Chef Jennifer Ophir's Guilt-Free Lasagna

(serves 9)

45 minsPrep Time
45 minsCook Time

1 hr 30 minsTotal Time

ingredients

  • 5-6 FAT zucchini (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 2 TB olive oil + more for brushing
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt, divided + more as needed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 10-oz packages frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 2 10-oz packages frozen kale (or any other hearty green) defrosted and drained
  • 16 oz (1 pound) low-moisture part-skim ricotta
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 cup sliced scallions (from about 7 – 9 whole)
  • 1 cup packed chopped fresh basil (roughly 1.5 oz) + extra whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flake
  • 3 cups (24 oz) of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella

prep

1. Position your racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat to 450 degrees.

2. Brush 1 TB of olive oil each onto two half-sheet pans and set aside.

3. Chop off the top and bottom of your zucchini and discard. With your mandolin, shave a 3 cm 
(1/8”) thick strip lengthwise to create a “lasagna sheet”; you want them 1½” or wider.

4. Save the first few and last few strips for another use, since they will be too narrow.

5. Continue to create “lasagna sheets” with the remaining zucchini. You should have about 45-50 
sheets of various lengths. On your prepared trays, lay the zucchini sheets next to each other but not overlapping.

6. Brush each lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of salt per tray and a little bit of pepper.

7. Cook for 14-15 minutes until the zucchini sheets are slightly wrinkled and lightly browned in some spots.

8. Gingerly remove the zucchini strips and place them on a paper towel-lined tray. Do not stack them; keep a paper towel between each layer. It’s ok if some rip, keep them together as much as possible. If you have any remaining sheets, wipe the sheet tray, and repeat the procedure. Let cool.

9. Reduce oven temperature to 400.

10. While the zucchini is in the oven, prepare your powerhouse green mixture. Squeeze as much water as you can from the defrosted greens; there will be a LOT of water and this will be an arm workout. You want your greens to feel almost dry, so your lasagna doesn’t come out drippy. 


Pro Tip: wring the greens in batches in a clean dish towel over the sink. Use as much arm strength as you have!


11. Once your greens are dry-ish, chop, and if they are clumpy, loosen them up with your fingers. 
You should have about 5 loosely packed cups of greens. Add them to a large bowl, along with the ricotta, eggs, 1 cup of the grated parmesan, scallions, basil, red chili flake, and 1½ tsp of the salt. Mix well until fully combined. 

Pro tip: glove up and mix with your hand.


12. Building your Powerhouse Lasagna:

Have your zucchini sheets, powerhouse greens mixture, tomato sauce, and the cheeses ready.

  • Add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of your casserole dish, spreading it evenly.
  • Place one layer of zucchini sheets slightly overlapping, completely covering the sauce, with about 12-15 sheets.
  • Gently dollop ½ of the powerhouse greens mixture on top.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella and press down to evenly spread the powerhouse greens mixture.
  • Place another layer of zucchini sheets slightly overlapping, completely covering the shredded mozzarella.
  • Gently spoon 1¼ cup of sauce and spread into an even layer.
  • Gently dollop the remainder of the powerhouse greens mixture on top.
  • Place the remaining zucchini sheets slightly overlapping, completely covering the powerhouse greens mixture with about 12-15 sheets.
  • Spoon the remaining ¾ cup of sauce and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of shredded mozzarella and remaining ¼ cup parmesan.

13. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes until sauce is bubbling in the corners and cheese is lightly brown on top.

14. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

15. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, serve and enjoy the goodness.

Chef Jennifer Ophir introduces a super easy healthier alt lasagna recipe on our show as we're breaking down simple ways to break bad habits!