(Grain-less) Gluten-free Zucchini LasagnaPosted: May 10, 2013
This has been a crazy couple of weeks, to say the least. I knew it would be, but even I couldn’t prepare myself for the little wave of panic when I looked at my calendar and saw three tech-to-performance weeks in a row. There is a reason that the theater industry calls these “hell weeks”…nah, I’m (mostly) joking. Thankfully, all of these performances are with my children’s company which means: (A) I know those involved, (B) Most of our team has down this before, and (C) We are all awesome enough to make these week run smoothly and simply! This post has been sitting in my drafts, half-written, for almost a week-and-a-half, and this recipe has been waiting even longer!
This lasagna was one of the actual “recreation” dinners I made after going gluten-free, and it was also the first time I’d ever tried making lasagna at home. I was intrigued by the grain-free recipe (one less ingredient to worry about converting to gluten-free–score!) and the extra veggies with zucchini substituting for noodles. I added more vegetables in the form of onions and peppers, but this recipes is incredibly flexible. Sub more vegetables in for some or all of the meat, or any more to the onion-pepper mixture. When I first made this recipe, I sliced the zucchini lengthwise, into long strips like noodles. These had a tendency to slip out when trying to cut a bite’s-worth, so I recommend cutting into circle crosswise, or peeling the zucchini before slicing it.
I wish I had had time to make this Lasagna this week (the recipe and photos are from about a month back). This makes the best leftovers, and we have plenty when I’m only serving dinner to three people. This comforting dish is the perfect bridge between winter and spring (we’ve just had three days of torrential rain–yuck) and would be the best lunch on my hectic performance days. I’ve got one more performance weekend, one more week of wrap-up, and then we’ll be off on our relaxing cruise! I’ll certainly keep you posted before then, and plan to come back with a full review of Royal Caribbean’s gluten-free offerings!
Zucchini Lasagna (Pasta-less Lasagna)
Serves: 8 | Prep time: 30 minutes
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 large bell pepper (any color), finely diced
- 4 cups fresh spinach or kale leaves (kale stems removed), roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 oz ricotta cheese*
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese*
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese*
- 1 lb italian sausage (can replace with equal amounts of another ground meat or finely diced tofu or mushrooms or veggie mix)
- 2 c. tomato sauce (storebought or homemade), divided
*I’m guessing that you could possibly use cashew ‘cheese’ if you wanted to make this vegan. I’ve never tried it myself, please let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the zucchini into thin slices crosswise (making circles, not long strips). (Optional–peel zucchini before slicing). Lay slices out on papertowels and salt generously. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes–zuchinni will release some of their liquid. Crumble sausage/meat/tofu/veggies into a large sauté pan. Cook completely, then set aside. Drain grease. Cook chopped onions and peppers in a large sauté pan with minimal oil for about 5-7 minutes, until softened. Set aside. Rinse all zucchini well. Cook zuchinni in sauté pan for about 5 minutes, until slices begin to wilt. Spread on papertowels and allow to cool. Cooked spinach/kale in a covered sauté pan until wilted, about 3 minutes. Mix together wilted greens, basil, garlic, parmesan, 1/4 c. mozzarella, and ricotta cheese in medium bowl. In separate bowl, mix together onions, peppers, and meat/veggies with 1/2 c. of tomato sauce. Firmly pat zucchini slices dry
Lightly grease a 9×9″ pan. Spread 1/2 c. of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan, coating evenly. Layer zucchini in even layer, top with cheese mixture then meat/veggie mixture, spreading evenly for each layer. Top meat/veggie mixture with 1/2 c. of tomato sauce. Continue this pattern (zucchini, cheese, meat, sauce) until ingredients run out–I got three layers. Be sure to end with sauce on topmost layer. Cover with remaining 3/4 c. mozzarella cheese.
Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degree F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is browned and bubbling. Allow lasagna to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
Can be refrigerated in sealed container for up to 4 days.