It’s that time of year again when I have so much zucchini I begin adding it to things I normally wouldn’t just so it doesn’t go to waste. I’m pretty sure if I continue to say I’m make anything else with the word zucchini somewhere in it even I’m going to start to roll my eyes. Not to say I don’t love it and love the fact that you really can add it to almost anything from a simple roasted veggie medley to muffins. Another way to use it that is a staple in my house is making zoodles. Replacing pasta noodles with spiralized zucchini gives you a light and flavorful dish that works well with any kind of sauce or accompaniment because of its mild texture and flavor. This is great for those who like to mix up their meals since you can just keep changing up what you serve it with like a simple marinara sauce, pesto or even just as is with fresh herbs and olive oil.
Keeping with the zucchini pasta theme leads me to this healthy twist on an Italian tradition. If you can replace spaghetti with zucchini why not swap out those lasagna noodles as well! While it can be made more traditionally with a meat sauce, this particular vegetarian recipe is light and still satisfying since it’s packed with black beans and spinach. I don’t like to use the word “skinny” to describe my recipes but this meal can be enjoyed without the heaviness, excess carbs and calories that often get packed into most versions. This Black Bean Zucchini Lasagna is the perfect food for those who enjoy a hearty yet grain-free, meat-free meal. It’s a bonus when you can use up some of that extra zucchini as well!
Serves: 4/Total cook time: 50 minutes
- 2 large zucchini
- 2 cups tomato sauce (Store bought or homemade will work. I used an organic tomato basil marinara from Whole Foods)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 c white onion, diced small
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 10 oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 c organic part skim ricotta cheese*
- 1 c organic part skim mozzarella, shredded*
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté onion until translucent about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in black beans and mixed greens and toss until lightly wilted. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- Wash and slice zucchinis lengthwise using a mandolin or large knife. Cut slices about an 1/8″ thick.
- Pour some of of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish just enough to lightly cover. Next, cover the sauce with about 4-5 zucchini slices placed side by side depending on how wide your slices are. Top with a scoop of ricotta and spread evenly over zucchini. Add a sprinkle of mozzarella over ricotta. Then, layer on a scoop of the black bean mixture. Repeat these same layers until your ingredients are used up and/or layers have reached the top of the pan. To finish, top with sauce and mozarella. (There’s no right or wrong as to how many layers you end up with.)
- Cover and bake lasagna for 45 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 to brown the top.
- Let cool before serving and sprinkle with fresh basil if desired.
*sub equal parts any nut cheese or other dairy-free alternative to make vegan