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Lasagna Casserole with Zucchini

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

I had a pound of ground beef to use up and my craving hit: I wanted lasagna.  I wanted a cheesy piece of lasagna Bolognese with slices of zucchini.  I didn’t want to use zucchini as the noodles, they’d be extra texture.  I was going to use Mafalda.  I like to make lasagna soup using Mafalda so making a pan of lasagna with the smaller noodles would be a fun change.

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

I started with a red onion I had leftover, chopping it into small pieces and sautéing it in a drizzle of olive oil.  I let it cook for a couple of minutes, until it was getting to be translucent.  I removed it to a bowl and set it aside.

Sauté onion in a drizzle of oil until it begins to turn translucent.

Sauté onion in a drizzle of oil until it begins to turn translucent.

In the same nonstick skillet I added another drizzle of olive oil and sautéed some sliced zucchini and summer squash until it was browned in places.  I sprinkled a little garlic powder on it as it cooked to give it a touch of flavor.  The squash isn’t very flavorful unless it’s seasoned.  I also sprinkled some salt and pepper on the squash.

Sauté zucchini and summer squash in a drizzle of oil in the same skillet for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned in places.

Sauté zucchini and summer squash in a drizzle of oil in the same skillet for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned in places.

Next I browned the ground beef, seasoning it with a few shakes of salt and black pepper.

When beef is browned, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add seasonings and stir well. Bring to a bubble then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When beef is browned, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add seasonings and stir well. Bring to a bubble then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the ground beef was nice and browned, I added a large can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce and a can of tomato paste.  I added some seasoning and let it some to a bubble.  I reduced the heat to medium low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes I taste tested and added salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta to al dente, drain and add to meat sauce. Stir well.

Cook pasta to al dente, drain and add to meat sauce. Stir well.

Meanwhile I boiled the Mafalda in salted water until it was just al dente.  I drained the pasta and added it to the meat sauce in the skillet.

In a greased or foil lined 9x13-in pan, spread 1/3 of the pasta and meat sauce. Spread 1 cup of Parmesan and 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack over the top.

In a greased or foil lined 9×13-in pan, spread 1/3 of the pasta and meat sauce. Spread 1 cup of Parmesan and 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack over the top.

Using a 9×13-in pan, I lined it with foil.  I spread 1/3 of the pasta and sauce mixture on the bottom, followed by a cup of Parmesan and 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and half of the onions and sliced squash.

Spread half of the zucchini and onions for the next layer

Spread half of the zucchini and onions for the next layer

I spread another 1/3 of the pasta and sauce then a cup of Parmesan, 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese and the remainder of the onion and squash.

Continue with layers a second time. For the final layers use the remaining 1/3 of the pasta and meat mixture and the remaining 1/3 of cheese. Place in oven for 45 minutes or until heated through.

Continue with layers a second time. For the final layers use the remaining 1/3 of the pasta and meat mixture and the remaining 1/3 of cheese. Place in oven for 45 minutes or until heated through.

Finally I spread the remainder of the pasta and sauce and the last two cups of Monterey Jack cheese.  I slid the pan into the oven for 45 minutes.

Let set for 5-10 minutes then slice and serve.

Let set for 5-10 minutes then slice and serve.

I checked the center after 45 minutes and the cheese was melted all the way through.  Dinner was ready!

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

Oh man this was so delicious!  The casserole had the finest points of lasagna with added flavors of zucchini and summer squash.  We had big pieces for dinner and were totally satisfied.  We also had pieces leftover for several more meals.  I could have frozen portions as well, but didn’t this time.  It’s a good idea for the future!

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

Lasagna Zucchini Casserole

Lasagna Casserole with Zucchini

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A cheesy lasagna casserole made with mafaldi, (bite sized pasta pieces) and zucchini slices.

  • 1/2 cup red onion; chopped
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 small summer squash; sliced thinly
  • 1 small zucchini; sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 5 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 16 oz box Mafalda pasta; cooked to al dente and draine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Parmesan; shredded
  • 5-6 cups Monterey Jack or Mozzarella; shredded (or more or less as desired)
Heat oven to 300°F.  Grease or spray a 9×13-in pan or line with foil.

While cooking the pasta in salted water to al dente, use a large nonstick skillet with a drizzle of oil over medium high heat to sauté the onions until translucent.  Set aside in a bowl.

In the same skillet add another drizzle of olive oil and sauté the sliced zucchini and summer squash seasoned with the 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Sauté for several minutes until they are browned on the sides.  Set aside in a bowl.

Sauté the ground beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until beef is browned and broken into small pieces.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste to the ground beef.  Add fenel, oregano, basil and onion powder.  Stir well and let come to a bubble.  reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add pasta to the skillet and stir well. Taste test and add salt and pepper to taste.

In greased or lined pan, layer 1/3 of the pasta and meat mixture.  Layer 1 cup of Parmesan over the first layer.  Layer half of the sliced squash and half of the onion.  Layer 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese.  Repeat layers.

On the top layer use the remaining 1/3 of the pasta and meat mixture and 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese.  Place pan in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cheese is melted all the way through.

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