One of my favorite veggie packed meals on Ambitious Kitchen happens to include this gorgeous zucchini lasagna that includes layers upon layers of turkey meat sauce, fresh herbs, parmesan, ricotta and of course, mozzarella.
Not only is it a great way to use up your garden fresh zucchini, tomatoes and herbs, but it also happens to be low in carbs and gluten free, which means you can slam one of my favorite almond butter blondies after and call it a day.
Joking aside, sometimes it’s just nice to get a good dose of extra veggies over carbs into our bodies, and this zucchini noodle lasagna is the perfect way to do it. This recipe was first published back in 2014, but needed a drastic photography update, so here we are!
Healthy zucchini lasagna ingredients
This low carb zucchini lasagna is packed with veggies and protein. You know I don’t skimp on flavor, so get ready to fall in love with the amazing turkey meat sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Zucchini: the star of the show in this no-noodle zucchini lasagna recipe!
- Olive oil: to cook those veggies for the turkey meat sauce.
- Garlic: a must for the amazing flavor.
- Yellow onion & green pepper: the veggie boost we’re adding to the meat sauce.
- Sauce base: we’re using tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste for that saucy goodness.
- Herbs: a bit of dried oregano, fresh basil and fresh parsley.
- Spices: I love adding a pinch of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes for a hint of spice, plus some salt and pepper.
- For the cheese mixture: we’re using ricotta (part skim or whole), an egg white (or a full egg), grated parmesan, mozzarella, salt & pepper.
How to cut zucchini into lasagna noodles
Cutting raw zucchini into lasagna noodles is easy to do with a mandolin or a standard vegetable peeler. You’ll just want to carefully slide the zucchini the long way across the mandolin, or carefully slide your vegetable peeler the long way down the zucchini to create even strips.
How to make zucchini lasagna
This healthy zucchini lasagna is easier to make then you think! It basically involves layering meat sauce, thin zucchini slices, and a cheese mixture until you can’t anymore. It’s made just like your favorite, traditional lasagna, but with extra veggies and plenty of protein. The delicious layers include veggies, turkey meat sauce and ooey-gooey cheese!
Step 1: You’ll need to dry out your zucchini by roasting the slices with a bit of salt to get rid of the excess moisture that the vegetable tends to hold.
Step 2: make your yummy, spicy, flavorful turkey meat sauce involving canned and crushed tomatoes, fresh herbs, lean ground turkey, onion and plenty of spices.
Step 3: stir together the cheese and egg mixture in a bowl and add some of the slightly cooled meat sauce.
Step 4: assemble lasagna by spreading half of the turkey meat sauce on the bottom of large greased baking pan, then follow with zucchini slices, followed by half of the ricotta mixture and finally the mozzarella. Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, zucchini slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with remaining mozzarella.
Step 5: Bake up and enjoy! It’s cheesy, protein-packed, low carb and you get your veggies in. What more is there to say?! You must try this lovely dinner!
How to keep zucchini lasagna from being watery
Given that zucchini is made up almost entirely of water, cooking and baking it tends to create extra moisture. That’s why zucchini is great for baking – because it adds moisture to baked goods without adding oil! But for our noodle-free zucchini lasagna we don’t want tons of water pooling, so here’s what to do:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the sliced zucchini on large baking sheet coated with non stick cooking spray.
- Sprinkle it with salt and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes to help dry out it all out.
How to store and reheat zucchini lasagna:
This zucchini lasagna will last covered in the refrigerator for about 5 days. To reheat it, simply add a portion to a microwave safe plate and heat through in the microwave.
Freezer-friendly zucchini lasagna: 2 different ways
One thing I really love about this zucchini lasagna recipe is that it’s freezer friendly and since it makes a big pan, you may easily have enough to freeze for healthy dinners another time.
- To freeze unbaked zucchini lasagna: prepare lasagna as directed then cover with plastic wrap and foil and place in freezer for 3 months. Once ready to bake, thaw out the lasagna overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed.
- To freeze baked zucchini lasagna: I like to cut the lasagna into individual servings, then place in airtight freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to reheat, simply thaw out the lasagna, then microwave until warm.
If you’ve never experienced zucchini lasagna, you’re in for a delicious surprise! Everyone I make it for falls in love and it’s truly the best way to get rid of that excess zucchini. Feel free to make it your own by adding mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni slices, or perhaps more roasted veggies like sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
Either way, it’s love at first bite!
See how to make the zucchini lasagna:
More zucchini recipes you might like:
If you make this low carb zucchini lasagna recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. Enjoy, xo!
Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Meat Sauce
A healthy, low carb zucchini lasagna with layers of cheese, fresh herbs and a flavorful turkey meat sauce. This easy, no-noodle zucchini lasagna recipe is packed with veggies & protein and isn't watery like some zucchini recipes. It's guaranteed to be your new favorite freezer-friendly, lightened up comfort food!
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 large zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 - 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 - 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- handful of basil, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- handful of parsley, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper, if desired
- red pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- For the ricotta cheese mixture:
- 15 oz part skim ricotta (or use whole milk)
- 1 egg white (or use whole egg)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (or about 1 1/2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place sliced zucchini on large baking sheet coated with non stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes to help dry out the zucchini a bit. This is a critical step.
- While the zucchini noodles are roasting, you can make the turkey meat sauce. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, and peppers and cook a few minutes until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant; stir occasionally so that you don't burn it.
- Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, parsley, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer UNCOVERED 25 to 30 minutes or until sauce REALLY thickens up! (If it needs to be thicker, I suggest adding in another tablespoon or two of tomato paste.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine egg white, ricotta, and Parmesan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled meat sauce and stir to combine and set aside.
- To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the turkey meat sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place zucchini slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on.
Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, zucchini slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min.
Remove foil and bake for 15 minute longer uncovered. Makes 8 very generous servings. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons or chopped parsley and extra parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes.
To freeze unbaked zucchini lasagna: prepare lasagna as directed then cover with plastic wrap and foil and place in freezer for 3 months. Once ready to bake, thaw out the lasagna overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed.
To freeze baked zucchini lasagna: I like to cut the lasagna into individual servings, then place in airtight freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to reheat, simply thaw out the lasagna, then microwave until warm.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats