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Easy zucchini lasagna

Ingredients 

4 large zucchini  

2 pounds ground beef 

24 ounces pasta sauce  

15 ounces ricotta cheese 

1 cup shredded parmesan reggiano 

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese 

1 egg 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Small handful fresh parsley and basil (chopped)  

Instructions  

First, you preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices (as thin or think as you’d like). Set that aside. Add ground beef to a large pain over medium high heat. Finely break down the ground beef with a spatula and pan fry it until browned and no longer pink. Then pour the pasta sauce on top of the ground beef (but remember to reserve 1/2 cup) and stir together, then remove from heat.  

In a medium bowl, make the ricotta mix by stirring together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Then spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of your 9×13-inch casserole dish.  

Add your zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce. They can overlap or you can place them side-by-side. Top the zucchini with 1/2 of the bolognese sauce, and evenly spread 1/2 the ricotta mix on top of that. Add 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella on top of the ricotta, along with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil. Repeat these layers on more time.  

Top the lasagna with a final layer of zucchini slices, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and basil, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Place the lasagna in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes. Broil for a couple of minutes to get a nice golden top. Garnish with whole basil leaves, serve, and enjoy!  

Commentary  

Zucchini lasagna is a modern twist on a classic comfort food dish. Don’t let the veggies, scare you away. It still carries all the same rich flavors as a regular lasagna. This has always been a family favorite of mine. It is especially great if you plan to host a dinner party or want leftovers for your roommate and yourself. It is very easy to make and only takes approximately 20 minutes to prep. Another bonus is that it is fairly healthy compared to most traditional family dinners. It’s gluten-free, low card, keto-friendly, and still jam packed with stringy, gooey cheese! By substituting zucchini slices for pasta, you can feel guilt-free while being satisfied with a full stomach.   

A few tips that I would recommend would be to use a mandolin to better control the thickness of zucchini. It may be easier and faster than a peeler. The thinner you make your zucchini slices, the less watery your lasagna will be. You can also choose to salt your zucchini and let it sit for 15 minutes. This helps to draw out the water from the vegetable. A third option would be to just grill the zucchini slices a couple minutes on each side. Not only does it reduce moisture but it gives it a unique, smokey flavor. Let lasagna cool, and it can be stored up to three to five days in the fridge. I hope this dish brings as much joy to your table as it always does to mine! 

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