Lasagna without the noodles. It doesn’t make as big of a difference as I thought it would. That, is a great thing! After seeing a million variations of this, I decided it was about time to do my own version of a Noodles-less Lasagna.
I wanted this to taste as traditional as possible. Similar to the one my Mom used to make. Aside from the noodles, all the ingredients are there. Ground beef (I used an organic grass fed beef) rich tomato sauce, a couple types of cheese, and cottage cheese. I know many use ricotta cheese in the filling, but my Mom always used cottage cheese, so that’s what I went with….not a bad idea, as it has a lot more protein!
You could use whatever ground meat, or even a veggie ground round in this. But I do think that red meat will by far taste the best. Whether it be beef, bison or even moose. Ground turkey will work, just make sure you drain all the water out, as you want the sauce to be thick. You want the sauce to be quite a bit thicker than what you would use to pour over spaghetti, as we’re trying to limit moisture, as the zucchini has quite a bit of water in it…even when you roast it first to remove some of the water. I was worried that using zucchini would make it a soggy, watery mess. But the roasting of the zucchini beforehand helps immensely. The end result had a teeny bit of water on the bottom, but not as much as I expected, and the dish itself didn’t taste watered down at all!
It does take some extra time to roast the zucchini beforehand. But not much more time than it would to boil lasagna noodles beforehand, which is what I would typically do, as oven-ready noodles don’t come in gluten free. A little bit labor intensive, but totally worth it as it makes a huge 9×13 pan full, and we had leftovers.
I must admit, it came out tasting very similar to traditional lasagna, so we in fact, loved it. Didn’t miss the noodles at all, and its great to get an extra dose of healthy veggies! I’ll be making it again very soon!
- 1 lb or 454 grams 85% lean ground beef (I used organic lean ground beef)
- 6 zucchini, sliced lengthwise about ¼ inch (my zucchini were probably considered small to medium size)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 jar marinara sauce (I used Newman's Own Marinara)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup 1% cottage cheese
- 1 cup part-skim mozza cheese, shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Tillamook Aged Cheddar)
- 2 Tbsp fresh Parmesan cheese
- Optional - additional spices as you see fit. I added 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried oregano and basil, and ½ tsp pepper. Season to your taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice zucchini to about a ¼ inch thick. You should get about 5 slices per zucchini.
- Place sliced zucchini on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in your 400 degree oven for 7 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, brown beef in a large pot. Add in onions and mushrooms and saute until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have cooked down quite a bit.
- Add the entire jar of marinara sauce and simmer for about 5-10 minutes without a lid on. Season sauce to your preference if need be.
- While its cooking, take a small bowl, beat the 1 egg, and mix in the 1 cup cottage cheese to the beaten egg. Set aside.
- Add 1 layer of zucchini strips to the bottom of a 9x13 oven proof dish.
- Next, add a layer of meat sauce
- Then, add half of the cottage cheese mixture
- Next, add half the cheddar and mozza cheese (reserve the Parmesan for the top)
- Repeat layering process 1 more time. 1 layer of zucchini, 1 layer of meatsauce, 1 layer of cottage cheese mixture, lastly the rest of the cheese, as well as the 2 Tbsp Parmesan.
- Put in oven and bake for approx. 30 minutes until bubbling and browned. I put my oven to broil for 5 extra minutes to brown and crisp the cheese on top.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into 8 large pieces and serve.