Easy Zucchini Lasagna

Updated: Feb 28th, 2024 · By Bethany Kramer
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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 has hearty marinara, melty Italian cheeses, and lots of basil for freshness!

A white oval-shaped dish with baked zucchini lasagna in it. The dish of lasagna is sitting on a wooden background with fresh herbs and a dark gray napkin next to it.

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of anything related to 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. And that’s where this healthy zucchini recipe comes in!

Zucchini lasagna is a modern twist on regular lasagna! It’s made with layers of baked zucchini instead of pasta noodles. Between each layer are all the classics of regular lasagna that we know and love – a cheesy ricotta filling, fresh basil & oregano, and rich marinara!

It’s low-carb yet decadent and cheesy! I am so certain you and your family will love this recipe.

Ingredients Needed

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.

Ingredients for zucchini lasagna arranged on a wooden board.

Let’s Make Zucchini Lasagna – Step by Step

How to Cut Zucchini Noodles

  1. 1

    Use a mandoline slicer. The most important step in mastering zucchini lasagna is getting precise cuts for the noodles. I like to use a mandoline slicer for this, set the tool to 1/8 inch cuts and always use the guard to protect your hands!

  2. 2

    Or use a chef’s knife. Another way you can cut the zucchini into noodles is slicing the ends off, standing the zucchini upright, and using a chefs knife to eyeball 1/8 inch cuts. I would only recommend this step if you are experienced with a chef’s knife. Be very careful if you do this step.

A collage of two photos showing how to cut lasagna into noodles. The first photo is showing how to use a mandoline slicer, and the second photo is showing how to cut the lasagna noodles with a knife.

How to Make Zucchini Noodles Less Watery

  1. 3

    Salt the zucchini. In order to remove excess moisture, you have to salt the zucchini. Arrange the noodles on paper towels and lightly salt them, then let them sit for 10 minutes. Pat them dry when finished and wipe off the salt.

  2. 4

    Pre-bake the zucchini noodles. The next step to ensure the noodles are soft and not watery, is to bake them. Place the noodles on trays lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 375F. Then pat dry when they’re removed from the oven.

A collage of two photos showing steps for how to make zucchini lasagna. The first photo is a hand patting dry excess moisture from the zucchini noodles. The second photo is the zucchini noodles baked on a sheet pan.

Assemble the Lasagna

  1. 5

    Mix the ricotta filling. In a small to medium-sized bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan cheese, garlic, fresh basil, egg, and pinch of salt & black pepper.

  2. 6

    Layer the lasagna. Next, in a 13×9 baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara, and a layer of zucchini noodles.

  3. 7

    Add the ricotta and herbs. Next, spread a thin layer of ricotta and sprinkle the chopped basil and oregano over top.

A collage of three photos showing how to assemble zucchini lasagna. The first photo is a spoon in a small white bowl with ricotta cheese filling with fresh herbs. The second photo is a white oval dish with tomato sauce and zucchini noodles in it. The third photos is the same white dish with ricotta cheese spread over the zucchini noodles in it.
  1. 8

    Top with cheese and repeat. Next, add a layer of mozzarella and a little parmesan cheese. Then repeat until finished with sauce, zucchini noodles, ricotta, herbs, and cheese.

  2. 9

    Final layer and bake. Top the last layer of the lasagna with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake uncovered at 375F for 40-45 minutes, broil on HIGH for 1 minute for the cheese to brown. Then slice and serve!

A collage of two photos showing how to layer and make zucchini lasagna. The first photo is red sauce and cheese being layered in a white oval dish on a wooden background. The second photo is the same white dish completely layered with shredded cheese on top.

How to Reheat

If refrigerated or frozen, the lasagna can be easily reheated.

Preheat oven to 350F for refrigerated lasagna and reheat for around 15 minutes until warm.
For unbaked frozen lasagna, let thaw and bake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbling. 

Tips For Success

Mandoline Slicer

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.

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  • 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 chopped fresh basil and even fresh oregano. Remember, dried herbs do not give as much flavor as fresh herbs.
  • Strain the ricotta if too watery: every brand of ricotta is different, but I’ve found some have extra liquid that can contribute to a watery zucchini lasagna. To prevent this, use a fine mesh strainer to drain the extra liquid before using it in the dish.
Recipe Variations

Add meat. If you want a more filling lasagna, add ground turkey, beef, or chicken, or sweet or spicy Italian sausage (removed from casing). Side note: the meat needs to be browned in a pan before layering into the dish.

Add vegetarian protein. If you’re looking for a plant-based protein to add, you can do cooked lentils!

Use eggplant instead or in addition. As much as we love zucchini noodles, we also love using eggplant noodles too! Check out our eggplant lasagna for more info on this. You can also do a combination of both like our eggplant and zucchini lasagna

Serving Suggestions

Pasta. One of our favorite things to serve with this lasagna is pasta! Whether using gluten-free pasta made with chickpeas or our favorite whole-grain pasta. If you want to keep it low-carb, you can skip the pasta!

Protein. If you want to add a serving of protein alongside this lasagna, pair it with our 15-minute lemon chicken piccata, our secret ingredient Italian meatballs, or chicken parmesan!

Salad. Whenever we make this dish, we always serve it alongside an Italian or Mediterranean-style salad, such as our Tuscan artichoke salad, Panzanella salad, or our go-to Greek chickpea salad!

Bread. Lastly, crusty Italian bread is a lasagna’s best friend! You can do an Italian loaf, healthy grain bread, or sourdough.

A silver spatula in a oval white dish with zucchini lasagna.

Love Zucchini? Try these Recipes!

When summer comes, I am always making zucchini dishes! If you love this lasagna, you might also love our zucchini rollatini, baked parmesan zucchini fries, zucchini meatballs, or this eggplant & zucchini lasagna!

Easy Zucchini Lasagna

4.89 from 35 votes
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 has hearty marinara, melty Italian cheeses, and lots of basil for freshness!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves 9 slices

Ingredients

  • 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

Ricotta filling

  • 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)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.  
  • Salt & pre-bake zucchini noodles: arrange zucchini slices on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with salt – let sit for 5-10 minutes so zucchini "sweats" any excess moisture. Use paper towels to press and dry zucchini noodles, and wipe off any extra salt. Then bake noodles for 8-10 minutes – pat them dry after 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! 

Notes

Tips for properly cutting zucchini into noodles (two ways)
Use a mandoline slicer: mandoline slicer is a great option to get precise vegetables cut without using a chef knife.
Cut with a chef knife: If you are experienced with a chef’s knife and feel comfortable, you can slice the zucchini noodles with a sharp knife. Remove the top and bottom stems of the zucchini, stand upright and carefully slice from top to bottom into 1/4-inch thick slices. Please be very careful doing this step. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword healthy lasagna, how to make zucchini lasagna, zucchini lasagna
Freezer Friendly Yes
Author A Simple Palate

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.7g | Protein: 22.8g | Fat: 8.3g | Cholesterol: 58.2mg | Sugar: 4.1g

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Recipe Rating




103 Comments

  • Sharon Reese says:

    5 stars
    Made this the other day. It was delicious. I used hot sausage and spinach.

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      Love that you added sausage and some more veggies! Thanks so much for sharing, Sharon. So glad you enjoyed it:)

  • Nancy says:

    Can you tell me how much sodium in this recipe? Approximately

  • Tania says:

    5 stars
    I only make this recipe now its fantastic. Make sure I salt the zucchini really well to get all moisture out. I add extra basil adds more flavour. Have passed it on to my girls.

  • Robin Fox says:

    5 stars
    Amazing!

  • Christian says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. Here in Finland, zucchinis are HUGE, so it would be quite useful if you could give an approx. weight for your 4-5 zucchinis. 🙂

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      That’s incredible! I can only imagine how big they get. So happy you could use them in this recipe! Thanks, Christian 🙂

  • John says:

    Well tryed making this tonight and I put it in for said time and I’m now an extra 20 minutes over the time cause zucchini ain’t cooked don’t know what I did wrong hopefully it will be good once it does get done

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi John, I’m sorry to hear it wasn’t ready! Typically that would mean the noodles weren’t cut thin enough. If they’re thicker, they will take more time but the results should still turn out great with a little extra baking time.

  • Darin Stone says:

    2 stars
    Still watery as usual when cooking with zucchini. Very disappointing.

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      I’m sorry to hear that, Darin! It shouldn’t be watery. But to fix this, keep baking the lasagna uncovered it will continue to soak up any extra liquid.

    • Michelle says:

      5 stars
      My suggestion always with any lasagna recipe is to squeeze out as much liquid from the ricotta as well. I use quite a few paper towels for this. Added pesto for more flavour in ricotta. Also, the zucchini needs to be thin like a lasagna noodle to dry out enough as well. I try to make the lasagna the day before since it has time to set as well and reheats so nicey. Hope these hints help! Enjoy❤️

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      Thanks so much for sharing those tips, Michelle! They are super helpful – especially the ricotta since some brands can be really watery. 🙂

  • Elyssa McGregor says:

    Made this tonight, it is sooooo good! Didn’t miss the pasta! Spiced things up with some red pepper flakes. Would make this again.

  • Adrienne says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!!! First time making this and everyone loves it! Put mushrooms in it since we all love mushrooms. Going to make this again and a new family favorite.

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