This Zucchini Noodle Lasagna is easy to make in one pan on the stove and a lightened up version of a classic Italian comfort food. Made with ribbons of fresh zucchini noodles instead of pasta, vegan mozzarella and ricotta cheese with a delicious tomato sauce. Grain-free, gluten-free, low carb, keto with options for dairy-free, vegan, paleo and Whole30 and perfect for weeknight dinners.
Healthy Zucchini Noodle Lasagna
Looking for a new dinner idea? This Zucchini Noodle Lasagna is easy to make and the perfect way to use up that summer garden zucchini. It’s made on the stove in one pan so you can keep your oven off which is perfect on a hot day. Another thing we love about this lasagna recipe is that it has all the delicious flavors of a classic lasagna, but uses zucchini noodles instead of lasagna noodles making it perfect if you’re looking for a grain-free alternative to flour pasta.
Plus this homemade lasagna skillet is gluten free, packed with veggies and is totally kid-friendly. Don’t you just love a healthy comfort dish that is family approved. Other quick dinner recipes with zucchini we love include this Zucchini Lasagna, Zucchini Taco Boats, Zucchini Pizza and Zucchini Noodles with Meatballs.
Reasons We Love This Easy Dinner Recipe
- An easy no noodle lasagna recipe that is super versatile to customize
- Has all the delicious flavors of the classic Italian dish but is grain-free, with no noodles or pasta required
- What makes this zucchini lasagna keto is that it is also sugar free, gluten free and grain-free
- Can easily be paleo, dairy-free and vegan by leaving out the turkey and switching out the cheese with cashew cheese or your favorite brand of dairy-free cheese. We like Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta and Violife Mozzarella.
- A delicious low carb dinner recipe to use up your grocery store or farmer’s market zucchini bounty from July and August
- Made in one pan and ready in 30 minutes without having to turn on the oven in the heat.
Ingredients you need
For the sauce:
- Ground crumbled protein:To make this lasagna vegan, you can either leave it out or sub with preferred plant-based protein such as Noble Plate, Beyond Meat, Lightlife, Gardein, or your own homemade meatless crumble. If not plant-based, we have made this plenty of times using ground turkey but you can also use ground beef, Italian sausage or ground chicken.
- Mushrooms: you can use cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms
- Garlic – minced for extra flavor
- Diced tomatoes – can use fresh or canned – you can also use crushed tomatoes if you don’t have this in your pantry.
- Tomato sauce – homemade or canned
- Tomato paste- for an extra boost of flavor
- Seasonings: dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper – all help to make this dish delicious with that signature Italian flavor we all love
- Fresh Basil – chopped basil is the best way bring out the flavors in this Italian-inspired dish
- Avocado or olive oil
For the gluten-free lasagna:
- Sliced zucchini noodles – a gluten free option for noodles and my favorite low-carb pasta alternative
- Vegan Mozzarella cheese – shredded. We like Violife Mozzarella or Miyokos Vegan Mozz. Sub with regular mozzarella if not dairy-free or sub with cashew based cheese for paleo / Whole30.
- Cottage cheese – (you can use whatever you have on hand: regular or low fat) (swap with a cashew based cheese for Whole30 zucchini lasagna )
- Vegan Ricotta cheese – we like Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta. Sub with regular ricotta or fat-free cottage cheese if not dairy-free or sub with cashew based cheese for Whole30 or a paleo zucchini lasagna.
- Spinach – for additional veggies and nutrients
- Grated vegan parmesan – optional for garnish. We like Violife Parmesan Style. Sub with regular parmesan if not dairy-free or nutritional yeast for paleo / Whole30.
How to cut zucchini into noodles
When cutting zucchini for lasagna, you want to cut them into long thin strips so that they will resemble the texture and look of pasta noodles. You can use either a spiralizer , mandolin or a vegetable peeler to get them into the wider ribbons which resembles the lasagna pasta more.
How to make Zucchini Noodle Lasagna
This skillet lasagna couldn’t be easier to make. Be sure to follow the step-by-step instructions and watch the video below to see how easy it is!
- HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI NOODLES: Start by trimming the ends off of the zucchini then start cutting zucchini slices using the ribbon blade of a spiralizer, a mandolin or a vegetable peeler; set aside. Pat the low carb lasagna noodles dry with paper towels. (This step can be done up to 3 days in advance. Store zucchini slices in an airtight container with a paper towel to help absorb excess moisture.)
MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes, drain excess fat.
Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant then add the mushrooms and sliced zucchini. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Pour in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and add seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce heat allowing to simmer.
- Layer in sliced zucchini noodles and cook until just softened.
- Remove from heat and layer in the shredded mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese.
- Top with dollops of ricotta cheese and cook until cheese has melted.
- Remove from stove and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
Helpful Make Ahead Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Lasagna
- To make this lasagna recipe ahead of time, you can cook the meat sauce and prep the zucchini noodles in advance and store separately or store together in a casserole dish.
- Prep the zoodles up to 3-4 days in advance by storing them in an air-tight sealed container in the fridge.
- To avoid a runny and soggy sauce, it helps to pat them down with a paper towel after you’ve spiralized them to remove some of that extra moisture that zucchini tend to have. We just prepped a big batch of zucchini noodles last night for dinner and I saved the rest for another day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can zucchini noodle lasagna be frozen?
Yes, this low carb lasagna works great as a freezer meal. You can cook the meat sauce and prep the zucchini noodles in advance and store separately or store together in a casserole dish.
When you’re ready to reheat, remove from freezer and add a little bit more cheese on top. Preheat the oven to 375F, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.
How to store leftovers
Cool the lasagna completely then cover it with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate. This will last in an airtight container in up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Are lasagna zoodles healthy?
This recipe for zucchini lasagna with meat sauce is a lightened up and healthier version of a lasagna dish you would find at traditional Italian restaurant. It’s gluten free, packed with veggies and is low in calories at just 282 calories per serving.
Is this lasagna recipe keto?
The nutritional info for one serving of this gluten free lasagna recipe is:
- 282 calories
- 31g of protein
- 8 grams NET carbs: 12g Total Carbs – 4g Fiber
- 10g of fat
More Zucchini Recipes You Might Like:
This Zucchini Noodle Lasagna is an easy low carb keto lasagna using zucchini noodles in place of traditional wheat pasta. Gluten free & made in one pot in 30 minutes and is perfect for busy weeknights.
- 5-6 medium zucchini , peeled or unpeeled
- 2/3 lb crumbled protein of choice To make this lasagna vegan, you can either leave it out or sub with preferred plant-based protein such as Noble Plate, Beyond Meat, Lightlife, Gardein, or your own homemade meatless crumble. If not plant-based, we have made this plenty of times using ground turkey but you can also use ground beef, Italian sausage or ground chicken.
- 2-3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup cremini or button mushrooms , sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14.5-ounce can) diced tomatoes
- 1 (8-ounce can) tomato sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes , to taste
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2.5 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil , divided
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 cup dairy-free mozzarella cheese , shredded - we like Violife Mozzarella or Miyokos Vegan Mozz. Sub with regular mozzarella if not dairy-free or sub with cashew based cheese for paleo / Whole30.
- 2/3 cup vegan Ricotta , we like Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta. Sub with regular ricotta or fat-free cottage cheese if not dairy-free or sub with cashew based cheese for paleo / Whole30.
- 1/3 cup vegan Ricotta, optional for garnish , we like Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta. Sub with regular ricotta or fat-free cottage cheese if not dairy-free or sub with cashew based cheese for paleo / Whole30.
- sprinkle of dairy-free parmesan cheese for garnish , we like Violife Parmesan Style. Sub with regular parmesan if not dairy-free or nutritional yeast for paleo / Whole30.
- 1-1/2 - 2 cups spinach , chopped
- 2 medium zucchini , peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup water , reserved as needed
Spiralize zucchini using the ribbon blade or a vegetable peeler; set aside. Pat dry with a paper towel. (This step can be done up to 3 days in advance. Simply store zoodles in an airtight container with a paper towel to help absorb excess moisture.)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in the ground protein and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes, making sure to crumble and break down into small pieces as it cooks; drain any excess fat.
Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and optional chopped zucchini, if using and saute for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon of basil. Bring to a boil and reduce heat allowing to simmer. *Stir constantly until sauce begins to thicken (about 5 minutes).
Add the ribboned zucchini noodles and cover with lid.
After 1-2 minutes, remove the cover, swirl the zucchini around using tongs to avoid sticking to the pan. Continue cooking until zucchini is tender (another 2-4 minutes). If adding spinach, stir in after 3 minutes and cover again until spinach just wilted. **Remove pan from heat and stir in mozzarella and ricotta (or cottage cheese). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Top with more dollops of ricotta cheese, if desired. Cover the pan and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Remove pan from stove and sprinkle with chopped parsley, basil, and grated parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve and enjoy.
*Add water as needed if the sauce is evaporating.
**If zucchini is letting out too much water, mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 teaspoon of cold water in a small cup. Add to the pan before adding the ricotta/cottage cheese. Bring to a boil to allow sauce to thicken up. Add ricotta/cottage cheese as directed above.