Skillet Zucchini Lasagna

5 from 3 votes
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Call it the Italian in me, but lasagna will always have a place in my life and on my table. As much as I am happy to indulge in the real thing from time to time, I have come to love this vegetable-packed rendition even more. (Sorry, Pop.)

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hand holding serving utensil scooping serving of zucchini lasagna from skillet

😍 Why You’ll Love My Skillet Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

I’ve tried a few different versions of zucchini lasagna in my day, but I’ve often found them to be watery, messy, and lacking flavor. But because I love lightening up classic comfort dishes (as evidenced by my Butternut Mac & Cheese and Greek Meatloaf), I knew there had to be a better way. This skillet zucchini lasagna recipe is the better way. 

It’s the perfect one-pan meal, with generous helpings of vegetables in every serving. Every bite has layers of tender zucchini noodles wrapped in delicious cheesy sauce and meat, and it captures all of the classic flavors so well that you won’t even notice that pasta wasn’t featured!

a hand holding a fork penetrating a piece of zucchini lasagna

🗒️ Ingredients

Zucchini – zucchini is our beautifully tender pasta substitute in this dish, and while it doesn’t have a strong flavor, its a soft and moist layer that adds some much-needed structure. Trust me, once the zucchini noodles are drenched in cheesy sauce, you won’t miss the traditional pasta sheets you’re used to.

Ground Beef – Ground beef is rich and savoury, with a very slightly sweet undertone that pairs so nicely with our complex, rich sauce flavors.

Garlic – Garlic becomes sweet and aromatic when cooked, and to capture that classic lasagna flavor, garlic is a must!

Onion – An onion’s bitterness and sharpness transform when cooked creating an intense sweetness that brings out the sweetness in the beef and balances the tart cheeses.

Egg – Egg plays a small but mighty roll in this dish adding structure to the cheese sauce when baked meaning you won’t have sauce flowing all over as you’re trying to serve up!

Spinach – Spinach has a more robust and acidic flavour when cooked which cuts through the richness of the sauce. It’s all about balance!

Mozzarella – Mozzarella is milky, a bit earthy and even slightly floral, but flavors aside, it is an incredibly versatile cheese that adds so much of the stringy cheesy goodness this recipe calls for.

Parmesan – Parmesan has a complex flavor that is nutty, tangy and wonderfully bold. It’s a full-bodied flavor that finishes off our lasagna perfectly.

Tomato Paste – By toasting the tomato paste, we’re bringing some extra depth of flavor to the dish. It’s an small step that adds that extra something special!

ingredients for zucchini lasagna in small cream bowls: onion, garlic, cheese, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, egg, zucchini

👩‍🍳 How to Make My Skillet Zucchini Lasagna

🌡️ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place racks on two baking sheets and lay zucchini slices on the racks. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 15 minutes to pull water out of the zucchini.  Using paper towels, blot dry.

👩‍🍳 Place zucchini in the oven and cook for 15-25 minutes to dry out.  Set aside.

🥣 In a small bowl, mix half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, and the egg and set aside.

🧅 In a large oven-proof skillet, warm 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.

🧂 Add the ground meat and brown, cooking and breaking up, for 5 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, the dried oregano and basil, then spinach, then the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes. 

🥘 Remove most of the sauce from the pan, setting aside, leaving a thin layer of sauce in the pan.

🧀 Starting with the zucchini, layer the zucchini, then sauce, then the cheese mixture, then extra mozzarella and parmesan.  You should have three layers, ending with zucchini, then sauce, then mozzarella and parmesan.  

⏲️ Cook the skillet lasagna for 30 minutes until bubbling and cooked through. Switch the oven to broiler on Hi and broil for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is deeply golden. 

🌬️ Remove and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

🌿 Serve topped with fresh parsley if desired.

slices of zucchini laid out on a baking rack
mozzarella, parmesan and egg in a cream bowl

🎩 Tips and Tricks

  • Dehydrating the zucchini in the oven for a few minutes gets the excess moisture out before you layer. This allows the zucchini to sop up the delicious sauce rather than let off a bunch of water and dilute it.
  • Mixing an egg in with a bit of cheese and dotting it throughout the lasagna gives the cheesy sauce a bit of structure as it bakes up.
  • Be sure to let this lasagna rest for the full 20 minutes before cutting, especially if serving for company as it’ll help it hold together for you. But if you’re impatient and end up with a bowl full of fat zucchini noodles and a cheesy meat sauce you won’t be all that upset either. I speak from experience.
cooked ground beef, tomato and spinach in a cast iron skillet
ground beef, tomato and spinach covered by a layer of dehydrated zucchini slices in a cast iron skillet

🌟 Variations

If you want to turn this zucchini lasagna recipe into the perfect vegetarian meal, leave out the ground beef! With all of that delicious cheesy sauce and tender vegetables, you won’t even notice it’s meat-free. 

uncooked layered zucchini lasagna in a cast iron skillet
uncooked zucchini lasagna in a cast iron skillet


🤲 Substitutions

Lasagna is a meal for every occasion, and as far as I am concerned, this recipe deserves to be able to be enjoyed without another trip to the grocery store – so here are some substitutions you can reach for in a pinch! 

  • Don’t have tomato paste? Add some balsamic vinegar in its place, it’ll create the depth of flavor you are looking for
  • Don’t have ground beef? Ground turkey, lamb or chicken will also work well and taste just as delicious. 
  • Don’t have zucchini? Reach for eggplant or squash instead!
  • Switch mozzarella for Cheddar or Swiss cheese.
cooked zucchini lasagna in a cast iron skillet


📓 Best served with

zucchini lasagna in a cast iron skillet surrounded by parsley, small cream bowls of ingredients
zucchini lasagna in a cast iron skillet with serving utensils

👝 How to Store Leftover Zucchini Lasagna

If you find yourself with some leftovers, remove them from the baking dish and store them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to five days.

When reheating it, preheat your oven to 325°F and place your serving in an oven-safe dish. Wrap it in aluminium foil and bake until it is heated through. You won’t come into the traditional issue of slightly dried-out pasta with this Zucchini rendition, but if you think it may be too dry, sprinkle it with a little bit of water before wrapping it with foil and baking.

a serving of zucchini lasagna in a small cream bowl with a fork on the side

🧠 Common Questions

Do I have to dehydrate the zucchini? What would happen if I didn’t?

While you certainly don’t have to, I highly recommend you do! If you don’t dehydrate the zucchini, you run the risk of your lasagna being watery. I prefer to dehydrate the zucchini so that is absorbs the cheesy sauce instead.

I don’t like zucchini, is there another vegetable I could use?

A squash or eggplant would be great substitutions for zucchini here!

I am allergic to eggs, can I omit it from the recipe?

Yes, absolutely. The egg adds structure to the cheese sauce which helps it hold together which is better for serving, however, it is not essential.

Can I make this Zucchini Lasagna recipe vegan?

By removing the ground meat we’ve reached vegetarian-friendly, so all that’s left is to switch your cheeses for vegan cheeses, and leave out the egg!

zucchini lasagna in a cast iron skillet with utensils and parsley surrounding
5 from 3 votes

Skillet Zucchini Lasagna

My vegetable-packed rendition of this classic comfort food will have you falling in love with lasagna all over again.
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Rest: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 People

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise (about ¼ inch)
  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced small
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 2-3 cups spinach, fresh or defrosted from frozen
  • 16 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 128 oz. Can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand (preferably San Marzano)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees ℉.  Place racks on two baking sheets and lay zucchini slices on the racks. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 15 minutes to pull water out of the zucchini.  Using paper towels, blot dry.
  • Place zucchini in the oven and cook for 15-25 minutes to dry out.  Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together ½ of the mozzarella, ½ of the parmesan, and the egg and set aside.
  • In a large oven-proof skillet, warm 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the ground meat and brown, cooking and breaking up, for 5 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, the dried oregano and basil, then spinach, then the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove most of the sauce from the pan, setting aside, leaving a thin layer of sauce in the pan.
  • Starting with the zucchini, layer the zucchini, then sauce, then the cheese mixture, then extra mozzarella and parmesan.  You should have three layers, ending with zucchini, then sauce, then mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Cook the skillet lasagna for 30 minutes until bubbling and cooked through.
  • Switch the oven to broiler on Hi and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is deeply golden.
  • Remove and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve topped with fresh parsley if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 1711mg | Potassium: 1959mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 2893IU | Vitamin C: 92mg | Calcium: 843mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Kat Ashmore
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rest: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 -8 People
Calories: 681
Keyword: lasagna, skillet supper, zucchini
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10 Comments

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Absolutely – I personally believe lasagna is always better the next day anyway 😉
      Let me know if you give it a try!
      Kat.

    1. Hi Coco,
      you’re welcome to just leave the egg out of this recipe as its only purpose is to give some extra structure to the cheese sauce. It’s not essential at all!
      Let me know if you give it a try!
      Kat.

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! So flavorful! Make sure you follow the directions about putting the zucchini on a rack. I didn’t have one and they stuck to my cookie sheet. Salvaged what I could and it still turned out delicious. Will 100% make again!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it in the end, Jennifer! I hope your cookie sheet survived the experience too!
      Kat.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Erin! And feel free to add in ricotta, you don’t have to miss it!
      Enjoy,
      Kat.