This meatless zucchini lasagna is so good it is worth turning on the oven and cranking up the A/C to make!
I was tempted to title this Zucchini Lasagne since, for some reason, lasagna, when spelled lasagne, seems so much more authentic and fancy.
But then I realized this zucchini lasagna, which I’ve been making variations of for forever, is hardly authentic and I’m pretty sure you have to actually live in Rome or have the first name Giada to throw around Lasagne in recipe titles.
So zucchini lasagNA it is. There.
And anyway, no matter what it’s called, this is right up there with my favorite skillet summer lasagna (only almost better) and who doesn’t need another way to use up their prolific zucchini?
Of course, in my neck of the northern woods, my zucchini plants are still miniscule causing me to buy my zucchini, but give it another month and I’ll probably be making this lasagna every night.
I know that I just posted like a bazillion meals to make without using your oven.
This isn’t one of them.
And I feel kind of like a hypocrite for posting it when I complain incessantly about my beastly hot house, but I tell you what, on a cooler day or if you have A/C or if you simply just need zucchini lasagna in your life despite the heat, consider this recipe to be the one. Okie doke?
Making use of no-boil noodles (the only way to go for lasagna/ne in my book) and simple homemade red sauce, this zucchini version is a cinch to put together and despite being meatless, it’s one of our favorite summer dinners and my kids gobble it up.
They learned long ago there’s just too much of the “green stuff” to pick out so they gave up.
Like I always say, become one with the zucchini!
What To Serve With This:
Fresh, sliced bread with this Garlic Herb Butter Spread
Mexican Tomato and Corn Salad
One Year Ago: Homemade Ranch Dressing
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
Three Years Ago: Magic Vanilla Ice Cream
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups part-skim ricotta or cottage cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 small to medium zucchini
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, proceed with prepping the rest of the ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, ricotta or cottage cheese, salt and pepper.
- Trim the knobby ends from each zucchini and cut in half lengthwise (see pictures below) and then slice each half very thinly. The pieces should look like thin, zucchini pasta sheets or noodles. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the garlic and oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of each).
- To assemble the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of the pan. It will be a very thin, splotchy layer – that’s ok. Spread out a single layer of zucchini so they aren’t overlapping but cover most of the pan. A few empty spots are ok as long as it is mostly covered. Layer four no-boil lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping (I use the Barilla brand that calls for overlapping noodles; consult your particular lasagna noodle box to see if you should use 3 or 4 noodles for each layer – some brands say not to overlap; you basically want the noodles to cover the whole area of the baking pan).
- Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and spread into a somewhat even layer. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the top, one layer of zucchini and sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella. You’ll repeat this two more times (4 noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 3/4 cup sauce, zucchini layer and mozzarella). On the final layer if you have more than 3/4 cup of sauce, that’s fine, just use it all.
- Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Here’s a little step-by-step on cutting the zucchini for the lasagna:
40 Comments on “Zucchini Lasagna”
YUM! That is a great way to use up zucchini! This dish was loved by all. I doubled it and made one pan (as written) without meat and one with some quickly browned italian sausage. It was great both ways. This needs to be added to your next recipes that the world forgot! It is a labor of love (like ANY lasagna recipe since layering takes a while) but it was delicious! Thanks, Mel!
I made this last night and oh my gosh. It changed our lives! I had to double check when you posted this and I can’t believe I haven’t made it before! It will definitely be one we make again (which is saying a lot because I love trying new recipes and have a hard time repeating). Thanks Mel!
Happy you loved this one, Natalie! It’s an oldie but a goodie!
I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! I did have a lot of liquid, even though I sliced my zucchini pretty thin but then again…I also used fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. It was worth it though…a garden fresh meal! I’m looking forward to all the leftovers too! Thanks for another tried and true recipe for all the tomatoes and zucchini I have to use up!
Do you have to use no boil lasagne noodles?
Erin – Its my preference but you could boil regular noodles and use them instead; I haven’t tried it in this recipe so I don’t know if the liquid would need to be reduced slightly.
I used the regular noodles and it worked great. I just barely underboiled them and they were perfect! Thanks for the great recipe!
I often make my zucchini lasagna without noodles at all. I cut the lasagna 1/4 inch thick, slightly brown in a pan with Pam and layer it up just like noodles. I use 4 zucchini or one really really big one like the one that my neighbor likes to grow.
I cooked this last night, and it turned out very good! It was so simple and quick, which is exactly what I needed. Fastest lasagna I’ve ever cooked and it was delicious! My husband enjoyed it, too. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the cream cheese in this. I think next time I’ll just use half of it. I loved, loved, loved the zucchini though. And I made homemade sauce using garden fresh tomatoes. It was wonderful.
In regards to “lasagne”, the only reason you’ll see that word in an Italian restaurant’s menu is that it serves as the heading for a list of lasagnas. Lasagne is plural for lasagna in Italian. It’s no more or less fancy than the singular.
Kudos for the recipe. I needed more ideas of what to do with zucchini (another fun fact in Italian: zucchini is actually plural: 1 zucchino, 2 zucchini)! Crazy!
Since there are only two of us, I cut this in half. It didn’t bake down like I expected–mine was much thicker looking than yours, but it was heavenly whatever size it was! My husband is not a zucchini-lover and he really liked it too.
I loooved this! I used the cottage cheese but put it in a strainer in the fridge a few hours before to drain some of the liquid out, when I was slicing my zucchini I was a little worried I was getting it too thick so I switched to my vegetable peeler to slice it up instead and thought it worked great, will definitely be making this again:)
Since all I have are HUGE zucchini… what about shredding the monsters and doing a layer of shredded zucs instead of pretty sliced ones?
Jennifer – it’s definitely worth a try. I’d probably try to cut out most of the seeds of the big zucchini before using them so your lasagna doesn’t get overly watery.
Um seriously… made this tonight and it was AMAZING! I’m going to be honest, I was not excited since I’ve never made lasagna without meat but holy moly! This will definitely be added to our favorites! Thank you! And could you possibly post your recipe for homemade Ricotta?
Rebecca – I use the homemade ricotta from America’s Test Kitchen – Annie’s Eats has a tutorial on her website. It is so, so easy:
Thanks for a great recipe! We had this for dinner, and I thought it was delicious! I didn’t cut enough zucchini for the last layer so just used the other components for that one. I used a mandolin to cut the zucchini slices.
Talk to about this as a make ahead or freezer meal! Yay or nay?!
Emily – hmmm, haven’t tried freezing it but my vote is definitely in favor of trying it.
I made this last night–and if you are worried about your kids noticing the green all I can say is notice how much cheese is involved. My three boys ate it up (ages 7, 4, 2). This recipe rocked and exceeded my expectations, not that they were that high. Zucchini is zucchini after all.
I made this for dinner last night and it was great! Except that I didn’t follow your recipe exactly and ended up with crispy edges on my noodles because I don’t think I added enough liquid. Word of warning: recipes have measurements listed for a reason. Still, lesson learned, and I would definitely make this again. Thanks for the inspiration!
Delicious!!!!! I used a mandolin (I’m lazy like that) and wonder if I got my zucchini too thin. I had half my zucchini left when I was done. If you make this again it might be helpful to know approximately how many ounces of zucchini you used. I pinned this to my “absolutely make again” board. Thank you!
Glad your are doing the homemade ricotta! I suggested you try it probably a year ago and I wasn’t sure you were convinced enough to try it. I never liked the stuff from the store but could eat the homemade stuff warm all day. I’ve heard mozzarella is just as easy and tastes amazing homemade but haven’t tried that yet.
Sorry to leave this here, but I don’t see how to contact you.
I’d love to feature this recipe for Meatless Monday at BlogHer (just your photo, a description, and a link to get the recipe from your site.)
If that is okay, I would need to re-size your photo to 465×287. Can you send me a photo that size or let me know you’re okay with me doing it.
All for me!! Yay!!
This looks so good. I love putting zucchini in lasagna and I also love that this isn’t super saucy like some lasagnas are. I’ll be giving this a whirl when I get my first zucchini harvest from my garden!
Yes, share the ricotta recipe you use! Please! 🙂
This lasagna looks awesome, but it means I’ll have to actually remember to pick my zucchini when it’s still a normal size and hasn’t transformed into monster veggies! lol
Homemade ricotta? Please share! 🙂
I have to ask… how did your kids feel about this one?
I think I’m the only one in my family who would eat this. It looks great to me. If I subbed in spinach my husband MIGHT have some.
Jenn – my kids loved this but that’s probably because they love lasagna so much they don’t care what kind it is (and actually, they really love zucchini). Also for those that have asked, I’ve been using the DIY Ricotta from America’s Test Kitchen. Seriously easiest stuff in the world. Annie’s Eats did a post on it here:
I’m gonna save this one for a cooler day when I’m willing to turn on my oven LOL Love it!
Can you add meat to it? It looks great!!!
This looks really great. Thought you didn’t like ricotta? Have you tried making your own yet? It’s so easy and makes 100% difference.
Amy – funny you ask about ricotta. I converted to homemade ricotta a month or so ago because it is so stinkin easy and now I can’t get enough of it!
I love the zucchini noodles! So much healthier and adds a new and interesting texture to the dish. Sign me up for a slice!
This sounds amazing! Zucchini is one of my favorites, but the rest of the family hates it. Wonder if I could sneak it by them with this!
The zucchini is coming in good now from the garden. I’m really looking forward to giving this recipe a try.
I came up with a new medley (posted on my blog) this year for zucchini that the whole family is enjoying. It’s so nice to find new ways to prepare summer veggies. Thanks for sharing!
I love the zucchini noodles!! SO fun!