This zucchini lasagna has layers of thinly sliced zucchini, creamy ricotta cheese mixture, shredded cheese, flavorful marinara sauce, and then baked to perfection. This zucchini lasagna recipe is a family favorite and perfect for feeding a crowd!
It's no secret that I'm a BIG pasta fan, especially when it includes a flavorful marinara sauce, a creamy ricotta filling and loads of cheese. But the reality is— I can't eat it everyday even though I'd like to.
Why You'll Love This Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
- Layers of flavor
- Just as cozy as regular lasagna
- Easy to make
- Done in just 40 minutes
- A recipe that the entire family will love
Tell Me About This Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
- Texture: The great thing about this recipe is that it has the same texture as regular lasagna!
- Flavor: You'll find the same comforting, classic flavors of lasagna except with zucchini noodles!
- Ease: No matter the lasagna recipe, there are a handful of steps but most is just repetitive. The most difficult— if you can even call it that— is slicing the zucchini. It's a step that is needed but you do need to be careful, especially if you're using a mandolin slicer.
- Time: From start to finish you're looking at 40 minutes. And if you don't have that time, you can prep it up to 2 days in advance!
Zucchini Lasagna Ingredients
- Zucchini: Rather than lasagna noodles, we're using thinly sliced zucchini. These easiest way to do this is by using a mandolin slicer.
- Egg: We're using 1 egg for this recipe. The eggs help bind the ingredients together while also providing structure.
- Cottage Cheese: Stick with me on this one. Even if you're not a cottage cheese fan, you will like this. The cottage cheese adds additional creaminess that ricotta cheese doesn't quite provide.
- Ricotta Cheese: The ricotta provides a creamy texture. To prevent additional moisture, you can strain the ricotta.
- Parmesan Cheese: Not only does this provide flavor but it also provide structure.
- Marinara Sauce: You can use store-bought or homemade marinara sauce. I love using homemade for the best flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Don't skimp on quality here. If you don't want to shred the cheese yourself, I highly recommend using Tillamook. It's thick cut, melts wonderfully and has the best flavor.
- Spices: We're sticking with the basics like garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano and dried parsley. Of course also salt and pepper.
Tips For A Successful Lasagna Recipe
- Zucchini Noodles: If you're familiar with zucchini noodles then you know that when cooked they release a lot of liquid. Follow the steps below on how to extract the extra water from the zucchini noodles.
- Spices: Just like lasagna noodles, zucchini noodles are very bland. It's important to add enough spices within the components of the lasagna (ricotta mixture and sauce) so that it absorbs the flavor.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles Less Watery
Follow these 3 steps to reduce the water from the zucchini noodles during the baking process. These steps begin after you have sliced the zucchini.
- Salt the Zucchini: Lay the sliced zucchini noodles on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle salt over top. You don't need much, just enough to help pull the moisture from the zucchini. For this recipe, I use about 1/2 teaspoon total. Let the salt sit for about 10 minutes.
- Dry the Zucchini: Grab paper towels and press down using your hands to absorb the released moisture. If the paper towel becomes saturated, get a new one.
- Repeat: Flip the zucchini over and repeat the steps on the other side.
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4th inch slices
- 1/2 cup full fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 (24 ounce) tomato sauce
- 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. If desired, follow the instructions in the post on removing moisture of the zucchini noodles. Meanwhile, set aside a 13x9 baking dish.
- Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, riccotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg. Stir together until combined. Stir in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano,, and dried parsley. Set aside.
- Assemble the Lasagna: Place a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan— this is key to prevent sticking. Then, place the zucchini noodles in the pan, add some of the ricotta filling, mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. Repeat until finished. On the top layer, cover with the remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes uncovered. If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is slightly browned. All the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes prior to slicing. Service with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Heat as desired.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The lasagna can made ahead of time up to 2 days in advance. Follow the steps through step 3 then cover and store in the refrigerator. The day of, follow the baking instructions. A pre-baked lasagna can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The bake time will increase to 1 hour. Cover with foil and at the 40 minute mark remove.
- Ricotta Cheese: For the best results, use whole milk ricotta for creaminess. Though any type would work.
- Cottage Cheese: Like the ricotta, using whole milk works best.