zucchini lasagna

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Tiffany Pennington
Catskill, NY

The original goal of this recipe was to reduce the carb density by swapping out lasagna pasta noodles with zucchini noodles. I decided to take it one step further and reduce overall calorie density by swapping out the ricotta cheese with pureed cauliflower, and replacing loose italian sausage with lean ground beef. It would be easy to eliminate the beef to make this vegetarian. Certainly, beef can be changed out with other ground meats as desired. Make sure you don't skip the step for drying out the zucchini noodles! Otherwise you'll have Lasagna Soup!

★★★★★ 1
serves 6
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 30 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For zucchini lasagna

  • NOODLES
  • 2 lg
    zucchini, sliced to 1/8" thickness (drained / dried)
  • "CHEESE" FILLING
  • 12 oz
    frozen cauliflower, cooked to tender according to package directions
  • 2 c
    cheese, shredded mozzarella (part skim) - divided
  • 1 lg
    egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c
    grated cheese (parmesan, romano, your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp
    pesto (genovese / basil style from a jar -- optional)
  • 4 Tbsp
    milk or cream
  • MEAT SAUCE
  • 1 lb
    lean ground beef (93%)
  • 28 oz
    canned fire-roasted, crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp
    basil pesto (optional)
  • 1 sm
    onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp
    fennel seeds
  • season to taste with salt, pepper, herbs.

How To Make zucchini lasagna

  • Fresh slices of zucchini are laid out on wire racks in a 200F oven for 35 minutes.
    1
    Wash zucchinis and trim ends. Cut them in half so they are more manageable for slicing on a mandolin. Slice 1/8" thick. Arrange slices on a wire rack and place in center rack of 200F oven. Let them dry gently for about 30-35 minutes. They will shrink, but they should not brown. Focus on using the widest noodles.
  • 2
    In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and diced onion together with the fennel seeds. Once onions are tender and beef is thoroughly browned, add canned tomatoes. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and additional Italian herbs, if desired. The meat sauce does not need to simmer, unless this is your preference.
  • 3
    After cooking cauliflower until tender, mash well or use a blender to puree. Stir in the milk or cream, pesto (optional) and the beaten egg. If not using pesto, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Stir in the grated parm or romano cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella. (The rest will be used as a topping later.)
  • Starting second layer of zucchini over first layer of meat sauce.
    4
    In a 11x7 inch baking pan, start with one layer of zucchini noodles on the bottom. Trim as needed so they fit properly. Spread one half of the "cheese" mixture over the noodles. Scatter about one-third of the meat sauce over the cheese. Repeat layers: Zucchini, cheese, sauce. Cover the top with any remaining noodles and the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over top.
  • 5
    Preheat oven to 375F. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let set for at least 10 minutes before cutting to allow the layers to firm up a bit.
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