Whatever your reason for eating a low-carb diet, finding flavorful substitutions for everyday favorites is part of the challenge. This super-comforting keto lasagna recipe is one you’ll rely on time and time again.
What can you substitute for noodles in lasagna?
Making low-carb lasagna usually means ditching the pasta. Some substitutions for noodles in keto lasagna include vegetables like zucchini, cabbage or eggplant, or other products like egg white wraps or low-carb lasagna noodles. But our contest-winning recipe uses thinly sliced chicken instead of pasta, and you’ll be surprised at how well it works.
Thinly sliced deli chicken mimics the texture of pasta, and it tastes great. It doesn’t add a chicken flavor to the dish, mostly because everything else that makes lasagna great is still there, including a meaty tomato sauce and lots of cheese. You’ll practically forget there’s chicken!
Like other lasagna recipes, keto lasagna is pretty versatile. Try adding other vegetables or different cheeses according to your taste. And it’s a perfect make-ahead meal. Simply build the lasagna, then before baking it, wrap well, and freeze for another time.
Ingredients for Keto Lasagna
- Ground beef and Italian sausage: Combining ground beef and mild (or hot) Italian sausage creates a full-flavored meat sauce filling for this low-carb lasagna. You can use a leaner ground beef since the Italian sausage will add some flavor and fat. And remember: No need to rinse ground beef once it’s cooked. It might be trendy, but it’s unnecessary.
- Aromatics: Onion and garlic are paramount to any great tomato-based sauce in Italian cooking. Even if the tomato sauce already has garlic and onion, adding fresh aromatics increases the flavor.
- Pasta sauce: Use your favorite pasta sauce for this recipe (here are the Test Kitchen’s picks for best jarred pasta sauce). You can also make a simple pasta sauce from scratch. To keep things keto-friendly, watch the sugar content in any sauce you use.
- Deli meat: Thinly sliced chicken serves as the noodles in this low-carb lasagna. Make sure to buy regular roasted chicken, not honeyed or smoked. There’s also deli-sliced pepperoni in this lasagna, which is a unique addition.
- Cheese: Shredded mozzarella and cheddar go into this lasagna, although you can go with all mozzarella if desired. See our Test Kitchen’s picks for best mozzarella cheese and best cheddar cheese for any preparation.
Step 1: Make the meat sauce
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef, sausage, onion and garlic, and cook until the meat is no longer pink, six to eight minutes. Break it up into crumbles as you go along so it cooks evenly. Once cooked, drain the meat, and return it to the skillet. Stir in the pasta sauce, and cook until everything is heated through.
Step 2: Build the lasagna
Spread 1 cup meat sauce into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Layer with half the sliced chicken, half the sliced pepperoni, 2 cups sauce, and half of each cheese. Repeat the layers once.
Step 3: Bake the lasagna
Cover the lasagna in aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Take off the foil, and bake until the cheese browns and the lasagna bubbles, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Editor’s Tip: While it’s tempting to dig right into a bubbly, oozy lasagna straight from the oven, don't skip letting it rest for 15 minutes or even up to 30 minutes. You don’t want it to be too soupy, and letting it rest allows everything firm up and come together.
- Try other noodle replacements: You can swap in egg white wraps, zucchini ribbons, thinly sliced eggplant (or even roasted eggplant), or low-carb lasagna noodles for keto lasagna. But trust us, deli chicken is a great substitution!
- Make a meat swap: Use only ground beef in this recipe, or just all Italian sausage—or swap in ground turkey or chicken, or chicken sausage. You can even use your favorite plant-based ground meat, sausage and pepperoni for a vegetarian version.
- Add vegetables: Add spinach, kale, mushrooms or any vegetable you like to this keto lasagna. To avoid watery lasagna, cook any moisture-rich vegetables first, then add to the meat sauce. If using frozen spinach, thaw it and squeeze out excess liquid before adding to the skillet.
- More cheese, please: Instead of using cheddar cheese, make a ricotta-Parmesan mixture to layer in between the meats and sauce. Use our best lasagna recipe as a guide.
How to Store Keto Lasagna
Store low-carb lasagna in the refrigerator for up to four days. Make sure to wrap it tightly. If you have an entire pan of lasagna leftover, divide it into smaller portions in shallow containers.
Can you freeze keto lasagna?
Yes, you can freeze keto lasagna before you bake it. It’s a great recipe to make ahead of time and store for another day. To freeze lasagna, prepare and assemble everything through Step 2. Wrap it in airtight packaging (or cover the entire pan tightly), and store in the freezer for up to three months.
To cook the lasagna from frozen, first allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Pop the lasagna into a 425° oven, just as you would with a freshly prepped lasagna. Bake until it's heated through to an internal temp of 165°, covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for another 20 to 25 minutes.
Keto Lasagna Tips
How many layers should lasagna have?
Any good lasagna should have at least three layers, but it can go up to five layers.
What do you serve with low-carb lasagna?
Serve other keto-friendly dishes with low-carb lasagna. A fresh spinach salad or a side of Parmesan roasted broccoli are perfect alongside lasagna. Or make cheesy cauliflower bread sticks for that classic Italian-American restaurant vibe. We have lots of tasty low-carb dinner ideas to complete any meal.