This Cast Iron Zucchini Lasagna is just as rich and saucy as classic lasagna! It’s cheesy, meaty, low-carb and filled with layers of fresh garden zucchini. It’s also a great way to use up the zucchini from your garden or the farmer’s market. While slightly lighter than the classic, this dish is not missing any of the classic flavor notes. Filled with a flavorful meat sauce and seasoned ricotta and topped with melty mozzarella, this is a winning dish the whole family will love. Zoodles for the win!!
The grocery list.
- Zucchini – A great substitute for noodles, zucchini tastes fresh and light without the calories that real noodles have. If you’re spunky, call them ZOODLES!!
- Kosher salt – Zucchini and ground turkey are both relatively bland, so this recipe definitely needs salt.
- Olive oil – For cooking your meat; ground turkey will stick to your pan so make sure it is greased up!
- ButcherBox ground turkey – Great for protein, you can substitute for ground beef or bison (or pork, but it’s a lot saltier than ground turkey, so keep that in mind).
- Fresh basil – Fresh herbs take this dish to the next level and add amazing flavor!
- Garlic powder – There will likely already be garlic powder in your pasta sauce of choice, so be mindful of that when adding it to your dish.
- Fresh oregano
- Pasta sauce – For a dish like lasagna, a good pasta sauce makes alllll the difference!
- Whole-milk ricotta cheese – So rich and creamy! If you want a lighter lasagna, use cottage cheese instead.
- Fresh parsley
- Mozzarella – Preferably grated mozzarella.
- Parmesan – Adds texture.
- Minced garlic – You can buy pre-minced garlic (linked), it’s much easier than mincing it yourself and since the garlic will be cooked in this recipe it really doesn’t impact texture or flavor. If you’re making a recipe in which the garlic won’t be cooked, you may want to use freshly minced garlic instead because you may be able to taste a difference.
- Lemon juice – Adds a subtle fresh flavor that boosts the taste of the herbs.
- Egg – A binding agent for the cheese so it doesn’t ooze out of the lasagna when cut.
- Black pepper – Adds a little kick to the cheese mixture.
For this Cast Iron Zucchini Lasagna, you’ll prepare each part of the dish and then combine them to make this delicious healthy twist on a beloved classic Italian meal.
Start by preheating your Traeger or oven to 375°F.
Make sure your zucchini are sliced thinly and lengthwise, modeled after lasagna noodles, since you’ll be layering the zucchini slices in the same manner (it is lasagna after all)! The best tool for the job is a mandolin, I don’t have the best steady hand for this and wish I had the proper tool for the job.
Be sure to dry your zucchini well because if they are too wet they won’t absorb the sauce and your lasagna will be watery.
Lay your zucchini slices on a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes. Use that time to prepare the other ingredients.
The meat sauce.
You’re going to cook your meat in a cast iron skillet. You don’t want to overcook it because it will cook further in the oven/Traeger. Cook your ground turkey just until no pink remains or it will be dry in your lasagna.
Heat your large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. You’ll know your oil is hot and ready to go when it shimmers. Once the oil is heated, add your ground turkey. Cook for 7-10 minutes, breaking it into small pieces until no pink remains.
Now, you’ll add your spices to the meat. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, garlic powder and fresh oregano to the pan. Then, add the pasta sauce to the meat. Allow the meat and sauce to cook for an additional few minutes, this will allow all of the flavors to come together. Remove the pan from the heat and then remove the meat and sauce from the cast iron pan. Save the pan for later!
The cheese mixture.
Make your cheese mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, ½ cup of mozzarella, parmesan, minced garlic, lemon juice, egg and black pepper. Whisk until all of the ingredients are totally combined, then set the mixture aside.
Assemble your Cast Iron Zucchini Lasagna.
Build the lasagna layers in the same cast iron used to cook the meat. Don’t wash after removing the meat and sauce, it will cook into the bottom layer of zucchini and be delicious!
Lay a base of zucchini slices down into the skillet, covering the bottom as best as you can. Top the zucchini with half of the meat and sauce. Since cast iron skillets are shallow, your lasagna will only have two layers. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the meat. Repeat this step with a layer of zucchini and the remaining meat and ricotta mixture. Finish the lasagna with a layer of zucchini slices, and top the zucchini with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
Place your cast iron directly onto the Traeger grill grates. Bake for 40 minutes until it’s bubbly and golden brown. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving it. This will allow it to settle, and it will hold together better when you cut into it. Top with fresh basil and dig in!
Lasagna is a great dish to freeze! Zucchini lasagna is best if frozen before baking for the best texture. Since the “noodles” in this dish are replaced with slices of fresh garden zucchini you don’t want to bake the zucchini noodles twice. It is also best to thaw frozen zucchini lasagna before baking so you can remove some of the excess moisture.
Looking for more zucchini recipes?
Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Cast Iron Zucchini Lasagna recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!
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- 2 large zucchinis, sliced thin lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds ButcherBox ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced and divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
- 16 ounces pasta sauce
- 16 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 ½ cup mozzarella, shredded and divided
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the Traeger grill (or oven!) to 375°F.
- Lay the thin slices of zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow the zucchini to sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the ground turkey. Cook for 7-10 minutes, breaking into small pieces until no pink remains. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, garlic powder and fresh oregano. Lastly, add the pasta sauce to the meat and cook for an additional 3 minutes to bring the flavors together. Remove the meat and sauce from the cast iron and remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, ½ cup of mozzarella, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, lemon juice, egg and black pepper. Whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
- Build the lasagna layers in the same cast iron used to cook the meat. Lay a base of zucchini slices down into the skillet. Top the zucchini with ½ the meat and sauce. Spread ½ the ricotta mixture on top of the meat. Repeat this step with a layer of zucchini and the remaining meat and ricotta. Finish the lasagna with a layer of zucchini slices. Top the zucchini with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
- Place the cast iron directly onto the Traeger grill grates. Bake for 40 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with fresh basil and enjoy!
Nutrition Information: Serves 6 / 703 cals / 40g F / 21g C / 70g P