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Indulge in Summer Bliss with this Cheesy Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

Are you a fan of the classic, saucy, and cheesy goodness of lasagna?

If so, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with a unique twist that’s perfect for the summertime. Imagine a dish that’s as satisfying as a hearty lasagna while also incorporating the freshness of zucchini.

This zucchini lasagna recipe is designed to tantalize your taste buds with its layers of flavor and textures.

Plus, I’ve got a valuable tip up my sleeve that will ensure your zucchini layers remain perfectly firm and not overly watery.

Get ready to embrace the deliciousness and let’s dive into the world of zucchini lasagna!


How to Make Irresistible Zucchini Lasagna

Step 1: Preparing the Zucchini

To kick off this culinary journey, gather around two pounds of zucchini, which typically equates to four to five medium-large zucchinis. If you happen to have an abundant zucchini harvest from your own garden, this recipe offers a fantastic way to utilize those slightly oversized ones. However, it’s advisable not to use zucchinis much larger than the size demonstrated in the accompanying video. Begin by trimming the ends of the zucchinis and, if they’re on the larger side, consider cutting them in half.

Now, the key to achieving the perfect zucchini layers lies in precision. Utilize a mandolin slicer to create strips that are approximately 1/4 inch thick. This tool ensures uniformity and efficiency. But beware, mandolins come with sharp blades, so safeguard your fingers with a protective glove. Once you’ve obtained the slices, arrange them on a baking sheet, ready for seasoning.

Spritz the zucchini slices with cooking spray or lightly brush them with olive oil. This step serves two purposes: it enhances the adherence of seasoning and aids in preventing excessive water content in the final dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, knowing that the salt will play a crucial role in drawing out excess moisture from the zucchini. Flip the slices and repeat the oil and seasoning process on the other side.

Step 2: Grilling the Zucchini

With your zucchini slices prepped and seasoned, it’s time to introduce some heat. If you’re using an indoor cooking method, a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat is an excellent choice. However, an outdoor grill can be equally effective. Grill each side of the zucchini slices for a mere two minutes. This rapid cooking not only preserves their crispiness but also imparts an appealing seared flavor.


The pre-cooking of the zucchini holds immense value. Apart from adding flavor, it significantly reduces the water content, ensuring your zucchini lasagna doesn’t end up overly soggy. After grilling, transfer the slices to a platter and allow them to cool slightly. To expedite the process, consider utilizing two skillets if you’re using an indoor method.

Step 3: Crafting the Meat Sauce

Before assembling the layers of your zucchini lasagna, let’s construct a rich and flavorful meat sauce. Commence by finely chopping a medium onion, using half of a generously sized onion. As a pro tip, handle basil delicately to prevent bruising. Stack basil leaves, roll them into a log, and then finely slice them. This herbaceous touch will contribute to the aromatic charm of your final dish.

In a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add ground beef. Saute the beef until it’s browned, approximately five minutes, and drain any excess fat if needed. Introduce the chopped onions, saute for an additional five minutes until softened, and then add the minced garlic for that enticing aroma. Incorporate pasta sauce, half of the freshly chopped basil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer this mixture to allow flavors to meld, occasionally stirring for about 10 minutes.

Step 4: Building the Cheese Sauce

Get ready to craft the cheesy heart of your zucchini lasagna. In a sizable mixing bowl, combine 15 ounces of ricotta cheese, a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, a large egg, a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, and the remaining chopped basil. Season this delectable mixture with salt and stir until well blended.

Step 5: Assembling the Lasagna

The moment has arrived to layer your zucchini lasagna into a harmonious symphony of flavors. Begin by placing approximately 1/2 cup of meat sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish. This not only prevents sticking but also imparts a meaty foundation. Next, lay out the first layer of zucchini slices in a single layer.

Following the methodology of classic lasagna, spread one-third of the meat sauce over the zucchini, ensuring even distribution. Sprinkle a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese over the meat sauce, introducing an irresistible melty factor. Now comes the indulgent cheese sauce. Gently spoon half of it over the cheese layer, smoothing it out.

Repeat this sequence, alternating between zucchini, meat sauce, cheese, and cheese sauce, until your layers are complete. End with a final layer of zucchini, topped with the remaining meat sauce. To elevate the visual and taste appeal, shower the top with the final cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Step 6: Baking to Perfection

Now that your zucchini lasagna is meticulously assembled, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake in a preheated 375°F oven. After 40 to 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil and broil for three to four minutes, allowing the cheese to turn a luscious golden hue. But keep an attentive eye to prevent burning.

Allow your masterpiece to rest for around 15 minutes before slicing. This brief interlude helps set the lasagna, making it easier to serve.

Tips and Variations

  • Veggie Extravaganza: Feel free to experiment with additional vegetables in your zucchini lasagna. Layers of sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or even roasted red peppers can introduce delightful variations.
  • Savory Substitutes: For a vegetarian twist, swap the ground beef with plant-based protein sources such as textured vegetable protein (TVP) or lentils cooked with Italian seasoning.
  • Sauce Splendor: If you’re a fan of tangy flavors, incorporate a layer of béchamel sauce alongside the meat sauce for a creamy contrast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I prepare this dish in advance and refrigerate it before baking? A: Absolutely! You can assemble the lasagna, cover it tightly, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. This is a fantastic option for busy schedules or entertaining.

Q: Can I freeze leftover zucchini lasagna? A: Certainly! Slice the lasagna into portions and wrap them well before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Is it necessary to pre-cook the zucchini? A: Pre-cooking the zucchini is highly recommended. Not only does it prevent excess moisture, but it also imparts flavor and texture to the final dish.

Kitchen Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Mandolin slicer (or vegetable peeler/knife)
  • Baking sheet
  • Cast-iron grill pan or outdoor grill
  • Large pot or deep skillet
  • Mixing bowls
  • 9×13 casserole dish
  • Foil
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Zucchini Lasagna Casserole

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  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


Irresistibly cheesy and saucy zucchini lasagna with layers of grilled zucchini, rich meat sauce, and creamy cheese sauce.



2 pounds zucchini (approximately 45 medium-large zucchinis)

Cooking spray or olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups pasta sauce

Handful of fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

15 ounces ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 large egg


  1. Prepare the zucchini:
    • Trim the ends of the zucchinis and cut in half if large.
    • Use a mandolin slicer to create 1/4-inch thick strips.
    • Arrange on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
    • Grill the zucchini slices for 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and let cool.
  2. Make the meat sauce:
    • In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
    • Add ground beef and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a spatula.
    • Drain excess fat if needed.
    • Add chopped onions and sauté for 5 more minutes until softened.
    • Stir in minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
    • Add pasta sauce, half of the chopped basil, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Create the cheese sauce:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, and egg.
    • Season with salt and stir until well blended.
  4. Assemble the lasagna:
    • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Spread 1/2 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.
    • Layer zucchini slices on top.
    • Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce over the zucchini.
    • Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
    • Spoon half of the cheese sauce over the cheese layer.
    • Repeat the layering process, ending with a layer of zucchini.
  5. Bake the lasagna:
    • Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.
    • Remove the foil and broil for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
    • Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serve the zucchini lasagna garnished with fresh basil. Enjoy the saucy, cheesy, and satisfying flavors!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 320
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 720mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Cholesterol: 105mg

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