Summer favorite, Lentil-zucchini lasagna!
Back in the days when, I catered lunches for silicon-valley campuses, we made this lasagna for 800-1000 people daily 😁
It was one of our best selling items on the menu because it could comply with all kinds of dietary restrictions. It is naturally gluten-free and it can be made dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, keto etc.
This version is vegetarian and it is full of essential nutrients. Eat it for dinner or for lunch with a side of salad and I guarantee you will be satisfied for hours.
Make it and let me know what you think in the comments below!
For the zucchini:
3 large or 5 small zucchinis
For the sauce:
1 tbsp avocado oil
½ large or 1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, grated
2 cups of marinara sauce
1 tsp Salt
Freshly grated black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup water or broth
1 cup Ricotta and
2 cups mozzarella, grated
Set the oven to 375 F with the rack placed in the middle.
Slice the zucchinis lengthwise with a mandolin. Place slices on a large plate in a single layer. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt on them, this will help to extract excess water. Continue layering the slices with salt in between until all zucchini slices are all used up. Set aside.
To make the sauce, heat a dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat and add the avocado oil. Chop onion, celery and sautee on medium heat until soft. Meanwhile grate the carrots on the large side of the box grater and add it to the sautee mix.
Cook vegetables for 5-6 minutes or until soft, then add the marinara sauce, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Marinara sauce is already salted, add only a small amount of salt first, then adjust to taste.
Mix in rinsed lentils and the water or broth. Adjust liquid to just cover the lentils.
Cook on slow-medium heat for 25-30 mins or until lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally and add water/broth if needed, so the lentils are always just covered in liquid.
While the sauce is cooking prepare the cheeses. If ricotta is too solid, add water little by little and whisk with a fork until it becomes creamy. Grate the mozzarella on the same side of the box grater that you used for the zucchini or measure out 2 cups if using previously grated.
When the sauce is ready start the assembly by lightly greasing an 8x8 pan with avocado oil.
To remove excess water from the zucchini slices, hold a slice up with one hand and using your other hand, run your fingers from top to bottom, holding the pieces between your pointing finger and thumb. Continue with each piece and place the prepared slices in the pan, close enough to overlap slightly. (scalloped method). Place a few slices around the wall of the pan too.
After covering the bottom and walls of the pan, add sauce to cover zucchini in a ½-¾ of an inch layer.
Put dollops of ricotta, 1 inch apart on top of the sauce.
Now, layer more zucchini slices and continue these steps until the pan is full.
It doesn't really matter if you have sauce or zucchini as the top layer.
Top it with the grated cheese.
Place the baking dish on a sheet tray and bake lasagna in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling.
Love & melons,