Easy and Delicious Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna

The ease of dinner for two these days often entails a simple protein and a salad and sometimes a husband filling side dish. I love salads and can eat them all day long and stuff them with all sorts of leftovers! When time permits I do still enjoy cooking and mostly healthy food.

gluten-free-zuchinni-lasagna

 I don't feel the pressure though to cook a nightly full meal as I generally did when the kids were growing up. Perks of the empty nester! 
In the interest of keeping it healthier and lighter I often look to vegetable based dishes like the cauliflower rice that I make weekly and quiche. We love squash in our family, particularly zucchini and yellow squash.

Zoodles are a favorite and I've substituted them for pasta based dishes. I decided to experiment with zucchini lasagna this week and although we aren't a gluten free family I believe that this is so much healthier and doesn't give you that bloated feeling that can come with noodles. It's truly delicious and as with traditional lasagna even better the next day! Without further chatter, here is the recipe that I adapted from Live Simply to suit our needs.

gluten-grain-free-lasagna-recipe

RECIPE: Easy and Delicious Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup low fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan (or more, for extra cheesy goodness)
  • 1 medium sweet red onion - diced
  • 1 red pepper - diced
  • 1 package fresh sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large can low salt diced tomatoes (drain and wash)
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Cut each zucchini in half down the middle, trim off the ends. Then slice lengthwise to form noodle sized pieces resembling store bought noodles. Set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat up and then saute the diced onion and pepper (mushrooms-optional) for about 5 minutes.  
  4. Add the ground turkey or chicken and cook until browned. I use low fat so that draining is not necessary. 
  5. Mix tomato paste with water in a small bowl and add to skillet, along with diced tomatoes. Simmer and stir often for about 5 minutes until liquid is gone.
  6. Using a 9 x 12 glass baking dish, add a layer of the sliced zucchini, just as you would with traditional noodles.
  7. Layer about 1/2 cup meat sauce, then dollop on spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese, and sprinkle on mozzarella cheese.
  8. Repeat another layer.
  9. You should have enough zucchini left to top the 2 layers with a final layer, but if not...don't sweat it. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top and if any mozzarella is left sprinkle that as well.
  10. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  11. Let sit for 10 minutes to cool before cutting and serving. Tastes great for leftovers the next day and will pack well in a glass lunchbox to eat cold!
You'll really enjoy this dish and if you are a vegetarian you can totally eliminate the meat and won't miss it. Just double on on some of the vegetables of your favorite choosing or even beans. I'd love to know if you make this one!