squash

Spaghetti Squash, Zucchini, Meat, & Ricotta Layer… A Noodle-less Lasagna {Gluten-free}

Craving lasagna with out all of the heavy noodle-ness?  Then this is perfect!  It’s a noodle-less lasagna, made with spaghetti squash, zucchini, meat, and all the yummy cheesy sauciness you crave!  Healthier and lighter, but just as delicious :)

There are a lot of takes on noodle-less lasagnas out there.  I wasn’t trying to follow any sort of traditional layering method here or lasagna formula… I was just craving the goodness of a cheesy, saucy, layered treat without all of the guilt.  This, I must say, simply hit the spot :)

The beauty of this is that you can be creative while you cook.  What garlic in there?  Maybe some oregano?  Sure, add them in!  Season up the meat, or omit it completely!  Your choice… just follow the general guidelines and make it how you please.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed :)

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 spaghetti squash

1/2 lb ground meat (turkey, beef, etc)

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 medium zucchini

1 cup tasty marinara sauce

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

drizzle olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh basil leaves, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape all seeds and excess goop
Drizzle the cleaned squash faces with olive oil and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
Lay the squash face-down on a foil-line baking sheet (foil helps for cleaning-purposes)
Baking it face-down helps to cook the squash longer as it creates steam while cooking
Let the squash cook for about 1 hour- this will give it time to turn extremely soft
If you’re like me, you typically cook it for less time so that the squash
is more stringy, like spaghetti… but in this case, having it really
soft is best for spreading it into layers :)
Once cool enough to touch, scoop out the squash into a bowl
Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients
(See how easily it scooped out after cooking for that long?!)
For the meat mixture, heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat
Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes,
until onions are fragrant and softened
If you are adding garlic or any extra herbs, add them now :)
Then add meat
Cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring frequently, until meat is just about all the way cooked
(It will cook more during baking, so don’t worry if it’s not all the way done)
Remove from heat and set aside
Slice zucchini lengthwise, making long strips about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick…
You can adjust your width to make sure you have enough slices for your baking dish,
but keep in mid that slicing them too thin will result in a very flimsy little layer :)
Okay, ready to assemble!
Using about half of the sauce mixture, evenly coat the bottom of
your baking dish with the marinara
Lay the zucchini slices down over the sauce…
arrange them so that they create an even layer
As you can see, this can be difficult if your dish is not rectangular,
so just do your best and get creative!
Spread half of the spaghetti squash over the zucchini layer
Then top with the ricotta cheese (all of it)
Spread the meat/onion mixture over the ricotta
Top with half of the mozzarella cheese
Then spread the remaining half of the squash over it all…
And then the other half of the marinara sauce and mozzarella
Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes, uncovered,
until the cheese is bubbly and melted
(You may want to set the dish over a baking sheet
just in case the sauce dribbles over)
Yum, doesn’t that look tasty!?  Wish we had smellivision :)
Let is all cool a bit before cutting into so that the layers settle
Chop up some fresh basil leaves for garnish
Scoop up onto plates…
Top with basil…

And enjoy!!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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