Gluten Free Lasagna

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Lasagna, to me, represents nothin’ but GOODNESS – warm, cheesy, goodness…

And who isn’t down to nom on some yummy goodness?

Especially Lasagna.

Maybe it’s due to the deliciousness factor, maybe it’s the coziness factor. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above, because let’s be real, lasagna is nearly impossible to hate.

Am I right?? Cheese, meat, delicious red sauce…. These are some of life’s yummiest ingredients.

Now lets talk about that one looming/unnecessary ingredient that’s in 99% of all lasagna recipes… The noodles.

I mean seriously. Do you think anyone has ever eaten a slice of lasagna and thought, wow, those noodles really made the dish?

I think not. So here’s what I’m proposing:

Whether you’re gluten free, trying to eat a tad healthier or just not down with the extra calories, let’s dump dem noodles!

Let’s swap that high calories and nutritionally uninspiring ingredient with something that’ll make our bodies sing zucchini!

This gluten free lasagna recipe is guaranteed to wow you, even your gluten loving friends will won’t be able to resist.

Plus, it’s a sneaky little way to add a few extra vegetables to your day.

Best news of all, after chomping down just one bite of this dish, you’ll be so stoked with its taste you won’t even notice the noodles are gone.

Am I alone, or is it actually possible to exist without gluten?

I mean right?? Nowadays we can swap gluten filled crap with whole grain substitutes. Swap simple carbs for veggies – it’s a simple choice!

In other words, replacing empty calories (found in refined and processed grains) with nutrients that actually nurture our bodies.

Bam! Take that gluten lovers! Come over to our side your body will thank you.

Recipes like this remind me that my health issues have actually been a blessing.

Let me be real with you… if my stomach hadn’t started to act up I’d probably still be living off pizza and cookies!

My first attempt to get my stomach in order was to cut out gluten. Although it didn’t solve my issues, it opened my eyes to the beauty of cooking with vegetables and whole grains.

AND, most importantly, it showed me how well I can feel if I just eat right.

What?! I’m not supposed to be tired after eating? And that uncomfortable bloat was something I caused by what I ate?

Once you realize this, there’s no turning back. You’re officially hooked on clean eating.

Which is why I’m SO excited to share this gluten free lasagna recipe with you.

Not only is it gluten free, it’s jam packed with vegetables, because as you know lasagna is not typically a vegetable-centric dish.

Believe it or not, zucchinis are made of 95% water! Making them the perfect low calorie addition.

As far as nutrients go, zucchinis are loaded with manganese and Vitamin C. They also contain Vitamin A and magnesium, to say the least, that’s a heck-of-a-lot more nutrition than those boring ol’lasagna noodles have to offer!

Gluten Free Lasagna Recipe

Let’s get started.

First step in making this gluten free lasagna is the sauce 🙂

We’ll start by browning the meat, cook until there’s no pink left. Then drain the meat using a colander or strainer to remove the excess fat. Set this aside.

Using the same pan (I’m all about fewer dishes!) add olive oil, and cook the garlic and onion until the onion is translucent.

Add the meat back to the pan along with the tomatoes, basil salt and pepper.

Simmer the sauce on low for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, lets get working on the zucchini.

We want to slice the zucchini to an even 1/8” thick. The best way to do this is with a mandolin, but yikes, they can be scary so be careful (I say this because I JUST cut myself, again, with the dang mandolin. Hopefully you’re less clumsy than I am).

If you don’t have a mandolin, use a vegetable slicer or spiralizer. Keep in mind both these methods make it hard to get an even thickness!

Place sliced zucchini on a flat space lined with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle with salt. This will “sweat” the zucchini helping the excess liquid to release.

Let the salt sit for 10 minutes, then blot the zucchini. Flip over and repeat the same process on the other side.

You can cook the zucchini if you’d like it to be softer (and less prominent in taste) in your lasagna. To do this, use a grill or grill pan.

Cooking the zucchini will help to release even more water (again this veggie is 95% water!), so be sure to place it back on paper towels to help soak it all up!

This step will help to bring out a delicious flavor in the zucchini.

To be honest I don’t even cook my zucchini, but that’s because I’m weird and love zucchini, plus I like the al dente texture it adds. Completely up to you – normal people cook the zucchini first.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, parmesan and egg, and mix until fully combined.

Grab a 9×12 baking pan and let’s get to layering the dish!

Layer the dish in the following pattern until all ingredients have been used up. (The top layer should be zucchini/what’s left of the red sauce):

  • ½ cup of the red sauce
  • sliced zucchini
  • ½ cup of the ricotta combo
  • 1 cup of mozzarella

Make sure you don’t fill the pan too high as the zucchini will release some liquid when cooking!

Save 1 cup of mozzarella (we’ll add this to the top of the dish once it’s cooked for a little).

Cover the dish in tin foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Take out of the oven, remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven, top with the 1 cup of mozzarella and cook for 10 more minutes.

Remove from the oven. Using a fork, check to see that the tenderness of the zucchini is to your liking.

If the zucchini seems too firm, put the dish back in the oven and continue cooking until it’s soft enough. You may want to place the foil back on if your mozzarella layer seems to be browning.

Let the dish cool slightly before cutting (this will help the cheese from running everywhere) and enjoy!

Bonus: this dish tastes extra delicious the next day so save some leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1, 28 Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • Black Pepper, to Taste
  • 3 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 1/2 Cups Ricotta
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Cups Shredded Mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Cook the meat until there’s no pink left. Then drain the meat using a colander or strainer to remove the excess fat. Set this aside.
  2. Using the same pan add olive oil, and cook the garlic and onion until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the meat along with the tomatoes, basil salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer the sauce on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Slice the zucchini to an even 1/8” thick. The best way to do this is with a mandolin, if you don’t have a mandolin, use a vegetable slicer or spiralizer. (Keep in mind both these methods make it hard to get an even slice!)
  6. Place sliced zucchini on a flat space lined with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle with salt. This will “sweat” the zucchini helping the excess liquid to release.
  7. Let the salt sit for 10 minutes, then blot the zucchini. Flip over and repeat the same process on the other side.
  8. You can cook the zucchini if you’d like it to be softer (and less prominent in taste) in your lasagna. To do this, use a grill or grill pan. Cooking the zucchini will help to release even more water, so be sure to place it back on paper towels to help soak it all up!
  9. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  10. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, parmesan and egg, and mix until fully combined.
  11. Grab a 9×12 baking pan and let’s get to layering the dish!
  12. Layer the dish in the following pattern until all ingredients have been used up. (The top layer should be zucchini/what’s left of the red sauce): ½ cup of the red sauce, sliced zucchini, ½ cup of the ricotta combo, 1 cup of mozzarella. Save 1 cup of mozzarella (we’ll add this to the top of the dish once it’s cooked for a little).
  13. Cover the dish in tin foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  14. Take out of the oven, remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes.
  15. Take out of the oven, top with the 1 cup of mozzarella and cook for 10 more minutes.
  16. Remove from the oven. Using a fork check to see that the tenderness of the zucchini is to your liking.
  17. If the zucchini seems too firm, put the dish back in the oven and continue cooking until it’s soft enough. You may want to place the foil back on if your mozzarella layer seems to be browning.
  18. Let the dish cool slightly before cutting (this will help the cheese from running everywhere) and enjoy!

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