Zucchini Lasagna

I have been wanting to try this recipe for zucchini lasagna for a while now and this blog finally gave me the perfect opportunity. The original recipe calls for ground beef. I made this recipe the same weekend as the blizzard and the grocery store was all out of ground beef and ground turkey. So I decided to add Jalapeno Chicken Sausage. It added a nice kick if you like things spicy and was actually fewer calories than ground beef or turkey. Mike told me he could hardly tell the difference that there was zucchini in place of our stand by lasagna noodles.

The Setup

1 lb 93% lean beef or turkey ( I used 6 jalapeno chicken sausages) , 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 onion, 1 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 3 medium zucchini ( I ended up using 4) sliced 1/8″ thick, 15 oz part-skim ricotta, 16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded, 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano ( I used parmigiana) and 1 large egg.

The Process

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.

rolling basil

I started by slicing my basil. Quick Tip –  Stack multiple leaves of basil, one on top of another and then roll up like a sushi roll, it makes it much easier to slice and it is much faster.

cut zuch

I used our brand new mandolin that was given to us by Mike’s Grandma- Tutu. Thanks again, it was a huge success and I did not slice any fingers off in the process 🙂 I ended up slicing up 4 zucchini’s length wise to use as “healthy noodles”.

sauce meat

In a medium saucepan saute ground beef or turkey (pictured you will see the chicken sausage I used). Drain meat in colander when browned to remove additional fat.  Add olive oil and garlic to pan and saute for about 2 minutes. Throw your drained meat back into the pan with the garlic. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes, covered.

sweating zuch grilled zuch

Lay zucchini out on cookies sheets that are covered in parchment paper. Lightly coat zucchini on both sides with salt. The salt will help draw out excess water from the vegetables. After about 10 minutes, pat dry zucchini with a paper towel.  On a gas grill or grill pan, grill zucchini for 1-2 minutes per side. Set zucchini aside and pat zucchini dry again with paper towel to remove any extra water that remains. It’s important to try to remove excess water so that the lasagna does not become too runny during baking.

wet ingrediants

In a separate bowl mix together the ricotta, egg and parmesan cheese.

1st layers cheese sauce

layering pre baking

In a 9×12 casserole spread some sauce on the bottom pan and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. I used an alternating pattern with my zucchini which created a more cohesive piece  and looks stunning when cut.

photo (7) finished product

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Take lasagna out of oven and remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Let lasagna stand for 10-15 minutes before digging in. Enjoy!

Original recipe yields 8 servings and uses 93% ground beef- 345 calories per serving and 17 g of fat.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 93% lean beef or turkey ( I used 6 jalapeno chicken sausages) , 
  • 3 cloves garlic, 
  • 1/2 onion, 
  • 1 tsp olive oil,
  •  salt and pepper,
  •  28 oz can crushed tomatoes,
  •  2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 
  • 3 medium zucchini ( I ended up using 4) sliced 1/8″ thick, 
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta, 
  • 16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded, 
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano ( I used parmigiana)
  • 1 large egg.

Recipe adapted from http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/02/zucchini-lasagna.html