This content originally appeared on Low Carb Yum. Republished with permission.
Most people assume that lasagna is off-limits for low carb diets. After all, it’s made with layers of pasta noodles.
But when you think about it, the rest of the ingredients in lasagna are pretty low-carb. Cheese is the star of the dish, and many lasagnas use meat as well. Add in a low-carb marinara, and you’re well on your way.
So really, the only thing left is to replace the noodles.
You can easily make a pastaless lasagna recipe by simply taking out the noodles. In fact, this is exactly what I do for my keto Instant Pot recipe. The result is super tasty, but also very messy. It’s the kind of dish you eat out of a bowl, not on a plate.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is a bit different than traditional lasagna. In my opinion, to make an authentic style pasta-free lasagna, you just need to make it in layers.
Substitute for Lasagna Noodles on a Keto Diet
There are a few great options to replace the pasta layer when you’re making a low-carb lasagna.
One tried and true method is using a vegetable layer. You could try spaghetti squash, cabbage, eggplant, or even strips of zucchini noodles to replace the pasta layer. But vegetables add extra carbs.
Another option is to use thin slices of deli meat. In Maria Emmerich’s cookbook, Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking, she has a fantastic recipe for skillet lasagna that uses thin roasted chicken breast to create the layers. You could also try pepperoni or salami for even more flavor.
Replace Pasta with Meat
When I was creating this recipe, I decided I wanted to try something a bit different. I wanted a dish that was super satisfying and full of great flavor that didn’t rely on veggies.
So, I decided to replace the pasta layer with meatza!
If you’re not familiar with meatza, it’s just a term for a low-carb pizza crust made out of meat. It holds up really well to sauces and melted cheese, so it’s great for Italian cooking. I also use it in my spinach tomato meatza pizza recipe.
The meatza noodle layer adds a ton of flavor and really takes this keto no-noodle lasagna to the next level. And it’s quite easy to make!
No-Noodle Keto Lasagna with Spinach and Meat
A low-carb lasagna for meat lovers. Rather than try to sneak in a vegetable for the pasta layer, meat is used instead for this no-noodle keto friendly casserole.
- 2 pounds ground lean beef
- 1 egg yolk (beaten)
- ½ cup parmesan
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (can be omitted if desired)
- salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 – 2 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 10 ounces spinach
- 2 egg yolks (beaten)
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (freshly grated )
- ½ cup parmesan
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- fresh parsley ( for garnishing)
Making the meat slices
- In a small container, mix onion powder, garlic powder, sage, oregano, thyme and cayenne powder (if using). Reserve ½ teaspoon for marinara sauce.
- Place ground beef in a large platter or large bowl and mix in seasoning. Sprinkle parmesan and beaten egg yolk. Mix well.
- Line two 9×13 baking pans with parchment paper. Transfer seasoned ground beef and flatten with a spatula or back of a spoon.
- In a preheated oven of 450°F, bake ground beef for 7 to 12 minutes or just until browned. Drain oil and slice to fit lasagna container.
Preparing the lasagna
In a bowl with marinara sauce, add parmesan, reserved mixed seasoning (from meatza ingredient and mix well. Set aside.
- In another bowl with beaten egg, fold in ricotta. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil and spinach until wilted. Season spinach with onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.
- Assemble lasagna. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoon marinara sauce to an 8×8 baking pan. Top with meatza slices, spread more marinara sauce. Add all sautéed spinach and spread ricotta mixture on top. Cover with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients, with mozzarella at the top most part.
- In a preheated oven of 400°F, bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.
Recipe can be split between two loaf pans to eat one now and save one in the freezer for later. The frozen unbaked casserole can be baked right from the freezer or thawed first to shorten baking time. Just bake at 350°F until heated throughout, about 15 minutes thawed and 20 minutes frozen.
Net carbs: 2 g per serving