Zucchini Lasagna with Ground Turkey

Roasted zucchini is layered in between a hearty turkey meat sauce with Parmesan and mozzarella to create a delicious low-carb dinner. You’ll want to make this dish all season long.

No noodle zucchini lasagna on a plate with a salad.
Alison Bickel

This Zucchini Lasagna with Turkey Meat Sauce is a hearty yet healthy dish that’s impressive enough for a weekend dinner with friends.

Tender zucchini replaces traditional noodles and is layered with an easy to make but flavorful ground turkey meat sauce then blanketed with two different kinds of cheese for ultimate flavor.

It’s perfect for rainy weekends or at the peak of summer when it’s too hot to eat outdoors. I say hit the farmers market in the morning then make it for an easy Saturday night summer supper.

Pair it with a large salad and serve ice cream or fruit for dessert. Start chilling the rosé!

All About Summer Squash

In the warmer months farmers markets explode with a variety of summer squash celebrating all shapes, sizes, and shades of yellow and green. You may know them by names like pattypan, crookneck, yellow squash or zucchini.

Summer squash is either canary yellow or dark evergreen, they have soft, thin edible skin with varying texture and flesh that ranges from watery to firm and dense.

All summer squash can be eaten raw or cooked and have a mild flavor that can range from grassy to sweet. Most summer squash are a perfect size and shape for layering like we do in this recipe.

Summer squash is available year-round, but if you want ingredients to taste their absolute best, eat in season and as close to the harvest locale as possible.

No noodle zucchini lasagna on a plate along with a salad.

Alison Bickel

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Zucchini Lasagna

Here are a few tips and tricks to make the perfect summer squash lasagna:

  • Look for squash about 8-inches long and 1 1/2 inches across.
  • Baby zucchini aren’t as flavorful and larger zucchini are pithy with too many seeds. Opt for a medium size.
  • Cut the squash into 1/4 inch slices. Any thinner the squash will deteriorate and any thicker makes layering complicated.
  • Even though you can eat summer squash raw pre-cook it for this recipe so it can release its moisture. You don’t want zucchini-turkey soup, we’re making a lasagna!
  • The sauce needs to be cooked until fairly dry, as well. You got it; we’re avoiding zucchini-turkey soup.
  • We’re accustomed to mountains of melted cheese with lasagna, but too much here overpowers the freshness of the vegetables so stick with the recommended amount.
  • On the other hand, pile on the herbs if you have them. Basil’s citrusy aroma goes naturally with tomato. Adding a tablespoon of parsley adds a grassy note that rounds out the summery feel.

Low Carb Summer Lasagna Swaps and Substitutions

Summertime recipes are at their best when flexible, flavorful, and fun to make. This Low Carb Lasagna fits the bill.

  • Try using grilled summer squash instead of roasted in this dish to give it a super satisfyingly smoky taste.
  • Swap out the crushed tomatoes and onions with 2 cups of your favorite store-bought marinara.
  • Swap out the fat free ground turkey for dark meat ground turkey, ground chicken, ground beef, or plant-based burger meat.
  • Want to make it cheesier? Increase the Parmesan on top of the sauce.
  • Swap out cilantro for the parsley and basil and give the tomato-turkey sauce a hearty teaspoon of chili powder and ground cumin for a Tex-Mex version.
  • Use pre-cooked butternut squash strips during the fall and winter months.
A slice of zucchini lasagna being lifted out of a white casserole dish.
Alison Bickel

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions

The components can be made ahead, refrigerated, and assembled before baking or it can be made and stored covered overnight in the refrigerator before baking. As squash will still retain a lot of water when raw or cooked, it does not freeze well in either state.

It’s best to use up cooked leftovers by enjoying them reheated within the next 2-3 days. To reheat, bake in a 350°F oven covered in foil until warm, 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the size. Smaller leftovers microwave easily – and can be transformed into a great sandwich wrap or quesadilla, too.

More Healthy Recipes

No noodle zucchini lasagna on a plate with a salad with a forkful set next to it on the plate.
Alison Bickel

Zucchini Lasagna with Ground Turkey

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 65 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 5-6 medium (3 pounds) zucchini or yellow squash

  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 cup low fat ricotta, optional

  • 1 teaspoon pure olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably breast meat

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven and prepare baking dish:

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

    Square dish coated in oil to make a yellow squash lasagna recipe.
    Alison Bickel
  2. Line baking sheets and prepare squash:

    Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Remove the stem end of the squash. Slice the squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips. 

    Place the squash on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. 

    Zucchini slices on a baking sheet to make a yellow squash lasagna recipe
    Alison Bickel
  3. Cook squash:

    Roast, rotating the baking sheets once halfway through cooking, until the squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Don’t skip this step! The zucchini needs to be tender and cooked all the way through so it will not exude liquid into the lasagna.

    Roasted zucchini slices to make a low carb lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
  4. Season the ricotta:

    While the squash is roasting, place the ricotta it in a small bowl. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.

    Mixing filling to make a summer squash lasagna (low carb)
    Alison Bickel
  5. Cook the aromatics:

    While the squash is roasting, set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds.

    Sauteeing onions in a skillet to make summer squash lasagna (low carb)
    Alison Bickel
    Sauteeing onions in a skillet to make summer squash lasagna (low carb)
    Alison Bickel
  6. Make the meat sauce:

    Add the turkey to the skillet with the onion and garlic. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon until the turkey starts to cook on the outer edges, about 3 to 5 minutes.

    Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through, and the mixture is fairly dry, and most of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

    Taste and adjust for seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.

    Cooking turkey meat to make a summer squash lasagna (low carb)
    Alison Bickel
    Making turkey meat sauce for a low carb lasagna
    Alison Bickel
    Turkey meat in a skillet to make low carb lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
  7. Cool squash:

    Remove the baking sheet of vegetables to a rack to cool slightly. You don’t want them piping hot and falling apart. Leave the oven on. You will use it to bake the lasagna.

  8. Assemble the lasagna:

    Place 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place a single layer of squash strips on top, trimming all the squash strips to fit, if necessary.

    Top with 1 cup of meat sauce, spreading with a spoon or spatula to lightly cover the vegetables. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

    Add a second layer of squash strips perpendicular to how the first layer was placed. Top with 1 cup of meat sauce, spreading with a spoon or spatula to lightly cover the vegetables. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

    Gently spread the ricotta over the squash and Parmesan using a spoon or spatula to help you. You’ll be using all of the ricotta for this one layer.

    Add a third layer of squash strips in the opposite direction of the last layer. Top with the final cup of meat sauce, spreading with a spoon or spatula to lightly cover the vegetables. (Your final lasagna will have 3 layers of squash and 4 layers of meat sauce including the top and bottom layers.)

    Top with shredded mozzarella and sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

    Turkey meat in a square casserole dish ti make zucchini lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
    Layering zucchini slices to make zucchini lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
    Sauce and cheese added on top of zucchini slices for a no noodle zucchini lasagna
    Alison Bickel
    Zucchini slices layered in a casserole dish to make no noodle zucchini lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
    Turkey meat and shredded cheese on top of zucchini slices to make no noodle zucchini lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
    Cheese filling spread over meat sauce to make a no noodle zucchini lasagna.
    Alison Bickel
    Cheese on top of an unbaked low carb lasagna in a casserole dish.
    Alison Bickel
  9. Bake the lasagna then serve:

    Transfer to the oven and cook until bubbly and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly, then serve. 

    Overhead view of low carb lasagna in a white casserole dish.
    Alison Bickel
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
195 Calories
7g Fat
11g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 195
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 404mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 27mg 135%
Calcium 197mg 15%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 843mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.