Mexican Zucchini Lasagna

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I saw this recipe from Food Faith Fitness and it has been on my mind for about two weeks now! I finally made it last night and it is cheesy and healthyish and delicious and really pretty easy to put together. You can even prep everything in advance so that it’s super fast to put together to pop in the oven. She says it freezes great too but these leftovers aren’t going to last long so I will have to try freezing it next time! I am sure if you don’t have zucchini coming out your ears from your garden that you have a few neighbors who would love to get rid of a few!

This would be great with regular lasagna noodles but if you are trying to be a little healthier this is a great option to  use zoodles. You won’t even taste the zucchini in here so don’t let that worry you. Try them out, I promise you will like them!

I changed a few things from the way the recipe was written, I will add those notes in.

For the zoodles:
3-4 Large zucchinis (I used to extra large ones from the garden!)
1 T Salt

For the lasagna:
2 T Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Turkey (you can easily sub hamburger for this)
1 Cup Onion, diced (1 small onion)
1 T + 2 tsp Garlic, diced
1 T + 1 tsp Taco seasoning
Pepper
3/4 Cup Tomato Sauce
3/4 Cup Salsa, of choice
**I had a bottle of this that I picked up at Smith’s and wanted to use it up, it was delicious but next time I will use the tomato sauce/salsa combo**

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1 15 oz Container of light or fat-free ricotta cheese
1 Large egg
1/2 Cup Cilantro, roughly chopped + additional for garnish
2 cups grated cheese (I used Monterrey Jack and a Mexican blend)
1 Large red pepper, chopped

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mandolin, slice the zucchini into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. Lay them out flat onto 2 cookie sheets and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp salt. I overlapped the slices so that they would all fit, they cooked just fine this way.

Bake them for 15-20 minutes, until just lightly beginning to brown, to get all the moisture out.

While the zucchini cooks, heat the olive oil over medium/high heat in the large pan. Add in the ground turkey, diced onion, diced garlic, taco seasoning. Cook until the onion is soft and the turkey is browned.

Once the zucchini is cooked, transfer them to a long piece of paper towel, cover with another piece of paper towel, and gently press out as much excess moisture as you can. Set aside. You don’t have to do this step but if you don’t your lasagna might end up a little watery from the water that seeps out of the zucchini.

In a medium bowl, stir together the tomato sauce and salsa.

In a separate, medium bowl, use a fork to beat together the ricotta cheese, egg and a pinch of pepper. Set aside.

Now the fun part, putting it all together:

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Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Start by pouring half the sauce mixture on the bottom, spread it out evenly, and then half the turkey. Layer half the zucchini noodles in a single layer, lightly overlapping them, followed by half the ricotta mixture. Carefully spread out the ricotta mixture, it’s a little tricky but you can do it! Sprinkle half the cilantro over and then finish with half the grated cheese.

Repeat the layers once more, except add the chopped pepper on top of the last layer of grated cheese.

Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 until everything is bubbly! Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then cut out a big huge piece and enjoy every single bite of it. It is delicious, you will want more!

If you prep the ingredients earlier in the day or the day before and they are cold, you will want to add 10-15 minutes on to the bake time.

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