Add Some Zing with Zucchini
Posted on August 14, 2023
Zucchinis are in season and are an excellent and nutrient-packed vegetable that can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. From pastas to breads, zucchinis are an excellent source of vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and B vitamins. When choosing zucchinis, it's best to select a small to medium-sized zucchini that is firm and feels heavy. The skin of the zucchini should be blemish free, bright green and smooth. Now that you have the perfect zucchini, give this recipe a try!
RECIPE: Zucchini Lasagna
For the zucchini layer
5 medium zucchinis (2 lb. total weight)
Olive oil cooking spray
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
½ tsp. black pepper, divided
½ tsp. garlic powder
For the beef layer
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
½ cup chopped onion
1 ⅓ cup marinara sauce, divided
For the ricotta layer
15 oz, whole milk ricotta cheese (room temperature)
2 large eggs
½ cup chopped fresh basil
8 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- Start by grilling the zucchini slices. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heat your grill to medium. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick strips, getting 6 slices out of each zucchini and discarding the ends. Spray the zucchini slices with olive oil and sprinkle them with ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Grill the zucchini slices in batches, 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and firm - not browned and crisp. Spread them on clean kitchen towels to soak up more moisture.
- Next, cook the beef. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the meat, the minced garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat until the meat is no longer raw, about 5 minutes. Drain into a colander, then return the meat to the pot and mix in 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Turn the heat off and set aside.
- Next, prepare the ricotta layer. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, basil and remaining kosher salt and black pepper with a fork.
- To assemble the lasagna: Start by spreading the remaining ⅓ cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish. You can also use a slightly smaller baking dish, such as 7 x 11 inches. Top the marinara sauce with a layer of zucchini, then a third of the ricotta mixture, then a third of the meat mixture and then a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat, arranging the zucchini slices in the opposite direction: zucchini, ⅓ ricotta, ⅓ meat mixture, ⅓ mozzarella. Repeat one last time, adding one extra layer of zucchini: zucchini, ricotta, meat mixture, more zucchini. Top with mozzarella.
- Finally, bake uncovered until the cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. You can finish by broiling for 1-2 minutes on high to brown the cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!