This Zucchini Lasagna recipe has the same mouthwatering layers of melty cheese and sauce as a classic Lasagna Recipe but it’s low-carb. We substituted the lasagna noodles for zucchini slices making this guilt-free, but so satisfying. You won’t even miss the pasta!

Just when you thought you’d made all of the different zucchini recipes, from Zucchini Bread to Zucchini Fritters, then zucchini lasagna comes along and changes your life.

Traditional Italian dish made with layers of cheese and meat sauce and without pasta ribbons

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Zucchini Lasagna Video

Watch Natasha lighten up this traditional Italian dish using zucchini slices instead of pasta noodles. It’s an easy swap, but the results are just as delicious and without the guilt. Also, read on to learn our tip for ensuring your zucchini lasagna isn’t watery.

The Best Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna is low-carb, keto, and gluten-free as it uses zucchini cut into ribbons or thin slices instead of traditional lasagna noodles. All of the crave-worthy elements of lasagna are still the same:

As a bonus, this zucchini lasagna recipe reheats really well, just like you would expect a lasagna to reheat, so you’ll be happy to have leftovers.

Since zucchini holds a lot of water, we take just a few minutes to prepare the zucchini before layering in about the same time it would take to precook your noodles, but this quick step keeps the lasagna from being watery.

close up photo of zucchini lasagna being served

Ingredients

No-noodle zucchini lasagna tweaks a classic recipe to make a more nutritious comfort food you can feel great about. It’s simple to make with these pantry staples

  • Zucchini4-5 medium/large zucchini cut into thin slices or circles. See our tips for easy slicing below. Sprinkling with salt and pepper helps draw out excess water and add flavor.
  • Ground BeefWe used 85/15 fat content for a juicier sauce.
  • Onionyellow or sweet onion works well to flavor without overpowering the sauce.
  • GarlicFresh cloves work best, and you can adjust the garlic to taste in this recipe.
  • Pasta sauce  – You can use homemade marinara sauce or store-bought sauce. When shopping for a store-bought marinara, pick one that isn’t too watery. I invert the glass jars to compare how loose they are. You’re less likely to end up with a watery lasagna.
  • Basil or parsley – use fresh basil or use either flat-leaf or curly parsley. You can substitute dried herbs (1 Tbsp fresh herbs = 1 tsp dried herbs).

For the Cheese Sauce

  • Mozzarella cheese – Shred a block of low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella, or you can use an Italian blend of cheeses.
  • Ricotta cheese – reduced-fat, low-fat, or part-skim ricotta work great.
  • Parmesan cheese – shredded melts nicely in this recipe, but grated can work as well.
  • Egg – binds the cheeses together as a layer. 
ingredients for making an Italian layered dish including ground beef, onion, egg, garlic, pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil, ricotta cheese and squash

Pro Tip

We use a mandolin at 1/4” to make thin ribbons easily, but you can also use a knife or a large vegetable peeler. No matter what method you use, wear safety gloves in the kitchen and be careful not to cut yourself!

How to Make Zucchini Lasagna

  • Grill the zucchini slices Season the zucchini slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place them on a grill, grill pan, or large skillet for 2 minutes per side. Remove the slices, and if you see remaining moisture, pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Make the meat sauceAdd olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven. Brown the meat and then drain off all but 2 Tbsp of fat.
  • Add to the sauce add diced onion, garlic, pasta sauce, half of the basil/parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and set aside.
  • Make the cheese layer – In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the mozzarella, ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, remaining basil/parsley, and salt. Stir to combine
  • Layer the lasagnaIn a 9×13 casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of the meat sauce, then start to layer. Add a layer of cooked zucchini slices, followed by 1/3 of the meat sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella. Then spread 1/2 of your cheese sauce on top. Continue layering this way until you have 3 layers of zucchini then top with the remaining meat sauce and shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake – poke toothpicks over the surface to keep the foil from sticking to the cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for 3-4 more minutes for a golden cheesy crust. Rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
step-by-step guide to cooking zucchini slices on the grill

Pro Tip

A grill will cook all of your zucchini quickly, but if you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can also make this on a grill pan. It also works on a large non-stick skillet, but you won’t get those fabulous grill marks.

how to make zucchini lasagna using meat sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese

Pro Tip

The dish is ready when there are small bubbles around the outside. If your zucchini lasagna looks slightly too watery, try cooking it uncovered for 15 minutes before broiling.

Common Questions

Can I use yellow squash?

Yes, but the flavor is a little different, and they are typically smaller and less even-shaped. You can also try eggplant or even mushrooms.

Why is my zucchini lasagna watery?

Since zucchini is made of mostly water, it will release plenty of liquid as it cooks. In order to avoid a wet and soggy lasagna, we recommend seasoning with salt, then slightly pre-cooking the zucchini to draw out some of the liquid. If you have a grill, this step takes less time than cooking traditional lasagna noodles. Also, avoid cutting your zucchini too thick.

Is zucchini lasagna vegetarian?

This recipe uses ground beef, but you can omit the beef and use a vegetarian marinara sauce to make it vegetarian.

lasagna with basil in a large white dish

What to Serve with Zucchini Lasagna

This satisfying dish works great with a light side to compliment the hearty layers, and you can also include a side that soaks up the saucy, cheesy layers. These are some of our favorite side dishes for lasagna:

zoomed in shot of zucchini lasagna with zucchini slice and basil leaf

Make-Ahead

If you’re layering the zucchini lasagna ahead of time, layer and cover, then refrigerate or freeze before cooking. Just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to bake.

  • To Refrigerate: cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days in the fridge
  • Freezing: cover leftovers with foil and freeze for up to 3 months
  • To Reheat: The best way to reheat is in the oven. Thaw in the fridge if you have time, then cook covered in the oven at 350 degrees until warm, which may take anywhere from 15-40 minutes depending on how much lasagna you’re reheating and if it’s frozen. Check out these ideas for reheating in the microwave and air fryer.
cheesy lasagna served with a spatula

Zucchini is low-calorie and packed with heart-healthy nutrients. This delicious, cheesy, zucchini lasagna gives you all the cheesy, melty goodness of traditional lasagna without the huge calorie count. Comfort you can feel great about. Dig in! 

More Zucchini Recipes

If you love this zucchini lasagna, then you won’t want to miss these zucchini recipes. P.S. Now I’m kind of thinking I need Zucchini Roll-Ups like our Classic Lasagna Roll-Ups!

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

5 from 25 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Zucchini Lasagna served in a white dish with zucchini and basil leaves
This Zucchini Lasagna is just as tasty as our traditional lasagna recipe but with fewer calories! We substitute zucchini for lasagna noodles to make it low-carb and gluten-free. It's just as melty and cheesy with the same crave-worthy bolognese sauce, ricotta cheese mixture, and melty mozzarella cheese. We promise that you won't miss the pasta!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 people
  • 2 lbs zucchini, 4-5 medium/large, cut into 1/4” thick slices or rings*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or cooking spray, plus more for meat sauce
  • 3 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, 15-20% fat content
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 24 oz pasta sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil or parsley, divided
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 15 oz reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • Prepare Zucchini – Preheat outdoor grill, grill pan, or large skillet to medium/high heat. Slice zucchini into 1/4” thick long slices or rings if preferred, discard the ends. Spray or brush both sides lightly with olive oil and season all over with about 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Grill for 2 minutes per side over medium/high heat until crisp-tender.
  • Make the Meat Sauce – preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Place a deep saucepan or Dutch oven over medium/high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil and ground beef. Sauté, breaking it up with a spatula until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain off all but 2 Tbsp of fat.
  • Add diced onions and sauté 5 minutes, then add garlic and sauté another minute. Add pasta sauce, half to the basil or parsley. Season with 1 tsp fine sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a low boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste then remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup mozzarella, ricotta cheese, parmesan, 1 egg, the rest of your basil or parsley, and 1/2 tsp fine sea salt. Stir to combine.
  • Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Add a layer of zucchini, spread 1/3 of the meat sauce, and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella. Spoon on and spread the top with 1/2 of your cheese sauce. Repeat until you have 3 layers of zucchini.
  • Poke 9-12 toothpicks over the surface of your lasagna (to keep the foil from sticking to the cheese). Cover with foil and bake at 375 ̊F for 40-45 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for 3-4 minutes to create a golden cheesy top. Rest for 15 minutes before slicing and garnish with basil or parsley, if desired, and serve.

Notes

*To Slice Zucchini, we find it’s easiest to use a mandolin slicer set to slice at 1/4″ thick. We highly recommend wearing safety gloves anytime you are using a mandolin slicer to keep your hands safe. Alternatively, you can use a large vegetable peeler to cut zucchini into slices. 

Nutrition Per Serving

360kcal Calories10g Carbs27g Protein24g Fat11g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat9g Monounsaturated Fat1g Trans Fat96mg Cholesterol1402mg Sodium637mg Potassium2g Fiber5g Sugar812IU Vitamin A19mg Vitamin C522mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
360
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
24
g
37
%
Saturated Fat
 
11
g
69
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
9
g
Cholesterol
 
96
mg
32
%
Sodium
 
1402
mg
61
%
Potassium
 
637
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
27
g
54
%
Vitamin A
 
812
IU
16
%
Vitamin C
 
19
mg
23
%
Calcium
 
522
mg
52
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: how to make zucchini lasagna, zucchini lasagna, zucchini lasagna recipe
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 360

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Bill Loyd
    August 17, 2023

    love the recipe, really good. I stuck to the recipe but did add red chili sugar to the sauce. Love the sweet and heat. I love your recipes.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 17, 2023

      I’m glad that you’re enjoying them, Bill!

      Reply

  • Melinda
    August 15, 2023

    Hi Natasha,
    I made this and almost followed it exactly, but I didn’t have a mandolin, so I cut the zucchini into slices (like Fried Zucchini) and it was Wonderful and actually it was easier to scoop. I didn’t have any leftovers:) I will make this again, it is yummy and you can have seconds and feel good about what you are eating!!!! Love You & Your Great Recipes!!!!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 15, 2023

      Hi Melinda! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes. Thank you so much for sharing.

      Reply

  • Olivia
    August 14, 2023

    This zucchini lasagna is a delicious low-carb option! Everyone in my family loved it and we will surely make it again!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 14, 2023

      Great to hear that it was a hit, Olivia. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • Sharina
    August 12, 2023

    This is a perfect addition to our family weeknight meal rotation! This zucchini lasagna is so easy yet super delicious and pleasing, plus it is guilt-free!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 12, 2023

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Sharina!

      Reply

  • Graham A Dyer
    August 11, 2023

    Tash, your crazy humour is infectious. I love it.
    And you can cook!
    Graham Dyer (Australia)

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 11, 2023

      Aw, thank you!

      Reply

  • Jacek
    August 11, 2023

    Looks delicious. More keto or low-carb recipes, please! With love from Poland.

    Reply

  • jess
    August 11, 2023

    I have been trying to reduce my amount of carbs, so this was amazing to swap pasta with zucchini. thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 11, 2023

      It really is the best! I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Sandra
    August 11, 2023

    Yummo!!! I love the idea of grilling the zucchini first! Haven’t made it yet, but I know it will be fabulous!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 11, 2023

      I can’t wait for you to try it!

      Reply

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