No Pasta Lasagna

This recipe is one of my all-time favorite comfort food recipes twisted into a more nutritious and lighter recipe with all the flavor and love of the original version! It’s also one of my blog’s most popular recipes! 

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No pasta lasagna, is a delicious pasta-less version of your favorite comfort classic without any of the guilt but with all the feelings of satisfaction and indulgence.

It’s full of fiber from the veggies {lightly grilled zucchini or eggplant}, less sodium by controlling the ingredients and removing any added salt, and heart-healthy protein by selecting reduced fat cheeses and extra lean ground meat.

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No need to worry about what vegetable to this dish when it’s full of veggies already. It truly is a one-stop meal.

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The catch?

While it’s easy to prepare, it does take a few steps in order to assemble the entire dish. So this is definitely a meal prep dish for the week or a weekend dinner to use throughout the week for leftovers.  It only gets better as the week goes on though, so no worries about boring, tasteless leftovers!

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Serve this up at your next family dinner! It’s a great gluten free option for anyone that needs it. It’s also friendly to anyone watching their weight, blood sugar, heart health, etc. It’s even kid friendly! You can even make it vegetarian by replacing the ground meat with cooked lentils or black beans and mushrooms.

It’d be fabulous to share to new moms who are too tired and busy to prepare food for themselves and their families as well as wanting to start shedding those pregnancy pounds.

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No Pasta Lasagna
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
1 lb 93% extra lean ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
28 oz can tomato sauce or puree
6 oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini
1 large egg
2 cups part-skim ricotta (or reduced fat cottage cheese)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne
freshly ground black pepper
16 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, brown the meat. Remove any excess fat, by straining in a colander. In the same pan, saute the garlic and onions for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomato sauce, basil, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for about minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan. Slice the zucchini into thin slices to resemble lasagna noodles. Grill the zucchini on both sides until there are some nice grill marks on each side (about a minute or so). {This helps to remove any moisture in the zucchini so the lasagna isn’t too watery}.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, add the egg, ricotta or cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, dried herbs, cayenne, and pepper. Mix well to combine.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. In the bottom of the pan, spread around a little bit of the meat sauce. Then place a layer of the zucchini on top. Spread some of the cheese mixture onto the zucchini layer. Repeat with meat sauce, zucchini, and cheese mixture two more times or until your ingredients run out. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-45 minutes and let stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

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I’ll admit when I make this recipe, I often divide the recipe in half and make a his and hers version. That way I can use the same meat sauce and cheese sauce for each, but I use the grilled veggies in place of pasta for mine and then do a traditional version with pasta for the hubster. While I don’t recommend doing this for children, because you do not want to set yourself up to be a full service chef as they get older, it is a nice way to customize food preferences relatively easily for couples that are pretty set in their ways on some things.

He’s coming around though.

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Enjoy!

xo,

Becca

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