Zucchini Pizza Lasagna1

My mom is really, really REALLY crafty.

When I say that, I mean that she’s one of those people who can take the most ordinary, seemingly common objects and turn them into something really cool and awesome.This happened a lot when we were little kids. She would buy one of the cheap stuffed animals from the dollar store, then go to the fabric store to buy the clearance fabrics that she would sew into beautiful, sometimes even elaborate dresses to dress the animals in. A lot of the glass and porcelain knick knacks and show pieces in my grandma’s living room are ones that my mom bought from the dollar store and jazzed up on our her own so that they look like they came from a gift shop and cost a fortune. For a while, she even made and sold floral wreaths and jewelry boxes.

When I was around six or seven, me and my sisters were in our church’s Vacation Bible School in the summertime for kids and there was this costume contest. We didn’t have a lot of money at that time, and certainly not enough for my mom to buy three girls fancy costumes to wear. So, being the crafty, innovative person that she is, she decided to construct costumes for all of using items she already had in our house.

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Oh yeah, and I should probably mention that the items were white garbage bags, silver wrapping paper ribbon, glitter and dress-up wigs (two pink, and one blue). The result? Three little angels.

My mom sprinkled glitter over the white garbage bags, then cut holes out of them to fit our arms and legs. She then used the silver ribbon to cinch them at the waist, then curled the ends so that the bags looked like dresses. After putting on the wigs and a little bit of lipstick and blush, our costumes for the contest were complete.

I know it sounds weird and crazy now, but I can still remember feeling so pretty in that costume at the time. I thought my mom was a genius and was so proud of her for coming up with the idea. The reality is that instead of angels, the three of us looked likeย The Paper Bag Princess meets The Jetsons.

I can’t decide whether the greater miracle was that no one laughed or made fun of us…or that me and my sisters actually won that costume contest.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have my mom’s crafty abilities in using ordinary objects to create physical art that wins contests and makes money.Art’s not my thing- never has been, and likely never will be. I’m just a home cook. However that does mean that I can take ordinary ingredients that some people (including myself) may underestimate and make them into a dish that really exceeds even my own expectations. That’s what happened with this dish.

Small confession: I don’t like ordinary lasagna. For one, I hate ricotta cheese. Two, there’s something about the texture of the noodles, that puts me off. So for years, I’ve just avoided it all together. But then, I found myself with a whole lot of zucchini that I simply had to find something to do with that didn’t involve zucchini bread. I’ve seen variations of this dish done before, so I decided to create my own rendition, specially tailored for my ricotta/lasagna noodle-hating tastes.

I was REALLY impressed with how this came out. ย The zucchini is such a great alternative to the pasta, and I actually think it’s a vast improvement on the original. It tastes like pure comfort food, and I’m planning on adding it to the dinner rotation for my family as a regular dish. I’m also bringing it to the party at this week’s Fiesta Friday #32, hosted by Angie@TheNoviceGardener . Give it a try, folks. I don’t think you’ll regret it ๐Ÿ™‚


Zucchini Pizza Lasagna



  • 2-3 Large Zucchini
  • 1-2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 15 oz. cans of pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1lb roll of pork (or turkey) sausage
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 7 oz. pouch of pepperoni
  • 8 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

ย Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350ยฐ.

2. Using a mandolin (or a VERY sharp knife), slice zucchini length-wise into very thin slices, about 1/8 thick.

3. Lay slices on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and sprinkle liberally with salt. Bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes.

4. Using a paper towel, press all the remaining moisture from the zucchini and set aside.

5. Brown ground beef and sausage together in a pan, then drain off excess fat. In same skillet, saute onion and bell pepper in same skillet, until softened.

6. Pour pizza sauce into a bowl and stir in the ground beef, sausage, onion and bell pepper.

7. Turn up oven heat to 375ยฐ. Spray an 11 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the zucchini slices in the bottom and spread with pizza sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over sauce, then lay pepperoni over cheese. Repeat layers, ending with pizza sauce.

8. Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes.

9. Remove lasagna from oven and heat broiler. Place back in oven and bake until cheese is browned, about 2-3 minutes.

10. Allow lasagna to sit for about 30 minutes before eating to allow to settle. Serve.

37 thoughts on “Zucchini Pizza Lasagna

  1. Love this story..love your mom…love you. I can guarantee you that you were three little angels… the most beautiful little angels. <3

    As soon as I saw the name of this recipe, I was like "yum"…. and that's big today, because I'm sick. I haven't eaten in two days, because there isn't anything that sounds good to me… but this looks and sounds fab! I wish you were here, lovey…I'd have you make this for me today. <3

    1. Aww thank you Prudy- you know it’s funny, we actually do still have pictures of me in that costume. I considered putting it up with this post…but I still have my pride, so I decided against it lol

      Oh no, I’m sorry you’re sick! I would DEFINITELY come over your house to cook for you and make tea<3

  2. Yummy, Jess! Looks like a lasagna fit for an angel (I bet you were adorable!). The lasagna sounds delicious! Ironically, I made a pizza stuffed zucchini with similar ingredients last week…I must say, yours lasagna looks better! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. MUCH healthier, but you really cannot even tell the difference, except that you feel lighter after eating this than you would eating normal lasagna. Thank you!

  3. What a sweet heart warming story. And the best part is you won the competition. Actually I was trying to read fast to see the result. Moms are the best. They are the real angels in our lives. <3
    Your Lasagne looks tempting. I didn't know we could use Pizza sauce in it. The picture of your Lasagne reminds me of my SIL who lives in Atlanta. She makes amazing Lasagne too. I am going to dig in to yours now ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. That’s a perfect description of my mom. She always made the best of everything for me and my sisters!

      Thank you- yes, pizza sauce works VERY well here, but regular tomato sauce would also do in a pinch. Give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. And you say you are not creative! Don’t know what this is if it isn’t creative. Lovely post with this recipe and sweet story of your family.

  5. I love this story Jess. You have such an inspirational family – please adopt me? And I’ll have another slice if this amazing lasagna while you get the papers ready!!

  6. Your mom sounds totally awesome Jess! I had a crafty mom too, she used to whip up all sorts of dresses for me, knitting, crochet, curtains, tablecloths, I cant do any of that, but I hope I inherited some of the magic she created in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚ This pizza-lasagna looks crazy good!

    1. She is TOTALLY awesome, i couldn’t have asked for a better one. I too am not crafty like her by any means, but it was all good because I could always count on her to do that stuff for me lol Thank you!

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