A savory recipe for Zucchini Lasagna made without noodles for a low-carb, keto version of one of our favorite meals! Vegetarian Adaptable and Gluten-free. With a video!

This Zucchini Lasagna Recipe is made without noodles for a low carb, keto version of one of our favorite meals! Vegetarian adaptable and Gluten-free.

This Zucchini Lasagna is made without noodles or pasta and is a great option for those going the low-carb, keto route.  Make this with ground lamb for the best flavor or sub ground beef, Italian sausage, ground turkey, or keep it vegetarian and use a plant-based substitute like soy crumbles, textured vegetable protein, or Beyond Beef! No it’s not a regular lasagna, but it is OH SO Tasty!  It could also be a hearty side dish, perfect for gatherings and pot lucks.

Bake the zucchini or grill it beforehand to prevent “watery” lasagna. Ricotta cheese gives this lovely texture but feel free to sub small curd cottage cheese. Use a flavorful tomato sauce or marinara sauce, either store-bought or homemade, to create the robust meat sauce. Fresh Basil adds a lovely brightness.

Zucchini Lasagna Video

Ingredients in Zucchini Lasagna

  • zucchini or summer squash
  •  onion
  •  garlic
  •  ground lamb, beef, turkey, or a vegan substitute like Beyond meat, beyond beef crumbles, soy crumbles
  •  salt
  •  pepper
  •  oregano
  •  marinara sauce 
  • basil
  •  ricotta cheese (or sub cottage cheese)
  • egg
  • nutmeg
  • pecorino romano (or parmesan cheese)

How to make Zucchini Lasagna

Step one:  Cut and roast (or grill) the zucchini.

Slice zucchini into  1/4-inch thin slices and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. You’ll need 16-18 slices that are 8-9 inches long. Spray or brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 425 oven for 20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Alternatively, for added flavor, feel free to grill over medium-high heat until fork-tender.

zucchini slices on a sheet pan, ready to roast or grill

Step 2: Make the Meat Sauce ( or vegetarian meat sauce).

onion and garlic in a skillet

Saute the onion and garlic.

browning ground lamb in a skillet

Add the ground meat. Here I’m using ground lamb which adds such a lovely flavor!

draining the fat

Make sure to drain the fat.

stir in the marinara sauce

Season the meat with salt, pepper, oregano and stir in marinara sauce, to create a thick bolognese.

the meat sauce or bolognese sauce in the pan

Step 3: Make the Riccota Mixture.

In a medium bowl, stir a 15-ounce tub of ricotta, one egg, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg until combined.

ricotta, nutmeg and and egg in a bowl about to be mixed.

Step 4: Assemble the Zucchini Lasagna!

In a greased 9×13 inch baking dish, lightly coat the bottom with a thin layer of marinara sauce.

saucing the baking dish.

Place the first layer of roasted zucchini over the sauce, reserving the best-looking pieces for the top.

first layer of zucchini over the sauce.

Pour the meat sauce over top and spread it around evenly.

spreading the meat sauce over the zucchini

Spoon the ricotta mixture over top of the meat sauce.

Ricotta mixture over the meat sauce.

Sprinkle with pecorino cheese.

Sprinkling the ricotta with pecorino cheese.

Place the second (final) layer of roasted zucchini over the ricotta.

final layer of zucchini over the ricotta.

Cover with the remaining marinara spread it around, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino cheese.

Final layer of marinara over the zucchini, sprinkled with pecorino.

Step 5: Foil and Bake the lasagna!

Cover the baking dish with foil, bake at 400F for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake 5-10 more minutes until golden and bubbling. It will smell amazing! Let it rest 5-10 minutes, then garnish with fresh basil.

The finished dish: Baked Zucchini Lasagna, made without noodles for a low carb, keto version of one of our favorite meals!

Leftovers can be reheated and will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.

Expert tips:

The key to making this taste amazing is getting the meat sauce really flavorful. Make sure it is well seasoned with salt and pepper. Chili flakes add a nice kick, and if your marinara lacks sweetness, try adding a little tomato paste to the mixture. If going the vegetarian route- same idea- taste after adding the seasonings, adjusting salt, pepper, spice, and sweetness. You want this robust!

A savory recipe for Zucchini Lasagna, made without noodles for a low carb, keto version of one of our favorite meals! Vegetarian adaptable and Gluten-free.

Can Zucchini Lasagna be made ahead?

Yes! It can be assembled ahead, refrigerated, and baked the day of serving, or baked ahead and reheated (covered, baked at 35oF for 25-30 minutes). Let it come to room temp before baking.

I hope you love this recipe for Zucchini Lasagna as much as we have…. no, it’s not traditional lasagna, but it is just as tasty!

More Zucchini Recipes you may like:

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A savory recipe for Zucchini Lasagna, made without noodles for a low carb, keto version of one of our favorite meals! #ketolasagna #zucchinilasagna

Zucchini Lasagna (Keto)

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main, keto, low carb
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A savory recipe for Zucchini Lasagna made without noodles for a low-carb, keto version of one of our favorite meals! Use ground lamb, beef, or try a plant-based “meat”!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 1/23 lbs zucchini (3-4 large, 9-inch long- see notes) 16-18 slices, cut to 1/3 inch thick.
  • olive oil, or spray olive oil
  • salt and pepper

“Meat” Sauce: 

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 46 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb, beef, turkey, or use a vegan substitute like Beyond meat, beyond beef crumbles, soy crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (divided)
  • pinch chili flakes (optional)
  • 8 basil leaves, torn

Ricotta Mixture:

  • 1516 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 ounces pecorino romano – about 1/2 cup grated (divided)


Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F

Cook Zucchini: Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. You’ll need 16-18 good slices. See notes.  Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, spray or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in the hot oven, for 20-ish minutes, or until fork-tender. Set aside. Alternatively, you can grill zucchini over medium-high until tender for even more flavor.

Make the Filling: In a large saucepan or skillet, saute the onion, garlic and optional fennel seeds in a little oil, for 1-2 minutes, over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat (or vegan meat) lower heat to medium, and break it apart with a metal spatula, until completely crumbled and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes (vegan meat will take much less time). Drain any of the fat. Return meat to the pan and add salt, pepper, oregano, and 2 cups marinara sauce. Give a good stir, cover and bring to a gentle simmer until heated all the way through. Stir in torn basil leaves. See notes.

Ricotta: Mix the ricotta cheese in a medium bowl with the egg and nutmeg.

Assemble:  Grease a 9 x13 inch pan. Pour 1/2 cup of marinara to coat the bottom lightly. Place 8-9 slices of zucchini ( save the prettiest, most uniform ones for the top.) to cover the bottom. Pour the meat sauce over top. Spoon the ricotta mixture over the meat sauce and spread it around. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the grated pecorino cheese, Add the top layer of zucchini. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of marinara over top and spread evenly into a thin layer. Dust with the remaining pecorino.

Bake: Wipe off the edges of the pan, cover with foil and bake at 425F for 20 minutes, remove foil and continue baking, until golden and bubbling, 5-10 more minutes.


Notes

Try to find Zucchini that is slightly longer than the width of your baking pan. For example, if baking in a 9 x13 inch pan, using zucchini that is slightly larger than 9 inches if possible. Also, feel free to use more zucchini than the recipe calls for making each layer thicker if you like.

If you like the flavor of Greek Moussaka, add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the meat sauce.

Make sure to taste the meat sauce, make sure it is robust and flavorful, and if it needs sweetness, a little tomato paste will help here.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ⅛ slice
  • Calories: 457
  • Sugar: 4.1 g
  • Sodium: 730.2 mg
  • Fat: 34.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 25.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 119.9 mg

Keywords: keto lasagna, zucchini lasagna, keto lasagna zucchini,

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. So good! We ended up using 2 jars of sauce as one wasn’t quite enough and I didn’t want a partial jar of sauce sitting around (I like things saucy anyway). Great way to use a bunch of zucchini, and the nutmeg in the ricotta mix complements the sweetness of the zucchini very nicely! I think I’ll try with a homemade sauce next time and try to get the proportions closer to correct.

    1. Hi Cora – either use 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh! 

    1. Hi Ellen! I’m not sure- I mean, yes, it can be frozen, but hesitate about whether the zucchini would become too watery. Has anyone else tried freezing?

  2. This dish was delicious and easy to make. The consistency was a bit loose compared to other lasagna recipes, but it was a winner with the family.

  3. Fantastic recipe! I adapted it to use hallowed out halves of butternut squash. I brushed them in oil, then wrapped on tin foil to bake in the oven on a cookie sheet until they were almost done. Then I followed the rest of the recipe instructions and put the meat, cottage cheese and grated cheeses inside the squash and baked them till done.

  4. Excellent. I made it my own way, adding veggies that needed to escape the fridge. Good instructions. A good starter recipe.

  5. Awesome lasagna! I made it with sautéed mushrooms and Beyond ‘burger meat’, everyone loved it. One comment – I think it was the zucchini that let out water (I did the oven step and the slices looked pretty much done), and the pan ended up with some unexpected liquid. But all was good regardless!

  6. Hello, I just made your lentil bolognese. Delicious!
    I’m thinking of trying this in the zucchini lasagna vs lamb or alternative meat. Any suggestions as I try this?

  7. My mom made this zucchini lasagna for me when she found out I couldn’t have gluten anymore. She used ground turkey and substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta. I was a little surprised the zucchini was cut as thick as it was, but it definitely worked.
    This lasagna was so so good, my roommates and I nearly inhaled the two pans worth that she’d brought over. It’s now placed permanently on our favorite dinner list.

    1. Awesome Nova- glad you and your roommates liked this. And you have a sweet mom!

  8. Dear Sylvia I just made this dish, it’s so good!, anyways every single recipe from your blog is always so delicious, thank you very much for sharing them with the rest of us 🌼

  9. Excellent recipe, I used trombetto squash from my garden and a combination of very lean ground pork and turkey. Its a bit of work to put together but will definitely make this again. My husband repeatedly commented on the great favor. We had leftovers and were still happy eating it the third day

  10. I had eggplant on hand, so I used it instead. Subbed half the ricotta with tofu. It was soooo good. Perfect. Exactly what I was craving.

  11. Loved this! Since I used lamb I made it more Moroccan by changing the spices (cumin, cinnamon, allspice, paprika, chili flakes, coriander for the meat and cardamom and coriander for the ricotta), added golden raisins to the meat, and shredded mint leaves along with the basil for the marinara. Paired it with your everyday quinoa (which I added mint, almonds, and currants to). Will definitely be making this again. 🙂

  12. Fantastic, exactly as written. I used Impossible Burger and Rao marinara sauce. Keto husband and veggie son equally pleased. Thank you!!

  13. Just delicious! I used soy crumble and vegan ricotta that I made with silk tofu and it was really tasty. My husband said that it was the best lasagna that I cooked in 20 years of being together!

  14. Thank you Sylvia.This was amazing! We made it with lamb and grilled zucchini. Superb as always. Hoping for a cookbook one of these days soon.
    A fan for many years, Anne

  15. Turned out sooo yummy!! I didn’t have any ricotta at home so made a béchamel. There were no left overs to put in the fridge. One thing for next time, I sliced the zucchini a little too thin so after roasting them they were much smaller so had to roast some more to cover the top layer.

  16. Your recipes never fail to impress! I made this for my family tonight and it was amazing! Even the picky child gobbled it right down. Thanks Sylvia.

    1. Great to hear Alexander! What type of meat or veggie meat did you use? Just curious!

      1. I used 85-15 ground beef. I’d love to try it with one of the vegan substitutes or the ground lamb next time.

        1. Thanks, Alexander! Appreciate this. My husband loves this with the ground lamb the best, so be sure to try that sometime. 😉