Zucchini & Turkey Lasagna

zucchini-lasagna-11-2015

This is a wonderful, healthy recipe I took a chance on.  I had never made lasagna without the standard lasagna pasta noodles, ground beef, and multiple cheeses.  The downside of the typical lasagna it can be excessively heavy and greasy.  This healthier version was lighter, filling, and tasty, and packed a good vegetable punch.  We weren’t sure how it would turn out, so we added pasta layers to every other layer.  It was just fine without the pasta layer!

Even though the directions look lengthy, it actually was one of the easiest lasagnas I’ve ever made!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (I used onion powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes (Plain or Italian-flavored, if you desire)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (I used dried this time)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  3. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up any large pieces with the back of a spoon, until brown throughout, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until it thickens, about 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the oregano and salt.  Let cool.
  7. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin strips (about 1/8″ thick).
  8. Put 5-6 zucchini slices, overlapping slightly, in the bottom of a 8×8″ baking dish.
  9. Top with 1 cup of the sauce/meat mixture.
  10. Dot with 1/4 cup of the ricotta.
  11. Repeat the layers twice, alternating the direction of the zucchini  (I didn’t find the alternation especially pertinent).
  12. Top with the remaining zucchini and brush the top with the remaining 1/4 tsp. oil.
  13. Dot with the remaining 1/4 cup ricotta and season with the black pepper.  Top with Parmesan cheese.
  14. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the lasagna is bubbling and the top is brown.
  15. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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