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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna Recipe (Gluten Free, Low Carb, Not Watery!)

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This low carb, gluten-free, vegetarian zucchini lasagna is an easy, delicious dinner that the whole family will love! Simple to prep, this no-noodle ‘pasta’ dish is full of all of the flavors you would expect from a traditional lasagna recipe.

finished vegetarian zucchini lasagna in a white baking dish

There is just something so wonderful about lasagna: pasta, cheese, and that baked crispy top, it’s comfort food at its best.

But if you’re gluten free, or trying to follow a plant-based diet, lasagna can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, my lightened up version uses zucchini in place of the regular lasagna noodles so it is lower in carbs and calories.

This easy recipe is a hearty dish that tastes just like a classic lasagna, but is much better for you. It’s also a less labor intensive dish than regular lasagna, because the zucchini noodles are much easier to prep than regular lasagna noodles! This vegetarian zucchini lasagna is the easiest way to use up leftover zucchini, is budget-friendly, and is an allergy-friendly dish to enjoy anytime of the year!

Latest Recipe Video!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Tastes just like classic lasagna
  • Grain free, gluten-free and allergy friendly
  • Plant Based and easily made vegan
  • Kid-friendly
  • Packed with great lasagna flavor
  • Easy to make!

How to Make The Best Zucchini Lasagna

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

This gluten-free lasagna can easily be made with simple ingredients found at your local grocery store (or in your pantry!)

ingredients for vegetarian zucchini lasagna i

Large fresh zucchini: This recipe calls for 4 zucchini, which is about 1.5 pounds of zucchini. It doesn’t matter their size, it’s the weight that’s important! You’ll need to turn them into lasagna “noodles” by removing the middle seeds, and slicing them lengthwise into thin slices or “noodles” about 1/4 inch thick.

Veggies: I used red onion and bell pepper in this dish but you can use any of your favorite vegetables that you have on hand! Fresh spinach or sauteed mushrooms would also work well.

Extra virgin olive oil: Used to cook the veggies and to grease your baking dish!

Garlic cloves: You can also use 1/2 tsp of garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic.

Dried Italian seasoning: To give this vegetarian zucchini lasagna its great flavor! You can also use fresh herbs – fresh basil and fresh oregano would both taste great in this dish.

Marinara sauce: I used my favorite store bought brand, but you can also make your own sauce if you like! You can also use simple tomato sauce, seasoned with your favorite herbs. If you don’t have pasta sauce or tomato sauce, you can use tomato paste. To do this, take 8oz tomato paste and mix it with 8oz water (use more or less water depending on how thick you want your sauce to be). Whisk the water and sauce together until it’s combined. Transfer to a small pan on medium heat, add your favorite herbs and cook until warmed through completely – about 5 minutes. Use just like you would pasta sauce!

Salt and crushed red pepper flakes: Seasoning is critical in this dish! You can also use black pepper if you don’t have crushed red pepper.

Ricotta cheese: For best results, I recommend a part skim ricotta because it has a lower water content than whole milk ricotta. The last thing you want is a watery zucchini lasagna! Note: If you don’t have ricotta, you can also use cottage cheese!

Mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese: For that melted crispy cheese layer that tops all lasagnas

Step by Step Instructions

Prep the Zucchini Noodles

Slice The Zucchini: Cut the zucchini long and thin, just like the lasagna noodles you are replacing. Slice the zucchini lengthways into strips. I use a knife to do this, or you can use a mandolin if you have one. Ideally they should be about 1/8 inch thick.

Remove the Water: Zucchini tends to have a lot of water, so before using the zucchini noodles, you can either sprinkle the slices lightly with salt and set aside to let the excess liquid drain in a colander; OR you can grill it first, and place zucchini on paper towels to soak up any excess moisture.

zucchini roasted on a baking sheet

Make the ricotta mixture

Combine The Cheeses: Combine about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese with the ricotta in a small bowl. Mix until combined.

Make the filling and assemble Your Vegetable Lasagna

Cook Your Veggies and Sauce: In a large skillet, add olive oil, onion, bell peppers, Italian herbs, and garlic – saute 5-10 minutes on medium heat until cooked through. Add pasta sauce and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes until combined. Add salt and crushed red pepper to taste.

marinara sauce in pot

Assemble Your Lasagna: In a large casserole dish – start assembling your lasagna. Spray the dish with olive oil spray. Layer the lasagna. Start with the zucchini slices – place them in a single layer, on the bottom of the baking dish.

zucchini slices in baking dish

Then add the ricotta mixture, then the tomato sauce / veggie mixture, and then the shredded mozzarella/parmesan cheese on top.

ricotta cheese on top of zucchini in baking dish

Repeat with another layer of zucchini noodles, ricotta cheese filling, sauce and mozzarella/parmesan.

zucchini layers in casserole dish with cheese and sauce

Bake! Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, and another 10 minutes uncovered. 

Rest and Serve: Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving, that will ensure your lasagna holds together when you’re serving it.

finished vegetarian zucchini lasagna in a white baking dish

Is Zucchini Lasagna Healthy?

Absolutely! By replacing the lasagna noodles in this dish, you are not only cutting carbs and calories, but you are also adding tons of nutrition! This recipe is:

  • High in Fiber: Each serving of this lasagna has 6 grams of heart healthy fiber. Fiber is also helpful for improving digestion and lowering blood sugar levels.
  • High in Plant Protein: You’ll get 13 grams of filling, plant based protein in each serving!
  • Packed with Vitamins and Nutrients: Zucchini is rich in Vitamins A, C, K, Folate, B6, Potassium and Magnesium.

Will Kids Enjoy This Vegetarian Lasagna?

This lasagna has become a real hit in our house, it still has all of the flavors of a traditional lasagna recipe but it packs so many more health benefits! Kids tend to love it, and often won’t notice that you’ve replaced the pasta with a vegetable! It’s a great way to sneak in extra veggies for dinner 🙂

How To Make Zucchini Lasagna Not Watery

There are 5 critical steps to ensuring you don’t end up with a soggy or watery lasagna:

  1. Remove all moisture from your zucchini noodles (see steps above)
  2. Use a part skim ricotta cheese
  3. Make sure your tomato sauce / veggie mixture isn’t watery. If it is, let it simmer on low heat in a large pan until some of the water has cooked off.
  4. Don’t forget to remove the foil and let the lasagna cook uncovered before serving
  5. Let the lasagna rest before serving!
finished vegetarian zucchini lasagna in a white baking dish

Recipe Variations

Make It Gluten Free: Surprise! This lasagna already is gluten-free! But if you wanted to make a traditional lasagna with “real” noodles, you can use gluten free lasagna noodles, or even polenta instead of regular pasta in this dish to mix things up.

Make a Vegan Lasagna: In order to make this lasagna vegan, you need to make two substitutions: 1) replace the ricotta with a tofu ricotta and 2) replace the shredded cheese with a vegan shredded cheese like vegan parmesan.

Add Meat: If you aren’t vegetarian, you can easily add some ground beef or ground turkey into this dish, or turn the marinara sauce into a bolognese sauce. If you do choose to add meat, add it right after the ricotta cheese layer when assembling.

Serving Suggestions

With Salad: A simple green salad lightens up this meal and gets you some extra veggies

With Garlic Bread: A hearty, crisp garlic bread is great for soaking up all of that lasagna flavor from any leftover sauce and toppings on your plate!

With Roasted Veggies: When the weather is colder, I like serving this lasagna with a side of roasted root veggies!

How to Store and Keep

Leftovers can be stored, an an air-tight container in the fridge, for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees or in the microwave before serving. I don’t recommend freezing this lasagna as the zucchini won’t stay as firm when defrosted and reheated.

Expert Tips for Making Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

  • Slice the zucchini around 1/8 inch – if it is too thick it can be chewy.
  • The key to having a successful end result is to make sure you remove as much moisture as possible from the zucchini before adding it to the lasagna. you can either sprinkle the slices lightly with salt and set aside to let the excess liquid drain in a colander; OR you can grill it first, and place zucchini on paper towels to soak up any excess moisture.
  • This is a great dish to use up any veggies you have in your fridge – try mushrooms, baby spinach, or even roasted butternut squash!
  • Turn it into a make ahead dish: You can cook the veggie/sauce mixture and store it in the fridge 24 hours before hand, remove the moisture from your zucchini a day before, and make the cheese mixture and store it in an airtight container the day before too! On the day of, all you have to do is assemble and bake! You can also make and assemble this recipe up to 8 hours in advance and store it in the fridge before baking. Just keep it covered in the fridge and then bake it when you are ready.
finished vegetarian zucchini lasagna in a white baking dish

More Healthy Vegetarian Italian Recipes!

If you have tried this vegetarian zucchini lasagna, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

finished vegetarian zucchini lasagna in a white baking dish
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

This gluten-free zucchini lasagna is a delicious and hearty dinner that the whole family will love!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 238kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 4 large zucchini with the middle seeds removed, sliced lengthwise into thin “lasagna” noodles about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 4 bell peppers diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp dried italian herbs
  • 28 oz pasta sauce 1 jar
  • Salt & crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese

Instructions

Prep the Zucchini Noodles

  • Cut the zucchini long and thin, just like the lasagna noodles you are replacing. Slice the zucchini lengthways into strips. I use a knife to do this, or you can use a mandolin if you have one. Ideally they should be about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Zucchini tends to have a lot of water, so before using the zucchini noodles, you can either sprinkle the slices lightly with salt and set aside to let the excess liquid drain in a colander; OR you can grill it first, and place zucchini on paper towels to soak up any excess moisture.

Make The Cheese Filling

  • Combine about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese with the ricotta in a small bowl. Mix until combined.

Assemble and Bake

  • In a large skillet, add olive oil, onion, bell peppers, Italian herbs, and garlic – saute 5-10 minutes on medium heat until cooked through. Add pasta sauce and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes until combined. Add salt and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • In a large casserole dish – start assembling your lasagna. Spray the dish with olive oil spray. Layer the lasagna. Start with the zucchini slices – place them in a single layer, on the bottom of the baking dish. Then add the ricotta mixture, then the tomato sauce / veggie mixture, and then the shredded mozzarella/parmesan cheese on top. Repeat with another layer of zucchini noodles, ricotta cheese filling, sauce and mozzarella/parmesan.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, and another 10 minutes uncovered. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving, that will ensure your lasagna holds together when you're serving it.

Notes

Expert Tips For Making Zucchini Lasagna
  • Slice the zucchini around 1/8 inch – if it is too thick it can be chewy.
  • The key to having a successful end result is to make sure you remove as much moisture as possible from the zucchini before adding it to the lasagna. you can either sprinkle the slices lightly with salt and set aside to let the excess liquid drain in a colander; OR you can grill it first, and place zucchini on paper towels to soak up any excess moisture.
  • This is a great dish to use up any veggies you have in your fridge – try mushrooms, baby spinach, or even roasted butternut squash!
  • Turn it into a make ahead dish: You can cook the veggie/sauce mixture and store it in the fridge 24 hours before hand, remove the moisture from your zucchini a day before, and make the cheese mixture and store it in an airtight container the day before too! On the day of, all you have to do is assemble and bake! You can also make and assemble this recipe up to 8 hours in advance and store it in the fridge before baking. Just keep it covered in the fridge and then bake it when you are ready.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 1046mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3635IU | Vitamin C: 136mg | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Posted In…

Italian Recipes ·

These recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthier pizza or a guilt-free pasta and enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy.

Many people think carbs and cheese when they think Italian, but there is so much more to appreciate: aromatic herbs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors shine. Many of my Italian-inspired recipes are suitable for special diets, such as vegan ratatouille or gluten-free lasagna.

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