Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
Ground turkey and sweet, tender zucchini go hand-in-hand in this tasty lasagna which features all the layers you love, but in a lighter, pasta-less version. That’s right, this is a low-carb lasagna where zucchini takes the place of the noodles, and is it ever delicious!
I love lasagna, but my waist isn’t so fond of it. I love the medley of flavors, all the ooey gooey cheese, and sharing it with family and friends around the table. Regular lasagna is made with ground beef and pasta sheets, and while delicious, it’s heavy and loaded with fat, carbs and calories.
Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
This Turkey Zucchini Lasagna has all the amazing lasagna flavors you love, but it’s lightened up by using strips of zucchini in place of the pasta and ground turkey instead of beef. You can even trim a few more calories by using low-fat cheeses, but that’s up to you.
Lasagna is always a labor of love, but with this version, you’re saving time, too, because you don’t need to boil the lasagna sheets. Just grab a mandolin to make quick work of the zucchini and start layering. Before long, you’ll be feasting on a delicious casserole!
Why I love this recipe
- It’s lower in fat and calories compared to regular lasagna, but it is packed with flavor!
- You can assemble it a day in advance and then just bake it before serving.
- This is a hearty meal that’s perfect for sharing or enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
Gather these ingredients
- Zucchini – You’ll need about 3 medium zucchini or around 3 pounds.
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Ground turkey
- Sweet onion – Diced.
- Garlic – Fresh cloves; minced.
- Tomato paste
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
- Jarred marinara sauce – I like Delallo’s low or no-salt-added sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese – Shredded.
- Parmesan chees – Grated.
- Ricotta cheese
- Cottage cheese
How to make the best Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
- Preheat your oven to 375-F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Use a mandolin to slice the zucchini ¼-inch thick, then lay them on baking sheets and lightly salt them. Let them sit for 10 minutes, then blot up the moisture with paper towels.
- Bake the zucchini in a 375-F oven for about 20 minutes or until the zucchini strips feel dry and have started to brown around the edges. Set them aside when done.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil, the ground turkey, and the salt and pepper. Cook the turkey, breaking it into small pieces with a spatula as it cooks. Remove any fat or residual liquid from the pan.
- Add the onions, garlic, tomato paste, dried basil and dried oregano to the turkey and saute until the onions are translucent. About 3 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and simmer over low heat for another 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the ricotta, cottage cheese, egg, dried basil and dried oregano in a small bowl until well combined.
To assemble the lasagna:
- Pour about ½ cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add a layer of zucchini strips, then top the strips with about ⅓ of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle ⅓ the mozzarella and ⅓ of the Parmesan.. Add a bit more sauce to the top of the cheese and gently spread it around.
- Add another layer of zucchini but lay them down in the opposite direction as the first layer. Repeat the sauce, cheese, and sauce, and then add another layer of zucchini and the remaining sauce and cheese in the final layer. You should end with mozzarella as the top layer.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375-F for about 30 minutes, then uncover it and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the lasagna is hot and bubbling.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
- Top with fresh basil (optional) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!
Tips & substitutions
- You can prepare and assemble the lasagna a day ahead of time, then refrigerate it until ready to bake. You’ll need to add about 20-30 minutes to the baking time if the lasagna is fridge-cold when you put it in the oven.
- For a colorful lasagna, use half zucchini and half yellow zucchini or summer squash and alternate the layers.
- Slowly simmer the sauce to bring out the best flavor. You can make the sauce a few days ahead of time, or make it and freeze it, then thaw it and heat it before assembling the lasagna.
This low-carb casserole has just about everything you need for a hearty and satisfying meal. Sometimes I’ll add a side of easy garlic bread or my famous house salad. With fewer carbs than regular lasagna, you can splurge for dessert! If you can get good fresh berries, make my famous Strawberry Cream Shortbread for dessert, or opt for a scoop of homemade ice cream.
Store any leftover lasagna in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat your leftovers in the microwave on low power, or warm them in the oven until heated through.
Check out these awesome lasagna recipes while you’re here
Get the Recipe:
Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
- 3 lbs zucchini about 3 zucchini
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup sweet onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 24 ounces marinara sauce low or no salt added, we use Delallo
- 3 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
Optional garnish: Fresh basil , Parmesan cheese
- Use a mandolin to slice zucchini lengthwise to 1/4-inch thick.
- Lay the strips of zucchini on baking sheets, lightly salt, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Next, take a paper towel and blot to get the moisture removed.
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Bake zucchini for 20 minutes until the strips feel dry, and will slightly start to brown.
- Make the sauce: Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then add the ground turkey; salt and pepper. Brown the turkey, and break into small pieces with spatula. Drain the moisture from the ground turkey (or you can use more paper towels).
- Next, add onion, garlic, tomato paste, and spices to the ground turkey. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the marinara sauce; simmer over low heat for another 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Make the ricotta mixture: In a medium bowl, add ricotta, cottage cheese, egg and spices and gently mix together.
- Grease a 9×13” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
How to make the lasagna:
- Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of baking dish. Add a layer of zucchini strips, and top with one-third of the ricotta mixture.
- Sprinkle one-third of the mozzarella and parmesan. Add a bit more sauce and lightly spread.
- Add another layer of zucchini strips, the opposite direction. Repeat layers of zucchini, meat sauce, and cheese two more times.
- Top final lasagna with remaining zucchini strips, sauce, and mozzarella.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until lasagna is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Optional to add finely grated parmesan sprinkled on top of each serving with a fresh basil sprig.
Hello and welcome to my home and table!
I’m Sandy—lover of food, family, cooking, THE BIG BOARD, travel, and bringing people together. Through great recipes and connection around the table, we become better, stronger, and more courageous people. Feasting on Life is real, and every time we do it, we grow a little more. Read more...