One Pan Zucchini and 3 Cheese Lasagna.
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!
One Pan Zucchini and 3 Cheese Lasagna
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta main course, vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian pasta
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!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 4 medium heirloom tomatoes (or regular), roughly chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
- 6-8 no boil lasagna noodles
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch slices
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Heat a large, oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook until the sausage is browned all over, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and any juices left on the cutting board. Add the cherry tomatoes, thyme, and oregano, season generously with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and have released their juices. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
3. Break the lasagna noodles in half and press half of them into the tomato sauce. Dollop on the ricotta cheese, then add half the zucchini in an even layer, pressing it into the sauce and submerging it. Add the remaining noodles, submerging them into the sauce. Add half the mozzarella and then arrange the remaining zucchini on top in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Top with mozzarella and parmesan.
4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve warm topped with fresh basil.
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