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.
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!
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.
Ingredients in Zucchini Lasagna:
- Zucchini (4 large zucchinis, thin slices, 9 inches long)
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- fennel seeds (optional)
- ground lamb, beef, turkey, or use a vegan substitute like Beyond meat, beyond beef crumbles, soy crumbles
- salt and pepper
- Marinara sauce
- chili flakes
- Fresh basil
- teaspoon nutmeg
- pecorino romano cheese
How to make Zucchini Lasagna
Step one: Cut and roast (or grill) the zucchini.
Slice zucchini into 1/4-inch 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.
Step 2: Make the Meat Sauce ( or vegetarian meat sauce).
Saute the onion and garlic.
Add the ground meat. Here I’m using ground lamb which adds such a lovely flavor!
Make sure to drain the fat.
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.
Step 4: Assemble the Zucchini Lasagna!
In a greased 9×13 inch pan, lightly coat the bottom with a thin layer of marinara sauce.
Place the first layer of roasted zucchini over the sauce, reserving the best-looking pieces for the top.
Pour the meat sauce over top and spread it around evenly.
Spoon the ricotta mixture over top of the meat sauce.
Sprinkle with pecorino cheese.
Place the second (final) layer of roasted zucchini over the ricotta.
Cover with the remaining marinara, spreading it around, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino cheese.
Step 5: Foil and Bake!
Cover 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.
Leftovers can be reheated and will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.
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!
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.
More Zucchini Recipes you may like:
- Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill
- Curried Zucchini Soup
- Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups with Spinach & Basil
- Baked Zucchini Tian
- Zucchini Cakes with Jalapeño and Lime
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”!
- 2 1/2–3 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
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 4–6 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 oregano
- 3 cups marinara sauce (divided)
- pinch chili flakes (optional)
- 8 basil leaves, torn
- 15–16 ounces whole milk ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 ounces pecorino romano – about 1/2 cup grated (divided)
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.
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.
Keywords: keto lasagna, zucchini lasagna, keto lasagna zucchini,