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Lightened-Up Family Favorite: Cheesy Zucchini Lasagna

You’re talking to one of the biggest pasta lovers out there, so trust us when we say that this pasta-free lasagna actually hits the spot! Pasta makes up approximately 90% of our diet (give or take a little), so it’s important for us to rein it in every once in a while and make sure we get our fair share of veggies. This lasagna uses zucchini as the noodles, which adds some subtle flavor and allows the cheese and sauce to really shine.

If you’re looking for a dish that’s better for you while maintaining it’s traditional amazing flavor, look no further! This lasagna is a winner and, once you try it, you’ll find yourself wanting to make it more and more!

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Zucchini Lasagna

Serves 8-10


  • 4 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, grill zucchini until browned and cooked through on both sides. 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside.
  3. Place ground beef in a large skillet, season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until browned.
  4. Drain fat and set beef aside, then add olive oil to pan and saute onion for 8 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. During the last 1-2 minutes, add minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  6. Return 1/2 meat to pan and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  9. In a large bowl, mix together mozzarella and cottage cheese.
  10. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/4 cup sauce into a large baking dish. Lay 1/3 grilled zucchini slices onto the bottom of dish and top with 1/2 sauce, then top with 1/2 parmesan cheese and 1/3 mozzarella mixture.
  11. Repeat with second layer: 1/3 zucchini, remaining sauce, remaining parmesan and 1/3 mozzarella mixture.
  12. Top everything with remaining zucchini and reserved browned meat, then spread remaining mozzarella and cottage cheese over it all.
  13. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10-12, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Oh, Sweet Basil

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