If you’re looking for a big pan of comfort food to bring to a potluck or just enjoy at home, then make this Healthy Zucchini Lasagna to be the star of any event!
I’ll admit, Lasagna is not a recipe I make often.
In fact, for as long as I can remember, the only time I ever really enjoyed lasagna was on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I come from an Italian family and that’s just how we do it. Lasagna has always been saved for special occasions!
And to be honest, I can see why. It’s a little high maintenance. You have to cook the noodles, make the ricotta filling, bake it for over an hour, and that doesn’t even include the time allotted if you make the sauce from scratch.
So basically, if someone is making a pan of lasagna, they are showing some serious love.
On the other hand, who doesn’t like a good lasagna? This recipe, in particular, is not only fairly simple to make, but it also is loaded with healthy, fiber-filled veggies!
A Delicious Veggie Lasagna Anyone Can Make
I brought this zucchini lasagna to a football party a couple of weeks ago and every single person was raving about it. Even one of the little kids said this was the best lasagna she ever had! Seriously, there are very few things I love more than seeing people devour the food I make.
Now, I know throwing in some roasted vegetables can seem way too complicated… I get it. Trust me, I like ‘super easy to throw’ together recipes, too but sometimes you need to spend a little extra effort on a recipe. And in this case, it’s totally worth it because this is easily one of the best lasagna recipes I’ve ever made.
However, even though lasagna isn’t as easy as say a jar of overnight oats, it’s also not as complicated as you might think. Even if you throw in some roasted vegetables as I did, it’s an easy recipe to make!
Tips On How To Make The Perfect Lasagna
There are some tricks I’ve learned to put together the perfect roasted vegetable lasagna recipe. Some of these tricks you can use on a basic lasagna too.
1. Only Cook The Lasagna Noodles For 5 Minutes
This is the perfect amount of time to get the noodles soft enough to work with but still firm enough so they don’t turn into mush. Also, make sure that water is salted to give the noodles some flavor. Rinse them with cool water and set aside.
2. Season The Vegetables
I use salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and grated garlic to season the veggies. Grated garlic is my little secret! It really gives these roasted vegetables great flavor that compliments the sauce and cheese in the lasagna perfectly.
3. Season The Ricotta
I’m all about seasoning, can’t you tell? Ricotta is like a blank canvas and mixing in grated parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper creates an amazing flavor. You can even spice it up by adding some crushed red pepper.
4. Only Coat The Lasagna Noodles With Sauce
I use 1 cup of sauce per layer. This is the perfect amount to get the noodles tender but still firm. You can add more sauce to individual pieces after it bakes but this pan is filled to the brim and adding too much sauce will cause it to bubble over. To be on the safe side, I like to put a cookie sheet under the pan just in case of spillage.
5. Cut Vegetables Into Bite-Size Pieces
This way you don’t have huge pieces falling out every time you take a bite and also getting a taste of everything in one bite.
6. Make Sure The Foil Is Tightly On The Lasagna
Making sure the foil is on tightly will help cook the lasagna thoroughly to make sure the noodles are fully cooked. Also, it will avoid burning the top layer.
7. Let The Lasagna Cool Before Eating
If you have an issue with your lasagnas falling apart, it’s most likely because you didn’t let it sit long enough.
Allow for the meal to sit for 20 minutes after it’s done baking. It needs that time to firm up!
8. Use Jarred Sauce
What makes this recipe so easy to make is the use of my favorite jarred sauce, Rao’s. It is on the pricier side but it’s totally worth it when putting together a lasagna recipe. If you’re going to put in the effort, then you might as well get the good stuff! Of course, you can always use homemade, too!
Healthy Zucchini Lasagna With Ricotta And Noodles
Now that you have all of my tips and hacks to make the perfect lasagna, here is a list of all of the ingredients you will need to make this zucchini lasagna:
- Zucchini – supports the digestive system and is high in antioxidants
- Baby portabella mushrooms – is a source of riboflavin and potassium
- White onions – fights inflammation and reduces cholesterol
- Garlic cloves – lowers risk of developing hip osteoarthritis and several forms of cancer
- Extra virgin olive oil – protects against heart disease
- Part-skim ricotta cheese – low in sodium and high in vitamin A and B
- Eggs – high in protein and vitamin b12
- Parmesan cheese – low in carbs and lactose-free
- Fresh mozzarella – contains high amounts of calcium
Some of the seasonings you will need:
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- Onion powder
For this recipe, you will also need lasagna noodles and one jar of Rao’s marinara sauce!
How To Make This Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
Once you have preheated the oven to 400 degrees, fill a large pot with salted water. When the water is boiling, cook the lasagna noodles for 5 minutes and then drain and set aside.
Cooking Tip: These noodles should be firm (al dente) but able to slightly bend. You don’t want to cook them all the way through because you are going to the stick the lasagna as a whole into the oven and the noodles would be overcooked.
After you have sliced and prepped all of your veggies, place all of the zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and grated garlic into a large bowl. Season the vegetables with 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Drizzle some of the extra virgin olive oil over the top and mix together until all of the vegetables are coated with seasoning and oil.
Spread out the vegetables onto a large sheet pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
I decided to use zucchini, baby portobello mushrooms, and white onions in this roasted veggie lasagna. I was quite pleased with how yummy it tasted! You can also use carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts or really any hearty vegetable you want. They will all lend a slightly different flavor but you can definitely play with it out.
Cooking tip: Using a mesh strainer, drain the vegetables after they cook. You want to remove as much liquid as possible from the vegetables before assembling the lasagna.
While the vegetables are roasting, I recommend taking this opportunity to put together the ricotta cheese filling.
In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, eggs, grated parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder (respectively). Make sure to mix everything together until it is all blended. The ricotta cheese should look nice and fluffy!
Put into the refrigerator until the vegetables are done.
Time to Assemble This Healthy Lasagna
Once you have turned down the oven temperature to 375 degrees, start assembling the lasagna.
Start by spreading 1 cup of marinara sauce at the bottom of a 9 x13 pan. Again, I love to use Rao’s brand – marinara is my favorite! I use this low carb, sugar-free tomato sauce in my pizza dip and with my turkey meatballs recipe all the time. It’s great!
After you have scooped out an even layer of tomato sauce, lay down four lasagna noodles right on top. Typically, I lay three of them side by side and then one right beside them to create one smooth layer.
Next, spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the first layer of lasagna noodles. Then, evenly crumble about 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella over the ricotta cheese.
Take half of the roasted veggies and place them on top of the mozzarella cheese. Lay another five lasagna noodles over the top of the vegetables. Add another cup of marinara sauce over the noodles and carefully spread the remaining ricotta cheese mixture over the sauce.
Cooking Tip: I will say that it does start to get trickier the more layers you add to the lasagna. I would take your time to spread the last of the ricotta to not make a mess.
Add the rest of the mozzarella cheese and put the rest of the roasted vegetables over the last cheese layer. Finish off the lasagna with one last layer of lasagna noodles and spread one more cup of marinara sauce over the top.
Tightly cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the foil after time is up and bake for another 10 minutes to get a nice rich red color over the top. After it’s cooked, let it sit for 20 minutes before serving.
The lasagna should be hot and bubbly! Depending on what kind of oven you have, you may need to add or subtract cooking time so keep an eye on the lasagna after the first hour.
I love to serve this Zucchini Lasagna with some extra sauce and a side of Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad!
How To Make This Veggie Lasagna Ahead Of Time
You guys know I’m all about saving time so I wanted to show you a few ways you could make this zucchini lasagna ahead of time.
- You can prep the roasted vegetables and ricotta 2-3 days before. Then, when you’re ready to assemble, you’ll just need to prepare the noodles.
- Assemble the entire lasagna and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to cook it, continue on with instructions. You might need to add on some extra time since it was cold!
- Also, you can make fully cook this meal and store it in the refrigerator or freeze into portions. When you are ready to eat, heat up the lasagna in the microwave.
Note: I haven’t frozen this specific recipe so I’m not sure how it would freeze with the roasted vegetables. Once I test this out, I will update this post with freezing instructions.
More Healthy Potluck Recipes
Check out some of these healthy recipes the next time you have to cook something up for a potluck:
- Easy Pizza Dip
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
- Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
- Chicken Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- 1lb, lasagna noodles
- 1 (24-ounce) jars Rao's marinara sauce
- 2 medium zucchini, quartered
- 1 (10-ounce) package baby portabella mushrooms, quartered
- 1 large white onion, halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (32-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup grated parmesan.
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 ounce fresh mozzarella, broken into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large boiling pot of salted water cook the lasagna noodles for 5 minutes. These noodles should be firm but able to slightly bend. Drain and set aside.
- Place all of the prepped zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and grated garlic into a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Drizzle olive oil over the top and mix together until all of the vegetables are coated with seasoning and oil.
- Spread out the vegetables onto a large sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting put together the ricotta cheese filling, In a medium bowl mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, grated parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Mix until everything is blended. The ricotta cheese will look nice and fluffy. Put into the refrigerator until the vegetables are done.
- When the vegetables are done place them into a mesh strainer and drain as much of the liquid as possible.
- Turn oven temperature to 375 degrees
- Assemble the lasagna. Start by spreading 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x13 pan. Then lay out 4 lasagna noodles. Typically, I lay 3 in a next to each other and then one on top. Next spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Then crumble about 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella over the ricotta cheese.
- Place half of the vegetables over the cheese.
- Lay another 5 lasagna noodles over the vegetables.
- Spread another cup of sauce over the noodles then carefully spread the remaining ricotta cheese mixture over the sauce. This gets a little tricky so spread slowly. Add the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
- Put the rest of the roasted vegetables over the last cheese layer.
- Finishes with one last layer of lasagna noodle and spread one more cup of sauce over the top.
- Tightly cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10. The lasagna should be hot and bubbly. Depending on your oven you may need to add or subtract cooking time so keep an eye on the lasagna after an hour.
- After it's cooked let it sit for 20 minutes before serving.
- Serve with extra sauce.