Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday's Grilled Zucchini Lasagna...

This evening I wanted to use up the Italian Meat Sauce w/ Veggies I made Sunday evening. I decided to make "Grilled Zucchini Lasagna" which uses sliced cooked zucchini as the "noodles" (you can either bake or grill the sliced zucchini until tender...we grilled ours).  Be careful not to overcook your zucchini slices so they don't fall apart when you layer your lasagna.  I've made this before and it really is good.  You get all the flavor of regular lasagna but its not quite as filling and it's a great way to get some extra veggies in.  It's a good way to enjoy lasagna if you are reducing your carbs or are gluten sensitive and also a great way to help use up your bumper crop of zucchini in the summer time too.  You can make it as rich or light as you want based on what kind of cheeses you use and how much.  If you wanted to, you could make it entirely vegetarian by using meatless spaghetti sauce.  I must say that even though I'm not typically partial to meat sauce, the sauce I used from Sunday night (with ground beef and Italian turkey sausage) was absolutely delicious and really enhanced this dish.  We have enough leftovers for the two of us to have at least 2 or 3 more meals with too!  You can personalize this to your own taste by adding more or less of your favorite sauce and cheeses.  I've used ricotta cheese in the past but really enjoyed the cottage cheese I used tonight instead.  I also usually use shredded mozzarella cheese but really liked the substitution of the shredded Italian cheese blend I used this evening.  I've snapped a few pics as well as the simple recipe I quickly put together below.  Enjoy!

The zucchini is grilling away
A layer of meat sauce on the bottom, topped with a layer of zucchini
The zucchini is topped with another layer of meat sauce, all of the cottage cheese and 1/2 of the shredded cheese
The second and final layer of zucchini is placed on top of the cheeses
The zucchini layer is topped with the remainder of meat sauce
Final layer of shredded cheese is added to the top and ready to be popped in the oven
Fresh out of the oven

Zucchini Lasagna


2-1/2 - 3 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch lengthwise slices (lightly brushed with olive oil and baked or grilled until tender)
4-6 cups of sauce (with or without meat), I used meat sauce this time
16-oz container low fat ricotta or cottage cheese, I used 2% cottage cheese
8-oz shredded Italian cheese blend (or you could use plain mozzarella)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a lightly greased 13x9 pan, spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Add a layer of zucchini slices; next ladle on another 1 to 1-1/2 cups of sauce over the zucchini; top with all of the ricotta or cottage cheese and 1/2 of the shredded cheese.  Repeat a second layer of zucchini slices; cover with another 1-2 cups of sauce and top with the remainder of shredded cheese.  Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly and lightly browned.  If more browning is desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese is hot, browned and bubbly.  Let cool about 15 minutes before cutting.  Enjoy!

***Note:  It is important to allow your Zucchini Lasagna adequate time to cool down a bit before cutting if you don't want your slices to slide and fall apart.  I was in a hurry tonight and didn't let it sit long enough so it slid a little bit...but it tasted absolutely awesome!  If you are using jarred spaghetti sauce, probably 2 28-ounce jars would be enough sauce, just add enough for your own personal preference.  This evening I used about 7 cups of thick home made Italian meat & veggie sauce because I had it leftover from Sunday night's dinner -- I normally would not have used quite that much sauce.

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