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Our Zucchini Lasagna is cheesy and meaty…and a delicious way to use up those large zucchini growing in your garden.
I warned you a few weeks ago – here come the zucchini recipes! 😊
This Zucchini Lasagna is actually one of my all-time favorite ways to eat zucchini. Years ago, I used to live near a large farm stand. In addition to selling lots of fresh and local produce, they sold a great selection of prepared foods – including a wonderful zucchini lasagna.
After a long commute home – especially on those days when I didn’t have the energy to cook dinner for myself – I’d stop at the market and get a slab of that fantastic zucchini lasagna. (I’d always get enough for dinner and enough to pack up to take for lunch the next day.)
Fast forward to now – and Jack and I started brainstorming zucchini recipes to share here on A Family Feast. I suggested Zucchini Lasagna (with that long-ago version in mind) – and Jack set to work on today’s recipe.
This zucchini lasagna is made with no pasta noodles – just zucchini sliced using an inexpensive handheld mandoline – so it’s also lower in carbs. But even if you aren’t eating a lower carb diet, you’ll never miss the lasagna noodles!
We layered our zucchini ‘noodles’ in the casserole along with a simple meat sauce made with ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, and seasonings, plus ricotta and shredded mozzarella cheeses. On top, we used slices of fresh mozzarella – but you could use shredded if you prefer.
This zucchini lasagna bakes up hot and melty and absolutely delicious! It’s best to let the zucchini lasagna set up a bit after you take it out of the oven – so plan your meal time accordingly.
*A quick note as you make this Zucchini Lasagna: As you might guess – sliced zucchini will give up its liquid as it bakes. (This is totally normal and to be expected, especially since we didn’t include a pasta noodle in the recipe which would have absorbed some of the moisture.)
We took an extra step in our recipe to minimize this problem – laying out the zucchini slices on a rack, then salting the slices so they give up some of their liquid ahead of time.
This helped, but even so, you might see that your lasagna is still fairly wet after you cut into it. Don’t worry…remove one slice of the zucchini lasagna and simply spoon out the excess liquid before serving the rest of your slices.
2 pounds zucchini (about three large)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion diced
2 tablespoon garlic minced
1 20-ounce package ground turkey meat (try to get white and dark mixed. Also a few ounces less or more is fine so purchase what is available in your area)
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh mint chopped
1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dry oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped
1 tablespoon dry basil or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 28–ounce can kitchen ready ground tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups whole milk ricotta
3 whole eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup mozzarella shredded
1 16–ounce jar tomato sauce, divided, or our homemade tomato sauce (see recipe here)
1 1/2 pounds sliced mozzarella (from deli freshly sliced)
Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, trim and slice the zucchini into long thin slices.
After 30 minutes, rinse off salt and dry the zucchini slices with paper towels.
While zucchini is sitting, in a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions and sauté three minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Push the onions and garlic to the edges of the pan and add turkey, breaking up into pieces. Cook until no longer pink and add the pepper flakes, mint, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Lower to medium and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often, or until thick. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, eggs, half of the Parmesan, parsley and shredded mozzarella. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place rack in center of oven with a sheet of foil just below the center rack to catch any drips.
In a 9×13-inch casserole dish with 2½ inch sides, place half of the tomato sauce on the bottom and top with one third of the zucchini slices.
Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the zucchini.
Add another one third of the zucchini over the cheese mixture.
Add all of the meat mixture over the zucchini.
Lay half of the mozzarella slices over the meat mixture.
Add the remaining cheese mixture, then the remaining zucchini slices.
Next add the remaining tomato sauce, and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Top with a sheet of parchment paper and seal with a piece of foil.
Bake for 40 minutes covered.
Remove foil and parchment and bake for 20 more minutes uncovered.
Top with the remaining mozzarella slices and bake until brown and bubbly, about 15 more minutes.
Place under broiler if necessary to finish browning the top, 3-4 minutes.
Let sit 20 minutes, then cut into 12 pieces (3×4).
After removing the first piece, ladle out any liquid that has settled in the pan and discard. Serve hot.
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