All the flavors you know and love from lasagna, without the wheat. Zucchini ribbons stand in for noodles, creating a dish with old world flavor and a modern Paleo twist.
This post was written by Jennafer Ashley of PaleoHacks. PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.
One Pan Meals Can Be Quick, Delicious & Nutritious
One-pan meals are amazing on busy nights when energy is running low and hunger is high. There is no need to sacrifice health for a fast meal. This skillet lasagna checks all the boxes, using zucchini noodles gently tossed in a rich and meaty tomato sauce and topped with dollops of creamy cashew cheese. Protein- and CLA-rich grass-fed beef provides the backbone of the dish for a filling Paleo dinner that is ready in a jiff.
Start by soaking raw unsalted cashews in water overnight. This plumps the cashews for a smooth and creamy texture and also makes them easier on the digestive system. When you are ready to cook the meal, drain cashews and pulse in a blender along with almond milk, sea salt and fresh basil. The texture comes out just like ricotta cheese—minus the dairy. This cheese is great to stuff peppers, portobello mushrooms or any savory recipe that calls for ricotta cheese.
Next, brown grass-fed beef in a large skillet for a few minutes and then stir in fennel seed, oregano, garlic and sea salt. Fennel seed, a must-have herb in Italian cooking, adds an anise flavor reminiscent of Italian sausage. I used a slightly higher fat ground meat in this sauce to create a richer and more flavorful sauce. Pour in tomato sauce and scrape up any brown bits using a wooden spatula. Those brown bits add a deep meaty flavor to the sauce. While the sauce simmers, spiralize zucchini noodles using the flat blade. This results in large curly ribbons very similar to pappardelle noodles, but veggie style! You can achieve a similar flat noodle using a potato peeler lengthwise on a zucchini. Toss zucchini noodles in sauce to coat and spoon dollops of cashew cheese on top. Finish with fresh chopped basil and chili flakes. Who’s ready to mangia!?
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1 large zucchini
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup cashew ricotta cheese (see recipe)
1 t fennel seed
1 t garlic, minced
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t chili flakes
1/4 t sea salt
Fresh chopped basil, for serving
For Cashew Ricotta
1 cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked in water overnight)
5 basil leaves
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 t sea salt
How to Make It
- Begin by adding ground beef to a skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spatula to break meat into small pieces. Cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in fennel, garlic, oregano and sea salt. Continue to cook 3 minutes longer.
- Pour in tomato sauce and stir well, scraping up any brown bits from meat browning. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 10 minutes.
- While meat sauce cooks, combine ingredients for cashew ricotta in a blender or food processor. Pulse until ground and slightly gritty. Set aside. The cashew ricotta can be made in advance also.
- Using the flat blade of a spiral slicer, slice zucchini into ribbons. Place zucchini ribbons on top of sauce and use tongs to gently toss.
- Spoon dollops of cashew ricotta on top and garnish with extra fresh basil and chili flakes. Serve hot.
Jennafer Ashley is a Recipe Developer and Food Photographer. She is the girl behind the healthy recipes at Fresh and Fit, her recipe development company and blog of the same name. Jennafer loves to cook recipes that suit a variety of diet lifestyles- from Vegan to Paleo. Her philosophy on food is that it should be beautiful, affordable, and of course, delicious. When Jennafer isn’t in the kitchen, you can find her hiking with her German Shepherd or perusing the aisles of home decor stores.
PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.