Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasanga - ancho-spiced sausage with a homemade sweet potato sauce and zucchini noodles. YUM. 300 calories. | #recipe #healthy #zucchini #lasagna

So that settles it.

This vegetable-loaded, sweet, creamy, spicy Sausage Zucchini Sweet Potato Lasagna is the only dinner I’m making for the rest of 2014. It’s simple, seriously yummy (who knew sweet potato sauce could make a certain food blogger lick the inside of the blender while happy-jigging around the tiny kitchen?), and comfort food-esque while also being healthy because somma that ZUCCHINI up in there.

I’ll just go ahead and call myself out on posting two zucchini recipes in a row this week. I know it. I’m almost going to apologize about it to you, my wonderful and hopefully zucchini-loving readers, except that both of these recipes = my life right now and I seriously think you are going to lovey-love them. Can we still be friends?

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna

I made this dish-o-joy twice – once at the peacefully quiet cabin for my family, and once at our house for Bjork and I on the day that the concrete guys were here to basically destroy our messy jungle of a yard in preparation for laying a new not saggy and not crooked sidewalk. Such a good idea, because nothing says Awesome Lasagna Cooking Experience like a team of men taking to your sidewalk with jackhammers right. next. to. your rattling kitchen window as you tenderly layer slices of zucchini with creamy sweet potato sauce and spicy sausage.

I tried to get into some kind of zen lasagna-creating state of mind with lasagna meditation and calming self talk, and even though I could hear zero percent of my podcast, I kept just turning the volume up up up and pretending any ounce of sound was going into my brain. Which maybe didn’t help the zen state of mind thing, and possibly explains the neighbors peeking out their windows with binoculars to see what in the name of Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna was going on over here.

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna |

Then we followed up the Demolished Yard and Permanently Ringing Ears Day by going to the annual National Night Out picnic/potluck/grill + mingle for our sweet little Yum Sweet Home neighborhood (which I could not love more – thank you, neighbors, for being wonderful and just be warned that we might try to live here forever) and we proceeded to introduce ourselves to a few neighbors that we hadn’t met. –> Which house do you live in? Ohh, THAT one. I was wondering what all that racket was about this afternoon.

Yes, that’s the one, friends. I think that’s called memorable first impression. Or something.

Food time! Here’s how it’s done:

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna - simple ingredients, amazing flavor, healthy comfort food! 300 calories. | #lasagna #healthy #sweetpotato #zucchini #recipe

This lil’ ol’ lasagna is going to give you a choice —> whole wheat lasagna noodles OR zucchini noodles. You can go light-and-healthy-veggie or chewy-carb-loaded or both! Either works – I’ve made it both ways, and although the zucchini noodles only version was initially hot soup thanks to my HUNGRY GIRL inability to let it rest and set before slicing, when I went back to the pan a little while later for thirds, I was happy to see that the slices held together enough to make it actually count as lasagna. *fist bump* That being said, whole wheat lasagna noodles will really make this thing hold (in addition to being yumyumyum), so that would be your best bet if you need it to turn out more like a slice and less like an deliciously overwhelming creamy, gooey cheese bomb on a plate.

Regardless of what you choose for your noodles, this thing is getting topped with ancho chili and cumin spiced sausage, mild Mozzarella cheese, fresh green onions and cilantro, and the most luscious sweet potato sauce. Hello beautiful.

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna - featuring a delicious homemade sweet potato sauce! YUM. 300 calories. |

So today when they come back to pour the concrete, I will be ready to watch calmly, sitting at the window with a large slice of this Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna wonderfulness, enjoying it one beautiful bite at a time while daydreaming about what our yard will be like when it’s done being a dirt bomb zone. That won’t creep them out, I’m sure.

Lasagna4life, friends!

Also, now taking zucchini donations.

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna - made with ancho chili spiced sausage and a homemade sweet potato sauce. 300 calories. | #lasagna #healthy #sweetpotato #zucchini #recipe

4.8 from 19 reviews
Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna
Serves: 9
This Sausage Zucchini Sweet Potato Lasagna is a uniquely sweet and spicy take on regular lasagna. Using zucchini slices in place of the noodles makes it extra healthy, but regular lasagna noodles can also be used to help the dish hold together more cleanly when sliced.
  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (4-5 cups when cooked and cut)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder (in the spice aisle)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella or Provolone cheese
  1. Cut the zucchini into thin strips lengthwise. I did this without any special peeler - just a knife (see picture in post). Lay them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let rest while you prep the other ingredients - the excess moisture will seep out of them and you can press them with paper towels when they're ready. While the zucchini is resting, in a large skillet, brown the ground pork with 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the sweet potatoes, poke with a fork several times, wrap once in a paper towel, and microwave for 5-7 minutes or until soft. You can also bake them in the oven if you prefer. Cut into chunks, transfer to a blender, and puree with the milk, chicken broth, olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer the zucchini noodles, sauce, sausage, chopped cilantro and green onions, and cheese; repeat layers three times. End with a final layer of zucchini noodles covered with a little sauce and cheese. Cover with greased foil so the cheese won't stick and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes. This does not cut into perfectly clean squares, especially if you cut into it before it has time to cool and set a little bit (which I did - SO HUNGRY). For a cleaner cut slice, see notes about using regular lasagna noodles.
To customize this, you can use any kind of ground meat (pork, turkey, beef, etc) and any kind of cheese. I like Mozzarella and Provolone because they melt nicely.

For a more traditional lasagna (and one that holds together a little easier) you can also use cooked whole wheat lasagna noodles in place of or in addition to the zucchini. If you do this, you'll need to add a little more chicken broth to the sweet potato sauce to help the lasagna stay moist. The noodles soak up excess liquid whereas the zucchini noodles *add* liquid. I've made it both ways with delicious results - just a different texture and slice-ability.

Nutrition Lasagna

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  1. Cumin spiced sausage, sweet potatoes and cheesy goodness? This sounds off the the heezy.
    Whatever that means.
    it just sounds yum. I LURVE using zucchini noodles is lasagna so my face will be planting into this. Pinned!

  2. I have been craving dishes like that this week! I know I will love this one, well.. I love anything with sweets potatoes and zucchini + lasagna, oh yeah!

    Gorgoeus, Lindsay!

  3. Love this twist on lasagna! But, I am currently cooking the last of my sweet potatoes because I NEEDED to figure out muffins after seeing your post on Monday.

  4. Oh Lindsay, your writing cracks me up. Honestly I can tell you that’s what separates your blog from the hundreds of others I have come across over the past few years. Your photography of course rocks, but it doesn’t give you *quite* the same mental image as the windows rattling and construction crew tearing up your lawn while you peacefully assemble a zucchini lasagna. PS I’m glad you called yourself out on 2 Zuch recipes in a week, b/c if you hadn’t, I woulda had to. 😉

    • So nice! Thanks Laura. I used to hate the writing part of posting, but knowing that people are actually reading and connecting and emailing and commenting has made it 100% more fun. This last year has been one of my favorite writing years. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Looks incredible! When you say two large sweet potatoes an idea on cup volume or weight? Or large in Ireland might be different to you guys! :)

  6. I’m dying to try this! I’ve never seen anything like it!

  7. This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it. And do you know why? I’ve been growing a surplus of zucchini (also salad onions, too!)

  8. WOW! This is stunning for night meal. Great way of using up a those veggies while they are still fresh.

  9. Thanks for taking care of dinner Lindsay! Sweet potatoes!!!! Zucchini! Grain Free!!!! Hehehe so exciting.

  10. This might possibly be on our calendar for the rest of 2014 as well! =) YUM!

  11. I heart using zucchini noodles in lasagna!!! I love even more that this has a sweet potato sauce. The combo is super creative and I cannot wait to try it!

  12. This looks amazing!! So colorful and vibrant! Makes me want to eat my screen.. Any chance you could send some over? Does it ship well? 😀

  13. Oh yum! Sweet potato sauce meets zucchini? Two of my favorite veggies ever! Luckily concrete pouring won’t leave your ears rings and house jiggling. I might love zucchini lasagna more than the original (shhhh!)

  14. As it just so happens…I have most of those ingredients in my house! Definitely need to try this one Lindsay, LOVE that the zucchini is used for the noodles, genius!

    • Yes! Thanks Phi – it was my first time and I LOVED the taste/texture, even though it was softer and a little sloppier than regular lasagna.

  15. I’ve got to make me some zucchini lasagna soon. I have a huge harvest and haven’t made any yet. Love this version with sausage and sweet potatoes. Sure to be a good one!
    Have a great day!

  16. Hooray! With just a few substitutions this is elimination diet/paleo friendly. Never thought I’d eat lasagna again (especially since I have to avoid tomatoes)! I’m going to omit the cheese and try almond milk instead of regular milk. We’ll see how it goes!

    • Good luck! I know the cheese is sort of critical for holding it together so if there’s any nondairy substitute you can use that would bind it, that might be helpful! :) Even a few flax eggs might help.

  17. This looks great! Zucchini noodles + sweet potato sauce means I don’t even need to feel guilty for piling on the cheese, right?
    Don’t envy the destruction/construction you’re experiencing…I need to leave when my lawn is getting mowed so I can’t imagine trying to cook away while jackhammers are ringing in my ears. So zen!

  18. This is a must try recipe. I love sweet potatoes and cilantro and sausage and lasagna. I can’t imagine how good they are all together in one big happy place! I’m going to use noodles though:)

  19. This is freakin brilliant – that sweet potato sauce sounds fabulous – so fabulous I think it needs a whole book to show its versatility!

  20. It’s like sweet potato soup decided to cozy up in a lasagna, I love it! Great sauce idea. I agree that zucchinis are a great alternative to noodles.

  21. Jill Curry says:

    This sounds FANtastic!! If this summer warms up, perhaps my zucchini will ripen and I can enjoy them in this recipe! Thanks for posting :)

  22. This looks great, I’m surprised by the amount of fat in each serving, I never would have guessed it. I’ll still try and work this into my diet as I just have to try it.

    • I was, too, now that you say that. I think that’s from the pork and the cheese, although it’s possible that the database read an ingredient incorrectly. I’ll double check it.

      • Hm, cross checked with Calorie Count and it’s quite a bit different. It must be reading something differently, but the 13g seems more accurate to me. I’ll upload that label instead. Thanks for the catch!

  23. Lala Montano says:

    Sounds and looks amazing! Wondering what type of knife or gadget (brand) you used to get the perfectly sliced zuchinni. I love all things gadget. Beautiful presentation. Living in California allows us year round of most vegetables and this going on my list to make.

  24. Wow! Looks yummy!

  25. This looks delicious but HOW did you get half of the casserole dish to be totally clean?! I can’t figure it out!

  26. My wife made “normal” – meaning Italian – lasagna with zucchini in it a few times and it was delicious.

    I’m a fan of sweet potato though so this recipe seems awesome to me!

  27. I love the idea of using zucchini noodles – gluten free lasagna!!! Looks very yummy :) Pinned.

  28. As soon as I can get to the market this will be on the menu.

    btw, They are slurrying our streets. When you put your head on the pillow at night, and close your eyes you can still hear them grinding the pavement long after the grinding stops. What I mean is, I feel your pain.


  29. Sweet potatoes aren’t really my favorite food on the planet… yet, I’m thinking this combination, with the sausage especially might just work for me. I’m excited to branch out and give it a try. Very unique!

  30. Looks amazing! Now if I could only get my boys to eat zucchini, Guess I’ll have to make it and freeze it in single portions.

  31. I need this for dinner. TONIGHT!

  32. Oh wow, that sweet potato puree looks amazing!! I’ve tried to make zucchini noodle lasagnas but as you described, they tend to turn into soup. I think I might have needed to add a little less liquid to my recipe since the zucchini released a lot of water on its own, but thank you so much for the tip about letting it rest – I am definitely trying that next time! Keep those zucchini recipes coming! :)

    • Yes, definitely had a soupy consistency at first (I cut into it almost immediately when I made it with the zucchini noodles) but when I came back to the pan it was cuttable. And thankfully, even my fresh-out-of-the-oven mish-mash bowl was still delicious. :)

  33. Lindsay, this lasagna looks so colorful and summery!! I love the green and yellow color contrast hehe!! I bet it tastes equally delicious!

  34. Who cares that there is zucchini in there when there is gobs of that delicious looking sweet potato sauce on top?!?!?!!? Not this girl! Cannot wait to try this out!

  35. This looks AMAZING. So, so good.

  36. I would gobble this up (minus the meat for me, though)! What a great combo, nice and healthy!

  37. This really appeals to me probably because it looks like yummy gooey cheesy goodness but maybe I’m miss reading but where do the onions go in? Normally I’d brown them with the mince but you can have some awesomely secret ways of creating flavour so I could be wrong :)

  38. Lasagna meditation. This should be the name of your next cookbook! Love this recipe. Can’t wait to try it out!

  39. Yummy yum yum! That sweet potato sauce looks amazing, plus sausage and zucchini? This is going on my to-make list for sure!

  40. Oops, please delete the above comment…I meant to say that this looks yum Times about 100. I wouldn’t have thought of making a sauce out of sweet potatoes, but it’s a perfect idea! And the sausage just ties everything together! :-)

  41. Cristina says:

    This may be silly question, but did you have to peel the sweet potato? I know there can be a lot of nutrition in the skins, I just wouldn’t think it would blend up smoothly if not peeled. Anyway, this looks awesome, I think I will try it with turkey sweet italian sausage!

  42. I used to hate fusion-ey things… now Im all about em, especially when you can sub noodles for zucchini noodles. like pasta, and now lasagna. genius!

  43. Does this recipe freeze well?

  44. Hannah Elizabeth says:

    Oh, Lindsay, I know I keep saying this, but this looks A-Mazing!!! And like I need to try it, um, like yesterday! Maybe I’m last to the party, but I’ve never thought/heard of using zucchini as lasagna noodles…you are such a genius!! Definitely putting this one on the menu…

  45. Hi Lindsay, I’ve been bookmarking your unique recipes and this is the first time I’ve tried recreating one. I replaced zucchini with butternut squash because in my (winter) side of the world, zucchini costs a fortune and butternut is two a dime. Nevertheless, the dish is ‘absolutely beautiful!’ to quote my housemate who I’m sure is going to sleep well tonight and dream of sweet potato dreams. Thanks to you, I think I’ve won him over with this fantastic healthy lasagna.

  46. Lindsay, I love you. I currently can’t eat tomatoes (along with plenty of other things) because I am on an anti-inflammatory diet to calm down my eczema and heal my gut. But yay with your recipe I can eat lasagne or even just top some pasta (albeit wheat and gluten free pasta) with some creamy sweet potato sauce. I was beginning to get really bored with lemon juice and olive oil. Thank you!

  47. Whoa, what a creative twist on normal lasagna. This looks delish, can’t wait to try it!

  48. I had the same question about whether or not to peel the sweet potatoes. But I just made the sauce and decided not to peel the potatoes, and it turned out great. Very smooth and not chunky at all.

  49. Hi Lindsey! I was just wondering, do you think eggplant would work well here instead/in addition with the zucchini noodles? Just wanted a second opinion. I’m looking for ways to get rid of my huge eggplant! Thanks :)

  50. Kate Sunnybrook says:

    My family gobbled this down. I used both zukes and GF lasagna noodles. Wonderful combo of flavors. Even though it’s technically a lasagna, it’s definitely in a category of it’s own because it’s so different and has it’s own unique flavors. Plus, my family asked why I kept going around saying the word, “Slice-ability”! Ahaha, I love it!!

  51. 2 things:

    1. I made this last night and it was delicious. Will definitely be making this again.
    2. Your knife skills are far superior than mine. I had a hell of a time trying to make those thin slices with a knife but even though I had a bunch of smaller pieces of zucchini it still tasted great. This recipe might lead me to purchase a mandoline.

  52. I found this on Pinterest. I’m gestational diabetic and can’t do pasta, but I do well with sweet potatoes (thank goodness!) so I was so excited to see this! I made it tonight for my family, and we all LOVED it. Thank you!

  53. too bad it turns to, ahh, what was it? Oh yeah…soup…instead of (resembling, maybe) lasagna. Readers interested in getting this rec correct should go to other, more informative sites and blogs where the “soup” question is not ignored. Maybe let the zuke slices dry out overnight…rinse the salt off the slices, too. Way too much jive.

    • I didn’t have the soup issue at all. Try adding less liquid to your sweet potato sauce. If it’s nice and thick you won’t have soup. Otherwise, if you are left with a question about a recipe and can’t figure it out yourself, Google is always a click away.

  54. I made this a couple nights ago for dinner, and my entire family ate half the pan in one sitting…(my boys are only 3 & 19 months….) between my husband and I, this disappeared so fast! I had to use lasagna noodles, because I didn’t have enough zucchini on hand, but I did chop up some zucchini, and just toss it in with the pork. Andddd I had to use cheddar because, again, it’s what I had. It was flipping amaziiing! My hubs already wants it again! Thanks so much, your recipes are always a hit!

  55. Dear lord. This is delicious.

    My life – CHANGED.

  56. mmmm my favorite lasagna is here. woaa lindsay. love this recipe. have to have cook on sunday.

  57. OMG this recipe was awesome! I cooked it for my whole family at the beach and it was a hit! I did substitute Gluten Free lasagna noodles but couldn’t tell the difference!

  58. Delicious! Guests loved this dish!
    Thank you!

  59. no ancho chili powder! Can I substitute?

  60. I agree with all the comments that this looks like a great recipe to try, but hasn’t anyone had unanswered questions about this recipe? For starters, the title is “sausage” and sweet potato zucchini lasagna, yet the ingredients list ground pork. Which is it? The two are quite different. Also, should the sweet potatoes be peeled? Can you suggest substitutions for those of us are ancho chili-deprived?

    • I took this in a different direction and used turkey sweet Italian sausage out of the casing, which eliminates the need for cumin and chili powder and cilantro. It was delicious. I did peel the sweet potatoes since I do not have a high power blender.

      If you want to keep the flavors closer to the written recipe, sub in regular chili powder for the ancho to season the plain ground pork. (Thereby turning it into bulk sausage).

      The beauty of the recipe is it’s highly customizable.

    • Ground pork with seasonings = my own version of sausage! You could also use premade sausage, which is usually pork unless otherwise specified. And the sweet potatoes don’t need to be peeled. :) Enjoy!

  61. This is super yummy. I made it last night and it looked kinda weird and I was nervous but wow, yum. I like the idea of using vegetables like this – it may not be zero calories but it’s definitely less than using pasta and the puree – COME ON, so good.

  62. I made this with white sweet potatoes and half and half instead of milk. My DH had no idea sweet potatoes were involved….unfortunately it was off plan for our THM diet… (too many carbs or too many fats) but it was super delicious!

  63. In a word: SWOON. We made this yesterday and nearly died from an overdose of delight! Definitely a recipe to write home about, and in fact, that’s what I just did. I wrote my parents and sister and said, “Make this, ya chowderheads!” :)

  64. I made this tonight and it got raves all around. Well, except for the picky pre-schooler. I pureed the sweet potatoes with skin, no problems in the food processor. Ended up with two layers of stuff plus a top layer of zucchini. Diabetic hubby thought this was tops!

    I did broil for a minute or two to brown the top cheese after 35 minutes in the oven. 😀

  65. Hi! I’ve had this recipe twice when my friend made it, and LOVE it! I’m planning on making it for a a friend that just had a baby. Can you suggest a few side items that would go well with this dish and can be made ahead of time?
    Many thanks for a wonderful blog!

  66. Made some adjustments that avoided the soupy problem. First, I sliced and roasted eggplant for the noodles. Second, sauted the zucchini (I spialized it to help it break down better) with mushrooms and onions and 1/2 cup tomato sauce, cooking until the juices were reduced and thickened. I ground up turkey breakfast sausage because that is what I had, and added it to the sweet potatoe sauce. I used less cheese because it didn’t need as much of a binder. The results – Delicious! My husband loved it – couldn’t stop complimenting the meal. Great way to use up lots of veggies. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  67. Great great flavours in this! I wish I had used the lasagna noodles to have a more solid lasagna, but the appeal of this recipe is that it’s made healthier by the zucchini noodles. I kept the sweet potato mixture pretty thick and I grilled my zucchini slices, but it still ended up being too soupy. I think covering the lasagna with foil while it bakes was a mistake. Maybe without it the liquids would have evaporated better instead of pooling at the bottom of the dish. But great recipe overall!

  68. I made this a couple of nights ago and it was absolutely delicious. Everyone had seconds which was upsetting because I like taking leftovers for lunch. There were none :(

    That sauce, though. I could put it in a tropical smoothie cup and sip on it.

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