Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Technically, this is festive, right? Green zucchini, green spinach? No? Well, I tried.
After countless months of putting off making this recipe, I’ve finally manned up and produced what I believe to be the world’s best zucchini noodle lasagna.
I mean, have you seen this opening image?
At first, I didn’t want to do a zucchini lasagna because I thought, “That’s not creative – that’s been done before.” Then I realized that, sure, lasagna noodles have been replaced with slices of zucchini before. However, there’s never been a spiralized zucchini noodle version. And what kind of person would I be if I didn’t Inspiralize one of the best classic Italian casseroles: lasagna?
Every time I received an e-mail or note asking if I had a “spiralized lasagna recipe,” I cringed. I cringed because I knew you all wanted it and I wasn’t making it.
I guess I’ve been focused on trying to reinvent the wheel with each recipe, when, sometimes the wheel just needs a new paint job. Okay, I might not be the best at extended metaphors.
But, I’m good at spiralizing and today, I’ve Inspiralized lasagna.
I had so much fun tasting, testing and photographing this recipe.
Cheese is very photogenic.
My primary concern when building this recipe was the moisture factor. I didn’t want a sloppy zucchini mess. After a couple tries, I got it. There are two things you need to keep in mind when making this recipe:
1. After you take the lasagna out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, it’s crucial to drain any excess liquid. You must do this carefully and slowly (you don’t want your lasagna falling into the sink!)
2. You must cut the lasagna into portions immediately. The longer the zucchini sits in the lasagna, the more mositure that will build up at the bottom.
Once you’ve taken these precautions, this lasagna will knock your socks off. Honestly, there’s something about having the zucchini in ribbons that changes the whole taste of the zucchini. The zucchini ribbons flatten when baked just like real lasagna noodles.
I made this lasagna early in the morning and had to rush off to a full day of meetings in NYC. A few hours later, the lasagna tasted even better chilled! However, I do prefer cold pizza to hot pizza, so I’m an odd bird.
Obviously, there’s a lot of cheese in lasagna. It’s total comfort food. But lasagna noodles can make you feel stuffed and uncomfortable! That’s why a zucchini noodle is the way to go – you get that same gooey, cheesy flavor without the heavy carbs, calories and bloated, lethargic feeling afterwards.
Let’s talk assembly. This was extremely time consuming to do, but I put together a step by step lasagna assembly graphic. Directions are in the recipe, but heres the info-graphic for you:
And check out the fresh ingredients, while you’re at it:
Okay, I think if you’ve made it this far down this post, you’re ready for the recipe. I’ll leave you with one more picture:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup diced red onion
- 2 (14oz) canned diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 tsp dried oregano flakes
- 8 basil leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3-4 cups of spinach
- 3 medium zucchinis, Blade A
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (grated not shredded!)
- 1.5 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, place in the olive oil. Then, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let garlic cook for 30 seconds and then add in the red onions. Let onions cook for 2 minutes and then add in the canned tomatoes, oregano, basil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is fully reduced, about 15 minutes. The sauce should have no excess liquid, almost to the point where it sticks to the bottom of the pan. This is important to avoid a watery lasagna at the end.
- While the sauce reduces, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the spinach. Cook until completely wilted and set aside in a plate. Then, cook the zucchini noodles for 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Place the cooked noodles in a colander and pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside once done.
- While the sauce is still cooking, add the ricotta, parmesan and egg to a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- Once the sauce is done, gather all of your prepared ingredients. Take out a casserole dish (I use 4.2 quart) and add a layer of the tomato sauce to the bottom. Then, add a layer of zucchini noodles. Then, add a layer of the ricotta mixture. Then, add in a layer of
- tomato sauce. Then, add in a layer of spinach, using all of the spinach. Then, add a layer of the ricotta mixture. Then, add in a layer of zucchini noodles. Then, add in the last of the tomato sauce, in a layer. Then, top with all of the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, take the dish out of the oven, remove the tinfoil top and let rest for 5-10 minutes. After resting, carefully and slowly pour out as much excess liquid as possible. Then, carefully cut the lasagna into 6 equal portions. Remove these portions and plate immediately or save in individual containers in the refrigerator (or freezer). This is very important to avoid excess moisture. Enjoy immediately!
I used KitchenAid's 4.2 quart casserole dish.