Beef & Zucchini Lasagna

I used to have a massive garden that was often taken over by zucchini. I complained because it would outshine many of my other plants, but now I miss it! I haven’t had a garden for two years (and absolutely plan to build one next spring!) and I want to have so much zucchini I don’t know what to do with it. It was such a good problem to have!

I would shred loads of it, package it up in containers and freeze it. And throughout the cooler months I’d take some out and make zucchini banana bread, zucchini muffins or add it to soups and casseroles.

Since I don’t have a garden right now, I’ve been frequenting our local farmer’s market where there is plenty zucchini to go around. And my new favorite recipe is Beef & Zucchini Lasagna. It has no pasta, but you honestly don’t miss it! I am a huge pasta lover, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to just swap some out for zucchini, but decided to go all in – and I wasn’t disappointed! The zucchini maintains a really nice texture (no mush!) and pairs so well with the beef, Italian herbs and spices, tomato sauce and, of course, mozzarella cheese.

I’ll be eating this lasagna for days, and I’m not mad about it. And you should try it, too.

Now, tell me – how have you been preparing zucchini this summer?

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Beef & Zucchini Lasagna

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 65 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove-Top, Baking


A fun twist on traditional lasagna using zucchini instead of pasta!


  • 5 medium zucchini, sliced ⅛-inch thick lengthwise
  • 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 24 oz. jars lower sodium marinara
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 16 oz. cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Line the zucchini on a baking sheet and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Let sit 10 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan to medium heat. Add the onion and ground beef and sauté 6-7 minutes, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until browned. Stir in the spinach and garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring constantly. Stir in ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the marinara and remove from the heat. Stir in one egg until combined.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cottage cheese, egg and remaining ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning.
  5. Start by spooning some of the marinara meat mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and spreading it in an even layer. Then, layer with zucchini strips, followed by another layer of marinara meat mixture, followed by a layer of the cottage cheese mixture and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Repeat until ingredients are used up, finishing with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lasagna is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown on top. Let cool 15-20 minutes, then slice and serve.


Cooking Tip: Salting the zucchini in step 1 brings out the water, so it’s important not to skip this step, or you may end up with watery lasagna!

Substitution Tip: You can swap out the zucchini for whole grain lasagna noodles, if desired. Use the no-cook variety, or boil them before cooking.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 327
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 592mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Cholesterol: 94mg

Keywords: zucchini, lasagna, low carb