Fresh Fig, Prosciutto, and Arugula Salad with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette.
One Pan Zucchini and 3 Cheese Lasagna. Also known as my go-to summer lasagna. Made with fresh tomatoes, plenty of zucchini, garden herbs, and a mix of fresh ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. This one pan dinner is ready within an hour, and is the perfect way to use up all that summer zucchini!
One of the questions I get asked most often is what my go-to recipes for entertaining are. I do a lot of entertaining in the fall and winter around the holidays, and I almost always make lasagna. I like to make one white lasagna and one a bit more classic. Lasagna is so great for entertaining because you can prep it completely in advance and have it baking away in the oven as guests arrive.
It’s the ultimate dish to entertain with, and my go-to in the fall and winter.
In the summer, I do a lot of homemade pizzas, big salads, and grilled meats. But I have yet to find the perfect dish that’s a completely make-ahead meal. That is until I created this lasagna. Also known as the summer lasagna that’s perfect for everything from an easy family dinner to a Saturday night dinner party.
I honestly could not love this recipe more.
It is so easy, so good, and the perfect cozy, summer comfort food. Because as you guys know I’m all about comfort food, even in the summertime.
When originally I set out to make this, I intended to make it a bit more traditional and bit more layered. Thing is, I didn’t feel like spending an hour layering zucchini and lasagna noodles. So I decided to make more of a “messed up” lasagna, and you know what?
I kind of like it.
Here are all the details you need to know.
Start with the spicy sausage. This is kind of a key flavor in the recipe. I almost always use a lean spicy Italian sausage when making lasagna because I think it adds much more flavor than the traditional ground beef. Of course, you can use ground beef or even ground chicken if you prefer, but I love the added flavor the spicy sausage gives off. Use what you love most though.
And on that same note, if you would like to make this vegetarian, omit the meat altogether and replace it with a cup or so of added veggies, like mushrooms and bell peppers. Then just add a pinch of crushed red peppers flakes for a little spice.
OK, so that’s the first step. The next step is the tomatoes! I use fresh heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. One because I am obsessed with their beauty, and two because it’s summer and there really is nothing better than perfectly ripe tomatoes in July and August.
Throw all the tomatoes into the screaming hot skillet and let them cook with a little red wine until you have a juicy sauce. Stir in fresh herbs, then add the noodles, zucchini noodles, and cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake until the noodles are tender and the cheese has melted.
About an hour later you’ll have a vegetable-filled summer lasagna that’s both pretty and delicious.
A few notes about this recipe…
You need a good oven-safe skillet or braiser (read about my favorites here). As mentioned, you’ll start the recipe on the stove and then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking and melt the cheese. I prefer using my twelve-inch braiser for this, but a big skillet works well also.
For the noodles, I like to use no-boil lasagna noodles, and not too many of them. I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted this lasagna to just be zucchini noodles or to also include real pasta. In the end, I decided to do half real pasta and half zucchini noodles. I love the combo and think it’s perfect…but then would you really expect me not to include pasta?! I say went back and forth, but really, there wasn’t much of a debate. More like a flickering thought…
Meaning, there was always going to be a little pasta in the dish. Never enough pasta if you ask me.
And moving along…
For the cheese, I use a combo of ricotta, fontina, and parmesan, but feel free to use three of your favorites. Burrata, provolone, and mozzarella would all be great, so again, use what you love most!
I’ve loved making this for Saturday dinner parties, Sunday dinners with my family, or even on a random Wednesday night. It takes about an hour from start to finish, which might seem like a long time, but really it’s mostly all cooking time and very little hands-on time, which is great!
Serve this with a fresh tomato or stone fruit salad and plenty of basil. And that’s it, dinner is done, and pretty and perfect too.
And with that, I think it’s time to make lasagna tonight. Enjoy!
If you make this one pan zucchini and 3 cheese lasagna please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. Oh, and of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
I loved this recipe, but given the comments about it being too “soupy”, I made the following adjustments and it was amazing:
* added twice the amount of wine and no water to the sauce (I like very wine-forward sauce)
* simmered the sauce for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours
* salted the zucchini slices on paper towels to draw out moisture
* baked covered for ~30 minutes – until the noodles were done
* finished off under the broiler for 5 minutes
It was absolutely delicious!
Hi Catherine! Thank you so much for trying out this recipe and for giving the adjustments as well! 🙂 xTieghan
Way too much liquid- we had lasagna soup. I like the idea and the recipe correctly relies on the fresh summer flavors. I even used only 2 zucchini and I added an extra half lasagna noodle. With some updates, this could be good.
Hi Jenna! I am sorry about that. Is there anything I can help with? xTieghan
Do you have any substations for red wine?!
You can use beef broth or pomegranate juice mixed with some water. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
Made this last night and it was delicious and so flavorful! However it was very soupy once out of the oven – drained some of it but think I will try to add less than the 1 1/2 cup water when making the sauce. Otherwise it was easy as pie. Thank you!
Thank you so much Kira! xTieghan
Made this tonight! Very delicious and easy!! It was a bit liquidy but didn’t bother me in the slightest!
Thanks for another great one!
Thank you so much Alison! That is so amazing!! xTieghan
Mine turned out a little too watery. Next time I will use half the water. Delicious, tho, nonetheless!
Thank you Lonnie! xTieghan
This looks delicious! To prepare this one day in advance of serving, do you recommend completing the full recipe and then just heating it up before serving? Or, would it be better to cook the tomatoes on the stove, refrigerate overnight, and then bake before needing to serve it?
Hey Becky! I would assemble the full recipe, then chill, and bake off before you are ready to eat. That works so well! Alternately, you can bake the lasagna, chill, then warm for 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
Made the first time and it was too watery so second time around I: slow roasted the tomatoes to give a richer placid, added a can of fire roasted tomatoes and about 3 T of tomato paste to the sauce- along with 1 T of balsamic vinegar for more flavor, took most of sauce out of pan before adding lasagna noodles- then I just layered the sauce back in as I built the lasagna. It is so yummy and tuned out looking so fancy. Great recipe!
Thank you so much Ann!
I made this, but used ground beef instead of sausage and canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh…. It was absolutely delicious! You have a serious culinary gift!
Thank you so much Nadia! I am so glad you loved this recipe!
Used canned tomatoes bc I wasn’t a very good farmer this year…. but we loved this!! Definitely a rotation menu item….
I am so happy to hear that! Thank you!