My daughter, Spunky, recently went in for some allergy testing at her doctor’s office. The good news is she doesn’t have Celiac Disease, however she does have gluten sensitivity and is allergic to shellfish, wheat, corn, soy, and their by-products, which makes it difficult to find things for her to eat. Seems like there’s wheat, corn, or soy in everything these days! Because of this, I’ve been on the lookout for healthy recipes to try and ingredient substitutions I can make for her.
This recipe is a delicious, healthy take on lasagna that’s lower in carbs and gluten-free because it has no pasta. The lasagna noodles are replaced by thinly sliced zucchini. The recipe seems like it has a lot of ingredients but once you get everything you need prepped, it comes together very easily. The fam loves it and they don’t miss the pasta noodles at all! Best of all, Spunky can eat it! Serve this with a salad and you’ve got one satisfying, healthy meal.
Oh, one other thing, you could prepare the “meat” sauce up to 5 days in advance and just keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to make your lasagna. Doing that speeds up the prep time which is a big help to a harried cook on a busy week night.
LOW-CARB ZUCCHINI LASAGNA
- 5-6 medium zucchini (depending on how big they are)
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1½ lbs. lean ground turkey (can substitute extra lean ground beef)
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (approx. 24-oz.) jar spaghetti or marinara sauce (I like Prego Heart Smart)
- 2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning (can substitute dried oregano)
- 1 (15-oz.) tub part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 (8-oz.) tub lowfat cottage cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. fresh basil, minced (can use dried)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- Slice zucchini lengthwise into ⅛-inch thick slices. If you have a mandolin, use it! It makes it much easier to get nice, even slices.
- Place sliced zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with a little salt, tossing it together, then set aside over an empty bowl for at least 20 minutes or more. Zucchini contains a lot of water and salting it removes some of the water.
- While the zucchini is draining, heat olive oil in a medium saucepot.
- Sauté garlic and onions until onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add ground turkey and sauté until turkey is cooked through.
- Add diced tomatoes, Prego sauce, and Italian seasoning, stirring together well.
- Let sauce simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While sauce is simmering, rinse zucchini quickly in cold water to remove the salt, then gently squeeze dry between 3 or 4 layers of paper towels.
- Spread zucchini on extra paper towels to blot out any excess moisture.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, basil and egg.
- On the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex baking dish, spread one-third of the meat sauce.
- Arrange zucchini slices on top of sauce and top with one-half of ricotta mixture.
- Do a second layer of one-third meat sauce, zucchini slices, and remaining half of ricotta mixture.
- Do a third layer with remaining meat sauce, then zucchini slices, but instead of ricotta mixture, top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until mixture starts to bubble around the edges and cheese melts and begins to brown in spots.
- Remove from oven and let stand 10-20 minutes before cutting.