This Spicy Zucchini Ricotta Lasagna with Oregano Breadcrumbs is best for nights when you’re craving Italian, but also want to keep things light and healthy. The zucchini is sliced into ribbons and layered up with spicy, herby, tomato sauce, and creamy ricotta cheese, just like lasagna! It’s creamy and so delicious! Top the lasagna with crispy, crunchy, and flavorful, oregano breadcrumbs. Perfect easy dinner, any night of the week. Everyone in the house will enjoy this dish…veggies and all!
Here’s the thing, our weather says winter, but my recipes are screaming summer!! Or at least very late spring. I think the more and more it snows here, the more I “rebel” and want springier recipes that are fit for the nicer, warmer days I wish we were having.
Although this recipe is great for spring and summer, it does have a touch of coziness as well. I mean, it might be a zucchini lasagna, but it’s still lasagna. And there’s always something warming and hearty about a lasagna, you know?
Anyway, my point is, regardless of the weather, I’m ready for summer, and my recipes are 100% reflecting that!
The idea for this lasagna really began when I realized that after eight and a half years of creating recipes, I have yet to share a zucchini lasagna. Sure I’ve shared variations, but never just a straight-up zucchini lasagna. The kind where the noodles are replaced with thinly sliced “zucchini noodles”.
Normally, I want ALL the carbs and would never leave the pasta out of a dish. But I love zucchini and this dish has an incredible sauce and lots of cheese. It doesn’t feel like it’s missing a thing, totally flavorful and filling!
So I went to work testing out this recipe. I knew after the very first round of testing that this was going to be a recipe worth sharing.
This zucchini lasagna is SO GOOD.
Here are the lasagna details..
This recipe requires a little prep work, but it’s all easy and pretty fun too.
I like to start with the zucchini. I like to use a mix of zucchini and yellow summer squash, but using all zucchini obviously works great too.
Start out by slicing the zucchini into thin ribbons. I find this easiest to do with a mandoline, but you can use a knife as well. You’ll want to lay the zucchini flat, sprinkle it with salt, and let it sit a few minutes. Doing this will draw out any excess water and make for a richer sauce.
While the zucchini sits, make the tomato sauce. I kept this very simple, using my favorite Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, fresh oregano, and thyme. I did add a special ingredient, spicy Italian chicken sausage.
Of course, if you’re vegetarian or just going for a meatless Monday theme, you can easily omit the sausage from the sauce. I’d recommend adding my homemade blend of spices. I share the spice mix ingredients in the notes section of the recipe. This will keep the sauce hearty, flavorful, and on the spicy side…even without the meat.
With or without the sausage it’s going to be great, so do what works for you!
Then just mix fresh ricotta cheese with some provolone and an egg. Layer everything up just like you would a traditional lasagna. It looks all fancy, but it’s actually the easiest to do.
Finish it off with a layer of mozzarella and bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
While the lasagna bakes…make the oregano breadcrumbs!
The breadcrumbs are simply Panko and fresh oregano cooked together with olive oil until crispy. Really simple, but they add a nice crunchy, delicious topping.
While everything is baking, your kitchen will smell incredible…like an Italian grandma’s kitchen, so perfect.
You guys know me, I’m usually all about the pasta. But this cheesy zucchini is surprisingly filling and layered with great flavor and texture! It’s pretty darn close to perfection.
Looking for other lighter spring recipes? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Spicy Zucchini Ricotta Lasagna with Oregano Breadcrumbs be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Spicy Zucchini Ricotta Lasagna with Oregano Breadcrumbs
Calories Per Serving: 301 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 3-4 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, sliced 1/8" thick
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground Italian chicken sausage or chicken (see note)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- kosher salt and black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 1 (32 ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups shredded dry mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- fresh basil, for serving
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.2 Thinly slice the zucchini to about 1/8 inch thick. Lay the zucchini flat on a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt. Let site 15 minutes to draw out excess moisture, then pat dry with a towel. Try and get as much water out of the zucchini as possible. 3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and brown all over, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the bell pepper, oregano, thyme, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the marinara sauce, then remove from the heat. 4. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, provolone, and egg. 5. To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Layer over the zucchini, then dollop over 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese, and top with about 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat the layering until all ingredients have been used...don't stress about making it look perfect. Top with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake another 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. 6. Meanwhile, make the breadcrumbs. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, the breadcrumbs, and oregano over medium heat. Cook, until the breadcrumbs are toasted all over and the oregano is fried, about 4 minutes. Season with salt.7. Let the lasagna sit 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with breadcrumbs and fresh basil.
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Ground Italian Chicken Sausage: I buy ground chicken sausage at Whole Foods. If you can’t find it, you can use spicy Italian pork sausage, or you can make your own by adding the following spice mix to ground chicken: 1 tablespoon each of fennel seed, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper; 2 teaspoons each of cayenne (or less, if you don’t want it too spicy), paprika, and garlic powder; and 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes. This spice mix is great on grilled meat and vegetables, too! It’ll keep in your pantry in an airtight container for a few months.