Zucchini Lasagna

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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 with basil leaves

Lasagna is comfort food that hits straight home. But for me, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables and create healthier spins on classic recipes. Enter, this zucchini lasagna! It’s still got that hearty, cheesy lasagna flavor, but it’s a little lighter and veggie-forward.

I’m a big fan of transforming zucchini into almost anything, from zucchini noodles to zucchini bread. And this zucchini lasagna is similar to my zucchini noodle spaghetti bolognese, but in casserole form that works so well for family dinners (or meal prepping for the week). Oh, and did I mention you can freeze it? It’s a definite win for easy, weeknight dinners! 

Ingredients for zucchini lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe 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 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 zucchini or 3 large zucchini.
  • 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 using both! In this recipe, I mix the ricotta and parmesan together and grate the mozzarella on top. I love the variety of cheeses.

Helpful tip: The beauty of lasagna is that you can pack it with any thinly sliced vegetable such as mushrooms, spinach, onions, or eggplant. You can even slice pumpkin or sweet potato as alternating slices with the zucchini. The possibilities are endless!

A slice of zucchini lasagna on a plate

How to Make Zucchini 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 fewer zucchini, thus less water.
  • Salt your zucchini slices: Salt helps to draw water out of the zucchini! Once salted, let them sit for 15 minutes before blotting dry (and removing some of that salt) with a paper towel.
  • Grill to reduce the moisture: Grill the zucchini slices for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

Personally, I don’t mind if my zucchini is a bit more watery. I just scoop out a portion of lasagna with a spatula with holes, which drains any water. 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!

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. Plus, I find it to be faster and easier than a peeler.

How To Make Zucchini Lasagna

Slice the zucchini lengthwise. If you’d like to make your lasagna less watery, use one of the tips above.

Sliced zucchini on a plate

Make the bolognese sauce. In a large pan, cook the ground beef until it’s perfectly browned. Then, stir in the pasta sauce.

Cooking bolognese in a pan

Make the ricotta mix. Stir together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, and some salt and pepper in a separate bowl.

Ricotta mix for zucchini. lasagna in a bowl

Add the first set of layers. First, spread some pasta sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish. Second, layer zucchini slices on top. Third, add half of the bolognese sauce. Lastly, evenly spread half of the ricotta mixture, with sprinkles of grated mozzarella, parsley, and basil on top.

Layering zucchini lasagna in a casserole dish

Repeat these layers one more time. Feel free to press down on your zucchini in the second layer to get it nice and flat. Then top the last zucchini layer with extra herbs and grated mozzarella.

Prepping zucchini lasagna

Bake the lasagna. Cook it for about 40 minutes, then let it broil for 5 minutes to get a nice golden brown top. Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve!

A casserole dish of zucchini lasagna

Storage Tips

  • To store for the week: Once the lasagna has cooled, place it in an airtight container. It will keep for 4 to 5 days in the fridge. 
  • Freeze for later: This is one of my favorite freezer-friendly meals! I recommend pre-slicing the lasagna before storing individual portions in a freezer-safe container. It will keep for up to 3 months.
A slice of zucchini lasagna

More Zucchini Recipes

If you still have an abundance of zucchini, these zucchini recipes are the best of the best!

I’m confident that this zucchini lasagna will instantly become a dinner favorite. Once you make it, let me know how it turned out in the comment box below!

Zucchini lasagna in a baking dish

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe (Not Watery)

4.92 from 171 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This zucchini lasagna recipe puts a delicious, veggie spin on a classic comfort food dish. Bonus, it's perfect for a low-carb dinner idea! Watch the video below to see how to make it!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 24 ounces pasta sauce
  • 15 ounce ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan regianno
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • small handful fresh parsley and basil , chopped

Instructions 

  • Slice zucchini. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, as thin or thick as you'd like. Set aside.
    Sliced zucchini for lasagna
  • Make bolognese. Add the ground beef to a large pan over medium-high heat. Finely break down the ground beef with a spatula and pan-fry until browned and no longer pink. Then, pour the pasta sauce on top (remember to reserve 1/2 cup) and stir together, then remove from heat.
    A pan with ground beef and pasta sauce
  • Make ricotta mix. In a medium bowl, make the ricotta mix by stirring together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper.
    A bowl of ricotta mix
  • Add the first layers. Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of your 9×13-inch casserole dish. Then add your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce. They can overlap or you can place them side-by-side.
    Layering pasta sauce and zucchini for lasagna
  • Add the secondary layers. Top the zucchini with 1/2 of the bolognese sauce, and evenly spread 1/2 the ricotta mix on top of that. Then, add 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil.
    Layering cheese in zucchini lasagna
  • Repeat these layers one more time.
    Layering a zucchini lasagna in baking dish
  • Finish the topping. Top the lasagna with a final layer of zucchini slices, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
    Zucchini lasagna before baking
  • Bake. Place the lasagna in the oven and cook for 40 to 45 minutes. Broil for a couple of minutes to get a nice golden top. Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve.
    A white baking dish of zucchini lasagna

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 9×13 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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted September 2019, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




470 Comments

  1. Ok …. in the oven!  Since I don’t  have the right tool for slicing the zucchini it was an adventure.  Nothing like living in the edge!   Still was able to carve out thin long (and short) slices.  I’ll invest in mandolin because will definitely make this dish again.

    Thank you, thank you  for this recipe and all the clear instructions.5 stars

    1. I’m glad you found this recipe easy to follow! Hoping you loved the recipe as well :)

      1. Hello Lisa, 

        I made the this dish again.  I hope to try your roasted califlower and onion soup recipe – it look delicious and healthy.  Have peace of mind knowing my parents are experiencing healthy meals.   I see you in your videos and become inspired – “ hey, I can try that !”    

        Thank you for this help and encouragement.

        Yol 5 stars

      2. Hi Yol- So glad you enjoyed this zucchini lasagna again! And that my recipes have been a healthy inspiration for you :)

  2. I made this today and it was SO good and SO easy!! Thank you for the directions and the video – they really helped!! I’m really not a good cook, but it turned out great for me!5 stars

    1. Hi Sara- Wonderful! I’m glad the directions were easy to follow and gave you a delicious lasagna in the end :)

  3. Never been a fun of pasta lasagna but I tried the zucchini lasagna, and OMG!!! So delicious and so easy to make. I used my kitchen aid vegetable sheet cutter and my lasagna was not too watery, it was just perfect!! Thanks for sharing!! 5 stars

    1. Hi Shiku – This is another great way to sneak in more veggies as well! Glad you enjoyed this veggie lasagna version!

  4. A really amazing recipe, it tastes so delicious and is so simple and easy to make!! Loved it and will definitely be making it again :)5 stars

  5. Making it for a third time today. Also adding yellow squash and spinach. Partner absolutely loves it. Even better as leftovers. Excellent recipe. Didn’t have an watery issues. Easy recipe to change around ingredients. Thanks for this recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Jason – Love the addition of yellow squash and spinach in this :) The more veggies the better! And I’m glad yours didn’t turn out watery.

  6. I tried this recipe yesterday but it was a bit too watery for my liking (the taste was still great). I put it in the fridge overnight and tried it again this morning, it’s perfect. :) It’s a perfect recipe for batch cooking too. I have two big portions in the freezer (4 meals) ready to go. Another 5 star !!5 stars

    1. Hi Terri – When making this recipe, you want to make sure you remove as much moisture as you can from the zucchini before layering :) But, I’m glad you enjoyed this! It’s always great to have leftovers as well – which can be stored in the freezer too.

  7. SO delicious!!
    It’s getting a bit cooler here in Aus now so I’m craving pasta – this recipe gives all the favors of a traditional lasagne but you don’t even miss the pasta. 5 stars

    1. Hi Genna – Who needs pasta when you have zucchini :) Happy to hear you loved this recipe! It’s always nice to whip this up on a cold day.

    2. Hi Lisa,

      This looks super delicious but would you be able to do a vegetarian version for us veggies out there?

      Thanks. 

      Jane 

      1. Hi Jane – Yes! I will definitely add a vegan lasagna to my list :) For now, an option could be using lentils!

  8. Perfect ! I let the zucchinis dry a bit with salt and paper towel. I didn’t use mozzarella because I wanted to limit going to the store right now (corona virus, sigh).

    It was perfect, rich but light. My mom loved it too. My dad is driving to my house tomorrow just to pick up a slice – and he’s a chef! So I’m super confident about this dish.

    Thank you Lisa!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Kim- So glad this recipe came together minus the mozzarella! And wow – I hope your dad loves this recipe :)

  9. This looks amazing. Lisa correct me if i am wrong. I thought u usually try not to take dairy. I try to avoid dairy and gluten since they hurt my stomach so i have been cooking some of ur recipes..I guess u r changing ur diet?

    I have been purchasing the sugar and cassava flour etc that u use. They are way better than most things out there. It has been life saving. thank u so so much!

    1. Hi there! I actually can consume dairy, but not in a high amount. So for this recipe, you can omit some of the cheeses in this!

      1. thank u for u reply! I just made a nutella with ur recipe. It’s so wonderful!! I cannot wait to make a chocolate souffle with it!

        I appeciate ur repecies so much! They are truly amazing!

        Sun

  10. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’ve just made a vegetarian meat version of it for the first time and I’m excited to share it with my friends tonight. 5 stars

    1. Wonderful! I’m glad you were able to tweak the recipe to your liking. I hope you and your friends enjoy it Rachel! x

  11. Hey Lisa. Thanks for this recipe and tips. I have prepared the lasagna and will be putting it into the oven soon. Quick tip needed. I have A LOT of leftover mandoline sliced zucchini. Any suggestions? (Not enough for more lasagna) I was thinking zucchini bread, but I have no idea how I would turn these thin slices into shredded without shredding my hand.5 stars

  12. I tried this today and it was so good! I especially liked that you used a ricotta-cheese-mix instead of bechamel. It turns out much more aromatic. Thank you so much for this recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Sabine – I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! And yes, a ricotta cheese mix tastes oh so delicious :)

  13. Very tasty. Made it exactly as written, including tips. I’ll have to work a little harder at drying out zucchini. I salted, waited 20 minutes and wiped them down. Then I baked on cookie sheet for 2 1/2 minutes at 400. They came out streaming so I figure a lot of moisture would evaporate. Nope..not so much. Still had a huge amount of watery liquid in pan after baking. I let pan sit for 15 minutes then gently tipped pan to pour out as much liquid as possible. I also may try experimenting with the cheese. The ricotta was a little too dry. But all in all it was really tasty and I will definitely make it again.5 stars

    1. Hi Dawn – Sometimes you’ll have to test which method works best for you when it comes to drying out zucchini – especially if the zucchinis you bought are a bit more watery. But, I’m glad that you still enjoyed this recipe as is :)

  14. Hi Lisa,
    I made this recipe tonight and it turned out delicious! I would like to make the Rao’s Sauce you talked about from scratch because I don’t know which one to use in Germany that’s about the same. Is it the one you make in your Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe, but without the meat?5 stars

    1. Hi Laura – So glad you enjoyed this recipe! As for the sauce, it will be the same bolognese sauce as the zucchini noodle recipe :)

  15. I made this tonight and felt it turned out great! I made sure to read through the entire post for any tips. Salting and patting the zucchini really seems to be the way to go. While there was still water (as I expected there would be) it did not compromise taste whatsoever. This was equal parts simple and tasty. I definitely recommend giving it a go. I have a feeling the leftovers will be fantastic. 5 stars

    1. Hi Kyle – I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and took the time to read over all the tips :) Trust me, finding leftovers of this lasagna in your fridge or freezer is going to be like finding gold in a mine!

  16. Thank you for a great recipe! I’ve made this lasagna more than 5 times and plan on keeping it on rotation for dinner parties and potlucks. Appreciate your detailed tips! I salted the zucchini slices as you recommended (better success in controlling salt content -even with removing excess salt/water by blotting- with coarse Kosher salt than finer salt). Sometimes I replace about a quarter or half portion of the beef with a similar amount of sautéed mushrooms and onions (excess liquid drained). It’s always delicious! Waiting for it to set before cutting definitely helps with presentation. And leftovers are even more delicious! Thanks again!5 stars

    1. Hi Ana – It depends how big of a slice you cut your lasagna – but the nutrition facts will be for 12 square slices if that helps!

  17. OMG!!  This was excellent.  Used our new Kitchenaid sheet cutter for the zucchini noodles.  Now trying our new Paderno spiralizer.  These have opened up a whole new world for delicious meals.  Thanks for the recipes and videos.5 stars

    1. Hi Paul – I’m so glad you loved this recipe! Can’t wait for you to try all my spiralized recipes as well :)

  18. I made this recipe for a book club meeting I was hosting and it was a big hit. I had to make it after work so I was grateful it came together quickly and was full of flavour. Lisa’s tips are very helpful. She thinks of everything! I have yet to come across a recipe on Downshiftology that disappoints. 5 stars

  19. Absolutely delicious way to sneak more veggies into my diet. I’m pretty bad at eating veggies in general, but this was so much better than I ever expected. I’m going to be making this again in the future, it was that good!5 stars

    1. Hi Marisa – I’m glad my recipes can help you find a way to sneak in more veggies to your day to day meals :)

  20. This is one of my favorite recipes for a weeknight meal during the colder months! Don’t skip out on the broil at the end, it makes the cheese perfect. :)5 stars

    1. Hi Farrah – One of my favorites recipes to make in the colder months as well :) It’s so hearty and an overall feel-good meal!

  21. I love this recipe! Very easy for meal prep or just eating as left overs. I’ve made it at least 4 times and it doesn’t get old. Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  22. I just made this recipe for dinner. I don’t have a mandolin yet so I sliced thinly zucchini. Let them soak onto paper towels and then placed on the grill pan. It came out absolutely delicious. You’re recipes are amazing. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Jeanette – I’m glad this recipe turned out to be a success for you! I think will have to add a few more lasagna type recipes to my website soon :)

    1. Hi Dina – Absolutely! I froze mine the last time I made it and it was always a pleasant surprise to find a slice of zucchini lasagna in my freezer when I didn’t know what to eat :)

  23. Hi Lisa! I have a question about this recipe. The only cheese my husband will eat is mozzarella, could I make this recipe only using mozzarella (no ricotta Parmesan etc)

    1. Hi Allison – You can definitely switch up the cheeses in here if you’d like! Ricotta and parmesan are usually cheese used in a lasagna :)

  24. Loved it! I must admit my impatience resulted in a little bit of a watery lasagna at first. Lesson learned! It still held it’s shape very well and I have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. I did notice that when I came back to pack the leftovers it was somehow less watery(?). Will definitely make it again. It’s also a great meal to get a significant other involved in the kitchen.5 stars

    1. Hi Nicole – It can get a bit watery at first if the zucchini isn’t blotted dry all the way through. But, I’m glad you and your significant other enjoyed this recipe :) Definitely a fun recipe to make together.

  25. This lasagna is the best! I have cooked ot twice already . Second time around I added a bit more fresh herbs and leafy spinach after I cooked the meat. 
    I also shared this recipe with my friends . 
    Thank you. 5 stars

  26. This looks amazing!  Planning to make it for when my in-laws come up.  I am planning to use a combo of mandolin-sliced zucchini and sweet potato.  Do you think I should partially pre-cook the sweet potato in any way?  Or would it be ok to use it just raw and it’ll cook through in the lasagna?  Thanks!

    1. Hi Susie – Can’t wait for you to try out this recipe :) And no, you do not need to pre-cook the sweet potato!

      1. Just a follow-up to say that this was a HUGE hit with everyone, including my mother-in-law!  I didn’t end up using any sweet potato, but I used BOTH techniques you recommended for drying the zucchini.  It was SOOO GOOD – thank you!5 stars

      2. Hi Susie – I’m so happy to hear that! Especially that it was a hit with your mother-in-law :) Definitely keep this recipe up your sleeves!

  27. This was a GREAT recipe. I have never made lasagna before and thought why not start with this one. I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1/3 lb of ground pork and my “meat-and-potatoes” husband (as he has rightfully named himself) loved it and nearly ate half the pan in one sitting. Thank you, Lisa.4 stars

    1. Hi Melissa – So glad to hear you and your hubby loved this recipe! This is a great way to sneak in veggies, especially for those who don’t want to sacrifice the meaty and cheesy flavor :)

  28. Wonderfully tasty comfort lasagna!! And I didn’t need to serve a salad alongside…indulged in some garlic bread instead. This was SO good. I used a cheese slicer to slice the zucchini but I think I need to order this mandolin because this was so good I will definitely be making a lot. I used low fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Ahhhmaaazzzzing Sunday Supper!5 stars

    1. Hi Michelle – So happy to hear you loved this lasagna :) Cottage cheese definitely works as a substitute to ricotta.

  29. I followed this recipe except I substituted black beans that I crushed with a potato masher for the meat. We are trying to cut down on the amount of meat we eat.. I also used sweet potatoes instead of Zucchini as I have the vegetable sheet cutter for my KitchenAid that you recommended. It came out really tasty and I have to agree with you that freshly grated Parmesan has WAY more flavour that the packaged grated cheese. Thanks for the recipe. Do you plan on doing any recipes using the sheet cutter. It is a great tool for the KitchenAid.5 stars

    1. Hi Earl – Substituting with black beans sounds great! And yes, freshly grated in my opninion is always best compared to buying the pre-package version. The cheese is much more fresher and there could be additional additives to the packaged ones. Anyways, I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe and I hope to create more sheet cutter recipes very soon!

  30. Thank you! from Andromeda and Phoenix. We used ground turkey with a good amount of South West flavor from our gardens. Used our mandoline set to about 3/16″. Salted and then towel pressed. Absolutely perfect recipe! Cut into 8 instead of 12 portions. 3 large meals for the two of us. Spent $26 (grew our own zukes and herbs ) Not bad! Thank you Thank you.
    Phoenix and Andromeda
    PS: GREAT if not better the next day. Cold (like pizza the next morning ;-) ) yes but reheated after over night in fridge it set much tighter.5 stars

    1. Hi Phoenix and Andromeda – So happy to hear you two love this recipe! Glad you were able to perfect each step + use your own zucchini and herbs! Amazing :)

    1. Hi Lindi – So happy to hear you loved this recipe! Definitely a repeat in my kitchen as well, especially with the colder days ahead :)

  31. Thank you for this awesome recipe. It had wonderful flavor, however, despite me watching and rewatching and rewatching it so as to carefully assemble it, it turned out so soupy. It was all over the plate, spread out like goulash. What did I do wrong? Yours turned out SO well!!! Neverless, mine was delicious….but I like presentation to be on point, especially after an hour and twenty minutes of prep and cook time
    I will probably stick with traditional noodle
    Thank you though, keep the great content coming!! You are so inspiring.4 stars

    1. Hi Kara – It sounds like your lasagna became watery from the zucchini! If your zucchini slices were a bit bigger and you didn’t take out all the moisture, then your lasagna will naturally become more wet. Otherwise, I’m glad you loved this recipe!

  32. It’s zucchini season in Denmark, so the recipe came in very handy. We just got it for dinner and it tasted great. Thanks ?5 stars

  33. Hi Lisa- Thank you for the zucchini lasagna recipe, I truly love ALL of your recipes and attention to detail that you give to your craft
    .I am dairy- free and was wondering if you have a dairy- free option for this recipe? Thank you!

    1. Hi Grace – You can purchase vegan ricotta at your supermarket such as almond ricotta or cashew ricotta!

    1. Hi Mandy – Yes! You can definitely use cottage cheese instead. For freezing, I would bake it first before freezing. Can’t wait for you to try!

    1. Hi Hazel – You might just be able to make this without the egg. I don’t think it would make too much of a difference :)

  34. Hi Lisa, this looks great! I’d love to try it but unfortunately I can’t eat any dairy. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative. Many thanks. 

    1. Hi Lorelle – There are some great vegan ricotta cheese options at the market now. You might want to give those a try! And I’ll try to make a recipe for one myself soon. ;)

  35. I absolutely LOVE the sound of this, what a great way to add more veggies and make it lower in carbs! this would make the most beautiful weeknight dinner, can’t wait to try! 

    1. Hi Georgie – Thank you! It’s very tasty and makes for the perfect healthy weeknight dinner for the family. Can’t wait for you to try :)

  36. Such an amazing recipe! I’m the only low carber in my house but that did not stop my husband and kids from devouring this!5 stars

    1. It’s all personal preference. The sheet cutter has both a thick and thin blade (I used the thick in that video). But you can get the zucchini even thicker with the mandoline.