Summer Squash and Zucchini Lasagna

Well, I think it’s safe to say that it has been a REALLY long time since I’ve posted a recipe for you guys! Between the hot, summer weather and busy, summer plans, cooking “real” meals has really gone by the wayside. Since I was around all day on Sunday doing my “Sunday” things (workout, laundry, blogging, cooking, etc.), and I had a summer squash and zucchini from my garden that I wanted to use, I figured it was a great time to cook!

I’ve been on the lookout for new recipes to use the veggies that I’ve grown in my garden. Athena recently posted a Summer Squash and Zucchini Ribbon Salad that is likely next on my list of recipes to try, but since my summer squash was on the bigger side, I realized that it might be better used in a lasagna to replace the noodles vs. a ribbon salad.

I didn’t really have a recipe in mind, but I knew the basis of a lasagna recipe: ricotta cheese, egg, meat/filling, and noodles (or, summer squash and zucchini in my case). With that said, I did double-check my idea of a recipe against a number of different websites. Man, there are A LOT of different lasagna recipes out there; some of them are so detailed and ingredient heavy, which was not at all what I was looking for. So, I went simple! And, you know what? You couldn’t even tell the difference!

I am a fan of lasagna with a lot of “stuff” in it, so in addition to the ground turkey and ricotta stuffing, I sautéed onions and mushrooms (in wine, of course!) and added in diced tomatoes. I didn’t want to overload the lasagna with too many veggies/flavors, but sautéed onions and mushrooms are such a good combination that I had to add them.

Summer Squash and Zucchini Lasagna

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 large summer squash
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 15 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar jack since that’s all we had, but I would likely do Italian instead)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • herbs and seasoning to taste (I added some to the turkey while it was cooking, veggies while they were cooking, and the ricotta cheese mixture)

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Directions

1. Cut up the onion and mushrooms and sauté them with wine, minced garlic and seasonings.

2. Cook the ground turkey. When it is cooked through, add in a can of diced tomatoes (drained).

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3. Use a kitchen gadget (peeler or a slicer from Pampered Chef) to create thin slices of summer squash and zucchini. Make sure to pat the slices with a paper towel or place them on a paper towel to help absorb some of the water. I didn’t do this, and I ended up with a very watery lasagna!

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4. Mix together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, shredded cheese, egg, milk and seasoning.

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5. Once everything is combined, start to create your lasagna layers: summer squash and zucchini ribbons, meat & veggie mixture and cheese mixture until all of the ingredients are used up. I put one last layer of shredded cheese at the top before baking at 350* for 30 minutes. To brown up the top of  the lasagna, I broiled it for about 5 minutes.

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This meal was a perfect example of a “healthified” home-cooked meal because even though the noodles were substituted with veggies, we still felt satisfied when we finished. Between the ricotta cheese mixture and ground turkey, there was enough sustenance to leave us feeling full, but not in a bloated/stuffed way.

Questions for you: Do you have a garden? Do you tend to cook less in the summer because of a busy schedule and hot weather?

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