This zucchini lasagna is the ultimate keto comfort food recipe. Thinly sliced grilled zucchini layered with creamy ricotta and a hearty meat sauce, and the whole family loves it.
Get my tricks for making zucchini lasagna that isn’t watery!
Trust me when I say that you need to add this zucchini lasagna to your list of favorite keto dinner recipes as soon as humanly possible. It’s so delicious, so rich and hearty, you won’t miss the pasta at all.
Dare I say it’s even better than the real thing? The proof is in the pudding (er, in the lasagna?), and my youngest and pickiest child has been hounding me almost daily to make it again. Everyone in my household loved it and didn’t care that it was made with zucchini.
It’s just really really really good lasagna.
I originally created this recipe back in August 2014. We loved it back then and made it frequently, but it fell off my radar for a bit.
But with the astonishing bounty of zucchini we’ve got this summer, I’ve had to get creative. I’ve made several batches of keto zucchini bread and cheesy zucchini casserole, and a lot of keto zucchini cookies.
As I combed through my old zucchini recipes, I realized how much I wanted and needed to make keto zucchini lasagna again. It’s a great way to utilize summer squash and it’s essentially an all-in-one meal with protein and veggies.
I also wanted to simplify the process a bit and make it even more keto friendly. And I am happy to say I succeeded!
Grilled Zucchini Noodles
Many recipes that use zucchini to replace pasta suffer from the same problem: too much moisture. Zucchini has such a high moisture content, and if you don’t prepare it properly, you can end up with a soupy mess.
To avoid watery zucchini lasagna, I recommend grilling the zucchini first. I have found that the dry heat of the grill reduces the moisture significantly.
Don’t brush the zucchini slices with oil or sprinkle with salt before grilling, as it will make them mushy. Simply preheat the grill to medium and lay the slices directly on the grates. This dry grilling method makes perfect layers for keto lasagna.
Tips for making keto zucchini lasagna
As with any lasagna recipe, there is quite a bit of prep time. But the results are absolutely worth it! Here are my tips for making the best zucchini lasagna recipe:
- Slice the zucchini. You want slices no more than ¼ inch thick, so I recommend using a mandolin slicer. It helps slice the zucchini more evenly.
- Grill the zucchini. As I mention above, you want to dry grill the slices, with no oil or seasoning.
- Make the meat sauce. Sauté the beef until no longer pink, then add the seasonings and the pureed tomatoes.
- Make the ricotta filling. Use full fat ricotta, and season with basil and garlic. Add plenty of parmesan, too. And an egg in the filling helps hold the lasagna together better at the end.
- Layer the ingredients. Start with a layer of grilled zucchini, then ricotta filling, then meat sauce, and then sprinkle with one quarter of the shredded mozzarella. I like to save half of the mozzarella for the top of the lasagna, to make it extra appealing.
- Bake until bubbly. In the previous recipe, I had the casserole covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 15. But this time around, I found that covering it was unnecessary and I just baked 30 minutes. Which means you can dig into your keto zucchini lasagna that much sooner!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use a sharp knife to cut the zucchini. I recommend cutting in half crosswise first so it’s easier to manage. Your slices won’t be perfectly even but it should still work nicely.
Yes, I have provided oven instructions in the recipe. I recommend laying the slices on wire racks to allow the air to circulate on all sides, to remove excess moisture.
Absolutely! Any ground meat works well here so try ground turkey or Italian sausage.
You bet! I recommend some chopped mushrooms in the sauce for a delicious vegetarian lasagna.
It absolutely is and I’ve done it many times. Bake it fully first, then freeze. To re-heat, allow it to come to room temperature before warming it in the oven.
Seriously, my friends, this keto zucchini lasagna is a must make recipe. I truly think it’s as good as the real thing. Possibly even better because it doesn’t weigh you down with unnecessary carbs!
More delicious keto casserole recipes
- Ham and Cauliflower Casserole
- Keto Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- Keto Green Bean Casserole
- Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole
- Tamale Pie
Keto Zucchini Lasagna
- 2 lb zucchini (2 to 3 large)
- 1 ½ lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 15 ounces full-fat ricotta
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups crushed or pureed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella
- Preheat the grill to medium. Cut the zucchini in half crosswise and then use a mandolin slicer to slice no more than ¼ inch thick.
- Grill the zucchini slices until they are tender and much of the moisture has been removed, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside. (Alternatively, roast zucchini at 350F in the oven on wire baking racks for about 20 minutes).
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook through, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the tomatoes.
- In a large bowl, the ricotta, parmesan, basil, egg, garlic and the remaining salt. Stir to combine well.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and brush a 9×13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with the oil. Lay one third of the zucchini slices across the bottom in a single layer. Spread with one third of the ricotta mixture, then one third of the meat sauce and one quarter of the mozzarella. Repeat these layers 2 more times, finishing with half of the mozzarella.
- Bake 30 minutes, until bubbling and hot. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Jacquelyn Kunstmann says
Made this recipe tonight. My entire family loved it!
Carol Marino says
Carolyn…when you say you grill the zucchini, do you mean on a tabletop electric grill? Can you share the brand/model # with us please?
I am referring to an outdoor grill. Not sure an indoor electric grill would dry the zucchini out properly.
Karen Robertson says
The best keto lasagne ever! Thank you Carolyn.
I didn’t have ricotta cheese but I had sour cream and that’s what I used and it was the best I’ve ever made.
Victoria Walker says
Cabbage leafs age the new favorite to use instead of zucchini, I boil cabbage leafs for 20 minutes until soft, lay it out on paper towels to dry, then layer exactly like lasagna noodles! thats what I now use for my lasagna. It takes on the exact taste of a noodle! And its not soggy at all like zucchini can get.
I made a zucchini lasagna a few years ago. It was yummy, but a bit watery, so the other day I was thinking about dehydrating the zucchini before I used it! Perhaps also some sliced tomato, which I would use sparingly but both would absorb liquid. You’ve inspired me to try it!
You are my go to keto recipe Queen! Thank you! Cecily
Yes, dehydrating it would help too. Don’t dehydrate completely, you don’t want them to be like leather…
Victoria Walker says
I use cabbage leaf’s instead of zucchini! boil them and dry them, use them like a noodle!
TJ Funke says
This was great but I used Italian sausage for more flavor.
We had company coming over tonight so I wanted a hearty meal that was tasty and filing, but stillI keto. So I made this tonight using the instructions as written, only omitting the crushed red peppers. It was delicious. Even or guest, who doesn’t follow keto but has no problem trying new things, loved it and asked for seconds. Next time I may make a little more sauce, as I tend to like my lasagna more saucy. Yes I know that will adjust the macros. But it’s still a low carb dish compared to regular lasagna. Bonus, no post-dinner misery from pasta bloat. Definitely a recipe to keep.
We still had left overs, so I froze individualportions for easy meals when an easy/fend for yourself night is required.
Diana Hansberry says
looks amazing. I wonder if the fathead dough could be used to make lasagna noodles too…?