This delicious garden fresh zucchini lasagna is made with thin slices of zucchini instead of pasta noodles. It is a gluten-free alternative with all the flavor of the traditional version. Also freezer friendly for make ahead meals.
I missed harvesting fresh zucchini from the garden last year. Our neighborhood deer saw to it that I was only to have a few zucchini before they nibbled the plants down to nothing. This year, the plants are under protection of hoops and deer netting. I also doubled the amount of plants I normally grow just in case. I have big plans for preserving zucchini this year.
One of my favorite ways to use zucchini is to make zucchini lasagna. If I have a lot of zucchini to use up, I make a double batch of lasagna and freeze the extras. It is worth the effort to assemble and bake several lasagna casseroles at one time and store the extra in the freezer for a future easy dinner.
I am so happy when I can make a meal that incorporates so many home-grown ingredients. The zucchini is from the garden along with the onions, garlic, and parsley. The tomato sauce is homemade either made fresh or canned. The eggs come from our flock of hens. Even the sausage and cheeses came from a farm store nearby.
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
Thinly sliced zucchini is layered with homemade tomato sauce with Italian sausage, and three cheeses in this version of a much-loved comfort food. Skip the sausage for a meatless version.
Scroll down to the bottom of the article for the full recipe. Here are the illustrated steps to making zucchini lasagna.
Step 1: Slice the Zucchini Thin
Rinse and slice the zucchini into 1/8-inch thick strips (about 3 mm) using a knife, mandoline, or vegetable peeler. If you are using a knife to slice the zucchini, cut off a portion to stabilize the zucchini and stop it from rolling, and then slice it carefully into thin strips.
Spread the zucchini out on a clean kitchen towel, and generously sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 10 minutes to allow salt to draw moisture out of zucchini. Pat the zucchini dry with a clean towel and set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the Meat Sauce
In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the onion until it is tender. Add the garlic, sausage, and cook it until the sausage is no longer pink. Reserve about 1/2-cup of the tomato sauce, and add the rest to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes or longer.
Step 3: Blend the Cheese
Add the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, Parmesan, and eggs. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and add the rest to the bowl. Mix until combined.
Step 4: Start Layering the Lasagna
Add the reserved 1/2-cup of tomato sauce to a 9 x 13 inch lasagna pan, and spread to cover the bottom. Layer the sliced zucchini over the sauce overlapping the edges slightly. Layer the cheese mixture, and follow with a layer meat sauce. Repeat layering until the pan is full. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with the reserved parsley.
Step 5: Bake in a Preheated Oven
Cover and bake until done and let the zucchini lasagna rest for a while before slicing. Serve and enjoy.
How to Freeze Zucchini Lasagna
Prepare and cook the zucchini lasagna as described above. Once the lasagna has cooled, cut and place into freezer containers or freezer zipper bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Bake from Frozen: Remove the lasagna from the freezer container and place into a metal baking dish. (Don’t use glass or ceramic pans. These may shatter from thermal shock.) Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake in a 350˚F preheated oven for 60 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Let the casserole stand for 15 minutes to set before cutting.
- Thaw Overnight: Thaw the frozen zucchini lasagna in the refrigerator before warming. Remove the lasagna from the freezer container and place it in a metal baking dish, cover with foil, and thaw overnight. Bake in a 350˚F preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through. Let it stand for 15 minutes to set before cutting.
Garden Fresh Zucchini Lasagna
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 clove garlic diced
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage optional
- 4 cups tomato sauce divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley divided
Prepare the Zucchini
- Rinse and slice the zucchini into 1/8-inch strips (about 3 mm) using a knife, mandolin, or vegetable peeler.
- Spread the zucchini out on a clean kitchen towel, and generously sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 10 minutes to allow salt to draw moisture out of zucchini.
- Pat the zucchini dry with a clean towel and set aside.
Make the Meat Sauce
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the onion until it is tender.
- Add the garlic and sausage and cook it until the sausage is no longer pink.
- Reserve about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, and add the rest to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer sauce for 15 minutes or longer.
Mix the Cheese
- In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta, about half the mozzarella, Parmesan, and eggs.
- Reserve about 2 tablespoons of parsley to sprinkle on top of the lasagna, and add the rest to the bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Assemble the Lasagna
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spoon the reserved 1/2-cup tomato sauce into a 9 x 13 lasagna pan and spread to cover the bottom.
- Layer the sliced zucchini over the sauce overlapping the edges slightly.
- Layer the cheese mixture, and follow with a layer meat sauce. Repeat layering until the pan is full.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with the reserved parsley.
- Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Remove the zucchini lasagna from the oven and let it stand for 15 minutes to set before cutting. Serve and enjoy. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-days or freeze for longer.
This recipe was originally published on August 6, 2016. It has been updated with clearer instructions, new photos, and video.
You May Also Like:
- Ricotta Gnocchi in Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Zucchini Garlic Bites
- Baked Zucchini Fritters
- Ways to Preserve Zucchini
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