One of the most popular recipes on the blog, my low-carb, gluten-free lasagna is a perfect meal to serve to friends and family. Make it without dairy for a paleo & Whole30 version.
This low-carb and gluten-free lasagna is a show-stopping dish. It’s a perfect meal for a dinner party, family supper, and even fussy kids will love it. It’s so yummy, hearty and filling, that nobody will notice the lack of pasta.
Speaking of pasta, I don’t think I can technically call this a lasagna as it’s missing the actual lasagna pasta sheets but it still retains the traditional shape, layers, colours and flavours.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD LASAGNA
The key to a good lasagna is a tasty, hearty base sauce. I believe this lasagna sauce tastes as good as it does because of the grass-fed beef used in the recipe. I’ve been paying attention to the beef sauces I make with grass-fed meat versus regular grain-fed and I can say with utmost certainty that the grass-fed beef based sauces are more delicious (as well as more nutritious).
The rest is just good, fresh produce and a bit of patience as it does take a little while to assemble all the layers. It’s a good recipe to make on the weekends and you can get kids or your partner involved in preparing all the layers.
If you want to turn this lasagna into a paleo or Whole30 friendly version, simply leave out the last layer of ricotta cheese and grated Parmesan. Alternatively, you can make my dairy-free faux cheese sauce to drizzle over the top or sprinkle some nutritional yeast or paleo-friendly parmesan.
Love this recipe? Try my Paleo Celeriac Carbonara Casserole or the Zucchini & Prawn Arrabbiata. And, if you’re a pasta and noodles lovers but want lower-carb or grain-free options, check out these ultimate paleo noodle and pasta alternatives.Print
This amazing family-friendly dish is filled with healthy vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms and spinach and layered with nutritious grass-fed beef sauce. It’s gluten-free and low-carb and can be made with or without dairy. As there are a few processes to making this dish, please read the full recipe to get the best timings and order.
For beef and tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 500 g / 1.1 lb ground grass-fed beef mince
- 2/3 cup dry red wine
- 3 garlic cloves, finely diced chopped
- 2/3 teaspoon black pepper
- 2/3 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 3 cups tomato passata/puree (canned chopped tomatoes are fine)
For the lasagna layers
- Olive oil
- 1 large parsnip or sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1cm-thick disks (1/2″)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 5–6 button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced vertically into thin ribbons
- 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese (optional)
- 2–3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cherry tomatoes to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Place a layer of parsnip slices with a little olive oil in a deep lasagna tray and pre-bake in the oven for 15 minutes, this will help to soften them slightly before we build the rest of the layers. Set aside for now.
- To make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt for 7-8 minutes, until slightly caramelised. Add another teaspoon of olive oil and bring the heat up to high. Break the beef mince and add to the frying pan. Use a spatula or a potato masher (my little trick) to stir and break the mince apart into small pieces, as it tends to clump together during cooking. Cook for about 5–6 minutes, until browned.
- Add red wine, garlic, pepper, paprika and salt to the cooking meat and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Add tomato passata, stir and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle the eggplant slices with sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes to draw out some of the juices. Rinse and pat dry. Heat the oven back to 180°C (355°F).
- In another frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the eggplant in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, until light golden brown. Add more olive oil as you go along. Set aside; by this stage all our layer ingredients should be ready.
- Take the baking tray out of the oven and start layering the lasagna in the following order: pre-cooked parsnips, 1/3 of the tomato meat sauce, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, mushrooms, the rest of the meat sauce pressed down evenly, baby spinach, zucchini slices, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven, at 180°C (355°F), for 35 minutes. See the step-by-step pictures below.
- If using ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese, add on top of the lasagna at the 20-minute cooking time mark. Increase the heat to 200°C (390°F) for the last 10–15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes. Serve with a side of mixed salad.
- Cook’s notes: Tomato passata is basically a fresh tomato puree but you can use canned diced tomatoes instead, just process them into smoother consistency in a food processor or blender.