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What's for dinner (and lunch the next day)? This healthy Turkey Zucchini Lasagna recipe

Lighten up your baked pasta game without losing any flavor.
Image: Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
Zucchini noodles are an easy healthy swap for standard lasagna noodles. Nicole Franzen

Zucchini noodles are an excellent replacement for lasagna noodles since they don’t have refined flour and gluten. With layers of tangy tomato-based turkey filling and nutrient-dense Swiss chard, this is a delicious yet ultra-healthy lasagna that is sure to please everyone. I love having the leftovers for lunch. It will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Image: Turkey Zucchini Lasagna
Nicole Franzen

Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Zucchini Noodles

9 medium zucchini

½ teaspoon sea salt


2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pressed garlic

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 bunches Swiss or rainbow chard, deveined and cut into thin strips

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Turkey Filling

1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil

2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeno (optional)

2 teaspoons pressed garlic

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 ½ pounds pasture-raised ground turkey

1 ½ cups no-sugar-added marinara sauce

1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt

6 ounces goat’s milk Cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)

1 teaspoon freshly cracked

black pepper


¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. For the zucchini noodles: Cut the ends off the zucchini and thinly slice into longitudinal strips, like lasagna noodles, about ¼-inch thick. Use a mandoline if you have one to ensure consistent thickness. You want 22 strips. Evenly arrange the strips on the two lined baking sheets, then sprinkle evenly with the salt. Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the pans between the top and bottom oven racks and bake for another 5 minutes, until tender.
  3. For the chard: Heat the avocado oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and salt and cook for 30 seconds, stirring well. Add the chard in batches, stirring well to spread the greens evenly around the pan. Once all the greens are wilted, after 2 to 3 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice. Transfer the chard to a colander to drain.
  4. For the filling: Heat the avocado oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. When the oil is warm, add the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and onion powder. Saute this spice mixture for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the turkey, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the marinara sauce and basil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the salt, stir well, and remove from the heat.
  5. Assemble the lasagna by arranging a layer of zucchini strips on the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish, then cover with half the turkey filling. Add another layer of zucchini, followed by all the chard, then ½ cup of the Cheddar. Repeat with the zucchini, the remaining meat, and the remaining 1 cup Cheddar spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Let cool for several minutes before cutting. Top with thinly sliced basil and enjoy!

Excerpted from "FOOD: WHAT THE HECK SHOULD I COOK?" Copyright © 2019 by Mark Hyman, MD. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.


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