ZUCCHINI LASAGNA | the best zucchini lasagna recipe

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– When you have an abundance of zucchini, one of my favorite recipes to whip up is a zucchini lasagna. It's a fresh take on the
classic comfort recipe that's loaded with veggies, and it's still got that fresh, rich flavor and scrumptious texture,
just the same as the classic, but it won't weigh you down. If you watched my vegetable
sheet cutter video, you got a sneak peek of this recipe. But because I know many of
you don't have that tool, I wanted to show you today how to make it with a mandoline or a vegetable peeler. This zucchini lasagna
recipe makes for a great weeknight meal to feed a large family. Or if you're a party
of one or two, like me, you'll have delicious
leftovers that you can freeze and enjoy for weeks to come. So let me show you how to make it. I'm starting with four large zucchini because I like a lot of
zucchini in my lasagna. But I do have a disclaimer, and it's this. The more zucchini you use,
the more likely your lasagna will be a bit watery, as
zucchini is 95% water.

Now, this doesn't bother
me in the slightest, and there are a few ways that you can make zucchini less watery. If we go back to my
video where I showed you the vegetable sheet cutter, you can see that the zucchini was sliced pretty thin and laid down in a single
layer, which resulted in a less watery lasagna. So slicing your zucchini
thin is the first method. If you use a mandoline, you
can adjust the thickness of your slices as well to be as thick or thin as you'd like. My slices, which you'll
see here in a second, are actually pretty thick, and I set them on the medium setting.

To use the mandoline, slice
the ends off your zucchini, and then please, please
use a cut-resistant glove. Mandoline blades are extremely sharp, and I've sliced a divot
out of my thumb before, so I always use a glove now. Run your zucchini down the mandoline and slice each zucchini
into perfect slices. As you get towards the
end of the zucchini, do keep your fingers
up as much as possible. With the mandoline, you
can slice all four zucchini in just a minute our two,
and I'll link this mandoline, which I've had for years and I love, in the description box below. If you don't have a
mandoline, you could use a vegetable peeler or the straight blade on a julienne peeler as well. Just place the blade on
the end of the zucchini and pull it across. It's not as fast or easy as the mandoline, but it definitely works if
this is what you've got. Now between those two options,
you can see the difference in thickness, and while I
prefer the thicker slices of zucchini, it's totally up to you.

In addition to slicing
your zucchini thinner, there are two other ways
to remove some of the water from zucchini, and the
first involves salt. So place your zucchini on a
large plate or baking tray, sprinkle it with a good amount of salt, and then let it sit for 15 minutes. The salt draws the moisture
out of the zucchini, which you can see beading on top. Blot the zucchini dry with a paper towel to remove that moisture,
and make sure to wipe off some of that excess salt as well.

Another thing you can do
is grill the zucchini. If you grill it for one to
two minutes on each side, you'll remove much of the moisture, and thus have a less
watery zucchini lasagna. Once you've grilled both sides, just place the zucchini on
a paper towel to blot dry. (gentle music) Once your zucchini are all
sliced, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
and add two pounds of ground beef to a large
saute pan on medium-high heat. Use a spatula to break down the meat, as you want lots of small, little pieces rather than large chunks. And cook it until it's
browned and no longer pink. Add almost all of a 24-ounce
jar of pasta sauce to the meat, but reserve a half a
cup, as we'll use that in the bottom of the casserole dish.

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Stir the sauce and meat together
until it's well combined, then turn off the heat. Grate one cup of fresh
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and I do recommend freshly grated cheese rather than pre-grated if you can find it. I'm personally not a fan
of the anti-caking agents in pre-grated cheese, and the flavor is much fresher and tastes more authentic when you grate the cheese yourself. Next, you'll grate about 1
1/2 cups of fresh mozzarella, and fresh mozzarella
is creamier and softer than processed grated
mozzarellas, which I love. In a large mixing bowl, add
15 ounces of ricotta cheese. And you can use whole milk or part-skim. Whole milk ricotta is richer and creamier, and part-skim will save
you a few calories, so it's completely up to you.

Then add one egg and some salt and pepper. Give that a stir to mix
everything together, then add your grated
Parmesan and stir it again. (gentle music) Next, you need a small handful
of fresh basil and parsley. And I'm thrilled to be
able to harvest these from my patio herb garden,
which has grown heaps in the last month. These bold herbs bring that traditional Italian flavor to the recipe. And you wanna just roughly chop them up. All right, now that our
individual ingredients are ready, we can assemble this lasagna. On the bottom, add that
half a cup of pasta sauce that you reserved, and use a large spoon to spread it around.

This just ensures nothing
sticks to the bottom of the pan. Then add the zucchini. You can see that I'm overlapping
the zucchini by about half. You can do this as well, or
just lay them side by side if you'd like to use less. Our next layer is the meat sauce, so add half of what's in your saute pan, and use your spatula to spread it out into a thin layer and pat it down. Then add half of the ricotta
mixture by just dolloping little bits, and use
the back of your spoon to spread this around as well. Add about a half a cup of
grated mozzarella on top, which is 1/3 of what we've grated, and sprinkle 1/3 of the herbs.

Then we'll repeat this
whole process again, so we'll have two delicious
layers in our lasagna. Once the second layer of
zucchini is completely laid out, I do flatten it a bit with my hands just to make sure it's fitting
nice and tight in the pan. Add the second layer of meat
sauce, the rest of the ricotta, another half a cup of mozzarella, and another sprinkling of herbs. (gentle music) The last layer is our top
layer, so add the zucchini, give it one last smush down to flatten, then add the last of your
herbs and mozzarella. (gentle music) Place the zucchini lasagna in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes,
and it should be bubbling and smell amazing when it's done. I also like to turn on the top broiler for about five minutes at the end to get a nice golden top. Before serving, add
fresh whole basil leaves for a beautiful presentation. And after you've sliced a
piece with a sharp knife, I recommend scooping it
out with a slotted spatula so any residual liquid stays in the pan. This zucchini lasagna
is hearty, flavorful, and definitely a family favorite, so I hope you enjoy it as well.

(gentle music) If you'd like to see more
healthy casserole recipes, make sure to give this video a thumbs up. And I will see you guys
again in next week's video. (gentle music).

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