*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
It seems like you can make noodles out of just about anything these days. With so many people going gluten free for varying reasons or cutting out carbs a need to make lasagna out of something other than noodles has become a necessity.
Lasagna is a go-to comfort food for many people. This delicious dish is warming and can often remind people of home. Unfortunately, this favorite Italian dish is far from healthy with the layers of noodles, fatty meats, large amounts of cheese, and sauce.
Lasagna is filled with saturated fat and sodium.
What happens if you swap your normal noodles for zucchini? Does that make zucchini lasagna healthy?
If you swap your typical lasagna noodles with thin slices of zucchini it does make your lasagna healthier than a regular lasagna but it is still packed with fat, sodium, etc.
Zucchini lasagna is a healthier choice than regular lasagna but there are still far healthier options for dinner out there. If you absolutely have to have some lasagna then making it with zucchini is the best way to go for your health.
To see the most popular kitchen gadgets just click here.
Tired of spending a small fortune on chicken, pork, beef, or seafood at the grocery store?
Why not order it direct from Perdue Farms instead?
Is Lasagna Healthy Or Unhealthy?
If you have been craving lasagna but are trying to watch what you eat you might be wondering if lasagna is healthy or unhealthy for you.
While lasagna is an incredibly delicious and well loved dish it is far from healthy but there are things that you can do to make it healthier.
The first thing you can do to make a healthier lasagna is to switch out the noodles. You can try using some whole grain noodles or even gluten free noodles. These will still fill your stomach but they do have a lot of carbs.
You can also use eggplant or zucchini instead of normal noodles. This will reduce your calorie intake by two hundred and your carbs by forty grams per serving.
If you want to use eggplant in place of noodles you will need to peel your eggplant, though some people choose not to peel their eggplant. Removing the skin will give your eggplant a texture closer to the texture of noodles.
You will then slice your eggplant into slices a quarter of an inch thick. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and brush them lightly with olive oil.
You will bake these until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and then use them as you would any other noodle in your lasagna.
In a similar way you can also use zucchini in place of noodles though zucchini tends to be a little tougher so it will not give you a texture very similar to that of noodles.
You can also swap your ground beef out for a leaner cut of meat. Instead of using 80% lean ground beef you can try using an extra-lean cut. Ground turkey will give you sixty-five percent less saturated fat and about forty percent fewer calories so it’s an even better choice.
You could even go completely meatless with your lasagna or use seafood in place of the ground beef. Shrimp, crab, or scallops would all work as meat in your lasagna and are healthier choices than ground beef as they have about half the calories.
When it comes to the cheese used in your lasagna you can choose to go with a reduced-fat version but don’t go for a fat free cheese. Fat free cheese does not melt as well as cheese that contains fat.
Finally, if you are looking for ways to make your lasagna a little healthier you can try to make your own red sauce. Store bought sauces tend to have a lot of sodium and extra preservatives to help extend its shelf life. You can easily make your own sauce with whole tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, basil, and garlic.
The great thing about making your own red sauce is that you can control how much sodium goes into it and can use the seasonings that you prefer. If you do not feel up to the challenge of making your own red sauce you can purchase a sauce that has no sugar added and is low sodium.
What Is Zucchini Lasagna Made Of?
Zucchini lasagna is made just like any other lasagna… except with zucchini instead of noodles.
Typically zucchini lasagna will the following ingredients:
- Cheeses (ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan)
The ingredients in a zucchini lasagna will vary depending on what recipe you are using to make your lasagna.
The first thing you need to do is to slice your zucchini.
The easiest and most uniform way to slice your zucchini is to use a mandolin. This will allow you to set it to your desired thickness.
Once you have your zucchini slices you will want to salt them for fifteen minutes. Salting your zucchini slices will draw out the extra water.
Zucchini is made up of ninety-five percent water so if
you do not draw the water out of your zucchini slices, your lasagna will end up watery.
After fifteen minutes you will simply blot each zucchini slice with a paper towel. You can then grill your zucchini to help reduce the moisture even more.
All you need to do is grill each slice of zucchini for one to two minutes on each side. The basic ingredients for zucchini lasagna are zucchini slices, red sauce, meat, and cheese.
Is Zucchini Good For You?
Zucchini is a mild flavored summer squash which has a variety of uses.
Zucchini has a great many health benefits for you. It is a great source of fiber and one cup of sliced zucchini only has nineteen calories, that is half the amount of other vegetables.
The fiber content in zucchini also helps you to feel full which will keep you from randomly snacking. So some people will consume zucchini to help them in their weight loss journey.
Zucchini also contains zeaxanthin as well as other components that help to prevent oxidative stress.
Zucchini is rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps to regulate your blood glucose.
Zucchini is a great snack choice for those who have diabetes, or even those who are hoping to prevent the disease. Research suggests that eating foods that are high in zeaxanthin and lutein can also reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye related diseases.
Lutein and zeaxanthin both protect the eye’s cells by filtering blue light wavelengths. Zucchini is rich in both zeaxanthin and lutein.
Zucchini is a great source of potassium, folate, and vitamin A.
How Do You Cut Zucchini For Pasta?
If you are ready to make your zucchini lasagna but aren’t sure the best way to cut it then this is for you!
The best way to cut zucchini to use in place of pasta is to use a mandolin. A mandolin will allow you to slice your zucchini into uniform pieces.
Due to the high-water content in zucchini, you will want to slice your zucchini in thin slices. I recommend a quarter of an inch or maybe slightly smaller than that.
If you do not have a mandolin, you can use a vegetable peeler to slice your zucchini but your slices will not be uniform in size. Once you have sliced all of your zucchini you will want to put a thin layer of salt on it in order to draw out the excess water before you use it as pasta.
Allow the salt to sit for fifteen minutes then dab it off with a paper towel.