As I mentioned Monday, I had a rather rude awakening by the scale recently, and as such it’s been time to make some better decisions. And the best decision that I made this week was making this zucchini lasagna.
I can’t take credit for inventing this work of beauty, but I can take credit for making a delicious version that seriously rocked my world. Seriously. The best part was that after a very generous helping, I wasn’t clutching my stomach and moaning whhhyyyy? the way I normally do when I pig out on lasagna.
You can play around with this recipe and use whatever type of sauce or fillings you like. Vegetarian? This would be great with tons of spinach. Hate mushrooms but love Ricotta? Ignore me and make it your way. The most important thing is that you have plenty of thinly sliced zucchini on hand and that you soak up the moisture by cooking it lightly at first.
Sorry, I was too busy trying to shovel this into my mouth to make this shot look sexy.
The first thing you need is about 2 medium to large zucchini, thinly sliced. You really should use a mandolin slicer for this, and be careful not to nick your thumb like I did.
Zucchini has a lot of moisture to it, so lightly grill the slices in a grill pan or your bbq. You don’t need to cook them for long; just until they are a little more tender. You could pat them dry and allow them to sit for a couple of hours sandwiched between paper towels, which is what I actually did, but it’s faster just to grill them.
Also, preheat your oven now to 375.
Now for your sauce. Here’s what I use for mine:
- 1 lb of the leanest ground turkey you can find.
- 1/2 of a medium white onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms (totally optional)
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried fennel
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil (dried can work)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper
First you brown your turkey, drain, and set aside on a plate. Then brown your onion, garlic, and mushrooms until tender, and return the ground beef to the mixture. This is where I season it up with salt & pepper, fennel, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Add your tomatoes, sprinkle in the basil, and let it boil for a few minutes. The zucchini is still going to water down the lasagna a little, so reducing the sauce until it’s good and thick definitely helps.
Now for layering. Here’s how I like mine:
First a layer of zucchini, sprinkled with shredded mozzarella.
Then I layer on the sauce, and here’s where it gets crazy: I top the sauce with small spoonfuls of goat cheese. I hate to say this, but I don’t really like Ricotta cheese, and I especially don’t like most mixtures in lasagna, you know where it’s all thickened up with egg and Parmesan. I find that just a tiny bit of goat cheese adds more exciting flavor, and makes the lasagna less heavy.
So after that, layer again with zucchini, cheese, sauce, goat cheese, and keep going if you have the room. Then top it all off with mozzarella for a nice gooey topping.
Cover it with foil, and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about 10 minutes more, and then let this bubbling pan of amazingness cool for a few minutes before tearing in to it.
Honestly, I think I like this better than plain ol’ carby lasagna, and I love love love carbs (sad face). This is great for any gluten-free friends too!
Linking up with Treat Yo’self Thursday