Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini Recipe

Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini

I came across a lasagna recipe unlike any I’d seen before. Instead of heavy pasta and rich cheese, it used vegetable noodles and a light tomato sauce the perfect solution for those wanting comfort food without the guilt. I gathered the ingredients zucchini, part-skim ricotta, spinach and my homemade marinara. As I sliced and layered, the aroma of fresh herbs and veggies wafted through my kitchen. The recipe is so versatile too, allowing you to swap ingredients based on the season.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large egg – This will help bind everything together.
  • 1 1/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese – Ricotta provides a creamy texture without excess fat.
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese – Melting mozzarella adds flavor and cheese satisfaction.
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese – A little parmesan lends rich flavor.
  • 8 ounces 99% lean ground turkey – Ground turkey is a lean protein that crumbles perfectly into the sauce.
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into thin ribbons – Zucchini “noodles” act as the pasta, adding volume with few calories.
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce – Homemade sauce is best but store-bought works too in a pinch.
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Basil brightens the flavors
Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini

How to Make This Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini Recipe

Preparing the Zucchini Noodles

  • Wash and dry the zucchini. Use a spiralizer, mandoline or vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini lengthwise into thin “noodles.” Lay the noodles out flat on baking sheets lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. This prevents them from becoming soggy.

Making the Filling

  • In a medium bowl, combine the part-skim ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and egg. Mix until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Brown the ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Drain excess fat. Stir the cooked turkey into the cheese mixture.

Assembling the Lasagna

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
  • Spread 1/3 cup of marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish. Top with a single layer of zucchini noodles.
  • Dollop half the cheese/turkey filling over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon fresh basil if using.
  • Repeat layering with another 1/3 cup sauce, zucchini noodles and remaining filling. Top with a final layer of noodles.
  • Pour remaining sauce evenly over top. Cover tightly with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, until bubbly and top is lightly browned.
Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini

Serving Instructions

  • This lasagna is best served warm straight from the oven. Cut into squares and arrange artfully on individual plates. A simple green salad makes the perfect accompaniment.
  • For potlucks or parties, you can assemble the lasagna ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. The chilled lasagna will need a few extra minutes in the oven to ensure it’s hot all the way through.

Storage and Freezing Instructions

  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To prevent sogginess, cool completely before covering and refrigerating. Reheat individual portions in the microwave until piping hot.
  • You can also freeze portions of this lasagna. Allow baked lasagna to cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap. Label with contents and date. For best quality, use within 2-3 months.
  • To freeze unbaked lasagna, assemble the recipe as directed but do not bake. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as usual, adding an extra 10-15 minutes to the cooking time. Proper freezing and reheating helps maintain the lasagna’s fresh flavor and texture.
Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini

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FAQs

Can I use ground beef instead of turkey?

Yes, you can substitute lean ground beef if desired. Just be aware the fat and calorie content will increase slightly.

What if I don’t have ricotta cheese?

Cottage cheese makes a fine substitute for ricotta in this recipe. Its lighter texture works well baked into the lasagna.

Can I leave out the meat?

Certainly. For a meatless version, simply omit the ground turkey from the cheese filling. The zucchini, tomatoes and herbs provide plenty of flavor on their own.

Will it taste like regular lasagna?

While lighter, it has all the comforting flavors of traditional lasagna. The zucchini replaces the pasta so you still get layers of cheesy goodness.

Can I double the recipe?

This lasagna recipe can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd. Just use a 9×13 inch baking dish and increase baking time by 10-15 minutes.

Is it gluten-free?

Yes, as long as you use a gluten-free pasta sauce and check ingredients on any cheese. The zucchini, turkey and dairy make it naturally gluten-free.

Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini

Very Low-Calorie Lasagna with Zucchini

I came across a lasagna recipe unlike any I’d seen before. Instead of heavy pasta and rich cheese, it used vegetable noodles and a light tomato sauce the perfect solution for those wanting comfort food without the guilt. I gathered the ingredients zucchini, part-skim ricotta, spinach and my homemade marinara.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 100 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium zucchini Sliced lengthwise
  • 8 ounces 99 lean ground turkey1.5 cups
  • 1⅕ cups Classico spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 1cup fat free mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 arge egg
  • cup fresh basil leaves optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease an 8×8 baking dish with olive oil spray. Begin prepping the zucchini noodles using a spiralizer, peeler or mandoline. Lay the noodles flat on a baking sheet to drain excess moisture.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the part-skim ricotta, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan and egg. Whisk until fully blended. Season the cheese mixture generously with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Crumble the lean ground turkey into a skillet and cook over medium, breaking it up until no longer pink. Stir the cooked turkey into the cheese blend.
  • Spread 1/3 cup of your favorite marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with a single layer of zucchini noodles. Dollop half the cheesy turkey mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves if using. Repeat layering with another 1/3 cup sauce, zucchini noodles and remaining filling. Top with a final layer of noodles.
  • Pour the remaining 1/3 cup sauce evenly over the top layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned on top
  • Allow the lasagna to stand for 10 minutes before slicing and plating
Keyword healthy lasagna recipe, light lasagna, low-calorie lasagna, turkey lasagna,, zucchini lasagna
Hey there! I'm Betty Spangler. I love food, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple.