Zucchini Walnut Lasagna is fabulous and the walnuts in this recipe take this dish to another level! You will not miss the ground beef meatless meal with the clever combination of cheese, herbs, sauce, and vegetables. Walnuts, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, lend nutrition in addition to crunch.
My neighbor, Roxanne Sienkiewicz of Newberg, Oregon, made this very delicious Zucchini Walnut Lasagna for one of her Bocce Ball and wine evenings at her home. The recipe is originally from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication magazine – Ultimate Italian 2008.
- 2 medium zucchini squash
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 large onions, cut into wedges
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups Marinara Sauce (either good-quality store bought or homemade sauce)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, snipped or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) fresh mozzrella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 9 no-boil lasagna noodles*
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat your oven broiler. Lightly grease a 2-quart square baking dish or a lasagna dish; set aside.
Trim ends off the zucchini squash and slice lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place the zucchini slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat source approximately 5 minutes or until the zucchini slices are crisp tender, turning once. Remove from oven and let cool.
Adjust oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
To prepare the sauce, in a food processor, combine onions, carrots, and garlic. Cover and process until finely chopped.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 teaspoons olive oil. Add chopped onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minute or until the vegetables are tender. Add marinara sauce, basil, and pepper. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to low; cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, combine shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese; set aside.
To assemble the lasagna, arrange three (3) of the no-boil lasagna noodles on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread with 1/3 of the prepared sauce. Sprinkle with about 3 tablespoon of the chopped walnuts. Top with 1/3 of the zucchini slices and 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layering noodles, sauce, walnuts, zucchini, and cheese mixture, alternating the direction of the zucchini slices in each layer. Top with the remaining no-boil noodles, remaining sauce, remaining walnuts, and remaining zucchini slices. Save the remaining 1/3 cheese mixture for later.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the hot lasagna with the remaining 1/3 cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, approximately 20 additional minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped walnuts.
Makes 6 servings.
* Please only use Fresh Mozzarella Cheese in this lasagna recipe - You will be sorry if you don't! If you haven’t tried fresh Mozzarella, you are missing out on the one of the creamiest textures in the cheese world. It is a delicious way to enjoy a low-fat, high protein snack. Did you know that fresh mozzarella cheese has only 87 calories per ounce?
** No-boil lasagna noodles are so much easier to use as they are much thinner than regular lasagna noodles, and therefore absorb enough liquid from the sauce to "cook" them completely without parboiling.