Check out the recipe for this gluten free, low carb, low fat, high protein, very low calorie lasagna! Made with zucchini, fat free cheeses, and 99% lean ground turkey, we have a filling dinner!
My goal with this lasagna was to lower calories to maintain my weight loss, lower the carbs, keep protein high and lower the fat. And I achieved it without compromising a thing!
Healthy Lasagna Recipe
Traditional lasagna can exceed 350 calories per slice. Some recipes are much higher than that. This one however came down to only 98 calories per the same size of a slice of lasagna. Not only that, the protein stayed high (15 grams) and the fat was low (only 1.4 grams.. FOR LASAGNA!)
Definitely a small miracle.
Turkey Zucchini Lasagna Ingredients
- Zucchini– For healthier, low calorie lasagna, substituting sliced zucchini for pasta will save you hundreds of calories, and provide extra nutrients. Zucchini is rich in Vitamin A, affordable, and easy to find.
- Lean Ground Turkey- I prefer to substitute ground beef for ground turkey to save on fat as well as calories. You can use 93% or 99% ground turkey for the best calories to nutrients profile.
- Fat free cottage cheese– Anytime I use cottage cheese, I always look for the fat free, as opposed to the low fat or 2%. Fat free cottage cheese cooks similarly to full fat cottage cheese, and tastes just as good, with fewer calories.
- Fat free mozzarella cheese– Fat free mozzarella is actually mildly difficult to find. I only can find it at my local Walmart, and even there it’s out of stock a lot. However, if you can find it, it’s a great cheese to use for very few calories.
- Parmesan cheese- Classic parmesan here, as I’ve never seen a lighter version of Parmesan. But you don’t need a lot because the flavor is salty, rich, and delicious!
- Egg– The reason the egg is in here, is because it helps bind all the cheeses together.
- Spaghetti Sauce– I’ve been able to find spaghetti sauce for 45 calories per ½ cup. Check out my list of favorite low calorie spaghetti sauces here.
- Fresh Basil leaves- Adding some fresh basil leaves gives your lasagna that Italian flavor, and the fresh basil is very affordable! Buy the whole plan when you are in the produce department, rather than one stalk in a clamshell. You’ll save money and it will last a long time.
Benefits of using Zucchini instead of pasta for Healthy Lasagna
The first swap was replacing the lasagna pasta noodle with zucchini. The zucchini can serve as the pasta layers, while bringing down all of our macros. Cup for cup you
- Save 170 calories by using zucchini instead of pasta and
- Save 35 grams of carbs using zucchini. (get more ideas for replacing pasta with zucchini here)
Why I use Fat Free Cheeses instead of Full Fat in my Healthy Zucchini Lasagna
I understand fat is not a bad thing. I understand we need fat in our diet. HOWEVER, I’d rather get my fat from other clean sources like avocados and coconuts, rather than cheese.
In addition, getting fat free cheeses drops the calories! So, for me, this is a win win! I found fat free mozzarella at Walmart, and fat free cottage cheese is everywhere. This saved a huge amount of calories and fat.
For Low Calorie Lasagna, I recommend using 50 Calorie (Classico) Spaghetti Sauce
I turned over every jar of pasta sauce at the store, and found the Classico had 50 calories per half cup. The others had about 60 or 70, with some even more. For 3 servings, that potentially could have added 60 more calories.
Use Lean Ground Turkey in this Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
And the final savings came from using 99% lean ground turkey. I found this at Walmart. 85% lean ground turkey has 170 calories (per 4 ounces), while the 99% lean only has 100 calories. Plus, you save 7 grams of fat for every four ounces.
So, that leads me to the final recipe! Go out and track down some fat free cheese and zucchini, and you can have this low calorie lasagna on your table in no time!
Scroll down to the printable recipe widget and you can get all the steps outlined in these images below!
How to make Zucchini Lasagna
- Gather all the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Brown the ground turkey and add the spaghetti sauce to mix them together.
- Start by spraying an 8X8 pan with cooking spray. Lay down 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce with the ground turkey as your first layer.
- Slice your zucchini lengthwise. Use a mandolin to ensure the slices are all similar in width. Arrange ⅓ of the slices in the pan on top of the spaghetti sauce layer.
- Mix your cottage cheese, mozzarella, and egg in a bowl, and spread ⅓ of the mixture over the layer of zucchini slices.
- Add another layer of spaghetti sauce, zucchini noodles, and then cheese.
- Finish with a layer of spaghetti sauce and sprinkle the rest of your mozzarella cheese, the parmesan cheese and the fresh basil leaves on top.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes to get the top crispy.
- Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before you cut into it.
Helpful Tips for making Healthy Lasagna
Because of the multiple layers and ingredients, lasagna can feel overwhelming and complicated. It doesn’t have to be though! I like to prep the layers separately, ahead of time. That way, when I’m ready to assemble the lasagna, there’s no kitchen mess, and all I have to do is layer them together.
Lasagna is also the perfect dish to make ahead and freeze or chill. My family thinks it tastes even better the second or third day. So, don’t hesitate to prep this dinner ahead of time.
Zucchini Lasagna Recipe FAQs
Lasagna always seems watery, or sloppy, right out of the oven. The longer you let it sit, the better it will solidify. I like to let my lasagna sit for 15-30 minutes before serving it. If it’s still watery, putting it in the fridge and reheating it later can also help it hold its shape.
I never do! I simply slice it and layer it into my lasagna and it’s never been too wet.
My preference is three layers. Three layers of spaghetti sauce, three layers of lasagna noodles or zucchini slices, and three layers of cheese.
Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
- 2 medium zucchini Sliced lengthwise
- 8 ounces 99 lean ground turkey
- 1.5 cups Classico spaghetti sauce (using the brand to account for the nutrition info)
- 1 cup fat free cottage cheese
- 1 cup fat free mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 cup fresh basil leaves optional
- Cook ground turkey in a skillet till browned and no longer pink. Add spaghetti sauce to the skillet to heat through. Combine cottage cheese, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg whites in a separate bowl.
- Slice 2 medium Zucchinis lengthwise as thin as possible. Set aside
- Spray and 8X8 pan with cooking spray, and add 1/2 cup of the meat sauce to the bottom.
- Layer sliced zucchini on top of your sauce until the bottom of the pan is covered.
- Top half the cheese mixture over the zucchini.
- Spread another 1/2 cup of sauce over the cheese.
- Do all three layers one more time, ending with the last 1/2 cup of sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of mozarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil (optional)
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Take foil off and cook for 10 more.
- Remove from oven and let sit at least 30 minutes to allow for it to set up. It can get soupy, so let it sit. Drain any water if necessary.
Need more recipes to use more zucchini?