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Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Easy zucchini lasagna is a delicious lighter alternative to heavier traditional lasagna recipes. This easy veggie packed recipe comes together with minimal prep and only uses one skillet, saving you clean up. Use up all your summer zucchini and bake one up today!

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Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

I am a noodle lover. I have never met a noodle I don’t like. Ever. But I feel cruddy when I eat too many noodles because I fill up on them instead of things that are better for me. So oy with the noodles already. *Where are my Gilmore Girls fans at?

This easy zucchini lasagna is what I make when I am feeling oy with the noodles already. It doesn’t have any noodles at all and uses sliced zucchini rounds instead of lasagna noodles. So I feel positively virtuous about all the cheese I’m getting ready to eat.

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Look at that cheese though. Seriously look at it.

It’s all about balance people.

The second best thing about this easy zucchini lasagna, with the first thing being the cheese of course? I make it in one skillet. There’s no need to dirty a bunch of bowls and pans to make this. Everything gets assembled in the 10 inch cast iron skillet that you cook the meat sauce in. You don’t even pour the meat sauce out of the skillet first so clean up is truly a breeze. And this is why I am obsessed with making things like skillet baked ziti. SO EASY.

Which is a welcome relief in a house where chaos reigns supreme.

Love zucchini? Zucchini noodles for lasagna

Zucchini slices on a paper towel

Slice the zucchini into rounds, salt it, and lay it on a paper towel

I find that most zucchini lasagna recipes call for the zucchini to be sliced lengthwise instead of into easy rounds.

I say forget that. For me, I find it much more of a pain to make long slices of zucchini. It’s a million percent easier to just cut the zucchini into thin- but not too thin- slices. I use the rounds in this recipe instead of the long layers of zucchini. Aside from being easier, I also use the rounds because they fit more neatly into the skillet and are generally easier to work with.

A thick, hearty lasagna

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Every noticed how sometimes zucchini lasagna is sort of thin and runny? It still tastes ok but the wateriness of it takes away from the richness of the sauce? Well, I have a couple easy ways to make sure your zucchini lasagna won’t be watery.

Don’t want soggy zucchini? Don’t skip the salt!

Zucchini slices next to a skillet of meat sauce

Salted zucchini slices ready to be pressed into the sauce

After I have the zucchini sliced and before I start my meat sauce, I lay all the zucchini out on a paper towel. Then I sprinkle salt onto the zucchini and let it sit while I cook the meat sauce.

According to Healthline, zucchini is 94 percent water. All this water means there’s the potential for a soggy lasagna. If you sprinkle the zucchini slices with salt and let them sit while you prepare your meat sauce, the salt works its magic and draws out a lot of the extra moisture. When you are ready to  layer the zucchini into the meat sauce, press another paper towel on top of the zucchini slices to blot off the water the salt has drawn out.

Drain the meat or choose a lower fat meat

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Sometimes fattier ground beef is the way to go for a delicious sauce. Not here. Choosing a leaner ground beef like 90/10 or 93/7 will give off less fat. The less fat, the less watery the sauce will be and the tighter the lasagna.

If you have a fattier ground beef on hand, that’s ok too. You can absolutely use it. Just make sure that you drain the excess fat off before you add the sauce.

Choose the right sauce base.

Zucchini slices in sauce in a skillet

Cover the zucchini with sauce by spoon the excess sauce from the sides of the pan

The other thing that keeps the lasagna from being too watery? The sauce. Some sauce recipes call for other liquids beyond some for of crushed or tomato puree. Skip those for this. You want a thick sauce. So you’ll only add one 28 or 29 ounce can (depending on the brand) of tomato puree. You will not pour any extra liquid into the can after you pour out the puree into the pan much to the dismay of my frugal Italian grandma who believed in using each and every last drop of tomato in the can.

The sauce will initially look almost too thick, especially after your stir the Parmesan cheese. But trust me. As the zucchini cooks in it in the oven, it will loosen up just enough without the sauce turning runny on you.

Lasagna, assemble!

Zucchini in a skillet with meat sauce

Layer the zucchini directly into the skillet with meat sauce

Shout out to the Marvel fans out there.

Ok, away from pop culture and back to the food. To assemble this lasagna, just press the rounds of zucchini down directly into the sauce, laying the zucchini rounds flat. I made mine pretty and did it in a circular pattern, but you don’t have to at all. It all gets covered with sauce and cheese.

Once you’ve pressed the zucchini into the skillet and have several layers of it, take a spoon and just spoon up some of the extra sauce from the sides of the skillet and spread it out over any areas that could use a little more sauce. Then top the whole kitten caboodle with cheese and pop it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Zucchini slices covered in sauce and chees

Cover it in cheese

Customize this zucchini lasagna.

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Not everyone will want this lasagna as I’ve made it. You can absolutely change it a bit to suit your needs. For example, you can omit the meat totally and make a vegetarian zucchini lasagna by replacing the meat with ricotta cheese the way I do in my Three Cheese Ziti Skillet.

Instead of green zucchini, you could switch it out for yellow squash or even eggplant. Both would work really nicely in this. You could also go a little fancier if you like and try zucchini roll ups like these.

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Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Easy Zucchini Lasagna


  • Author: jfletcher

Description

Easy zucchini lasagna is a delicious lighter alternative to heavier traditional lasagna recipes. This easy veggie packed recipe comes together with minimal prep and only uses one skillet, saving you clean up. Use up all your summer zucchini and bake one up today!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 zucchini, sliced evenly into thin rounds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Slice two zucchini into even circles. Spread out onto paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit while you cook the meat.

In a 10″ cast iron or other oven safe skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef. Season with salt, pepper, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until brown all the way through, about 7 minutes. Once brown, add the tomato puree and Parmesan cheese and let cook for another few minutes until the mixture is warmed through.

Spread the zucchini rounds out in the pan of sauce, pressing each one down into the meat sauce. You should should have enough zucchini slices to make two to three layers.  Top with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Recipe rating

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