We are not vegetarians. Never even entered our minds. Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna is a perfect blend of hearty meat dish and garden fresh goodness. We like hearty meals and when I have tried to serve my family a meatless dinner, well, lets just say it was not met with rave reviews.
When I was visiting my daughter, she said that we would be having her zucchini lasagna recipe for dinner. I was surprised because her husband is a fan of eating meat for dinner. It sounded good to me, though so I was looking forward to trying her recipe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the recipe included meat! It was not vegetarian lasagna, but zucchini lasagna with meat. And, it was delicious. I really think this tastes like the original lasagna. The zucchini has the texture of lasagna noodles and the rest of the ingredients are the same as the original recipe.
Meat Lovers Zucchini Lasagna
Make sure that you start this recipe early in the day. The texture of the dish and of the zucchini is much better if the water is drawn out of the zucchini and that can take up to an hour. The entire process took me about an hour and a half to get it ready for the oven, including the wait time to draw water out of the zucchini. I baked it for the suggested 45 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered. I hope you will enjoy this version of Zucchini Lasagna.
I’m sure there are also many ways to vary this recipe. If your garden is providing a generous amount of tomatoes and green peppers, increase the freshness level by making your own tomato based sauce. If you are looking for more dinner time recipe suggestions take a look at this post with quick and easy dinner recipes.
- 4 large zucchini sliced as thin as you can length wise. Try for 1/8th inch thickness or try using a mandolin
- 1 pound of ground beef, sausage, turkey
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 24 ounces of pasta sauce of choice
- 15 ounce Ricotta Cheese
- 16 ounces shredded Mozzarella
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- Start well in advance of dinner time. Slice zucchini and lay slices out on parchment paper or paper towels. Salt the zucchini slices to pull out the excess water. This will help keep the lasagna from being soupy. Wait at least 40 minutes. I waited one hour. Wipe or dab off the water from each slice using a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly cook the ground meat with the chopped onion and garlic. drain the meat mixture. Add the pasta sauce and simmer. In the meantime, in a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and 12 ounces of the mozzarella. Add the egg and mix well.
- Put a small amount of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. You can make one large lasagna using a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or two smaller ones using two 8 x 8 inch pans. If you are feeding a smaller family, this would give you a dinner to freeze for another evening.
- Begin building your lasagna, starting with a zucchini layer, then spread the cheese mixture, then the meat and sauce layer. Continue for two to three layers and end with zucchini topped with sauce and the remaining four ounces of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until topping is browned to your desired amount.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes to firm up before cooking.