Zucchini Lasagne with Mushrooms

Indulge in traditional Italian comfort food this winter minus the calories, using veggies to lighten your lasagne. Plus you can freeze it and save for later.


  • 5 tbs olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 450 g (6 cups) mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 450g (15 cups) baby spinach, washed
  • 1 pinch red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 6-8 large zucchini, trimmed
  • 675g (3 cups) ricotta
  • 100g (2/3 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Step 1.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Step 2.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, sweating until softened, 5-7 minutes.

Step 3.
Add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their juices, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Set off the heat.

Step 4.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Drain well and refresh in a large bowl of iced water.

Step 5.
Drain well in a colander; press the spinach against the sides of the colander to get rid of as much excess water as possible. Roughly chop and then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Step 6.
Add the onion-mushroom mixture, chilli flakes, dried herbs, some salt and pepper to taste; stir well.

Step 7.
Using a mandoline or chef’s knife, thinly slice the zucchinis lengthwise into long strips. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, tossing to coat.

Step 8.
Preheat a griddle pan over moderate heat until hot. Working in batches, add the zucchini to the pan, griddling until lightly charred, turning once, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Step 9.
Cover the base of the baking dish with a single layer of zucchini. Top with a layer of the spinach-mushroom mixture followed by a thin layer of ricotta. Repeat layering another two times, finishing with a layer of zucchini on top; drizzle with olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminium foil.

Step 10.
Bake for 30 minutes; discard the foil and continue to bake until the lasagne is golden-brown on top and the zucchini is soft to the tip of a knife, 20-30 minutes more.

Step 11.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Top with sunflower seeds and some freshly grated nutmeg.

Serves 8