White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

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Oh my goodness, this is one knock-your-socks-off dinner!  It’s my White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef and it’s creamy, rich, hearty, and mouthwatering delicious.  You get layers of noodles, zucchini, ground beef mixed with herbs, seasonings, and creamy cheese, plus a silky white sauce in every layer.  This is one of my absolute favorite new dinners!  

It’s not only a favorite because it’s yummy, but also because it’s easy!  You can make this entire lasagna ahead and reheat it or even freeze it.  If you like dinners that you can freeze, you will love these Five 5-Ingredient Freezable Dinners – with Grocery List!

Piece of White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef with browned melted cheese on top on a plate with parsley.  It's a make-ahead family dinner!  It's creamy, hearty, and delicious with layers of noodles, zucchini, ground beef, creamy cheese, and a silky white sauce. 

The Amazing Zucchini! 

Zucchini is one of my all time favorite veggies!  First, zucchini has great health benefits!  It’s low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A.  Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants that are linked to benefits for your eyes, skin, and heart.

Second, zucchini is so versatile with a mild fresh flavor that goes with just about anything.  The texture mimics noodles, so you can spiralize it into zoodles or slice it long and wide like in this recipe for lasagna!  You can hollow it out for stuffed Zucchini Boats, add it to Stir Fries, or add it as filler to meatballs.  So many options!  Here are my favorites…

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For the beef filling you need either a large frying pan/skillet or a wide-bottom pot, such as dutch oven.

You also need a casserole dish that’s approximately 10×10 or similar.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR WHITE LASAGNA RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

You can prepare the zucchini, beef filling, and white sauce ahead and store in the fridge.

Prepare the zucchini by cutting it into long strips from stem to stem that are about 1/4 inch thick. They will resemble the size of lasagna noodles. You should get 4 long strips per zucchini.

Hand holding slice of zucchini on a cutting board for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Mince the garlic, chop the parsley, and measure out the fennel seed, oregano, salt, and pepper. Then add all to the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

Preheat a large pot or dutch oven on medium-high heat and add in a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the ground beef mixture and break it up. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through until it gets browned.

Ground beef and herbs cooking in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Stir in the cream cheese until melted and combined. Turn off the heat and stir in half (4oz) of the mozzarella. Set aside off the heat until ready to the assemble.

Cheese added to ground beef and herbs cooking in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Make the White Sauce. First, warm the milk slightly in the microwave or in a pot. Preheat a separate medium sauce pot on medium-low heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and let it cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until fully combined into a smooth thick mixture. Slowly whisk in the broth. Stir in the salt and remove from the heat.

Whisk mixing white sauce roux in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Whisk mixing white sauce in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Can I use Ground Chicken instead?

Yes!  Absolutely, ground chicken or ground turkey will both work great in this recipe.  The beef will render more fat and therefore, more moisture.  So you may need to add a splash of milk to the ground chicken when you mix in the cheese to help it mix in.

ASSEMBLE & COOK YOUR WHITE LASAGNA RECIPE

Before you start to assemble, make sure that your lasagna noodles are ready. If they are no-boil noodles, you are set. Otherwise, you need to par-cook them in boiling water for just a few minutes so they are pliable.

Layer 1 – Start by spooning a thin layer of the white sauce onto the bottom, just so the pasta sheets don’t stick to the bottom. Then add the first layer of lasagna noodles. Layer white sauce over the noodles and then top with HALF of the beef mixture. Next, top with a layer of HALF of the Zucchini strips (usually 4 strips), and then more white sauce.

Ladle pouring white sauce over lasagna noodles in dish for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Ladle pouring white sauce over zucchini slices on top of beef and lasagna noodles in dish for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Layers 2 – Repeat – Add a layer of noodles, white sauce, the remaining half of the beef mixture, and the final layer of zucchini strips and more white sauce. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and parsley on top.

Ladle pouring white sauce over lasagna noodles in dish for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Ladle pouring white sauce over zucchini slices on top of beef and lasagna noodles in dish for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Shredded cheese and parsley on top of assembled White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Cover your lasagna with aluminum foil and then bake on the center rack for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, I turn the broiler on to get a nice browned top. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef with browned melted cheese on top in casserole dish! It's a make-ahead family dinner! It's creamy, hearty, and delicious with layers of noodles, zucchini, ground beef, creamy cheese, and a silky white sauce. 

How do I freeze this and reheat it?

You can freeze your fully assembled lasagna either cooked or uncooked.  If you freeze it uncooked, you will want to thaw it in the fridge for 24 hours before baking it.  If it is fully thawed through to the center, simply bake according to the instructions.  If you freeze it fully cooked, you should still thaw it in the fridge 24 hours ahead, but you could bake it in the oven at 350 F degrees for an hour from frozen state.  Just test the center to see if it is warmed through in the center.  If not, bake for another 10-15 and check again.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Piece of White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef with browned melted cheese on top on a plate with parsley. It's a make-ahead family dinner! It's creamy, hearty, and delicious with layers of noodles, zucchini, ground beef, creamy cheese, and a silky white sauce. 

White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

This White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef is a delicious make-ahead family dinner! It's creamy, rich, hearty, and mouthwatering delicious.  You get layers of noodles, zucchini, ground beef mixed with herbs, seasonings, and creamy cheese, plus a silky white sauce in every layer. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword family dinner, lasagna, pasta, zucchini
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Ground Beef Mixture

  • 1 lb 90% Lean Ground Beef no antibiotics
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 3 teaspoons Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 ounces Cream cheese
  • 8 ounces Shredded Mozzarella (divided for beef and topping)

White Sauce

  • 2 cups 1% milk skim, 2% or whole will work
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Other Lasagna

  • 8-10 Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 Large Zucchini

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Prepare the zucchini by cutting it into long strips from stem to stem that are about 1/4 inch thick. They will resemble the size of lasagna noodles. You should get 4 long strips per zucchini.

    Hand holding slice of zucchini on a cutting board for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef
  2. Mince the garlic, chop the parsley, and measure out the fennel seed, oregano, salt, and pepper. Then add all to the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

  3. Preheat a large pot or dutch oven on medium-high heat and add in a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the ground beef mixture and break it up. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through until it gets browned.

    Ground beef and herbs cooking in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef
  4. Stir in the cream cheese until melted and combined. Turn off the heat and stir in half (4oz) of the mozzarella. Set aside off the heat until ready to the assemble.

    Cheese added to ground beef and herbs cooking in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef
  5. Make the White Sauce. First, warm the milk slightly in the microwave or in a pot. Preheat a separate medium sauce pot on medium-low heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and let it cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until fully combined into a smooth thick mixture. Slowly whisk in the broth. Stir in the salt and remove from the heat.

    Whisk mixing white sauce in a pot for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef

Assemble the Lasagna

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.

  2. Before you start to assemble, make sure that your lasagna noodles are ready. If they are no-boil noodles, you are set. Otherwise, you need to par-cook them in boiling water for just a few minutes so they are pliable.

  3. Layer 1 – Start by spooning a thin layer of the white sauce onto the bottom, just so the pasta sheets don’t stick to the bottom.  Then add the first layer of lasagna noodles. Layer white sauce over the noodles and then top with HALF of the beef mixture. Next, top with a layer of HALF of the Zucchini strips (usually 4 strips), and then more white sauce.

    Ladle pouring white sauce over zucchini slices on top of beef and lasagna noodles in dish for White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef
  4. Layers 2 – Repeat – Add a layer of noodles, white sauce, the remaining half of the beef mixture, and the final layer of zucchini strips and more white sauce. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and parsley on top.

    Shredded cheese and parsley on top of assembled White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef
  5. Cover your lasagna with aluminum foil and then bake on the center rack for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, I turn the broiler on to get a nice browned top. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

    White Lasagna Recipe with Zucchini and Ground Beef with browned melted cheese on top in casserole dish! It's a make-ahead family dinner! It's creamy, hearty, and delicious with layers of noodles, zucchini, ground beef, creamy cheese, and a silky white sauce. 

Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes in a bowl with parsley on top.  It's a delicious easy dinner with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

This Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes is a delicious easy dinner that’s incredibly savory, with a hint of sweet.  Tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, cilantro, soy sauce, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet that really takes this over the top!  The beef is fall apart, melt in your mouth tender.  The potatoes soak up all of the amazing sauce and flavors.   

This is one of those easy dinners that you can make almost entirely out of your freezer!  The beef, onion, and garlic, can all be stored in the freezer.  Thaw the beef overnight and add it to the slow cooker with the frozen garlic and onions, plus the rest of the ingredients.  Click here to get my printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

SLOW COOKER LOVE

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a Slow Cooker Recipe.  So, I thought I would take a moment to list all of the fantastic benefits of this method of cooking!

  • Easy! You simply add the ingredients in the morning, then set the timer and it cooks dinner for you!
  • Healthy!  Because you are adding ingredients and liquid, you don’t need to add a ton of oil or butter.  That said, many recipes for the slow cooker are not exactly healthy.  Therefore, it’s up to you to use your discretion on which ingredients you add.
  • Economical!  Because the slow cooker can cook for up to 10 hours, you can use less expensive tough cuts of proteins.  They get beautifully tender in the slow cooker and taste incredible.
  • Abundant!  Since the slow cooker most often produces stews, soups, or other one-pot-meals, you can typically get a LOT of food from one cook.  That means you may get lunch or second dinner out of it!  
  • Get Ahead!  Not only are slow cooker dinners easy, but they can be prepped ahead and stored in the fridge or even the freezer!

Here are some of my favorite Slow Cooker Family Dinners:

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

I made this recipe in a slow cooker. However, you could also make it in the oven in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid. If you make this in a dutch oven, you will follow the same instructions, but instead cook it in the oven 450 F degrees for 3 hours.

It can also be helpful to cut the beef with kitchen shears, but you can also just cut with a knife. And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS YOUR HONEY GARLIC BEEF AND POTATOES

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

Peel and cut the onion into chunks. Add the onion, cilantro leaves, garlic cloves, and Worcestershire sauce to a food processor. Pulse to get the onion going and then puree until the onion and garlic are minced to about rice-size.

Cilantro, onion, garlic, and Soy sauce in food processor for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

Cilantro, onion, garlic, and Soy sauce blended in food processor for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

Cut the beef into 2-inch chunks.  You can use kitchen shears or a sharp chef’s knife.

Cutting brisket with cooking shears for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to the slow cooker pot. If you will not be cooking this right away, submerge the potatoes in cold water and store in the fridge. Before cooking, drain the potatoes and discard the water.

What kind of Beef to use?

As mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of slow cooker is that you can use less expensive tough cuts of beef.  The most commonly used beef cut for stew is Beef chuck, which comes from the shoulder and has a lot of connective tissue and it gets very tender when cooked for a long time.  I used brisket for this recipe, but you can use beef chuck or round.  Many stores have pre-cubed beef stew meat ready to buy.

COOK YOUR HONEY GARLIC BEEF AND POTATOES

To the slow cooker, add the potatoes, cut beef, onion mixture, broth, honey, molasses, salt, and pepper. Set the Slow Cooker to 6-10 hours, depending on your schedule.

Pouring honey over raw beef and other ingredients in slow cooker for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

All ingredients in slow cooker for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

What can I use instead of Molasses?

If you cannot find molasses, you can add 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar and then reduce the honey to 3 tablespoons.  Or you can simply leave the molasses out all together and increase the honey to 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons.

Can I freeze this?

You can freeze the ingredients before you cook it WITHOUT the broth.  Place all of the ingredients in a freezer bag or container in a flat layer.  When you are ready to cook it, place the frozen ingredients in the refrigerator to thaw 24 hours in advance.

Or you can cook it in the slow cooker and then portion it out and freeze it.  If you go this route, you can cook it in the oven straight from the freezer or thaw it 24 hours in advance in the fridge.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes in a bowl with parsley on top. It's a delicious easy dinner with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.
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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes

This Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes is a delicious easy dinner that's incredibly savory, with a hint of sweet.  Tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet that really takes this over the top!  The beef is fall apart, melt in your mouth tender.  The potatoes soak up all of the amazing sauce and flavors. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beef recipes, beef stew, Brisket, family dinner, slow cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 6 servings
Calories 472 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Onion
  • 6 cloves Garlic (6 teaspoons minced)
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2-3 lbs beef brisket boneless
  • 2 large Russet potatoes
  • 1 cup beef Broth or chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Peel and cut the onion into chunks. Add the onion, cilantro leaves, garlic cloves, and Worcestershire sauce to a food processor. Pulse to get the onion going and then puree until the onion and garlic are minced to about rice-size.

    Cilantro, onion, garlic, and Soy sauce blended in food processor for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.
  2. Cut the beef into 2-inch chunks.

    Cutting brisket with cooking shears for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to the slow cooker pot. If you will not be cooking this right away, submerge the potatoes in cold water and store in the fridge. Before cooking, drain the potatoes and discard the water.

Cooking Steps

  1. To the slow cooker, add the potatoes, cut beef, onion mixture, broth, honey, molasses, salt, and pepper. Set the Slow Cooker to 8 hours.

    Pouring honey over raw beef and other ingredients in slow cooker for Honey Garlic Beef and Potatoes. It's a delicious easy dinner made in the slow cooker with tender beef cubes are cooked in the slow cooker with lots of delicious garlic, onions, and potatoes.  Then honey and molasses are added for that touch of sweet.

Recipe Notes

  1. I made this recipe in a slow cooker. However, you could also make it in the oven in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid. If you make this in a dutch oven, you will follow the same instructions, but instead cook it in the oven 450 F degrees for 3 hours.
  2. I used Brisket for this, but you can use beef chuck, beef round, or buy the pre-cubed beef stew meat.
  3. The 6 servings were based on 2 lbs of beef brisket.  If you have more beef, you will get more servings.