Easy Zucchini Lasagna
Learn how to make this lower-carb zucchini lasagna! Every bite has the flavors of a classic lasagne but with vegetable noodles instead of pasta. Each layer is rich in garlicky flavor, melted Italian cheeses, and lots of basil for freshness!
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of anything that has to do with pasta, luscious red sauce, and melty cheese. I’m obsessed with Italian food, but I try to keep it balanced because Italian cuisine tends to be higher in carbs.
This week we enjoyed this delicious and savory lasagna made with zucchini noodles. Yes, I said zucchini. As in, no pasta noodles – just layers of sliced veggies, fresh basil, rich tomato sauce, and a blend of three Italian cheeses!
It’s lower in carbs but still includes all the things we love about lasagna. This recipe is soo delicious and satisfying that I promise you won’t even miss using pasta noodles!
You’ll need just a handful of Italian cheeses, fresh produce, and fresh herbs to make this recipe. Here’s the full list: Zucchini (yellow or green), Parmigiano Reggiano (fresh parmesan), mozzarella (low moisture), ricotta, garlic cloves, egg, fresh basil, fresh oregano, and marinara sauce.
Let’s Make Zucchini Lasagna – step by step
How to Make Zucchini Noodles Less Watery (3 steps)
- Thinly slice zucchini: Use a mandoline slicer, or vegetable peeler, or carefully use a chef knife to slice zucchini into 1/8-inch thick slices. Thicker cuts will have more moisture and be difficult to dry out completely.
- Sweat noodles: Lay noodles on paper towels and salt on both sides. Let the excess moisture “sweat” for 10 minutes, then pat dry.
- Pre-bake zucchini noodles: the final step is pre-baking the noodles before layering them. Lay them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 375F. Dry any excess moisture with paper towels after baking.
Mix together ricotta filling ingredients in a bowl.
Then in the baking dish layer lasagna: a thin layer of marinara sauce, zucchini noodles, a thin layer of ricotta filling, marinara, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and fresh basil & fresh oregano. Repeat until finished.
- Top lasagna with sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 375F for 40-45 minutes then broil for 1-2 minutes to brown cheese.
How to Reheat
If refrigerated or frozen, the lasagna can be easily reheated.
For refrigerated lasagna: preheat oven to 350F and reheat for around 15 minutes until warm.
For frozen lasagna that is unbaked: let thaw and bake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbling.
Tips For Success
Slice Vegetables Like a Pro
I love using this mandoline slicer to get consistent cuts of zucchini for this recipe – it makes my life so much easier! It's a safe and efficient way to slice all types of vegetables. A must-have for your kitchen.
- Slice zucchini noodles: Use a mandoline slicer to get precise, thin noodle cuts with the zucchini. If you are experienced with a chef’s knife and feel comfortable, you can slice the zucchini noodles with a knife. Please be very careful doing this step.
- Use our favorite marinara (homemade or store-bought): For this recipe, you can use my family’s San Marzano Tomato Sauce or my family’s favorite store-bought marinara!
- Tips for fresh flavor: I think fresh herbs make all the difference! I love layering lasagna with lots of chopped fresh basil and even fresh oregano too. Keep in mind, dried herbs do not give as much flavor as fresh herbs.
- Don’t love ricotta? Ricotta can be a bit heavy and I know not everyone loves it. You can completely remove the ricotta filling from this recipe and layer with parmesan, mozzarella, marinara, and lots of fresh basil. It tastes just as delicious and is a little less heavy!
- Add protein – if you’d like to add a protein to this dish you can used cooked ground chicken, turkey, or ground beef. For a vegetarian option you can use cooked lentils. Layer the protein of choice in with each layer and bake with the dish!
We love serving this healthy lasagna with some chickpea pasta or gluten-free pasta noodles! If you’re looking for a veggie-forward side dish, you can also pair it with this Italian salad or our Tuscan artichoke salad. And a side of crusty french bread or sourdough for sauce dipping is always a must!
More Delicious Italian Recipes to Make
- The BEST Vegetable Lasagna (no ricotta)
- Roasted Eggplant Pasta
- Authentic Italian Chicken Parmesan
- Cheesy Rotini Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
- Baked Eggplant Rollatini
If you tried this Easy Zucchini Lasagna recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.
Easy Zucchini Lasagna
Learn how to make this lower carb zucchini lasagna! Every bite has the flavors of a classic lasagne but with vegetable noodles instead of pasta. Each layer is rich in garlicky flavor, melted Italian cheeses, and lots of basil for freshness!
- 4-5 medium-large zucchinis, sliced thin (1/8-inch cuts)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cups mozzarella, shredded
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (drained of liquids)
- 1/4 cups parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (for dried basil use 2 Tablespoons)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Salt & pre-bake zucchini noodles: arrange zucchini slices on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with course sea salt – let sit for 5-10 minutes so zucchini "sweats" any excess moisture. Use paper towels to press and dry zucchini noodles. Then bake noodles for 8-10 minutes – pat them dry when finished baking. Note: pre-baking the zucchini will help dry up even more moisture from the noodles.
Ricotta filling: in a medium-sized bowl, mix all of ricotta filling ingredients together.
Layer ingredients: In a 13×9 baking dish, layer lasagna: spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish, add layer of cooked zucchini noodles, thin layer of ricotta filling, and mozzarella cheese & little parmesan, and generous sprinkle of freshly cut oregano & basil. Repeat each step until finished. On top layer with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
Bake: Leave dish uncovered and bake for 40-45 minutes, then broil on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is browned. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil. Slice and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Share your photos and tag @asimplepalate #asimplepalate.
Hey Bethany, I’m getting ready to make this recipe for my small group at church. How would I change the recipe up to add ground beef? I know the question is crazy, but I’m a recipe follower and not that great at winging it. Thanks!
Hi Debbie! Hope i’m getting back to you in time:) I would brown the ground beef in a pan until cooked, then layer it in with the ingredients! I hope that helps, and hope you enjoy the recipe!
If already cooked can I freeze the rest for later?
yes you can! Should work totally fine 🙂
Very good recipe, I added ground beef. The only negative I have is I found it salty, probably from salt on zucchini before
Hi Jane, so glad it worked out! The saltiness is definitely from the salting the zucchini. I would make sure next time its only a little salt, and that its wiped completely off. Sorry about that!
Can you also use sliced yellow squash and zucchini? What about using cottage cheese in place of the ricotta?
Hi Kasey, you can certainly use yellow zucchini! And of course – use cottage cheese if you like instead of ricotta! 🙂
I added some cooked Italian sausage to this recipe and substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta, because I already had it. The flavor of this dish was amazing plus it doesn’t leave the heaviness in my tummy like pasta sometimes does. This ones a keeper.
I made this with Feta and Mozzarella. If you do not want the moisture it is very important not to skip the salting and pre-baking of the zucchini to remove the natural moisture. Killer flavor and gets better as it sits in the fridge.
Hi Bethany, greetings from Prague! Thank you so much for this recipe. I have 3 zucchini plants in the garden and they grow and grow and grow. I made a zucchini bread, zucchini schnitzels, pasta sauce, pesto and probably all other zucchini recipes but your recipe was just the best. It was super delicious, I will definitely make it again. Have a lovely summer.
This zucchini lasagna was delicious. I followed the recipe but let the zucchini sweat 1 hour, and baked the zucchini 10 minutes….I baked the lasagna for 1 hour and let it rest 1 hour before serving.
I’m so happy to hear you liked it. Thanks for sharing, Mary!
I just made this. Salting and baking the zucchini is key, as the recipe suggests. I actually set the zucchini out a little longer to keep sweating out that water. I have diabetes in the family and am trying to eliminate more high-glycemic carbs from my diet. I’m also a vegetarian, so this is a terrific option. (Sidebar: I added a little gorgonzola on top. If you’re into stinky cheeses, it’s divine!)
Absolutely delicious and my entire family loved it. Even my Skeptic totally meat-eating husband had two helpings!!! I used two different sauces. On the bottom I put a spicy marinara and then topped with regular marinara to add an extra kick.
Yay! Always a win when it’s husband approved 😉 Thank you, Tara! Thrilled to hear it.
This was soo good! I made my own meaty marinara sauce with 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork, a 28-oz can of whole San marzanos, some onion, garlic and fresh basil. Aside from that, followed the recipe almost to a t. I only needed 2 zucchinis, and didn’t broil it cause it was already browning on top. That was the only other deviation from the recipe. My family was really impressed. Even my picky husband and 5 year old loved it!
This came out good! Glad I soaked up as much liquid as possible from the zucchini before and after pre-baking. The herbs added a lot.
well, just placed in the oven. I did pre bake and waiting on results.
Had some mushrooms that needed to be use so sautéed them and added some sliced roasted potatoes, may as well as use what’s in the fridg; makes me feel good 🙂 Did not use the ricotta cheese as thought it was to be too heavy like the recipe suggested
So glad you were able to make some adjustments! I make my veggie lasagna and regular lasagna without ricotta nowadays and love it 🙂
I make a version much like this – I saute my zucchini after salting, but before putting in the pan to bake. I’ve never had watery zucchini (but this is very time consuming). I’m going to try baking it first. Just curious. Have you ever tried baking the noodles, then freezing (after sweating them of course). It would speed up making the meal ….
Hi Mel, I’ve not tried freezing them after baking but you certainly can try that! Let me know if you do. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
This recipe is excellent! I made it with our own garden produce and the fresh flavors just popped. Did not miss pasta at all. One thing I did add was mushrooms which I think helped to carry the flavors.
Thanks so much, Laura! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. 🙂
This was absolutely delicious! I halfed the recipe ( only two of us) and added ground beef to my homemade marinara. I subbed cottage cheese for ricotta because I had that on hand. The flavors were devine!
Thank you so much, Jodi! That sounds so delicious. Really glad the cottage cheese was a successful swap. 🙂
First, we liked this. We aren’t zucchini fans, so when they showed up in our produce box last week, I began my search to disguise them. This did that very well. A couple things I did differently…I don’t have a mandolin and chose t slice by hand. I did NOT slice vertically, though. I sliced one side off and then put the flat side down on the cutting board and sliced the rest. I also opted to mix my fresh herbs into the ricotta mixture instead of using them as a separate layer. Should I receive zucchini again, this will be a contender.
Thanks so much Kristen! I’m glad the slicing could work out the other way. AND that you guys could enjoy zucchini despite not being fans of it! 🙂
This is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC and DELICIOUS!!! I’ve made this twice now, and I can’t get enough of it! I use Rao’s jar marinara sauce, and that truly adds to the flavor. It tastes just like regular lasagna, minus the carbs.
It’s a bit time consuming to prep, but oh-so-worth it in the end…😊Thanks for a fabulous recipe, it’s a keeper!!!!
Thanks so much Dawn! I’m so happy to hear it. 🙂
I made this tonight for dinner. It was DELICIOUS! I did make a couple of amendments. First, I added a huge pack of sliced mushrooms I got at Sam’s Club by cooking them and then adding a mushroom layer after each parmesan cheese layer. I ended up with three layers of mushrooms (the last layer being on top). The second thing that I did differently was used Great Value (Walmart brand) tomato, garlic, and basil pasta sauce because I didn’t have any tomato sauce on hand. It was so filling and I am definitely added this to my low-carb, but not keto meal plan.
Thank you so much, Autumn! I love the added mushrooms. I will have to try that myself! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this recipe!
Have this baking in my oven right now and it smells amazing! Hope it tastes just as good. We started limiting our carb intake recently since my husband has diabetes and we just want to be healthier. Thanks for sharing your recipe, can’t wait to try it ! 🙂
So happy to hear it Heidi! I hope you all enjoyed it 🙂
Fantastic! My family was very skeptical, but it tastes so good they could resist seconds.
Super happy to hear it! Thank you Tiffany 🙂
Was delicious exactly according to directions
woop! Thanks so much Joanne!
Wow! Made this tonight and it was better than lasagna!
So glad to hear it! Thank you, Amanda 🙂
Made this with veggie magic steamed zucchini! Amazing! Just let the zucchini strain until dry!
So happy to hear it!
Try putting the zucchini in the oven for a bit first to dry it out
Absolutely amazing and low carb on top of that.
Absolutely the best lasagna, I have ever made, I would give it 10 stars if I could. Thanks for the recipe.
So awesome! Thank you, Thomas 🙂 Really glad you enjoyed it.
I’m so sorry to hear that. Zucchini’s have lots of moisture, so they can be tricky. Even my lasagna’s vary in excess moisture, but I work with it. You can also bake them for 10 minutes after salting and patting dry to really make them work!
Delicious! I used chicken sausage which added a lot of flavor.
Absolutely delicious and a keeper. I changed it a bit according to what I had, so I used cream cheese instead of ricotta and also added meat, onions and garlic to the tomato sauce. Thank you.
So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Great an delicious recepie
Thank you, sara!
Yum!! My boyfriend and I both thought this dish was delicious! Salted the zucchini leaving it to sit for about an hour before squeezing as much liquid out best I could, found I didn’t have too much of an issue with liquid especially after leaving it to sit for about 10 mins before serving. Added steamed sliced pumpkin as an additional layer, great addition of flavour. The fresh basil is a must! Thanks for a great recipe, will definitely make again.
This was delicious! I added ground turkey to the sauce.
I am making this for the third time tonight. I follow the recipe exactly and add ground turkey. It turns out amazing and everyone loves it. Thanks for a great recipe!
I made this last night. It came out really watery. I took as much moisture out of the zucchini as I could get. However, the flavor was great! I will make it and try draining the ricotta to see if that helps as far as it being watery…Thanks so much for the recipe!
Great idea with draining the ricotta! I will have to try that as well 🙂 Thanks sue!
Sue, mine came out a little watery but I took some paper towel and soaked it up and then after chilling leftovers I cut into serving sizes and froze them so when I want it I just have to thaw it out and I usually microwave it.
I used no salt crush tomatoes and Turkey sausage fowlled rest of recipe ver good Not watery at all you must bake zucchini in strips first
Well I don’t have any eggs at the moment. is there anything I could sub?
The egg is just the binder, feel free to try it without it! 🙂 The ricotta may be a little harder to spread but it shouldn’t make a huge difference.
Ok I made this for my mother in laws birthday. I did it my way along with the recipe. I used half noodles half zucchini. I made the sauce like was stated adding half hamburger half Italian sausage. It was such a huge huge hit, I have been requested to make it again. Thank you.
I love incorporating some real noodles as well! So happy it worked out 🙂
This is so good!! We loved it. The recipe is simple, easy to follow, and a guaranteed hit.
Thank you, Wendy! Super happy to hear you loved it 🙂
Made it tonight! It was so good, I didn’t miss the taste of meat at all.
So happy to hear!
Can you make ahead and bake later.
I haven’t ever made it ahead. You can certainly try! I would make sure to absorb as much moisture as possible from the zucchini before prepping it.
Absolutely; flavor and shape is maintained.
Do you cook the Zucchini first before slicing?
No, you slice it raw 🙂
Going to make this tonight but going to add eggplant as well. Eating the next day always is the best. I’ll let you all know how it coms out.
Wow! What a surprise. Thank u sooo much! I have never gotten a response before…..I will make this for sure.
Hi I haven’t made this but I have a question. When you salt the zucchini and leave it for 10 minutes, do you just pat it dry and let the salt stay on the zucchini slices? Wouldn’t that make the dish overly salty?
You’ll only need to sprinkle a little salt over – and yes, by pressing the moisture out you absorb quite a bit of the salt. Results shouldn’t be salty 🙂
This recipe for zucchini lasagne is so yummy…a few notes for the next time I make it is to be sure to use a mandolin to slice the zucchini because some of my slices were a little on thicker side and needed more than 40 minutes to bake. I also would be sure to remove as much moisture from the zucchini’s prior because they do release a lot of moisture into the dish while baking. I also used a blend of Parmesan cheese and mozzarella which worked really well! Definitely would make again! Makes a great side dish if you’re vegetarian based or for your next gathering!
Awww so glad you liked it! And agreed. The sizing of zucchini thickness matters to help moisture release properly. 🙂 Thanks so much for your feedback!
This was so delicious!! Thank you!
yay! Thank YOU.
I just started cooking with Zucchini, this month. I love this receipe! It’s my “goto dish”, anytime! I have made it twice. Once with turkey meat and once without it. Both dishes were delicious! I do have pictures. How do I share them.
But, I am still not sure how to season the Zucchini. So, thank you.
I made this for dinner last night. It was really good. No water from zucchini which was great. A little time consuming but with practice it might go faster.