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In The Kitchen: The Traveling Epicurean cooks up gluten-free zucchini lasagna

CT Style

A fresh take on a classic comfort food dish that’s healthy and delicious.

The Traveling Epicurean Michel Vejar cooks up gluten-free zucchini lasagna.


· 9 x 13 x 3 baking dish

· 4 large zucchini sliced 1/4″ thick

· 1/2 cup Emmental cheese shredded

· 3 cups shredded mozzarella

· 8 oz. ground turkey

· 8 oz. ground Italian fennel sausage

· 2 lb. whole milk ricotta, “Fina Style” from Liuzzi Cheese

· 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (I like Cento)

· 3/4 cup finely diced sweet onions (1/2 cup for the meat sauce, 1/4 cup for the béchamel sauce)

· 2 large garlic cloves, grated

· 1/4 red wine

· 1 teaspoon ground Italian seasonings

· 1 teaspoon sugar

· 1 teaspoon salt (1/2 for meat sauce and 1/2 for béchamel sauce)

· 1/2 teaspoon finely ground pepper (1/4 for meat sauce and 1/4 for béchamel)

· 1 cup fresh basil, 1/2 cup julienne for 1 lasagna layer, and 4 whole leaves for meat sauce

· 2 1/2 cups milk

· 3 tablespoon butter

· 3 tablespoon rice flour

· Pinch nutmeg


1. Slice zucchini lengthwise on a mandolin to 3/16″ thick

2. Lay zucchini strips on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper

3. Lightly salt zucchini strips and let sit for 30 minutes

4. Pat dry with paper towels all the water that renders out of the zucchini strips

5. Put zucchini into a 375º oven for 10 minutes, take out to pat dry and flip over, then bake 10 minutes more, take out and pat dry again and set aside

6. Make the meat sauce: add turkey, sausage and 1/2 cup chopped onion to sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and cooked until browned

7. Add in grated garlic cloves and de-glaze with 1/4 cup red wine

8. Add 1 can of chopped up whole peeled tomatoes, 4 fresh basil leaves (remove this after simmering) Italian seasonings, salt/pepper and sugar and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes

9. Make the Béchamel Sauce: Start with a Roux…Melt 3 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan on medium heat and add in 3 tablespoon Rice flour, keep whisking to get a smooth consistency

10. While whisking, heat thru to cook out raw flour taste two minutes, but do not brown roux

11. Add in 1/4 cup milk to start while continuously whisking so as to not develop lumps

12. Then add in another 1/2 cup of milk while whisking and lastly whisk in the final 1 1/2 cups of milk

13. Simmer this mixture for 15 minutes making sure to keep whisking every few minutes so as not to get a thick coating that could burn on the bottom of the pan

14. You want a very thick consistency thru out when done, set aside and let cool to get thicker

15. Begin to layer the lasagna adding approx 3/4 cup meat sauce to the bottom of the bake dish

16. Lay down strips of zucchini going all the way across the dish

17. Next layer, add spoonful’s of ricotta every couple of inches onto top of zucchini strips

18. Add spoonful’s of béchamel every few inches in between ricotta

19. Next, sprinkle on 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Swiss and julienned basil (basil for this layer only)

20. Next, spoon 3/4 cup meat sauce

21. Then add zucchini strips again and 2x repeat steps 17-20

22. The last, top layer add ricotta, béchamel, meat sauce and save the mozzarella for the top

23. Place baking dish on cookie tray and bake on 375º for approx. 60 minutes, if the top get too brown cover with foil

24. Take out zucchini lasagna and let sit for 30 minutes for moisture to evaporate, slice and garnish with grated cheese and basil…mmm!

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