This low carb, gluten-free and lightened up lasagna uses cauliflower noodles in place of traditional lasagna pasta.
I’m really excited to share this recipe with you today. I’ve been wanting to try to make this for a while now, and of course I made it on one of the hottest days we’ve had in San Diego. With the oven working hard, the house became really, really hot. But when I cut out the first slice and saw all that melted cheese, it was worth it.
Things have been a little crazy around here lately, so sorry if the post scheduling seems a bit off. It just seems to be one thing after another that I’ve had to deal with. The latest incident was when my computer just stopped working with absolutely no warning. It wouldn’t turn on again, even after hours of tech support and a visit to the Microsoft store. Luckily, it was still under warranty, and now hopefully things can go back to normal.
Back to this lasagna though. The inspiration comes from The Iron You, though I made my own version. His version is a little fancier, even making his own cauliflower bechamel sauce. Mine is a much more basic, quick and easy, American-style lasagna. The cauliflower noodles obviously don’t taste like traditional wheat pasta. They don’t have a bounce or chew to them. So if you’re the kind of person who really looks forward to eating the noodles in lasagna, then this might not be for you.
However, while the cauliflower noodles don’t have the same texture as lasagna noodles, they do provide a solid yet soft base for layering. When eaten together, it’s actually quite hard to tell that you’re eating cauliflower. It just tastes like the noodles are softer than usual. I really enjoyed this.
I layered mine based on my family’s preferences. Obviously, you can follow your own family’s recipe and style. My siblings and I have always preferred meat, lots of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and no ricotta.
Cauliflower Noodles Lasagna
- 5 cups packed riced raw cauliflower to rice the cauliflower, run it through a food processor until it becomes coarse crumbs about half the size of a grain of rice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced raw white onions
- 1 lb low fat ground beef
- 13 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Prepare the Cauliflower
- Steam Method: You can briefly steam the cauliflower until it's cooked, and then wring the cauliflower dry in small batches, with the help of a cheesecloth or similar towel or cloth.
Microwave Method: Instead of steaming, you can cook the cauliflower in the microwave in intervals until it dries out. For this method, cook cauliflower in microwave for about 2 minutes in a very large microwave-safe bowl. You want the bowl to be very large so you can spread out the cauliflower. Once cooked, place it back into the microwave and cook it in 2-minute intervals. After every 2 minutes, pause, stir and mix so the cauliflower evenly heats, and then put it back in the microwave again. Stopping every 2 minutes will also prevent any cauliflower from burning. Continue this process until the cauliflower becomes dry and clumpy. It will take approximately 16 minutes to cook the cauliflower this way, depending on the type of microwave you have.
- Once cauliflower is dried out, place into a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then add in eggs. Stir and mix until everything is completely combined.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. (In the photos above, I used a Silpat mat, but I actually found it easier to remove the cauliflower with parchment paper.) Pour cauliflower batter onto parchment paper and use a spatula to spread out until it forms a 9.5 x 11 inch rectangle that is approximately 1/2 inch thick.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Cook cauliflower noodles in oven for about 18-20 minutes or until top is golden brown and dry to the touch. Allow cauliflower noodles to cool. Slice cauliflower noodles into three strips that are approximately 9 inches by 3.5 inches. Use a thin-edged spatula (like a cookie spatula), to carefully get under the cauliflower noodles and help release them from the parchment paper.
Make the Lasagna
- In a large frying pan, add olive oil and bring the pan to medium heat on the stove. Once oil is hot, add in onions and cook until tender. Add in ground beef and cook until meat is done. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and herb seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Preheat oven to 375F. In a 9 x5 inch loaf pan, add a thin layer of ground beef sauce. Layer one of the cauliflower noodles on top. Add a thicker layer of ground beef sauce. Sprinkle 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese across ground beef. Add the second cauliflower noodle. Repeat with ground beef and cheese. Layer the final cauliflower noodle. Add another thin layer of ground beef. Add remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Place lasagna into the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and melted. Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Slice and serve while warm.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Hi & thanks for the recipe., can’t wait to try it! I’m curious about making the noodles ahead & freezing them after drying, or if it’s better to make the whole lasagna & freeze it uncooked? Have you tried doing either? TIA
I have not made the noodles ahead of time or tried freezing uncooked. I do find that this lasagna reheats well so you can cook the entire thing and then freeze it.
How many servings does this recipe make?
The servings is stated at the very top of the recipe box. This recipe makes 4.
I made this today and it was delicious!!! I am planning to make it next week again for friends:)!
Thank you for the great recipe!! I love new healthy twists on classics.
I’m so glad you liked it!
Can you use frozen riced cauliflower?
I have not tested with frozen cauliflower. Because frozen cauliflower retains a lot more water, it may be harder to squeeze dry
I’m confused about the noodles layering. When I make a pasta lasagna, I use several noodles per layer and cover the whole pan. It seems here, you just use one. Does it spread out, somhow? Should the “noodles” be staggered at all? Or does it even matter?
there are three layers of cauliflower noodles, each layer has only one sheet of cauliflower noodle that goes across the entire loaf pan.
I have a question, in step 2 you indicate, “Then add in eggs. Stir and mix until everything is completely combined” do you mean you just add eggs to the to the crumbles until combined or is there anything else that is added to the crumbles? Please clarify, I plan to make this today. Thank you for your time.
yes just the eggs.
Do you pre cut the noodles before you bake them?
No. Please refer to steps 3 and 4 which explain in detail how to make the noodles and when they should be cut.
So 5 cups makes enough noodles? And you make one sheet of noodles.
yes. you make one large sheet which is then cut into three sheets which is enough for the recipe
I made this and it was AMAZING! My husband and I demolished it. I added a little grated Parmesan to the cauliflower before baking. I also used some basil and oregano in the spaghetti sauce. This is going to be a regular in our house!
Yay! So happy to hear that. I really love this recipe and it’s nice to see it is finally getting some love!