This Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna is comfort food at its best. Zucchini slices are layered with ground turkey, marinara sauce, and cheese . Then the whole dish is finished with more cheese before it’s baked to perfection. Perfectly crowd-pleasing no matter what kind of diet you follow.
When it comes to wintertime meal prep, one recipe I make sure to have around (with one in the freezer) is this delicious Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna. It's made with cottage cheese instead of ricotta, but if you prefer ricotta you could use that as well.
One more quick and delicious idea! If you don't feel like making a full lasagna, just mix up the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and spices and add it to your pasta. You’ll get extra lean protein and all the great flavor or lasagna without all the work.
This Zucchini Lasagna recipe comes together easily and can be made in advance so you’ve got a filling family meal all ready to go.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here are a few reasons why we think you’ll love this lasagna recipe.
- Change of pace: Zucchini lasagna is a great alternative to regular lasagna and a great way to fit in extra veggies. With all the meat sauce and cheese, no one misses the noodles.
- Low carb: Lasagna is a heavy, carb-rich meal but using zucchini makes it lighter so you won’t feel so stuffed after you are finished eating.
- Customizable: This recipe is pretty flexible and you can change up the sauce ingredients, and cheese, or even swap the zucchini.
- Meal prep: Prepare the lasagna when you are doing your meal prep or make the sauce and store it until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
Key Ingredients And Easy Swaps
Here is a list of the main ingredients and some suggestions for alternatives.
- Zucchini: We used green zucchini but yellow summer squash will also work. You can also use thin slices of eggplant.
- Olive Oil: We like to use extra virgin olive oil but any kind of oil will work.
- Onion: Yellow onions have a slightly sweeter flavor than white onions, but any kind of onion will work in this lasagna.
- Garlic: We used both fresh garlic and garlic powder to amplify the garlic flavor in the sauce and filling.
- Ground turkey: We prefer 95% lean but you can choose whatever you like. Ground beef or chicken will also work.
- Ground turkey sausage: Adding ground sausage to the turkey is an easy trick to pack in lots of flavor with a single ingredient. Look for lean Italian turkey sausage and make sure it is raw. If you can't find ground sausage, simply remove the sausage from the raw links.
- Mushrooms: We used white button mushrooms but cremini will also work. Swap in another vegetable like spinach if you prefer.
- Cottage Cheese: We used low-fat cottage cheese but any kind will work. You can also use ricotta cheese, which is more traditional.
- Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a nice saltiness but Grand Padano, romano, or pecorino will also work.
- Seasonings: To flavor the cheese, it's important to add seasoning, black pepper, and salt. You can use a premixed Italian seasoning or use a combination of dried basil, oregano, and thyme. We also included garlic powder.
- Mozzarella: We used part-skim shredded mozzarella but any kind of mozzarella cheese will work.
How To Make Zucchini Noodle Lasagna
This lasagna does take some time to make, but it isn't difficult. Do not skip the step of baking the zucchini layers or the lasagna will turn out watery.
- Get the oven ready: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Get the zucchini ready: Cut the zucchini into planks, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Blot with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This step is super important so the lasagna isn't water and soggy.
- Cook the vegetables and meat: Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until it is becoming soft and translucent. Add the fresh garlic, ground turkey, and turkey sausage. Brown until no longer pink.
- Make the sauce: Pour in the marinara sauce. Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Combine the cheeses and spices: In a small bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, Parmesan, Italian spices, and black pepper. Taste and season with salt if needed. Parmesan can be salty so always taste first.
- Assemble the lasagna: Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and begin assembling the lasagna. Start by adding a thin layer of sauce to the dish. Cover with a layer of zucchini. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over. Repeat with sauce, zucchini, and cottage cheese. Add one more layer of sauce and zucchini. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake the lasagna: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
- Let the lasagna rest: Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving. This step is critical for the lasagna to set! Do not skip it.;
What To Serve With Keto Lasagna
There are so many different dishes you can pair with your lasagna though here are our favorites.
- Soup: Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, Lentil Soup, or this Italian Vegetable and Bean Soup.
- Salad: Grilled Vegetable Salad, Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, or this Spinach Salad With Creamy Balsamic.
- Sides: Pan Fried Broccoli, Baked Eggplant Cutlets, or Roasted Cauliflower.
How To Store Leftover Zucchini Lasagna
Here’s what to do with your leftovers.
- Fridge: Leftover lasagna will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezer: Store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: Thaw frozen leftovers in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat: Reheat the lasagna in the oven or place it in the microwave.
Make it Yours! Low Carb Lasagna Ideas
We love this zucchini lasagna but here are a few ways you can change it up.
- Modify the vegetables: Instead of mushrooms use whatever your family likes in this lasagna. Try baby spinach, diced bell peppers, diced carrots, celery, or kale.
- Change the zucchini: Use thinly sliced eggplant or summer squash instead of zucchini.
- Switch up the cheese: Try ricotta instead of cottage cheese, romano instead of parmesan, and gouda instead of mozzarella.
- Add more spice: For a spicier lasagna, add up to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- Use lasagna noodles: If you are not too concerned about keeping this recipe low carb you can use regular lasagna noodles. Buy no-cook ones to save yourself one step. Consider layering in some regular noodles and some zucchini noodles for the best of both worlds.
- Swap the meat: Use ground beef and beef or pork sausage instead of ground turkey and turkey sausage.
- Leave out the meat: Make the lasagna vegetarian and don’t use any meat. Or mix in some vegetarian ground meat.
How To Prevent Watery Lasagna
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your low-carb zucchini lasagna doesn’t end up like soup.
- Always cook the zucchini first: Don’t skip the salting and pre-cooking of the zucchini this will help draw out moisture.
- Blot the zucchini: Make sure to blot the zucchini strips well to absorb the excess moisture.
- Thick sauce: Ensure your sauce is nice and thick. If you find it too thin you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken it up. This may be the case if you are making a vegetarian sauce.
- Let the lasagna rest: Let the lasagna sit for the allotted time once it comes out of the oven as this helps prevent it from falling apart when you cut it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this zucchini lasagna.
Instead of using lasagna noodles, you can use thinly sliced zucchini, eggplant, or squash. Just make sure to bake the vegetable slices before assembling the lasagna so it doesn't turn out watery.
If you have too much moisture in your lasagna it could be because your zucchini was too thick or you didn’t salt and prebake it to remove the moisture.
Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna (with Cottage Cheese!)
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- 4 zucchini
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 lb. 95% lean ground turkey
- 1/2 lb. 95% lean ground turkey sausage
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 20 oz. marinara sauce
- 15 oz. low fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
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Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and begin assembling the lasagna. Start by adding 1/3 of the sauce to the pan. Cover with a layer of zucchini. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over. Repeat with sauce, zucchini, and cottage cheese. Add one more layer of sauce and zucchini. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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