Southwestern Zucchini Lasagna – No Pasta Needed!

I’m still on a fairly healthy trying to eat right kick. I use ground turkey most times in place of beef and I eat the hell out of some chicken. I decided I was going to try a lasagna with zucchini sliced thin instead of noodles after seeing a “roll up” made with them on pinterest. I also wanted to do a southwest version as opposed to a straight up Italian mozzarella version as well. Not gonna lie, it took about 5 tries to spell “mozzarella” correctly. Thanks, little red squiggly lines.

Anyway this was adapted from a spaghetti squash recipe and formatted but it is amazing and I love it. I hope you do too. The one thing I like is that it’s really customizable – there are a couple “use what you want” ingredients here and that’s because everyone’s taste is different. Want a tangy sweet taste to your sauce? Use barbecue. I had ketchup on hand so that was what I used. If I had a can of tomato sauce I might’ve used that. If you like things spicy? Throw some red pepper flakes in. Load it with cayenne. Even chop up jalapenos and add it to the vegetable mix. Make it your own and come back and tell me how it was!

Southwestern zucchini lasagna

1 large zucchini, thinly sliced longway ( I used an accordion slicer and made it so easy and super thin)
1 small jar salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white/yellow corn, drained
12 oz ground turkey
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
5 large mushrooms, chopped
1 container skim milk ricotta cheese
2 cups reduced fat / fat free shredded cheddar (or cheddar jack blend, taco blend, whatever you like)
1/4 cup “Sauce” of your choice (tomato, barbecue, ketchup, etc) with a little extra left over
2 tbsp olive oil
seasonings to your taste

Oven: 350 – 20 minutes covered in foil, 10 minutes after uncovered.

First off? Heat that olive oil on medium high and cook the garlic, onion and mushrooms for about three minutes. Add the turkey and turn to high, cooking until everything is done. I added an herbs de provance sea salt blend and pepper here. Another good addition would be cumin, cayenne and/or chili powder to make it even more southwestern. Once the meat was done I turned the heat off.

In a large container I mixed the salsa, corn, and beans. I used about a cup and a half and added to the meat mixture with the 1/4 cup of sauce and stirred until it was all blended. I’ll use the rest of the salsa mix either as dip or on spaghetti squash later in the week. It works well for either. Once it was all mixed it looked like this:

healthy lasagna recipe

Provided I had all my components prepared – by prepared I mean the zucchini sliced (I cut off both ends to make it even) and the ricotta prepared (here is another place you want to at least add salt and pepper but you could mix it up with other spices too) it was time to build. I put a little splattering of the same sauce I put in the meat mixture on the bottom, then a layer of zucchini to cover it up. You can preheat your oven to 350 at this time too!

healthy lasagna recipe

On top of that goes a layer spread of ricotta cheese, and then the meat mixture.

healthy lasagna recipe

Cheese gets sprinkled over the meat and then the layers repeat with the zucchini strips in the alternate direction. (if they were up and down the first time, make them stretch left to right this time). A final layer of cheese on top pretty heavy should top it off. I did three layers on mine out of one zucchini in an 8×8 pan.

healthy lasagna recipe

Then it’s ready! Cover it in foil and cook at 350 for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and cook about 10 minutes more or until the cheese is nice and browned. Take it out, let it stand for about five minutes, then cut in and devour.

healthy lasagna recipe

I didn’t just eat two servings of this. I lie. I totally did. Not even caring. It’s comfort food that you can feel kinda good about. It’s not the best healthy recipe in the world but it beats layers of pasta noodles and ground beef right?