Zucchini Lasagna – an easy and delicious Zucchini Lasagna recipe that is packed with flavor! Tips included to reduce the water!
- 6–7 small or medium zucchini, sliced to 1.5 centimeters thick with mandolin*
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2–3 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 24oz marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped (more for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus additional for zucchini)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- (optional) 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 15oz whole milk ricotta (or dairy-free option)
- 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (or dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (or dairy-free option)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8oz fresh mozzarella slices (more if you want) (sub dairy-free or regular grated mozzarella)
- fresh basil leaves
- grated parmesan cheese (sub dairy-free option)
- Prep Zucchini: thinly slice zucchini to 1.5 centimeters thick using a mandolin. Lay out on baking sheets and sprinkle with salt. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Make Meat Sauce: bring a large cast iron skillet** to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and Italian sausage. Move around pan until the meat is cooked through, drain excess grease. Add onion and garlic. Move around pan with the cooked meat until onion starts to soften, approx. 2-3 minutes. Add marinara sauce, fresh basil, oregano, kosher salt, ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to combine. Taste and add any additional salt or basil, as desired. Let simmer, uncovered, while you make the ricotta.
- Make Ricotta: combine Ricotta Mixture ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
- Finish Prepping Zucchini: take clean paper towels and thoroughly pat dry the zucchini, soaking up as much liquid as possible and ensuring as the salt is wiped off.
- Make Lasagna: add approx. 1/4 cup of the meat sauce mixture to the bottom of the skillet. Put down a layer of zucchini followed by 1/3 of the meat sauce followed by 1/2 of the ricotta mixture (I suggest putting little dollops all around and then gently spreading them out). Continue with another layer of zucchini and then press down firmly with flat hands to compress everything. Then add 1/3 of the meat sauce, the other 1/2 of the ricotta, a final layer of zucchini. Press down again with flat hands and then add the remaining meat sauce.
- Bake: Cover with foil and place in the oven, middle rack, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil. Cover with fresh mozzarella and return to the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted (about 10 minutes).
- Serve: Remove and let cool slightly. It is almost impossible to remove all the water from the zucchini so you may have some settling on the sides – my best advice is to simply use a turkey baster or spoon to remove any excess liquid. Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.
- *Slicing zucchini: you don’t HAVE to use a mandolin, but that is the best way to get uniform, thin slices.
- **Cast Iron Skillet size: I used a 12 inch, deep cast iron skillet for this recipe. You could easily alter the recipe a bit to use in a 9×13 baking dish – you might just need a bit more zucchini, but the meat sauce and ricotta should be fine.
- Watery: zucchini is nearly 100% water is it is hard to remove ALL of the water – expect some water to settle after cooking – this is normal! I like using a turkey baster to remove the water – see blog post above for more tips and tricks you can implement to remove additional water before cooking.
- Dairy-Free: to make this dairy-free sub dairy-free ricotta (store-bought or homemade) and dairy-free versions of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
Keywords: zucchini lasagna