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Searching for a low-carb, gluten-free twist on the classic Italian lasagna? You’re in luck! This Mini Zucchini Lasagna packs all the gooey cheese and savory meat sauce of traditional lasagna but replaces the pasta with thinly sliced zucchini. Perfectly portioned and ready in no time, this small lasagna recipe is a game changer for anyone craving comfort food without the carbs.

Enjoy your small zucchini lasagna with some great sides. Pair it with a crisp Caesar Salad, warm French Bread, or soft Potato Gnocchi. Each adds a unique and tasty complement to your lasagna.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

  • Simple: No noodle boiling required, just layer and bake!
  • Healthy: Low in carbs and can easily be made gluten-free.
  • Flexible: Suitable for various dietary needs with minor adjustments.
  • Quick: Ready in under an hour, perfect for weeknights.
  • Flavor-packed: You won’t miss the pasta with this satisfying combination of cheese, meat, and veggies.

RELATED: Empty Nest Recipe Ideas – The Joy Of Cooking For Two

Ingredients

This section provides a quick rundown of the ingredients used in this mini zucchini lasagna recipe. For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Zucchini: One small zucchini is all you need to replace traditional pasta layers in this low-carb lasagna. Choose medium-sized, firm zucchinis. If you have any extra zucchini, you might like to consider using them in Sheet Pan Greek Chicken, Ratatouille, or Mini Chocolate Zucchini Bread.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to for its rich flavor and health benefits. However, a lighter olive oil will work just as well if you prefer a milder taste.
  • Chopped Onions and Garlic: These are flavor essentials. Sauté the onions until translucent, then add minced garlic for a burst of aroma and taste.
  • Ground Beef or Ground Turkey: While ground beef delivers a hearty profile, ground turkey is a great alternative for a lighter fare. Use leftover ground meat in Salisbury Steak or Beef Tacos.
  • Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Black Pepper: Don’t skimp on these spices; they infuse the dish with necessary depth. Feel free to adjust the measurements to suit your palate.
  • Tomato Sauce: Opt for your favorite store-bought variety or consider making your own homemade tomato sauce for a personalized touch. Use a sugar-free variety to keep this dish low in carbs. Leftover tomato sauce can be used in Butter Chicken, Goulash, or in a giant Italian Meatball.
  • Cheeses: A blend of Parmesan and mozzarella offers a melty, cheesy texture that’s simply irresistible.
  • Ricotta Cheese: For a different texture and flavor, you can easily swap out the ricotta for cottage cheese. Consider using leftover ricotta in Lasagna Soup, Stuffed Shells, or Spinach Manicotti.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

Recipe Variations

Want to mix it up a bit? This individual zucchini lasagna recipe is versatile and adaptable. Here are some variations to consider:

  • Add Extra Veggies: Along with zucchini, incorporate other thinly sliced veggies like bell peppers for added nutrients and textures.
  • Spice it Up: For those who enjoy a kick, consider adding a layer of thinly sliced jalapeños or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the meat mixture.
  • Cheese Swap: If you’re looking to deviate from the traditional cheese trio of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan, how about adding some crumbled feta or goat cheese for a tangy twist?
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How To Make Zucchini Lasagna

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small zucchini lasagna. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (177°C) to ensure it’s hot and ready for baking.
  2. Cook the Filling: In a medium-sized skillet, sauté the meat along with onions, garlic, and seasonings until the meat is browned and fully cooked.
  3. Simmer the Sauce: Stir in the tomato sauce and let the mixture simmer to meld the flavors together.
  4. Prepare the Cheese Mixture: In a separate small bowl, blend the ricotta cheese with a portion of the Parmesan cheese.

Assembling the Lasagna:

  1. Initial Meat Sauce Layer: Spread a modest amount of your prepared meat sauce on the bottom of your baking dish to create a foundation.
  2. Zucchini Layer: Arrange a layer of zucchini noodles over the meat sauce.
  3. First Layering: Add half of your meat mixture on top of the zucchini, followed by half of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.
  4. Second Layering: Lay down another layer of zucchini noodles, followed by the remaining meat and ricotta mixtures. Add another sprinkle of mozzarella.
  5. Final Touch: Cap it off with a last layer of zucchini noodles, and spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
three slices of zucchini laying on the bottom of a small red baking dish next to an unbaked zucchini lasagna topped with cheese.
  1. Position the baking dish onto a separate baking sheet for stability and to catch any potential drips. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese turns bubbly and melted.
Baked Zucchini Lasagna in a square baking dish with fork taking a bite out.

Expert Tips

  • Baking Dish Dimensions: The dish you choose impacts the number of lasagna layers. A 5-inch square dish holding 22 ounces and measuring 1.75 inches in height accommodates a single layer between zucchini slices.
  • Loaf Pan Option: If you’re aiming for a more layered effect, a 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan is an excellent alternative. You’ll be able to add an extra layer of filling with this choice.
  • Serving Size: The recipe is versatile in terms of portions. It’s perfect as a hearty meal for one, or can easily serve two when complemented with a salad or additional side.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to slice zucchini for zucchini lasagna?

A mandoline slicer ensures uniform thickness.

How do I remove excess moisture from zucchini?

* Start by thinly slicing a small zucchini into strips, either manually with a sharp knife or using a mandoline for uniform slices.
* Arrange the zucchini strips on a flat surface, such as a cutting board or a tray, and lightly season them with salt. The salt helps to draw out the moisture from the zucchini, while also imparting some flavor.
* Allow the zucchini strips to sit undisturbed for approximately 10 minutes.
* Afterward, pat them dry with paper towels to remove the released moisture.

How can I make meat-free zucchini lasagna?

To create a meat-free zucchini lasagna, you’ve got plenty of delicious options to maintain the dish’s heartiness and flavor.
Lentils, tempeh, or tofu can be cooked and seasoned to mimic the texture of ground meat.
Finely chopped mushrooms, like portobello or cremini, offer a meaty texture and rich flavor.
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is a soy-based alternative that also resembles the texture of ground meat when cooked.
Quinoa or chickpeas are other protein-rich choices that can be seasoned to fit into the Italian flavor profile of the lasagna.
Regardless of your choice, make sure to season your plant-based protein with traditional lasagna spices like garlic, onion, and Italian herbs for a seamless blend of flavors.

Can I make zucchini lasagna in advance?

Yes, you can assemble and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like additional information on the dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page. For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this individual zucchini lasagna or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!


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Because you’re worth it

Mini Zucchini Lasagna

4.85 from 13 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Healthy, low carb, cheesy zucchini lasagna made with all of the wonderful ingredients found in a traditional lasagna but without the noodles.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 small zucchini
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 8 ounces ground beef -or use ground turkey
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt -plus ¼ teaspoon more for salting the zucchini to draw out the moisture
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce -divided
  • ¾ cup Ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese -divided
  • ¾ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese -divided
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Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  • Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise. Place them on a cutting board, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and let sit for 10 minutes. Then pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • For the meat sauce, warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions for 1 minute. 
  • Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  • Add ground beef, Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, stirring frequently.
  • Mix in ½ cup tomato sauce, lower the heat, and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine ricotta with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Set aside.
  • Assemble the lasagna by spreading 3 tablespoons of sauce in a greased small baking dish. Layer zucchini slices on the bottom.
  • Add half the meat sauce, half the ricotta mix, and a quarter of the mozzarella.
  • Repeat with another layer of zucchini, remaining meat sauce, ricotta, and ¼ cup mozzarella. If there's space, add a final layer of zucchini, the rest of the tomato sauce, and cheeses. If not, just top with sauce and cheeses.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Notes

  • Baking Dish Dimensions: The dish you choose impacts the number of lasagna layers. A 5-inch square dish holding 22 ounces and measuring 1.75 inches in height accommodates a single layer between zucchini slices.
  • Loaf Pan Option: If you’re aiming for a more layered effect, a 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan is an excellent alternative. You’ll be able to add an extra layer of filling with this choice.
  • Serving Size: The recipe is versatile in terms of portions. It’s perfect as a hearty meal for one, or can easily serve two when complemented with a salad or additional side.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 571kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 123mg, Sodium: 1288mg, Potassium: 923mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 859IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 493mg, Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Helen Townsend says:

    Many older people are alone because of age. We usually have health problems that require us to watch our fat intake, particularly saturated fat. Is there some way to decrease the fat in the recipes to help us out?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Absolutely, I understand your concerns about managing fat intake, especially with saturated fats. For our mini zucchini lasagna recipe, you can easily adjust the fat content with some simple substitutions. A great way to start is by reducing the amount of cheese used, or opting for low-fat cheese varieties. Also, consider using leaner meat options or increasing the proportion of vegetables. Remember, these small tweaks can make a significant difference in the fat content without compromising the flavor too much. However, for personalized dietary advice, especially considering health conditions, consulting a dietitian would be the best course of action. They can provide tailored recommendations to suit your specific health needs.

  2. Leona says:

    This was so good, and it was enough for two meals. As with so many good foods, it was even better the second time. Leftovers can be so nice!

  3. Diane Tinney says:

    Just tried your zucchini lasagna . Eating it it right now! Delicious! I will definitely make it again! Thank you

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      So glad you’re enjoying the zucchini lasagna as we speak! It’s always awesome to hear that a recipe will be on repeat in someone’s kitchen. Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

      1. Chris says:

        I make this all the time! Perfect for one or two.
        Delicious and healthy!

  4. Muddy says:

    Would this recipe be suitable for cooking in an air fryer? If so, would the temperature and the time be the same? Thanks!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      This zucchini lasagna recipe has not been tested in an air fryer but an air fryer is just a small convection oven so anything that can be made in a regular oven can be made in an air fryer. You’ll just need to reduce the cooking time as convection ovens cook faster due to how they circulate heat using a fan.

  5. Janet selinka says:

    Love this recipe! I have made it several times but,I made it and shared with a 90 year old friend, she loved it also and was telling all of her family how good
    the zucchini lasagna was. She requested l make it again!

  6. James Jordan says:

    I made this tonight. I substituted the hamburger and red sauce for sausage and Alfredo and added mushroom. And OMG I wish I had made a bigger batch of left overs.

    Thank you sharing such a yummy and easy recipe.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the lasagna recipe and I love the substitutions you made, thank you for letting me know!

      Joanie

  7. Mary says:

    Could you tell me where you purchased the spin the 5 x 5 one? Thank you

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Mary,

      The one 5-inch dish I use in so many of the ODK recipes is from Le Creuset and I purchased it on Amazon. You can find similar sized dishes at discount stores and some thrift stores. Here is a link to the one I use – https://amzn.to/2NG3qs8

      Joanie

  8. vicki finn says:

    I love anything zucchini and this was no different! What a perfect sized dish. So delicious!

  9. Denay DeGuzman says:

    A neighbor brought by some zucchini picked fresh from her garden, so I pulled up this zucchini lasagna recipe and made a serving size for two. Let me tell you, it was fantastic!

  10. Whitney Bond says:

    This was the perfect healthy meal for just me! I used ground turkey instead of ground beef and absolutely loved it!