Sunday, August 17, 2014

Grilled Zucchini Lasagna - Low Carb and Grain Free

This evening I decided to make Grilled Zucchini Lasagna for dinner since I had a bunch in the fridge that needed to be used. You can layer the lasagna any way you prefer, use whatever kind of cheeses that you like best and make as many layers as your baking dish will allow without bubbling over. Zucchini typically contains a lot of liquid so I decided to lightly salt my thinly sliced zucchini to draw out some of the excess fluid. It's not necessary to do that step, but it helps keep it from getting too juicy as it cooks. Grilling the zucchini also helps dry it out a bit as well. I absolutely love lasagna made with either eggplant or zucchini...especially in the summertime when it's plentiful. Rather than use ground beef this time, I used some bulk hot Italian chicken sausage that I picked up at Sprouts. I paired the spicy sausage with DelGrosso's spicy Fireworks sauce. I added some diced onion and red bell peppers to the sausage as it was browning. It was nice and spicy without being overly spicy. I served the lasagna with my Cheese Filled Dinner Rolls which were nice to use to dab up the extra sauce. Both boys came for dinner and they enjoyed it too. I snapped a few photos below as well as included the recipe. The most important thing (other than not using too much sauce) is to allow the lasagna to sit for a bit after it comes out of the oven before serving it so the cheeses don't run out when you cut it. It actually serves more nicely the second night. Enjoy!

Salted, excess liquid blotted and ready to grill

Grilled Zucchini Lasagna


6 to 8 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1 pound ground beef or sausage (I used hot Italian chicken sausage)
1/2 cup diced onions, optional
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper, optional
1-1/2 cups pasta sauce (about half of a 24-oz jar)
1/2 pound sliced fresh mozzarella (1/4-inch slices)
6 - 8 thin slices provolone, divided
8 ounces ricotta cheese (about half of a 15-oz container)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 2.5 quart square deep baking dish (about 10" x 10"). 

Line a large cooking sheet or tray with a layer of paper towels and arrange sliced zucchini on it; lightly sprinkle with salt and cover with another layer of paper towels and let sit 5 to 10 minutes to draw some of the excess fluid out. Flip over and repeat on the other side. 

Lightly brush or spray both sides of zucchini with olive oil. Grill or bake zucchini until fork tender, about 6 to 10 minutes (at 400 degrees F if baking in oven).

While zucchini is cooking, brown ground beef or sausage, onions and bell pepper in a large skillet in 2 tablespoons olive oil, breaking up into small pieces as it browns. Add pasta sauce and let simmer uncovered until thick and juices have evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce in the bottom of baking dish. Layer with half of the zucchini slices. Add a layer of half of the provolone slices; spread with all of the ricotta; and layer with all of the mozzarella. Add the second 1/3 meat sauce, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the grated Parmesan, about 1/4 cup.

Top with remaining half of the zucchini slices; then with remaining 1/3 of the meat sauce. Layer with remaining half of the provolone slices and sprinkle with remaining half of grated Parmesan on top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until bubbly. Let sit about 10 to 15 minutes for cheeses to set before cutting.


Sami said...

Looks delicious, I think I will try this out this week!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Sami -- I hope you enjoy it! :-)

NanetteC said...

I've made my own version of this several times - but never grilled the zucchini before. I think I'll try that next time!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Nanette,

I like grilling the zucchini, especially in the summertime -- it adds a bit of flavor and doesn't heat up the kitchen...which is a good thing here with our hot Atlanta summers! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello, GGC:
We must be on the same wave length this week. Was thinking of making this up, using my recipe, subbing the noodles with zucchini, and still using the same cheeses. Yours looks like a winner. Only changes that I will be doing is using beef & cutting the recipe in half, as there are only 2 of us here; making the full recipe would be too much for us.
Question here: Would this be able to be frozen for another time? Or, would it become too watery when popped into the oven for re-heating from the frozen state? Your thoughts, please.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

I guess great minds think alike, right? ;-) You know, I have not tried freezing the zucchini lasagna. They only thing is the possibility of it becoming watery as it thawed to reheat. What you might want to do is when you make it the first time, just freeze a small piece as a "test" to see how it "comes back to life". It would be a shame to freeze a larger amount and be disappointed with how well it reheats. If you try it, let me know how it does! Hope you enjoy and thanks! :-)

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! Everyone in my family loved it. Thank-you so much for the recipe.


Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cat,

So glad you and your family enjoyed it. Thanks so much for letting me know! :-)