Using thinly sliced zucchini in place of noodles is a great way to reduce the carbs and amp up the nutrition in lasagna. But you really have to get as much excess moisture out of the zucchini as possible, so that you don’t end up with a soupy mess. The dry heat of a grill is a perfect way to pre-cook the zucchini so that your lasagna won’t be too watery. You could also roast the slices in the oven on wire racks to let the moisture escape as much as possible.
- 3 large zucchini, about 12 ounces each
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup full-fat ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella
- Preheat grill to medium (temperature should only be about 300 to 350F). Cut each zucchini in half crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices (it’s okay if they are a little uneven).
- Grill zucchini slices until they are tender and much of the moisture has been removed, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside on layers of paper towels to continue drying out. Alternatively, roast zucchini at 350F in the oven on wire baking racks for about 20 minutes.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook through, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Turn heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, ricotta, parmesan, basil, egg, garlic and salt. Stir to combine well.
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Lay 1/3 of the zucchini slices across the bottom in a single layer. Spread with 1/3 of cream cheese/ricotta mixture, then 1/3 of meat sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat these layers 2 more times.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, until bubbling. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or so, until cheese on top is beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.