Layered Ground Beef and Zucchini Lasagna Casserole

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Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep
50 mins
Cook
45 mins

Ground turkey or bulk Italian sausage meat may be substituted for ground beef --- I also added in a small chopped green bell pepper into the ground beef mixture

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 5 cups water (you might need more water)
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 23 cup dry breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic (or to taste)
  • 1 -2 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (optional or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups pasta sauce
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese (or use 2 cups ricotta and 1 cup creamed cottage cheese)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (or use 2 small eggs)
  • 12 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, divided (can use more)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (can use fresh chopped parsley)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (set oven rack to lowest position).
  2. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Bring about 5 cups water to a boil in a saucepan.
  4. Add in the sliced zucchini; simmer for 3 minutes or until just crisp-tender; drain on paper towels or a clean tea towel then cool.
  5. In a skillet cook the ground beef with onion, dried chili flakes, basil and oregano until the beef is no longer pink; drain fat.
  6. Add in garlic and continue cooking the beef until lightly browned.
  7. Add in the pasta sauce; cook for about 10-15 minutes, season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
  8. In a bowl mix together the ricotta with egg/s, garlic powder, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, dried parsley; mix to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Arrange all of the zucchini slices in the bottom of the baking dish (the slices do not have to be in one layer) then sprinkle with about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.
  10. Dollop HALF of the ricotta mixture over the breadcrumbs, then cover with HALF of the beef mixture, then sprinkle about 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top.
  11. Repeat the layers with remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, ricotta mixture, then meat mixture (reserve the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese for the top after baking).
  12. Sprinkle 1/2 cup or more Parmesan cheese over the top of the meat mixture.
  13. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any spills.
  14. Bake uncovered for about 44-50 minutes or until heated through.
  15. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top and return to oven for another 5-8 minutes.