There are a ton of Zucchini Lasagna recipes out there, and I’ve made a lot of them. This recipe has been a family favorite for years, ever since Little Miss started a gluten-free diet. This recipe is the simplest and most flavorful, combining my favorite things from several recipes, as well as a few tricks of my own. This recipe is gluten-free, keto, and easily adapts to Whole 30, if you choose the right sauce.
To me, the biggest challenge when making a Zucchini Lasagna is to keep it from getting too watery. It doesn’t have the pasta to absorb the excess water. I’ll show you how I overcome that in this recipe. It’s not watery, just cheesy, rich, and so satisfying!
Also, I almost always use premade, jar spaghetti sauce in this recipe. If I were going to make it from scratch, I’d probably use the Pioneer Woman Spaghetti Sauce recipe linked here. Even using this shortcut, however, this isn’t a quick meal. It is delicious, though, and the entire Bayou crew requests this dish!
To begin, preheat the oven to 425. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut off the ends of 4 medium zucchini squash, and slice into about 1/8 inch thick pieces with a mandoline slicer.
Here’s an affiliate link to purchase a mandoline slicer on Amazon. An affiliate link means that if you click the link and buy something, I get a small commission. After using my mandoline slicer and cutting my fingers more than a few times, I prefer this one because of the tall base to keep it sturdy. Also, it has over 20,000 reviews and 5 stars.
While you can use a knife to slice the zucchini, it’s hard to get the slices thin and consistent enough to bake evenly.
Arrange the zucchini “noodles” in a single layer on the parchment-covered baking sheets, and sprinkle about a teaspoon of sea salt over each pan. If they overlap a little, that is ok. The salt helps draw out the moisture. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
While you have that going, brown a pound of lean ground meat and a pound of Italian sausage in a large pan over medium high heat. I like to add about two tablespoons of minced garlic and 1/2 cup of finely diced onion to the pan while it cooks. Use a meat masher like this one to break it up into small pieces.
Once the meat is browned, turn the heat down to low, and add the spaghetti sauce. Stir to mix it together. Your zucchini should be about finished now. Grab those out the oven, and change the temp to 400.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, one egg, chopped basil, thyme, and black pepper. Stir together until fully mixed.
Give your oven-safe 13 x 9 inch baking dish a quick spray with some avocado oil. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the rmeat sauce to the bottom of the pan. Then, place a layer of of the zucchini. Add about a cup or so of the cheese mixture. I like to use a spoon to scatter scoops of the mixture over the zucchini. This doesn’t have to be exact.
Ready for the secret ingredient? Take a tablespoon of cornstarch and sprinkle it over this layer. Repeat everything, even the cornstarch, again once. Add another layer without the cornstarch. You should be left with a few zucchini slices and some red sauce. Add the zucchini and remaining sauce to the top, and gently press everything into the pan to even it out. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes on 400.
Remove the lasagna from the oven, and add the last 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Bake for five more minutes.
Remove the pan, and garnish the lasagna with slivers of fresh basil before serving. I love to serve this with Brazi bites. They’re a gluten-free frozen cheese and tapioca “bread”. A side Caesar salad would also be a good option. It also goes well with a glass of red wine. We love Josh Cabernet Sauvignon or Menage a Trois Red Blend (a great affordable option). A Malbec would also pair well.
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, freeze individual servings for later.
Here’s a printable PDF version of this recipe:
Let me know if you try making this! I’d love to know how it turns out.