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)

4.94 from 154 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


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!



  • 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


  • 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. 


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


  1. Thank you for the stellar idea! I used meatless ground and added overly-roasted crimini mushroom slices to the Bolonese, as well as spinach and a pinch of nutmeg to the ricotta mix. The zucchini slices held up great and it served up (stayed together) beautifully after cooling for a bit. It even satisfied my very meat-centric hubs!5 stars

  2. I am thinking about making these for neighbors for Christmas. I usually do cookies, but we have all been doing low carb so thought this would be a great idea! Would it freeze well before the baking step?

  3. This is so good. I made this because my husband is gluten free and I wasn’t sure if gluten free noodles would be as good as regular lasagna. This one is as good as regular lasagna and no one missed the noodles. I cut zucchini on the thicker side on a mandolin. It is REALLY NOT watery, she was right. I didn’t look at the pics so I laid the slices vertically like noodles and it worked out.  5 stars

  4. This recipe is awesome. I made a vegan ricotta and mozzarella  because I can’t have dairy and it turned out so good. This will be a staple recipe I use from now on. Thank you! 5 stars

  5. Excellent recipe. I used 1 pound hamburg, one large link hot Italian sausage and one large link sweet Italian sausage and about 4 baby Bella mushrooms. I also added a little red wine to the sauce. We liked the zucchini better than the pasta. 5 stars

  6. I just made this with brown rice lasagna noodles. OMG. To die for! Next time I’ll try zucchini. The meat, tomatoes, and cheeses blended so well. I used red onion and some garlic (didn’t have store bought pasta sauce), a tin of crushed organic tomatoes, lots of dried parsley, and of course the fresh parsley and basil between layers. Best lasagna I’ve ever made.5 stars

  7. Fabulous recipe and treating the zucchini with salt was brilliant. Only feedback is 1/2 cup measure of sauce and ricotta between layers was not nearly enough and resulted in a lot of excess. I made it with the rest but I’ll use at least a cup of each the next time. The only other thing I did was rather than finish with zucchini noodles, I finished with meat sauce and mozzarella which resulted in a real lasagna presentation. However, this was a great recipe and was great the next day, the zucchini did not degrade like regular noodles do. Thank you!5 stars

    1. The recipe says to add half of the entire bolognese sauce and half of the entire ricotta mixture to each layer, not half a cup to each layer.5 stars

  8. Recipe was great!!! Made it with the grilled zucchini noodles. Making it the second time in a week to take to my sons for a family get together.5 stars

  9. I loved this recipe, I only used half the ingredients and use Alfredo sauce because that is all I had at the time and it was superb!! Thank you so much5 stars

  10. This was SO GOOD! I just bought a peel to make thin strips of zucchini and wanted to try out this recipe. I salted and let the zucchini set while I got the ingredients together. This I rinsed and dried in my salad spinner. It worked great. I only used 1lb of meat and included chopped mushrooms and peppers. It was so great and tasted wonderful the next day. Definitely becoming a new meal in my monthly rotation. Thanks!5 stars

  11. Absolutely delicious. I altered the recipe to be lower sodium with low sodium pasta sauce (store bought), as I follow the DASH diet for high blood pressure. I also cut fat by using nonfat ricotta. Instead of 2 lbs. of ground beef, I used 1 lb. of roughly chopped baby portobello mushrooms and two large onions for the bolognese. I did not use salt on the zucchini but besides a little bit of water in the bottom of the dish after serving, it wasn’t an issue. This recipe can definitely be tweaked to fit dietary restrictions such as mine without taking away the quality of flavor, which I was absolutely astounded by. I highly recommend it!5 stars

  12. Wow wow! That turned out so yummy and it wasn’t really watery. My husband says he likes it better than regular lasagna. This’ll be a go-to recipe – especially when we don’t know what to do with all our zucchini. 5 stars

  13. Hi
    great recipe.  The Fam loved it. 

      Have you ever sliced the zucchini and then froze it?  Then process with the salting and grilling once thawed?

    Will try that 

    Thanks again for the recipe 

    1. With most recipes I’ve used chia or flax egg recipe. They can be a good substitute for conventional eggs when allergies or some other reason is a factor.  Either will work fine in this recipe.  For 1 chia or flax egg, the recipe follows.  Chia egg:  1 Tbsp chia seeds + 2.5 Tbsp water = a chia egg. Let set it about 10 mins to thicken.  Use as you would regular egg.   Flax egg:  2 1/2 teaspoons pre-ground flax, 3 Tblsp water,, let sit 10 mins till thickens.  

  14. So delicious.  Best I’ve ever made.  One thing is it came out super watery.  What did I do wrong? Even still it was so delicious.  😋

    1. Hi Janice – It will most likely be due to the zucchini not being dried out enough. One step you can do is to pan fry the zucchini a bit to remove the moisture.

  15. Delicious recipe!  This is the second time I made it.  Some of our family cannot eat dairy so I used kite hill almond milk ricotta and omitted the other cheese on half.  It was still very good.  Salted the zucchini and let it sit.  Worked perfectly.  Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  16. This lasagna was amazing. My whole family loved it and had second helpings. This will definitely be a go to meal in my home from now on. Thank you!5 stars

  17. Your recipe was a lifesaver for my husband who loves lasagna but could no longer eat traditional lasagna because of the carbs. Followed your recipe, made sure to salt and squeeze the zucchini slices to get all the water out and it turned out great! Will be making again!5 stars

  18. This is second time making it. First time I did as instructed and it came out perfect.  This time I made it night before and will be baking it later. I suspect it might come out more watery, but will post result after. I love all your recipes!5 stars

      1. Maria how did the zucchini lasagna turn out when you prepared it then baked it later?  Also  later the next day or 2 days later? Thanks 

  19. What a fabulous recipe!! I used two zucchini instead of four, and a slotted spoon is a must when serving, to help drain out any excess liquid. I was a little worried that the zucchini would water down the flavors but it didn’t at all! I was also afraid the zucchini would come out with a slimy or funny texture but it didn’t! I will be using this recipe again. 5 stars

  20. Unlike many recipes I find online- this one turned out perfectly and tasted absolutely as good as I wanted it to!!  Great job & thanks for sharing! 5 stars

  21. Lisa, I just made this dish, as my husband says THIS IS A KEEPER!!!! This was delicious

    I had a package of mushrooms and browned them with ground turkey instead of beef.

    FYI, if anyone is reading this, you must try the following:

    Chicken Fajitas
    Lentil Soup
    Stuffed Peppers
    Overnight Oats

    Lisa, I can’t wait for your cookbook. If you need recipe tasters, my husband and I have our knives and forks ready.

    Thanks for ANOTHER DELICIOUS RECIPE5 stars

    1. Yay, I’m so happy you both loved this recipe, Elayne! And you’re so sweet to list out the other recipes you’ve loved. It puts a big smile on my face to know you’ve enjoyed so many recipes. :) I sincerely appreciate your support and I can’t wait to share more about the cookbook in the future!

  22. You missed a whole step of putting the lasagna at the bottom. Thanks for helping me ruin my first lasagna. Never using you again thats for sure.

    1. Hi Claudia – I did not miss that step, it’s step #7 in the instructions. I’d recommend re-reading the instructions. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  23. I absolutely loved this dish! I’m not much of a cook, but this was really easy to make and it even tasted healthy. My husband really liked it too and he is not exactly health conscious. I will definitely make this one of my go to meals!5 stars

  24. This is a great recipe. I am making it tomorrow but wonder what I can do the day before?
    I can’t find the info in your blog post for this recipe.  Can I make the sauce ahead? Can I cut the zucchini the day before? Help!!!
    BTW I made this in the summer and it was amazing!!!!

    1. For this recipe, I think it’s best to make it the day of. But, you can always make the whole recipe the day before and just store it in the fridge. Then warm it up in the oven the next day!

  25. This is by far my favorite recipe of zucchini lasagna. The cheese mix is awesome. The only thing is that if the zucchini are not cooked a bit in oil before putting them in the dish, it releases a lot of water and you end up with too much liquid in the lasagna.5 stars

  26. This an easy and tasty recipe which is now added to my ‘go to’ list of recipes when I need something I know will work. The only thing I did differently is that I used minced Quorn as my husband and I are trying to decrease the amount of red meat we eat, it still tasted great and even means a fewer calories. Thank you again, your recipes are always fool proof and taste great.5 stars

  27. I used my mandoline (which I asked for for Christmas) into very thin slices + or- 1/8 inch. But because we both dislike salt, I placed the slices on sheet pans lined with paper towels and placed them in a 225 F oven for about ten minutes to dry them and soften them. It is a bit of trouble, but really IS worth the bother; the results were wonderful!5 stars

  28. Hi,

    Not sure if this has been answered before, but can I swap out ground beef for ground turkey meat in this recipe?

    1. Hi Christina – It’s best to cook it the day of because zucchini will become more watery as it sits.

  29. OMG…. Best Lasagna I have ever had!!!!!!

    I did change a few things. For one I used Hunts meat sauce in a can. I substituted Cottage Cheese for the ricotta cheese. Instead of using parmesan regianno cheese i used parmesan romano and asiago blend. I also used it as a topping with the mozzarella.
    Like I said it is the best I have ever had, My wife agreed also.5 stars

  30. I discovered this site accidentally when I was looking for a shakshuka recipe and I’m so glad I did! I have tried at least 6 of your recipes so far and they were all easy and delicious. I am not a fan of zucchini, but I absolutely loved this lasagna and it was so easy to make. Looking forward to trying even more of your recipes (:5 stars

  31. I don’t cook, but was able to follow this recipe and it turned out great. I used the mandolin to slice zucchini and a little bit of sweet potato, then heated zucchini slices on a pan until very slightly brown and set them on paper towels to blot. I parboiled the sweet potato slices and drained them. Instead of ricotta (couldn’t find), I used the low fat cottage cheese I could find at the store (1:1 ratio) and added another egg in case the cottage cheese would make it too watery. I added onion and garlic before browning the ground beef and added whatever spices I had in my cabinet, and it turned out amazing. Next time I would add more zucchini and less ground beef (just personal preference).5 stars

  32. I was looking for low carb recipes.  I just made this. It is so good!!  I added some spinach to it.  I was hoping the zucchini taste wasn’t gonna be dominant.  I like zucchini but don’t love it. Lol.  Will definitely make this often. Thank you so much.  I can’t wait to look at more of your recipes!!5 stars