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Filled with layers of sliced summer squash, this zucchini lasagna is a great option for using summer produce. Zucchini slices replace the pasta in this simple vegetarian dish.
Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables, and every summer I love coming up with different ways to use it.
Sure, there’s classic zucchini bread, but the mild flavor of zucchini works well with so many other things, especially in savory dishes.
This zucchini lasagna is a dish I love to make when I feel like I haven’t been eating enough vegetables.
It skips the layers of pasta noodles in favor of slices of tender zucchini, making this a lighter dish that’s ideal for summertime.
If you’ve got too much zucchini in your garden, give this recipe a try!
Ingredients for zucchini lasagna
Zucchini – Look for zucchini that fits your baking pan well, but is not too large.
The zucchini should be firm with no soft spots. Scarring is OK!
Try different varieties of zucchini or use a mix of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash.
Ricotta cheese – I prefer to use regular-fat ricotta or make ricotta from scratch.
You can use lowfat ricotta if you prefer, or swap in cottage cheese for some or all of the ricotta.
Egg – Add 1 egg to the cheese mixture for the filling.
Parmesan cheese – I like to add parmesan to the ricotta filling for additional flavor. Buy a chunk and grate it at home — you’ll save money in the long run and your cheese will taste fresher!
Mozzarella cheese – More cheese! Add melty mozzarella in the layers and on top.
Herbs and spices – This recipe calls for salt, pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Pasta sauce – Use your favorite marinara sauce or flavored pasta sauce.
Tomato – This is optional, but I like to add a sliced tomato to the top of the lasagna for extra flavor and a nice presentation.
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Trim off the ends of the zucchini, then slice thinly lengthwise. Salt the zucchini on both sides and place in a colander set in the sink.
Let rest for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You should start to see water droplets on the surface of the squash after a few minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, egg, basil, oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until evenly mixed.
Spread ½ cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of an 11×7.5-inch casserole dish.
Rinse the drained squash and pat dry. Arrange in an even layer on top of the sauce, cutting slices as needed to fill any gaps. If you like, do a double layer of squash, alternating placement.
Spread on half of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle on ¾ cup of the mozzarella. Top with ¾ cup pasta sauce.
Repeat layers with the squash, remaining cheese, mozzarella, and pasta sauce. You might not use all of the squash slices.
Top with sliced tomato and remaining mozzarella.
Bake for 45 minutes, until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbly.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Tips and tricks
To ensure the lasagna is not overly watery, make sure to salt the zucchini slices and let rest for at least 10 minutes. The salt will draw out excess moisture as it soaks into the zucchini.
Another way to reduce the liquid is to cook the zucchini ahead of assembling the lasagna. Grill, roast, or sear the zucchini until soft but not falling apart.
If you find the lasagna is too watery after baking, try this hack: Use a turkey baster in the corners of the pan to remove excess liquid.
Make this dish meaty by adding cooked Italian sausage to the pasta sauce.
More zucchini recipes
Still have extra zucchini on hand? Whip up a batch of zucchini hummus and serve with pita chips.
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It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 2-4 zucchini, or a mix of zucchini and yellow squash
- 3 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided use
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch crushed red chile flakes
- 2 cups pasta sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Trim ends off squash, and slice thinly, lengthwise. Reserve 1/2 teaspoon salt and use the rest to salt both sides of zucchini slices. Place in a colander set over the sink and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Mix together ricotta, parmesan egg, reserved 1/2 teaspoon salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and crushed red chile flakes.
- Rinse off zucchini slices and pat dry.
- Spread ½ cup pasta sauce on the bottom of an 11x-7.5-inch casserole dish. Arrange a layer of zucchini on top, cutting pieces to fit any gaps. If desired, add another layer alternating the pattern.
- Spread on half the ricotta, then sprinkle on 3/4 cup mozzarella. Top with 3/4 cup pasta sauce. Repeat layers. You might not use all of the squash.
- Top with tomato slices and remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbly. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
- The number of zucchini or squash you need will depend on the size.
- If you don’t have an 11×7.5-inch casserole, you can also use a square baking pan.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…