Italian food is my own private kryptonite. The cheesier the better, I say! But when it comes to controlling calories and cholesterol, it’s not always the best of options. With this particular take on zucchini lasagna, I’ve provided a few modifications that can help in this department without detracting from the overall flavor.
You may wish to switch things up a bit — especially if you are not that concerned about the things I’ve mentioned — with something like ricotta cheese in place of the cottage. You may also wish to add some additional zing through parsley and additional spices. Have fun with it, and do not give up after the first effort.
The goal here is to realize noodles shouldn’t have all the fun when it comes to crafting superior Italian food dishes. Zucchini will help you dramatically reduce the standard noodles used for baking lasagna. In that regard, the dish should be considered a “healthier” option, but do keep in mind your recipe will still have over a pound of cheese in it, so consume wisely.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Serves: 8
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of chopped oregano
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 16-ounce container of 2% cottage cheese
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/3-cup red wine
- 1 16-ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of tomato paste
Preheat the oven to 165°c / 325°f
Grease 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
Cut two zucchinis into thin slices. Salt each slice lightly. Set aside to drain in a colander.
Brown the ground beef. Add in green pepper. Stir in tomato sauce and paste, basil, oregano, and wine. Add hot water to prevent the sauce from growing too thick. Bring meat sauce to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Stir frequently to keep from scorching.
Next, stir egg and cottage cheese together.
For assembly, cover the bottom of your pan in about half of the meat sauce. Lay down the first layer of zucchini slices (approximately half) along with half the cottage cheese and egg mixture along with all of the mushrooms and half the mozzarella cheese (about four ounces). Repeat the process. Top it off with the Parmesan cheese, doing your best to get an even spread. Cover the entire concoction in aluminum foil and slide into the preheated oven.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Take off the foil. Slide back in for an additional 15 minutes (uncovered) at 350°f. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes before serving.
Lasagna is typically a carb-ridden favorite that you have to make sure you are eating in moderation. While the zucchini lasagna recipe described above may not be carb free, it does change a few of the components to deliver an overall healthier experience. Try this out, and feel free to modify; then let us know how yours turned out!