Making vegetable lasagna with zucchini is a great way to transform your veggies into a five-star meal. And let me assure you, lasagna with zucchini (instead of noodles) is just as delicious as its version made with pasta.
Easy and delicious, zucchini recipes are some of my go-to’s for quick weeknight meals. Zucchini Soup is a light and luscious vegan recipe that comes together in 30 minutes, while Baked Zucchini Fritters make the ideal appetizer for anyone looking for yet another creative way of using this summer vegetable.
This vegetarian zucchini lasagna recipe only uses simple ingredients to fill your plate and delight your tastebuds with rich Italian flavors.
- Zucchini: Small- and medium-sized zucchini work best in this recipe, as large zucchini, tend to be more watery and have more seeds. Also, note that there’s no need to peel your zucchini before adding them to your lasagna mixture—especially in summer, during the zucchini season.
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh baby spinach
- Ricotta cheese: I recommend using full-fat ricotta cheese to ensure this dish comes out as creamy and rich as possible, being sure to drain away any excess liquid. However, if you don’t have any store-bought ricotta on hand or prefer to make your own, you can also prepare Homemade Ricotta with only four basic ingredients.
- Parmesan cheese
- Seasonings: To give your gluten-free lasagna the classic taste of Italian flavors, you’ll need dried oregano, fresh basil, lemon zest, Kosher salt, and ground pepper.
- Marinara sauce: You can use three cups of your favorite marinara sauce to cut down on prep time, or you can take this recipe to the next level by making your own Tomato Basil Sauce.
How to Make Zucchini Lasagna
Ever wonder how long to bake zucchini lasagna or how to layer your casserole perfectly? This beginner-friendly guide will show you how to make a veggie lasagna with zucchini that will taste straight out of an Italian restaurant.
- Prepare the veggie lasagna noodles: To slice your veggies, I recommend using my go-to method to slice zucchini for lasagna (which I detail more fully in my guide on How to Cut Zucchini for lasagna.) First, cut off a small bit from the top and bottom of each zucchini. Then, hold the end of the zucchini in one hand and use your other hand to shave the veggie lengthwise into thin slices using a veggie peeler, Y peeler, sharp knife, or mandoline slicer. These slices will serve as your vegetable lasagna “noodles.” When the veggie becomes too thin to grasp, lay it on your cutting board and use it as support while you finish slicing.
- Let the slices rest: Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer over a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels. Let them rest while you prepare the remaining ingredients, as they will naturally release excess moisture during this time. Pat the zucchini dry when ready to assemble the lasagna.
- Saute the onions: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Then, add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they turn translucent (about five minutes). Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic, and sauté the mixture for one more minute.
- Cook the spinach: Add the spinach to the pan and cook until wilted (approximately 2-3 minutes). Then, remove the skillet from the heat, and let it cool for a few minutes. While it rests, begin preparing the ricotta mixture. However, before adding it to the filling, be sure to drain any excess liquid from the pan.
- Make the ricotta filling: In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the spinach: Add the sauteed spinach and onion to the ricotta mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Prepare the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add the tomato sauce: Take out a 9×13-inch baking dish, and spread ¼ cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom.
- Start the assembling: Cover the lasagna pan with zucchini noodles in a single thin layer. Arrange the slices on top of the tomato sauce, beginning at the shorter side and working across the pan. Cover empty spaces with extra pieces, using about 12-13 slices per layer.
- Add the ricotta filling: Spread ⅔ cup of the ricotta mixture evenly over the layer of zucchini noodles. Then, spoon another ½ cup of the tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle that with ⅓ cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Finish assembling the vegetable noodle lasagna: Repeat the assembly process (Steps 8-10) four more times, resulting in five layers in total. Top it with the remaining tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella.
- Bake: Cover the spinach and zucchini lasagna with aluminum foil. Bake the dish for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil from the top of the baked zucchini lasagna and cook it for 15 minutes or until the top turns a bubbly brown.
- Rest, garnish, and serve: Let the dish cool for 15 minutes, and if any excess liquid remains, drain it before serving.
How to Make Ahead, Store, Reheat, and Freeze?
This easy zucchini lasagna recipe is just what every busy chef needs. This delicious dish is perfect for effortless meal prep, storage, and hands-free reheating.
- Make ahead: This zucchini meatless lasagna is a great make-ahead dish for busy weeknight dinners. First, assemble and bake the lasagna as instructed. Then, bring the dish to room temperature, drain any excess liquid, and place it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to eat, reheat the lasagna in a 350-degree F. oven for 30 minutes or until it warms through.
- Storage of leftovers: Let your veggie lasagna come to room temperature before storing. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Also, drain the lasagna before eating, as it will likely develop extra moisture during storage.
- Reheat: After storing your no-meat lasagna in the fridge, drain any excess liquid and reheat it in a 350-degree F. oven for 10-15 minutes or until warm.
- Freeze: When freezing lasagna with spinach and zucchini, let it reach room temperature first. Drain all excess liquid, then portion it into an airtight container or cover it tightly with stretch film to avoid freezer burn. Transfer the covered dish to the freezer for upto a month.
- Thaw: Thaw your frozen veggie lasagna overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to drain any excess liquid before reheating. Then, place it in a 350-degree F. oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.
What to Serve with this Meatless Zucchini Lasagna?
Vegetarian lasagna with zucchini is the perfect meal for any night of the week. This collection of menu ideas will complete your table with everything from flaky garlic bread to succulent poultry.
- Bread: No one can resist sopping up gooey lasagna sauce with a hearty piece of bread. A crusty loaf, like ike my No-Knead Bread, is ideal for balancing the tender texture of the zucchini lasagna noodles. For something quick (and super flavorful!), our Air Fryer Garlic Bread also makes an excellent addition to the meal.
- Salad: Green salads are the way to go if you’re looking for a light, nutritious side to pair with your healthy zucchini lasagna recipe. Creamy Caesar Salad is a classic Italian option, while Quinoa Avocado Salad is a colorful and crisp mix that comes together in just 15 minutes. For other equally healthy, filling sides, you could also whip up any of my other Quinoa Salad Recipes and prepare yourself for a brilliant spread of delicious food.
- With meat: Want to add some hearty protein to your meat-free lasagna? This cheesy, veggie-packed recipe is great for serving alongside Chicken Parm, Chicken Fricassee, and Grilled Cornish Hens.
Zucchini tends to carry a lot of juices, so to avoid watery zucchini lasagna, I recommend letting your veggie slices rest on paper towels for a few minutes before adding them to your baking pan. This resting time will help draw out excess moisture before baking. Other ways to reduce wateriness include letting your baked lasagna rest after cooking so water can either evaporate or more evenly permeate its layers. It’s also a good rule of thumb to select fresh, small- or medium-sized zucchini, as they contain less fluid than larger, less fresh veggies. Still, because of the nature of zucchini, your veggie lasagna will inevitably have a little more liquid than classic lasagna, so don’t worry if you have to drain the top of your dish before serving or during storage.
You can freeze the dish once it reaches room temperature. Just be sure to transfer your lasagna to an airtight container or cover it as tightly as possible with several layers of stretch film to keep it from becoming freezer burnt. You can then thaw your frozen vegetarian zucchini pasta overnight in the fridge and reheat it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Other Vegetarian Dishes with Summer Vegetables
Nothing tastes as light yet filling as this summer vegetable lasagna. However, if you want to make the most of your summer garden, these other healthy veggie dishes will satisfy all your cravings.
If you try this Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
- 3 medium-sized zucchini approximately 1 pound in total (60 slices)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed through a garlic press
- 6 oz. fresh baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1 ½ cups full-fat ricotta cheese* excess liquid drained
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons oregano dried (optional)
- 3 tablespoons basil fresh and chopped plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 cups Tomato Basil Sauce or your favorite storebought Marinara Sauce
- 2 ⅓ cups mozzarella shredded
- To prepare the zucchini: Cut a small slice off the end of each zucchini. Slice the zucchini thinly lengthwise using either a mandoline, a y peeler or a sharp knife*.
- Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on a kitchen towel or a few sheets of paper towels. As they rest, you will notice a trace amount of moisture emerging on the surface. Let them sit on the counter while you are working on the rest of the ingredients, and be sure to pat dry before the assembly stage.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic and saute for an additional 1 minute.
- Add the spinach and cook until fully wilted, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let it cool for a few minutes while you are making the ricotta mixture. If there is any liquid in the pan, drain it prior to adding to the ricotta mixture.
- To prepare the ricotta filling: Mix together ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Add in the spinach mixture and stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- To assemble the zucchini lasagna: Spread ¼ cup of tomato sauce at the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
- Arrange the zucchini slices on top of the tomato sauce, placing them across the shorter width and covering the empty spots with more zucchini slices. You should use around 12-13 slices per layer.
- Spread ⅔ cup of the filling (~7 oz.) over the zucchini layer. Spoon ½ cup of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with ⅓ cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat the process four more times (5 layers in total), ending with the remaining tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes so that the top will become bubbly brown. Let it cool for 15 minutes on the kitchen counter.
- Garnish with some torn fresh basil leaves, slice and serve.
- Yields: This recipe is made in a 9X13 baking dish that yields 9 slices of zucchini lasagna. The calorie and nutrition information below is per slice.
- Ricotta Cheese: You can make your own ricotta or buy it from the store. However, be sure to drain any excess liquid before adding it to the mixture.
- Excess liquid: If you have excess liquid in the baking dish after cooking, you can drain it out before serving. Letting the lasagne rest for 15 minutes will help the liquid set up.
- Make Ahead: First, assemble and bake the lasagna as instructed. Then, bring it to room temperature, drain any excess liquid, and place it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to eat, reheat the lasagna in a 350-degree F. oven for 30 minutes or until it is thoroughly warmed.
- Storage of leftovers: Bring the lasagna to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days. It is possible that it will develop extra moisture during storage, so feel free to drain it before reheating.
- Reheat: Reheat it in a 350-degree F. oven for 10-15 minutes or until warm.
- Freeze: If you want to freeze this dish, we recommend baking it first. Simply bring it to room temperature and cover it tightly with stretch film to avoid freezer burn. Transfer the covered dish to the freezer for up to a month.
- Thaw: Thaw it in the fridge overnight. Be sure to drain any excess liquid before reheating. Then, place it in a 350-degree F. oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.