No-Noodle Lasagna

AmberMain, Paleo Friendly11 Comments

Lasagna is delicious, but the noodles do nothing for you. So we created this easy-to-make, gluten-free lasagna packed with flavor. It uses zucchini as the noodles, and trust me, it tastes SO GOOD, we eat the whole pan every time!

Whenever we make it at home, we use a mandolin that slices the zucchini paper-thin. We borrowed someone else’s mandolin that slices it much thicker (about the thickness of a quarter) to see how it would turn out. Watch the video for the result!










4.34 from 3 votes

Award-Winning No-Noodle Lasagna

Former First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge in 2013, calling out to kids and parents across the country to submit an original healthy recipe that would inspire families to cook together and eat wholesome meals. I submitted this recipe and won for the state of Washington! I had the honor of dining next to the First Lady and meeting President Obama, and I also chatted with many amazing kids and parents who think that fresh, delicious food is the best kind of food. This lasagna ditches pasta and uses zucchini as the noodles, and trust me, it tastes so good. My family eats the whole pan every time! If the White House kitchen staff and First Lady Michelle Obama approve of this lasagna, I think you will, too.
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Amber Kelley


  • 3 medium-size zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup/160 g chopped yellow onion about 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and pressed
  • 1 pound/455 g Italian turkey sausage casings removed
  • 1 28-ounce/800 g can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
  • 1 6-ounce/170 g can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces/225 g mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 ounces/55 g Parmesan cheese grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200°C.
  2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise with a mandoline so that they are paper-thin strips. Set out the strips on paper towels to dry out while you make the sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in a large (10- to 12-inch/25.5 to 30.5 cm) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it’s no longer pink and crumbly.
  5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on taste and the saltiness of your sausage), and the pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
  6. To assemble the lasagna, ladle about 3/4 cup/175 ml of the sauce into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch/33 x 23 x 5 cm rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Layer the zucchini, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with a small handful of mozzarella, a bit of Parmesan, and then another ladle full of sauce. Repeat until you are out of ingredients, finishing with sauce, topped with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Broil for a minute or two at the end to get a nice crust. Let it cool slightly so that it can set before serving.

11 Comments on “No-Noodle Lasagna”

  1. I saw you this morning on Q13 Fox news. Decided to make this for dinner.
    The only difference was I used chicken sausage just cause it was on sale.
    Thank You for sharing

  2. I cook with my granddaughter all the time and this sounds like a great recipe for us to try. She has been cooking with me since she was 3. She is now 8 and loves to cook also. Are you going to make a kids good eating cook book because I would bye it. If you do please let me know. Thanks and will watch your show now since I know about you.

    1. That’s awesome that your granddaughter loves to cook! Keep it up! No plans for a cookbook right now, but we might in the future! 😀

  3. Saw you on the Today show and made this for dinner last night! It was excellent!! I repinned it on pinterest and shared it on Facebook 🙂 By far more delicious than I even imagined! One question- does it freeze well? I am thinking of making a double batch next time and freezing a few portions but not sure how the zucchini will hold up. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Maureen! I have to say we have never frozen it, we always eat it all up! Looks like people do freeze zucchini, though, but we’ve never done it so I can’t say if it changes texture or anything. If you try it, let us know!

  4. Just watched the finale on The Next Food Network Star and this recipe looks so awesome! Definitely making this soon as I think it will fit in perfectly to my low carb lifestyle. Congratulations on the win. My 11 year old daughter will be watching you for sure.

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