Zucchini Noodle Lasagna
This Zucchini Noodle Lasagna recipe is great if you’re looking to cut down on carbs but still enjoy something cheesy and delicious for dinner. It’s a white lasagna with béchamel sauce, and has chicken for added protein!
I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve come to prefer thinly sliced zucchini noodles in place of pasta. To me, they have a more interesting flavor and texture than pasta, and the zucchini ribbons layer so beautifully!
It also never hurts to swap in some veggies when you can.
One of my favorite things about this dish is how gift-able it is. One of my friends recently had a baby, and dishes like this are perfect to give to those needing meals during a busy time. This dish even freezes well!
Other than the zucchini noodles, this is a pretty classic white lasagna. It has a creamy bechamel sauce and is layered with a ricotta cheese mixture and finely chopped chicken.
If you want to make this a vegetarian lasagna, simply leave the chicken out and make the recipe the same otherwise. Let’s get started!
How to Make Zucchini Noodle Lasagna:
First make the zucchini noodles, which you can either slice with a knife or with a mandolin. The mandolin will give you more even slices, and I find it quicker and easier to use:
Grill them over high heat for 90 seconds on each side, just to cook them slightly.
Next, melt butter in a large pan and add some onions and garlic. Cook for five minutes until softened, then add a 1/2 cup of flour.
Whisk that in until it forms a paste.
Whisk in 3 cups of milk, and boil until thickened. Turn off the heat and add some mozzarella cheese.
The sauce is done!
For the filling, combine whole milk ricotta, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, salt, and pepper.
For the last component, chop up some cooked chicken breast really well, so that it almost resembles the texture of ground meat.
Cover the bottom of an 8×11 baking dish with sauce, then add a single layer of grilled zucchini.
Spread an even layer of the ricotta mixture over the top.
Sprinkle on some cooked chicken.
Then spread on a bit more sauce.
Now repeat this several times over!
Bake the zucchini noodle lasagna for 40 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly golden.
Garnish with fresh basil on top.
How to Freeze Zucchini Noodle Lasagna: Let cool completely, then wrap well and freeze for up to two months. Let thaw in the fridge again before reheating.
Zucchini Noodle White Chicken Lasagna
- 3 pounds zucchini
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese divided
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- black pepper
- 3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
- fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice the zucchini into long thin “noodles.” If using a mandolin, I recommend the medium setting so the zucchini noodles aren’t too thin. Season the zucchini with salt on both sides and grill over high heat for 90 seconds on each side, to cook the zucchini slightly and cook off some moisture. Remove the zucchini from the grill and set aside for later.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onion softens slightly. Whisk in the flour until a thick paste forms, then whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes until thickened. Season to taste with salt (as a guideline, I add 1/4 tsp of salt). Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- In a large bowl, stir to combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg, and remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I use 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper).
- To assemble the lasagna, ladle 3/4 cup of sauce into an 8×11-inch pan, which should just cover the bottom of the pan. Add a single layer of zucchini noodles side-by-side, then spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture evenly over the zucchini noodles. Sprinkle on a layer of chicken (about 3/4 cup), then add more sauce, and repeat until you have done 4 to 5 layers of everything. I like to finish the top with chicken, sauce, and an extra sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes, until it bubbles and the cheese on top has browned slightly. Let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes after baking for a firmer texture. Garnish with basil and enjoy!
Post updated in July 2018 with more tips and writing. Originally published August 2014.