I love lasagna and I love cheese. With that being said, I’m always looking for ways to make dishes a little healthier (even if they still have a lot of cheese). The other night I was craving lasagna like crazy but didn’t have any lasagna noodles. I’d heard about using squash before but was always a little hesitant.
Luckily, I usually have fresh produce in my fridge and zucchini was the perfect experimental substitute for the job. The dish came out amazing and even my husband loved it. The first thing he said was “Wait! Where’s the pasta? There isn’t pasta in this?!” and then chowed down another bite.
I’m excited to try making this again soon and adding new things. The great thing about dishes like this is that there’s really no wrong way to make them and you can add as much (or as little) of anything in them as you want.
I forgot to take an after picture because we devoured it.
What you’ll need:
- Fresh kale
- Fresh spinach
- 2-3 zucchini
- 1 jar marinara/tomato sauce of choice
- crumbled feta
- mozzarella cheese
- fresh Parmesan
- olive oil
- onion or onion powder
Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. I then took about 4-5 cups of spinach and another 3 or so cups of kale and added them to a pan over low-medium heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil. Stir and add in seasonings to taste: garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, onion.
Next, start laying and building your lasagna. Make sure your pan is lightly greased with olive oil. Then pour marinara for the base, add thin slices of zucchini, spinach/kale mixture, and cheese as you like.
I just did two full layers and then topped it off with more marinara and mozzarella over the entire thing.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes until cheese is fully melted. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes to let it solidify. You’ll need to use a spoon to dish it up and will want to eat it out of a bowl. It was heavenly. One thing I’d recommend trying is using a cheese grater to make long, thin slices of the zucchini. I just sliced them with a knife and didn’t get them as thin as I wanted and risked cutting my fingers about eight times.
It’s even amazing the next day heated up in the microwave.
Pasta is a magical food. I could eat pasta all day every day. Spaghetti night? How about spaghetti week!! Seriously, I can’t get enough of the stuff but my goals for this year and proving otherwise. When 2 cups of whole wheat pasta comes close to 350 calories, it can be hard to justify going back for seconds. That’s when I figured out that 2 cups of spiralled zucchini was only 55 calories and I ended up dancing around the kitchen with zucchini in my hands.
I introduce to you, the zucchini, a vegetable that you may not have given enough attention to. I’ll be honest, I certainly didn’t. So what’s so great about this cucumber wannabe? Well first off, it has the magical ability to transform itself into soft pasta-like swirls and if you invest in a vegetable spiraller like I did, your world will change.
Before I get to the recipe, let’s talk about how awesome the zucchini is, so awesome that as you read this, you may want to pronounce it “ZEE ZOO CHINI!” It just feels worthy of some italian splendor. This veggie is chalk full of nutrients and fiber that you may end up getting as addicted to it as regular pasta. Plus you don’t even have to get out a pot to boil it with. The stuff is ready to go the minute you spiral it. Thanks, veggie.
Zucchini is full of vitamin C and other nutrients and is so low-calorie you’ll be amazed at how filling it is!
The best investment I’ve made in a while is my vegetable spiraller that makes creating zucchini (or any squash) pasta super easy.
For one serving, I spiralled 1 large zucchini and it made close to 2 cups of “pasta.” I then mixed an entire hass avocado with some garlic powder to make the sauce and then mixed it with the zucchini.
Next, just cut up some grape or cherry tomatoes and add in the garbonzo beans and you’ve got yourself a creamy and filling meal!
- 1 hass avocado
- 1 large zucchini (yields about 2 cups pasta)
- 10 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup garbonzo beans
- garlic powder
- Spiralize zucchini
- Scoop out avocado and mash into bowl with desired amount of garlic powder
- Pour avocado sauce mixture over pasta and stir until well-coated
- Cut tomatoes into halves and drop on top of pasta
- Add garbonzo beans
Eat for dinner or take with you as a satisfying lunch at work! Higher in calories but with 22g of fiber it will keep you full way past snack time.