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This is the perfect zucchini lasagna bake for a crowd. This isn’t just any ordinary lasagna. It has a homemade tomato sauce made with fresh basil, oregano, and garlic layered with zucchini, ricotta, cottage cheese, and parmesan. It’s sure to be a home run for your family get-togethers, reunions, and events. This lasagna bake has all the amazing tastes and aromas of a delicious traditional lasagna without all the unwanted calories.
It’s no surprise lasagna is a favorite dish for so many people around the world. I know it’s one of mine. I still have clear memories of my grandmother making her homemade lasagna.
It’s cheesy and gooey and with the smell of tangy tomato sauce and sweet basil, it’s the ultimate comfort food. This healthy spin on a lasagna bake is vegetarian and low-carb using slices of zucchini in place of the noodles. It’s easily customizable as well.
Is this lasagna bake good for large groups?
This lasagna bake is a perfect choice for a large group. Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. Once you make the simple homemade sauce, layer it with the cheese mixture, and zucchini noodles in the dish and bake it in the oven.
Since there the dish has zucchini noodles, there’s no need to boil noodles used in traditional recipes before baking. Assembling the lasagna bake and cooking it in the oven only takes 90 minutes altogether. This recipe serves eight people, but you can duplicate the recipe for as many servings as you need. For every eight servings, you will need a 9×13 inch pan.
Can you make this lasagna bake ahead of time?
Yes, to save time on the day of the event, you can make several pans ahead of time, freeze them, and heat them in the oven. You can even make a few extras so you can be assured you will have plenty to eat for your large group gathering. If you don’t end up using the extra, it makes for a great family meal later.
If you would like the lasagna to be completely fresh, you can also assemble the lasagna and freeze it without baking it first. You just need to double wrap the dish with plastic wrap.
This lasagna bake would go well with a salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber and rolls. For dessert check out our carrot cake for a crowd.
Can you meal prep this lasagna bake?
Even if you don’t have to cook for a large group, this lasagna bake is an excellent option for meal prepping especially if you have a large family. I took this lasagna bake to work every day for a week and it was so good I never got sick of this recipe.
Is this lasagna bake healthy?
This lasagna bake has all the yummy flavors of a traditional lasagna without all the calories and guilt. The rich and creamy homemade sauce is made from no-salt-added tomato sauce and paste. It’s seasoned with onion and garlic and spices like basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Using tomato paste makes the recipe extra thick and creamy.
Zucchini sliced like noodles give the dish a crunch and texture while high-calorie ricotta and mozzarella cheeses are replaced with cottage cheese, fat-free mozzarella, and a parmesan blend.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s so customizable. You can easily add more traditional ingredients such as lasagna noodles, ground turkey, pork, hamburger, and ricotta.
How do you slice the zucchini?
For efficiency, I recommend using a mandoline slicer. You can easily find a basic one at most retailers for less than $30. You can also use a cutting knife. Just keep in mind it could be much more difficult to get evenly sliced zucchini. The slices will most likely be thicker.
How do you store the lasagna bake?
You can refrigerate the lasagna bake for up to five days. If you would like to store it any longer than that, you can also freeze the lasagna for up to three months. Vacuum sealing the dish would offer even better results.
- Line a dish with paper towels. Place the sliced zucchini in the pan and sprinkle salt over the layer. Repeat with the remaining zucchini by layering it on top. Set the dish aside for 30 minutes so the salt has time to dry the zucchini out.
- Preheat a pan to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.
- Add 1 tbsp fresh basil, 1 tsp oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes.
- Add in the tomato sauce and bring it to a boil. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Return skillet to medium heat, add spinach as it starts to wilt, stirring in between. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, add cottage cheese, egg, and 1/2 tsp oregano. Puree in a blender or an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside.
- Pat each zucchini layer dry with paper towels transferring to another dish. You want to absorb moisture between each zucchini layer as much as possible. Using your hands squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In 9″ x 13″ baking dish, add a few tablespoons of tomato meat sauce, spread with a spoon, and sprinkle with quinoa.
- Place sliced zucchini overlapping a bit to create a single layer.
- Spread 1/3 of tomato meat sauce, then 1/3 of cottage cheese, sprinkled with 1/4 of mozzarella and 1/3 of spinach.
- Repeat until you run out of ingredients finishing with a layer of zucchini, topped with a bit of meat sauce, then sprinkled with remaining mozzarella and all of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Keep in mind the longer you bake it, the softer the quinoa will get. I liked the quinoa a little firmer to give the lasagna bake an extra crunch.
- Let the lasagna cool before slicing. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.
- 5 medium zucchini
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt + more for zucchini
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce, low sodium
- 11 oz fresh spinach
- 17 oz tub cottage cheese
- 1 egg, large
- 3 tbsp quinoa, uncooked
- 8 oz fat free mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated