This Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe features a homemade meat sauce and flavorful savory ricotta mixture, and is topped with a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses for the ultimate cheesy comfort food.
First let’s talk about the elephant in the room; my Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe is by no means a classic or authentic lasagna! However, it is jam-packed with flavor, and every bit as delicious as a regular lasagna. (I’ve had both keto and non-keto people ask for seconds, as well as ask for the recipe!)
But really, this dish is more of a casserole than a lasagna. It consists of a homemade meat sauce topped with a spiced ricotta cheese mixture, and then a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan on top. Baked until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese is golden and melty, this meal is low carb comfort food at its finest.
Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe
This Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe is low in carbs, but packed with flavor! I make a rich meat sauce that simmers for a couple hours to blend all the flavors. Onion, garlic, and dried Italian herb mix provide savory aromatics and dry red wine adds depth of flavor and complexity. I add herbs and spices to the ricotta mixture, and then I top the whole casserole with a mixture of melty mozzarella and salty Parmesan cheeses.
This Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe will have keto and non-keto eaters asking for second helpings.
What Should the Top Layer of Lasagna Be?
People frequently ask about the top layer of lasagna! The top layer of lasagna is typically cheese. In my Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe, I use a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan.
How to Make Low Carb Lasagna
The biggest sources of carbohydrates in lasagna are the noodles and the tomato sauce. If the noodles are eliminated, it automatically greatly reduces the carbs. Additionally, if you make your own homemade meat sauce you can control what goes into it, and limit or cut out hidden carbs.
Pro Tip: I like to make my own tomato sauce or meat sauce because a lot of tomato sauces on the market contain sugar!
Low Carb Meat Lasagna
In my Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipe, I make a rich meat sauce with great depth of flavor and use that as the base of this casserole.
How to Make Meat Lasagna:
Meat lasagna is very easy to make!
- Add homemade meat sauce to a casserole dish.
- Top it with a savory ricotta cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle more cheese on top.
- Bake until it’s golden and bubbly.
This recipe isn’t exactly like lasagna (because there are no layers), but the flavor profile is very similar. I don’t miss the noodles at all in this dish!
Low Carb Vegetable Lasagna
Like regular lasagna with noodles, vegetable lasagna contains layers. There are usually layers of sauce, veggies, and cheese, with the vegetable layers standing in for the noodles. After a lot of experimentation, I found that the key to a delicious vegetable lasagna is to pre-cook the vegetables to avoid the casserole becoming too watery (because the vegetables give off water as they cook).
In a lot of recipes, zucchini is a fantastic noodle substitute. Zucchini noodles (aka “zoodles”) are great for topping with sauce, but when you slice zucchini into planks it can easily mimic lasagna noodles.
How to Make Zucchini Noodle Free Lasagna:
- Slice your zucchini into about 1/4-inch thick circles or planks (the planks look more like lasagna noodles; check out this post to see what I mean by planks).
- After that, grill or bake the zucchini briefly (just to soften it a bit) so it releases some of its water to help prevent your lasagna from being watery.
- Gently pat it dry, and the zucchini is then ready to use as a noodle substitute.
- Layer the zucchini with meat sauce (or marinara sauce) and cheese in a casserole dish the way you would a regular lasagna.
- Bake until golden and bubbling and serve warm.
Cabbage leaves make a great stand-in for noodles in lasagna! If you like stuffed cabbage, you’ll love lasagna made with cabbage leaves because the flavor is similar.
How to Make Cabbage Noodle Free Lasagna:
- Boil your cabbage leaves for about 5 to 10 minutes in boiling salted water so that they’re tender and release some of their water. Just be careful not to over-boil the cabbage leaves; we don’t want them mushy!
- After that, let the cabbage leaves cool, pat them dry, and use them the same way you would use lasagna noodles.
More Low Carb Noodle Free Lasagna Recipes:
- Lasagna with Easy Meat Sauce and Cabbage Noodles
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Eggplant Lasagna
- Cauliflower Noodles Lasagna
- Skillet Cabbage Lasagna
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Low Carb Noodle Free Meat Lasagna Recipe
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 oz Parmesan cheese grated
- For the meat mixture, add the beef, onion, and garlic to a large, deep-sided skillet over high heat; cook (uncovered) until the meat is browned well, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook (uncovered) until the liquid is mostly evaporated off, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Bring up to a boil, and then cover the skillet, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook until it’s a rich, thick sauce, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. After 1 hour 45 minutes, stir in the green bell peppers and cook uncovered the last 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- For the cheese mixture, stir together all ingredients in a large bowl.
- To assemble the casserole, spread the meat mixture into the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Spread the cheese mixture on top, and then sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan on the top.
- Bake at 400F until the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. To brown the top, broil a few minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Net Carbs: 8g per serving
- Ground Beef: If you use beef that’s leaner than 85%, you may need to add a splash of olive oil.
- This meal is freezer-friendly, so it's perfect for meal prep! You can freeze the entire casserole, or you can divide it out into individual servings and freeze it that way. To reheat, thaw to room temperature and then reheat in microwave-safe containers in the microwave, or in an oven-safe dish covered with foil in a 375F oven until warm throughout.
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