Primal | Meats
One of the hardest things about being gluten free for me is the lack of really good pasta options. There are some gluten free pastas available, but they just don't seem to have the same texture or taste as a high quality noodle. So, we are constantly on a quest to replicate our favorite childhood comfort foods - lasagne, spaghetti, pizza - with gluten free and/or lower carb options. This Zucchini Bake is one such dish.
To make the noodles, we spiralize large zucchini using the smallest noodle blade on our spiralizer. The first time that we made this dish, it ended up very "soupy", with a lot of liquid in the bottom of the casserole dish when it was baked. We determined that zucchini gives off a lot of liquid when it is cooked, so to reduce this, we salt and drain the noodles after they have been spiralized. This helps to reduce the excess liquid, although not completely.
We recommend our homemade marinara for the sauce, but if you don't have time to make your own, another option is a high quality canned marinara sauce. We look for organic options that don't include added sugars or preservatives.
Neither of us have a strong sensitivity to dairy, so we enjoy high quality (full-fat, organic, and grass-fed) dairy products regularly. While it isn't strict Paleo, it is what works for us. To make this dish, we use a combination of cubed and shredded mozzarella to ensure that we get some cheesy goodness throughout the zucchini. As you build the layers, start with the sauce and noodles, followed by the sausage and cubed mozzarella. Then repeat, finishing the top with the shredded cheese.
This recipe has all of the classic Italian flavors of a traditional meat lasagne -Italian sausage with lots of fennel, a crisp, bright marinara sauce, and baked mozzarella. With a little bit of preparation, this can be an easy weeknight meal. And it freezes well, so you could double the recipe, bake ahead of time, and then re-heat for a super fast option.
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