Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS – I can’t be the only one who gets frustrated with lasagna. It’s a Sunday family favorite that tastes delicious, but between the time it takes to prepare and how unhealthy it can be, it’s often not worth the effort! Thankfully, compared to traditional lasagna, this zucchini lasagna recipe cuts down on time … and carbs.
First, going back to the classic recipe, there’s the boiling of pasta noodles to just the right doneness so they don’t overcook in the oven. Meanwhile, you’re preparing the filling, layering the pasta sheets and meat sauce just so, and then baking.
And even though it’s delicious (meat and cheese is always a winning combination), with all of the heavy carbs, plain old beef and copious amounts of cheese, you’re probably not feeling too great afterward. Is it any wonder that lasagna is a love-to-hate meal?
That’s why it’s time to replace your normal lasagna recipe with this healthy, low-carb zucchini lasagna. It has all the flavors you love in a guilt-free dish, and it’s sure to become a new family favorite.
Zucchini: A Versatile Wheat Replacement
You’ve likely heard of zucchini as a low-carb replacement. Zoodles, or zucchini noodles, have been all the rage recently, and there’s good reason for that.
Zucchini is one of the most versatile veggies to use in lieu of heavy carbohydrates. It’s delicious grilled or sliced, baked or fried.
The green veggie has a really mild taste that’s excellent for taking a backseat in dishes with flavorful sauces — like this low-carb lasagna.
Because it’s easy to work with, zucchini is also an excellent alternative for replacing wheat in your favorite dishes. These zucchini tortillas make a Tex-Mex feast nice and light instead of giving you burrito belly, and you won’t even miss pizza crust when you load up all the toppings into this zucchini pizza boat.
This can be extremely helpful if you’re eating low-carb or are gluten-free. You can enjoy all of your favorite recipes without sacrificing flavor.
Best of all, unlike pricey specialty flours or obscure vegetables, zucchini is readily available throughout the country. In fact, you might even have some growing in your backyard right now!
One of the major reasons people avoid lasagna or don’t enjoy it as much as they’d like is that it can really increase your calorie intake without adding much nutritional value. Luckily, this zucchini lasagna recipe tastes as good as it is for you!
- 715 calories
- 10 grams carbohydrates
- 47 grams protein
- 55 grams fat
- 3.2 grams fiber
- 1,989 international units vitamin A (85 percent DV)
- 325 milligrams phosphorus (46 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligrams riboflavin (45 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams copper (44 percent DV)
- 419 milligrams calcium (42 percent DV)
- 6 milligrams iron (34 percent DV)
- 21 milligrams vitamin C (28 percent DV)
- 25 micrograms vitamin K (28 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams manganese (22 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams vitamin B6 (15 percent DV)
- 43 milligrams magnesium (14 percent DV)
- 1.9 milligrams vitamin E (13 percent DV)
- 1 milligram zinc (13 percent DV)
- 1.7 milligrams niacin (12 percent DV)
- 0.12 milligrams thiamine (10 percent DV)
- 370 milligrams potassium (8 percent DV)
- 32 micrograms folate (8 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams pantothenic acid (7 percent DV)
This zucchini recipe really packs a punch! As you can see, zucchini is rich in B vitamins, which you’ll reap the benefits of with this healthy lasagna. B vitamins keep your metabolism running smoothly and are important for maintaining a positive mood and keeping your brain in tip-top shape.
Zucchini is also an anti-inflammatory food and is good for your heart thanks to its ability to lower cholesterol naturally. This is one seriously good-for-you vegetable.
The other ingredients in this gluten-free lasagna are an upgrade from your usual recipe, too. We use grass-fed beef, which has been proven to have more nutrients, like vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, than the factory-farmed stuff. It’s also more likely to be free from hormones and antibiotics — bonus points if you can get grass-fed organic beef!
Instead of using jarred tomato sauce, which often has a lot of added sugar, we make an easy tomato sauce using pantry ingredients. And because cheese is one of the best parts of lasagna, we haven’t skipped it!
We opt for your favorite raw cheese here. It’s high in protein and, because it’s raw, is often tolerated by people with dairy sensitivities. Yum!
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
But enough about how good this healthy lasagna is for you. Let’s get cooking!
Start by preheating the oven to 350 F. While that warms up, add the olive oil to a large pot and sauté the onions and garlic for 3 minutes.
Then, add the ground beef to the pot and cook until it’s browned, then add in all the dry ingredients. When those are well combined, add in the tomato paste and the diced tomatoes and stir.
Of course, if you are a vegetarian, you can skip the beef to make this a zucchini lasagna no meat recipe.
Now it’s time to layer up! Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then place a layer of sliced zucchini down.
Ladle on a thick layer of the meat mixture, then top with the sliced olives.
Top the meat and olive layer with another layer of sliced zucchini, and then top with a final layer of the meat mix and sliced olives. It’s cheese time! Finish off the zucchini lasagna with the raw cheese.
Bake this gluten-free lasagna for 30 minutes, ensuring the cheese is browned and bubbly.
You are going to love this zucchini lasagna!