Zucchini "Lasagna" with Ground Turkey (no noodles!)
Just to address it upfront: if you’re hate-reading this because you see that I’m making a zucchini turkey casserole and passing it off as a lasagna—joke’s on you because I’m hate-writing this for the exact same reason. But facts are facts and one fact is that I love lasagna but I also love healthy substitutes for otherwise unhealthy delicious things. This recipe yields a perfectly kind, protein packed, cheesy and delicious “lasagna” that is not at all lasagna but really hits the spot. The spot that craves the lasagna. And it’s fast, and easy. And not fancy. Because sometimes that’s what life requires. I even used my iPhone for most of the photos because its almost 2020 and we’ve got more important things to do than be perfect all the time. Without further ado, behold my wonderful favorite new weeknight dish, that any health conscious lasagna loving angel will enjoy. And don’t worry, we’re keeping a pretty good amount of cheese in there ;)
takes 1.5 hours // serves 4
8 zucchini, sliced extremely thin (see photos for reference)
1/3 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
crushed red pepper to taste
2 pounds ground turkey
15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups marinara sauce, store bought or your favorite homemade
12 oz shredded mozzarella
12 oz ricotta (skim or whole milk)
6 oz grated parmesan
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (you may need two baking sheets to fit all of the zucchini). Toss the zucchini slices in 1/3 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on your baking sheet side by side, making sure they don’t overlap, and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
While zucchini cooks, prep the remaining fillings. In a large pot over medium heat, add the two tablespoons olive oil along with the garlic, shallot, and pinch of salt. Cook for five minutes, until shallots begin to turn translucent. Add the parsley, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook for another minute or two. Add the ground turkey, cooking until browned, about ten minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and simmer until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off, stirring often, about ten additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a 9” square casserole dish, spoon about 1/3 cup of the marinara sauce, spreading to evenly coat the bottom. Now we’re gonna layer! It goes like this: a layer of zucchini, topped with ground turkey, then marinara, then ricotta and parmesan and mozzarella. Repeat until your ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of the cheese and ensuring the very top is mozzarella. Depending on your exact casserole dish size and how thick you cut the zucchini, you should have about 3-4 layers, so plan out your ingredient amounts per layer accordingly.
Bake your lasagna for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees—we’re really just trying to get the cheese melty and meld all of the ingredients together. Pro tip: for an extra cheesy crunchy gooey top, turn the broiler on high for the last three or four minutes. Remove, let cool until hot but not molten, and serve.