tons!
Zesty Zucchini Lasagna
- 3 medium zucchini
- 3/4 pound ground turkey
- 3/4 pound Jimmy Dean All Natural Sausage, or ground turkey sausage
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 26 ounce spaghetti sauce, I prefer Ragu Mushroom and Green Pepper
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup Kraft Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 cups Kraft Colby and Monterrey Jack blend
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the zucchini by cutting thin, long slices (using a mandolin is the easiest way to do this.) Place on a paper towel and sprinkle with cheese to draw out the extra moisture for 10 minutes. On a grill pan (or skillet), grill zucchini slices on each side for about a minute. Set aside.
- In a frying pan, fry ground turkey and onion until browned, and then add in the onion and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down and add in spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, oregano, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
- In a 9x13 pan, lay down one layer of zucchini strips. Ladle half of the meat sauce on top, sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and then 1 cup of colby/jack cheese. Place another layer of zucchini, meat sauce, and Parmesan cheese, but this time, finish with the cup of Mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with tin foil, and baked for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 additional minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Julianna Gylseth says
Katie, I saw this post of yours months ago, and kept it to try at later date. I finally got around to it today – definitely tasty and yummy. My husband and I felt we could enjoy the flavors more since the cheese and spices were not soaked up in the pasta. We felt good after eating, knowing it was so healthy! Thanks for the share – loved it!!!!
Thanks so much for letting me know! I”m so glad you liked it. We will have to definitely try making it with the ground turkey. Hope you are doing well!
How many carbs in a serving and what size serving? My husband is diabetic, so I’m always searching for low carb recipes.
I just did a nutrition calculation for 12 servings, and one serving was about 10 carbs. I imagine you could reduce that by using less cheese or sauce, or a lower calorie sausage (such as turkey sausage.) I don’t know a lot about low carb diets, so I’m not sure what is really considered low carb. But hopefully that helps!
Julianna Gylseth says
We used turkey sausage and it was wonderful! It’s a very tender meat, and soooo low fat!
YUM..gotta try this..found you through the round robin giveaways on facebook..subscribed to your blog:)
Happy New Year!
Thank you! Always happy to have new readers 🙂 Thank you for subscribing, and a Happy New Year to you, too!
you’re welcome & thanks!!:)
I never use zucchini, but maybe I should! probably a lot healthier huh?
Alright…you sold me. I’ve been debating on whether or not to try this for months now but I think I’m going to go for it. Yours looks delicious!
Thanks! I hope you’ll like it. I think I’ll be using zucchini in place of noodles a lot more in lasagna here on out~!