Downshiftology
subscribe to new posts: via email via rss

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini lasagna is a fresh take on a classic comfort food dish. It’s loaded with veggies, but still has the rich flavors and scrumptious texture of a traditional lasagna. Top it off with some grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves, and you’ll have the perfect weeknight meal for the whole family.

Zucchini lasagna in a white casserole dish.

When it comes to making weeknight meals a little easier, casseroles can’t be beat. You may have already tried my Whole 30 Chicken Broccoli Casserole or Healthy Breakfast Casserole. But you can never go wrong with a good ol’ lasagna right? Especially a healthy one.

So with several zucchinis left in my fridge I thought, why not make a zucchini lasagna! Not only is this version gluten-free, low-carb, keto-friendly and packed with vegetables, but it’s still got that hearty, cheesy lasagna flavor. Albeit a little lighter and healthier (which is a definite win).

How To Cut Zucchini For Lasagna

You can use a mandoline, peeler or vegetable sheet cutter. But because many people don’t own a vegetable sheet cutter, I’m showing you how to cut your zucchini using a mandolin or a peeler today.

I prefer a mandolin because it allows me to control the thickness of my zucchini and I find it to be faster and easier than a peeler. But it’s up to you.

A single slice of zucchini lasagna on a plate.

How To Make Zucchini Lasagna Less Watery

You may recall from my zucchini noodles post that zucchini is 95% water. That means when you cook it, it will naturally become watery. But if you’re looking to have a little less juice in your lasagna, I do have a few tips:

  • Slice your zucchini into thinner slices: thinner slices mean less zucchini, thus less water.
  • Salt your zucchini and let it sit for 15 minutes: salt draws the water out of the zucchini. Then, just blot it dry with a paper towel.
  • Grill it to reduce the moisture: grill the zucchini for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Personally, I don’t mind if my zucchini is a bit more watery. I just scoop it out with a spatula that has holes to allow any water to drain. But feel free to use the method that works best for you.

Lastly, note that this recipe also uses more zucchini than other zucchini lasagnas, as the slices are layered on top of each other. So it will come out a bit more watery than expected. I personally love biting into the chunks of zucchini, so my motto is the more the better!

What Other Veggies Can You Use In Lasagna?

The beauty of a lasagna is that you can pack it with any thin vegetables. Vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, onions, or eggplant can be easily added as a layer. Or you can slice pumpkin or sweet potato into alternating slices with the zucchini. The possibilities are endless.

Zucchini Lasagna Ingredients

The ingredients for zucchini lasagna are pretty basic: zucchini, ground beef, pasta sauce, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, egg, basil and parsley. But there are a few small details to watch out for when it comes to the texture and consistency. Let’s take a look:

  • Small vs. large zucchini: Either size will work. Just make sure you have about 2 pounds of zucchini which is about 5 small zucchinis or 3 large zucchinis.
  • Part skim vs. whole milk ricotta: Whole milk ricotta has a richer, creamier texture while part skim will save you some calories and fat. Both work great, it’s up to you.
  • Mozzarella vs. parmesan: I suggest to use both! In this recipe I mix the ricotta and parmesan together and grate the mozzarella on top. I love the variety of cheeses.

Zucchini lasagna ingredients all laid out on a table.

How To Make Zucchini Lasagna

It’s easier than you think to make zucchini lasagna. It’s really all about layering. Watch the video below to see exactly how I do it, step-by-step.

  1. Slice your zucchini lengthwise into slices. If you’d like to make your lasagna less watery, use one of the tips above.
  2. Make your bolognese sauce in a large pan over medium high heat. Break down the ground beef into small pieces and cook until it’s browned. Then, stir in the pasta sauce.
  3. Make the ricotta mix by stirring together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, and some salt and pepper.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Place your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce, then add 1/2 of the bolognese sauce and spread 1/2 of the ricotta mix evenly on top of that.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the grated mozzarella, along with some chopped parsley and basil.
  7. Repeat these layers one more time! Feel free to press down on your zucchini in the second layer to get it nice and flat.
  8. Top the zucchini with a sprinkle of more herbs and 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella.
  9. Pop the lasagna in the oven and let it cook for about 40 minutes. Then let it broil for 5 minutes to get a nice golden brown top.
  10. Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve!

The first couple steps of making zucchini lasagna.

The next two steps of making zucchini lasagna.

Zucchini lasagna in a white casserole pan.

How To Store Zucchini Lasagna

Once the lasagna has slightly cooled, place it in a storage container. It can last for 3-5 days in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer. It’s tasty meal prep for sure!

If You Love Zucchini Recipes…

If you still have an abundance of zucchini in your fridge, try out these recipes next!

Zucchini lasagna in a casserole pan.
4.94 from 65 votes

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe (Not Watery)

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
The best zucchini lasagna recipe is hearty, healthy and delicious. It's gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly. Watch the video above to see how to make it!

Ingredients

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 24 ounces pasta sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan regianno
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • small handful fresh parsley and basil , chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit (200 degrees celsius).
  • Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, as thin or thick as you'd like. Set aside.
  • Add the ground beef to a large pan over medium high heat. Finely break down the ground beef with a spatula and pan fry it until browned and no longer pink.
  • Pour the pasta sauce on top of the ground beef (remember to reserve 1/2 cup) and stir together, then remove from heat.
  • In a medium bowl, make the ricotta mix by stirring together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper.
  • Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of your 9x13-inch casserole dish.
  • Add your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce. They can overlap or you can place them side-by-side.
  • Top the zucchini with 1/2 of the bolognese sauce, and evenly spread 1/2 the ricotta mix on top of that.
  • Add 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella on top of the ricotta, along with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil.
  • Repeat these layers one more time.
  • Top the lasagna with a final layer of zucchini slices, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Place the lasagna in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes. Broil for a couple of minutes to get a nice golden top.
  • Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve.

Lisa's Tips

  • I used store-bought pasta sauce (I love Rao's) but if you'd like to make your bolognese from scratch, you can follow my bolognese recipe.
  • This is the mandoline I love...and don't forget to use cut resistant gloves as well.  Your fingers will thank you! 
  • The casserole dish is 9x13 for those looking for exact measurements. 

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 603mg, Potassium: 626mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 720IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 270mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Zucchini Lasagna, Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!
Recipe Rating




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

192 comments on “Zucchini Lasagna”

  1. Wow! Just made this!!!! So good. We have dairy allergy so made with goat cheese! It’s deliciousness! I wish I could add a picture!

    • Yay! So glad you loved this lasagna recipe Candace. Oh, and if you would like to share your photo with the Facebook community group – that would be amazing! You can find it on my Facebook page to join :)

  2. So yummy thank you for sharing definitely will make it a again.

  3. Oh Yum!! This was delicious! My picky husband groaned when I said I was making zucchini lasagna-he is allergic to anything healthy sounding. Anyway……he loved it! I only used 1.1 lb ground beef-but otherwise followed the recipe. I did put zucchini slices in the oven to dry them out first-but other than the amount of ground beef-that’s the only difference. This recipe was fabulous!!! Thank you Lisa! Your recipes and website are amazing. Thank you and blessings to you:)

  4. I wish in this section, you would have noted to divide the zucchini instead of “ Place your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce, then add 1/2 of the bolognese sauce and spread 1/2 of the ricotta mix evenly on top of that.”  based on these instructions, I have only one layer with a lot of zucchini :(

    • Thanks for clarifying that Lynn! I will make note of that – but hopefully you can get more insight as to how each step looks through the video as well :)

  5. When adding mushrooms, do you sauté them first? And do you add them with the meat or layer with the zucc?

  6. The whole family loved this recipe.  I even had a jar of Rao’s marinara in the pantry.  I used about 4 cups of shredded garden fresh zucchini (well squeezed) so it ended up being more like a casserole.  I will definitely be making this again!

  7. I have to give this a 5 star rating because it looks so delicious. I’ve yet to make it but I know this will be as good as it looks.
    I do have two questions though, can I add a layer or two of roasted red peppers, or will that upset the balance of things? And, will this freeze well before baking it?
    I have so many Zucchinis ready to eat at once so I’d like to prepare some meals in advance.

    • So glad you enjoyed this lasagna recipe Donna!

    • Hi Donna, I used red peppers AND sweet potato, for one recipie, then wizzed up mushrooms and onions (mixed with ground turkey) for the another recipie…. BOTH froze well and were VERY tasty. Good luck with yours… anything goes when veggies are concerned. :-)

  8. I followed your tip about salting the zuccini and letting it sit, then blotting dry. Five paper towels later and puddles all over the work space (literally)l as I left the zuccini slices on a cutting board for this process, lasagna was still watery AND intolerably salty. Such a disappointment and waste of time and resources.

    • Hi Geneva – Yes, as zucchini is 95% water, quite a bit will be released from it. If you watched the video above you’ll see that I salted the zucchini in a baking pan, to catch the moisture, and then removed much of the salt with a paper towel afterwards. I hope your next try is better!

    • Wanted to love this but as it reads this recipe was void of any flavor…little to no spice/herbs not even garlic! Instead of the salt method to remove moisture I sliced then baked the slices in 400° oven for 10 min before hand and that was successful..perhaps a different sauce would help but I had even added minced garlic and Italian seasoning and basil to the meat and still blah? Wonder if the zucchini ‘drains’ the flavor? ( I first tried this recipe with the salt procedure and although I wiped the zucchini down with paper towels it was unbearably salty).

      • The sauce I use is a garlic basil sauce that has a delicious flavor. But if you’re just using a plain tomato sauce, then yes, you can always add additional spices.

  9. Missed the star part…4.5 stars!!! See my post just a minute ago.

  10. Thank you. The flavor profile is good, and the techniques to slicing the zucchini is spot on ( I am buying another mandoline for slicing veggies longways – my husband bought me a “safe one” that allows for only a tomato-sized veggie) The reason for trying this recipe was the “less watery” promise. Unfortunately, that was not the case, but the flavor was there; like Autumn Hardie cays, I added lots of fresh and dried herbs to up the “lasagna-ness” of the dish. I like the recommendation fo the thinness to cutting the zucchini. All in all, a keeper of a recipe, but some investigation for “less wateriness” is necessary. Thank you again for inspiring me to try this. No-Carb is mostly no fun, but this was fun.

    • Hi Whitney – I’m happy you loved the recipe! Yes, it’s always a struggle to make zucchini lasagna completely free of water (given that it’s 95% water), but hopefully the tips I provided made it less watery than what would have normally occurred. Which recommended method did you use? You can also combine several of those methods to achieve a less watery version in the future.

  11. I made this tonight and it was very good!  This recipe is definitely a keeper!

    • This is the best!  I sliced the zucchini with a mandolin, placed in the oven rack at 200 degrees for the time it took me to do the rest, no salt, and they dried up well.  
      When it comes to seasoning, I always add a little more of what I’m used to using in Italian cooking.  
      I’ve done this 2 times, but the last one I had to improvise for a vegetarian and a lactose intolerant.  Waiting for the results now!!

  12. I made this once a couple of weeks ago and I am going to be making it again this evening for a family member who is eating low carb and having a procedure done tomorrow. I did a couple of very minor things to help make this flavor explode: 1) Use tomato, onion, and garlic pasta sauce and 2) Substitute regular salt with seasoned salt.

  13. I wanted to add alternating slices of sweet potato as you mentioned in your post. Do you recommend I cook or par-boil the sliced sweet potatoes before assembling the lasagna?

  14. I made this and it was even more delicious and filling than I had imagined.  Even my husband (hesitant to try ‘healthy’ recipes) gave it a five-star rating!  Very simple to make and feeds a happy family!

  15. It’s an excellent recipe! I usually don’t care much for zucchini, it’s too weird vegetable for me I guess. This lasagne, you can’t really tell it’s not real pasta :). I used vegetable peeler to cut zucchini and since my sauce was thicker side, end dish was not watery at all. What I love about this recipe, you can make it and eat it the same day;  with regular lasagne, I make sauce one day and bake an actual lasagne next day because otherwise I’d just starve :). Thanks for great recipe, Lisa :)! 

  16. I finally came round to making this beautiful dish. It is a bit of a work, but I just love Sundays for playing around in the kitchen. Even though we are a family of four, there were still enough left-overs, so my freezer is very happy. I told the kids we were eating lasagna, but left out the part that I used zucchini instead of pasta. They loved it, so today was a big win ;-)

    • This recipe does take a bit of time, but definitely worth it once it’s all done! Plus, it makes for great leftovers as well :)

  17. This is so good!!! I can use lots of zucchini.    Can this be frozen to eat at a later date? 

  18. Followed recipe exactly!! Very good! Everyone loved it!! 

  19. This is so good! Even my anti keto husband really liked it! Will definitely be making this dish again!

    • Happy to hear your husband enjoyed this lasagna recipe! Now you have a winning dish you can always come back to :)

  20. I posted this question under the fritters recipe but should’ve posted here. What’s the bakeware brand for the zucchini lasagna? Building up my latest amazon order, might as well add this as I don’t have a rectangular piece this size.

  21. delicious!!! Will be making again! I used 1 pound Italian sausage and 1 pound ground chuck. It was a bit too watery for me so next time I will bake the zucchini before assembling it. Flavorful, light, and delicious!

  22. This is so good! I didn’t want to buy fresh herbs, so I used dried Italian seasoning and basil pesto and it came out amazing! If this was at a restaurant, I would order it again :) thank you for sharing!

  23. This was so delicious!   I subbed beyond beef for the ground beef and it turned out great!  Will definitely add this to the rotation.

  24. I made this. yummy. Mine was too watery, but loved just the same. Your videos are awesome.

    • Oh no! Make sure to pat your zucchini dry or bake it in the oven with salt so it has time to remove enough moisture :)

  25. I didn’t have sour cream so I used Greek yogurt, and I added garlic and onion powder to the meat. Also used ground turkey instead of beef. It was SO delicious, everyone had seconds!  I had to leave it in the oven for 50 mins. Honestly though, I wish I would’ve made it the night before because as everyone else said- it tasted even BETTER the following day. 

    • So glad this recipe was a success! And yes, this lasagna makes for great leftovers the next day as well :)

  26. Just my little tip for preventing watery zucchini – whether mandolined, sliced, diced or spiralized – is to place in the fridge in an airtight container between layers of paper towel the day before. No more watery zucchini! Works EVERY time!

  27. This was excellent – so light and flavorful!  I will definitely make it again!    I think I liked it best the following day after it sat and 5e flavors melded. I salted the zucchini to get rid of some of the water!  Thanks for creating this!

  28. Delicious!! Made this a day ahead. I salted the zucchini and let it sit 1/2 hour. I didn’t have enough to do the final layer of zucchini on top, so it was 2 layers. I baked it as directed and it was golden brown on top, didn’t need the broiler. I let it sit on the counter, draining off accumulated water as necessary (there was alot). When it was cool, I refrigerated it, covered. It was wonderful the next day! Raves from the husband! I will be making this often!

  29. This recipe was soooooooo goood!!!!! My gf and I made this for the guys and they loved it! The only thing we changed was that we salted the zucchini and then baked it for 10 minutes and then left it to dry with paper towels until we were ready to bake! The boys already requested more! Awesome recipe! 

    • Hi Carli- I’m so glad everyone enjoyed this zucchini lasagna! And good idea on salting, as that’s another way to remove moisture :)

  30. Hi! Can you make this and freeze before baking, for a future meal? Looks delish!

    • Hi Marlene- You can find ways to prep this in the post! But I might suggest to freeze this after it’s been baked instead. Otherwise your zucchini might become very watery in the freezer.

  31. I made it a few nights ago! Delicious! Only issue I had was when turning to broil (I’ve never used broil before) I burned the top layer of cheese! But I just pulled that part off and ate the rest! Oh my goodness….so good! Will be making this again!

    • Hi Jamie – Oh no! Sounds like your broiler was too strong for this. But, I’m glad the rest of it was a success!

  32. Omg! This was wonderful! My husband raved about it! It was delicious and very easy to make. 

  33. Can you Make Ahead a store in fridge for the day or will be too soggy? Thanks! Love your videos and the substance! 

  34. Using that much meat with no garlic, onion powder, parsley, oregano, paprika, anise, or other seasonings in the meat is an absolute no no for lasagna, I know from experience. Ground beef sucks up so much seasonings and salt it’s ridiculous. Basically this is just an assembly tips. I’ve used that sauce before its excellent but can’t make plain ground meat taste good.

    • Hi Dess – you can certainly add additional flavor to the meat if you’d like. But you can tell from the numerous positive reviews, than many love this recipe as it’s written. Give it a try!

  35. How much time should you add if you’re heating it up from frozen? And should we cover it to cook or not? 

    • Hi Jessica – no, you don’t need to cover it while cooking. And it depends on how big/how many pieces you’re heating up. If it’s just one piece, I’d start with a minute and go from there.

  36. How much is for per serving?

  37. Delicious! Are the nutrition facts for one portion or for the whole thing?

  38. Hey, this recipe came out really great! Just wondering, does this freeze well?

    • Glad this recipe turned out perfectly! Yes, this can freeze well and you can read more about storage instructions written in the post :)

  39. We have made this twice in the last two weeks! Love that this has the flavor of traditional lasagna but it’s much easier to make and you don’t feel so weighed down eating it since the zucchini replaces pasta! The second time we made this we added garlic, celery, onion and carrots to the ground beef/pasta mixture to sneak in some more veggies and it was delicious!

  40. Enlightening! That’s simply the best lasagna recipe ever. I’m so glad I found your channel. This Lasagna recipe is just as good as the conventional but you’re not left felling heavy or guilty after eating it. It’s just perfect.

  41. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and posted the results last time in a local cooking page called COOKVID 19. My mom commented she wanted me to make it for her. Preparing it now for Mother’s Day dinner tomorrow. I always think it’s better the next day! 😊 Thanks for the great recipe! 

    • Amazing! I’m so glad you enjoyed this zucchini lasagna so much. Hope your mother enjoys this during this special day :)