Please learn from my mistakes.

(1) Read all recipes through before tackling them.  Especially tart/pie recipes because often, buried somewhere in the midst of step three, you’ll find a random refrigeration/chilling step that you never knew existed.  This will most likely occur after you’ve started to spoon tomato sauce into your tart crust that is most thoroughly unchilled.  Oops.


(2) Smell the cheese that you think you are putting into your tart before you go to the grocery store to pick up the zucchini and crushed tomatoes that you most certainly did not remember to buy yesterday.  In fact, smell all the cheese you have in your fridge before you go, even the back-up blue cheese that you were pretty sure couldn’t go bad or smell any weirder/worse than it already does.  (It can.  And will.  Murphy’s law.)

Please do not skip this step especially if you are on crutches and are pretty sure that your doorman will personally barricade you in if you try to crutch it over to the store twice in twenty minutes.  I know you think that screaming, “I have a crutch and I know how to use it!” is threatening.  But it’s not.

(3) Thank every cheese god in existence that your roommate is crazy enough to store packages of pre-shredded mozzarella in your freezer.  Curse every cheese god in existence when you realize that the frozen cheese is the slightest bit freezer-burned.  Use it anyway.


(4) Realize before you put your tart into the oven that you have absolutely zero good plans as to how you are going to move it from the oven to the kitchen table once it’s all hot and steamy and done using only one hand (seeing as how the other is on crutch duty).

(5) When you don’t realize any such thing, be eternally grateful that your physical therapist spent so many hours working on balance with you back in the good old days when you could still walk with two legs.  You could totally be a waitress in your next life.  Boo yah.


Isn’t this going to look so purrtttyy on my holiday dinner table?

Here’s where we all shriek because it’s OCTOBER!!!  We can’t be thinking about the HOLIDAYS yet!!!

Au contraire, mon ami.

It is never too early to start planning for the holidays.

(Especially when some of us are going to be the lone vegetarians in a house full of carnivores who still firmly believe that any type of poultry is not actually meat.  Will they every learn?)


My family has a ton of holiday food traditions, most of which I break every year because I am an OCD food blogger who refuses to make the same recipe twice.  I pretty much belong in some kind of support group.

However, there is one tradition that I’ve yet to dig my fingers into – lasagna on Christmas.  Best.Present.Ever.

Unfortunately, it’s usually served after a gazillion courses of appetizers and so no one is really in the mood to eat it by the time it weasels its way out of the oven.  My solution is this super light, crazy delicious lasagna tart, which has all of the flavor and essence of lasagna without all the heft.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it would be crazy awesome sliced into super thin slices and served as an appetizer itself.

After all, we have to keep ourselves out of a food coma long enough to observe the other family tradition of screaming at each other (lovingly) and throwing each other out of our houses somewhere in between dinner and dessert.

Don’t worry.  Everyone always returns to partake in some cannoli and rainbow cookie eating.  We’ve learned after all these years when it’s best just to forgive and forget (and eat dessert).

Picnik collage

Lasagna Tart
Serves 6, adapted from 101 Cookbooks 


  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into very thin coins
  • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 2 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • scant 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • scant 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
  • grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and place a rack in the middle.  Grease a 10-inch tart pan and set aside.
  2. Toss the sliced zucchini with the salt in a medium bowl.  Transfer the zucchini to a colander. Place in the sink and let it drain while you make the tart crust and tomato sauce.
  3. To make the tart shell, combine the flour, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl.  Drizzle the oil over the flour and stir that in as well.  Drizzle the cold water over the flour mixture and mix with a fork or your hands just until it is absorbed.  Knead once or twice, just until the dough comes together into a ball.  Place the dough ball between two pieces of wax paper and, using a rolling pin, roll out into a 13-inch circle.  Ease the pastry into your tart pan, filling in the corners and stretching it up the sides.  Cut off any excess dough.  Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. When the tart dough is done resting, prick with a fork a few times.  Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill the tart with pie weights or a pound of dried beans.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the parchment paper and beans/weights (reserve the beans for pie weight use in the future!) and bake uncovered for 5 minutes so the tart crisps up.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Turn oven down to 350.
  5. To make the sauce, stir the garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat for a few seconds or until garlic becomes fragrant.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes, then remove from the heat.
  6. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella across the base of the tart shell.  Spoon about half the sauce over the mozzarella.  Arrange half the zucchini in a single layer on top of the sauce.  Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over this.  Top with more zucchini and then more tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I am submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted by Cinzia of Cindystar.

I created this post as part of Frigidaire‘s Talk Turkey Campaign. Share your own recipes and tips at Frigidaire‘s Make Time for Change site. For every recipe or tip that’s shared, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save The Children’s U.S. Programs, which creates lasting change for children in need.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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98 Responses to Lasagna Tart

  1. I’ve pretty much made all of those cooking mistakes at some time or another. This tart looks amazing, though!

  2. Amazing! It looks delicious but it looks AMAZING too! The colors and the crispy tart filled with all those goodies! Oh and I can’t tell you how many mistakes I have made in the kitchen- too many to count or remember them all!

  3. Joanne, you are too funny… but that’s life in the kitchen, here, too! Glad you’ve got a positive attitude and many months to figure out your holiday foods… by then it will be ok to duplicate the recipe. 😉

  4. girlichef says:

    Oh, this is so beautiful. What a fabulous dish…so delicious sounding, too. I want some!

  5. OohLookBel says:

    I hear you on smelling the cheese first (!), too many unfortunate things have happened before. By the way, you photos are always so lovely and delicious, not that you can eat them but I wish I could.

  6. Kim says:

    Oh Joanne. All the obstacles that you overcame to make this were worth it because this turned out wonderfully! I think I may even prefer this to the traditional lasagna. So fun!

  7. Read the recipe first? Not as you go?

    Looks fantastic, absolutely fantastic!

  8. I have left out important steps in recipes toooo many times. And forgotten to take stock of ALL ingredients before going to the store.

    Lasagna? Cannoli?? Rainbow cookies??? This is awkward, but I’ll be coming over for Christmas this year.

  9. Looks good, very colorful. Didn’t realise you were on crutches – my knowledge of medicine etc is virtually non-existent.

  10. Claudie says:

    I think that this recipe is going to become one of my favorites on this blog. Amazing creativity! And the fact that I couldn’t stop laughing while reading is just a bonus, especially around Murphy’s law (I’m a first believer in it) 🙂 Btw, I’m sooo guilty of point #1!!

  11. Rachel says:

    I can just hear the screams of frustration coming from your kitchen as you discover your ingredient issues. No harm done. The tart is beautiful! What a fun way to dress-up lasagna!

  12. Danielle says:

    This is one lesson I will never learn. Hubby is now use to the panicky phone call “How far are you from home? Can you please pick up…”

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I finished reading this and all I could think was, Rainbow cookies!!

  14. Shannon says:

    Ohhhhh, I love lasagna and tarts and everything that comes out of your kitchen. I’m with you on have suspect cheese in the fridge… yuck.

  15. Eliana says:

    All of these cooking mistakes are pretty much the story of my life. I can only hope that what I end up with after I goof looks as good as this.

  16. this looks amazing. IM feeling really lazy. Can i pick up all the ingredients and bring them over for you and your crutches to work with? I will bring my Jacked up cupcakes turned into ice box cake. cool?

  17. polwig says:

    OMG this looks so good. Erin will love it and thank you for teaching me that you can freeze cheese (HUH?).

  18. I was just thinking of trying to make a tart with olive oil! This one is great because it combines all the veggies I love, plus the starch I can/t live without. You should break your rule just once on this one!

  19. brandi says:

    i’ve been meaning to make this for a long time, and of course, i missed zucchini season around here again!

  20. Megan says:

    I think I would miss the noodles if I were really craving lasagna, but this definitely sounds like a healthier stand-in that I could totally get behind!

  21. Kristin says:

    You did an awfully good job getting that piece out neatly. It would have been a piled mess by the time I was done with it. HaHa. It looks good though!
    Holy Cannoli Recipes

  22. Jenna says:

    This looks so good. Almost like a veggie-licious deep dish pizza.
    And I totally agree that it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. I especially like to get all my present-buying done EARLY so that by the time the holidays arrive I can just sit back and relax instead of running around in a frantic frenzy.

  23. What a creative dish!!!! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  24. Love it!! And I’m also – yet again – a huge fan of how you snuck lots of veggies in there.

  25. Julia says:

    Well shoot, I wish I woulda read this to learn form your mistakes BEFORE I made ALL of those same mistakes. Good night, why, why must I always skim recipes and skim right over the ‘chilling’ part of pastry crusts. I will read this, in it’s entirety, and then make it. Looks SO good!

  26. betty says:

    I love how you added cheese, I thought that it was a healthy tart but honestly the cheese just complements it, it is a great idea to make lasagna and a healthier way too

  27. Amy says:

    Even if all the mishaps, it still came out. And probably better than the original. I’d hate to see what a failed recipe of yours looks like.

    And no, it’s never too early to start thinking of the holidays. Are you kidding…Haley already has me thinking about her birthday. In February! There’s no rest.

  28. Pierce says:

    Oh Joanne, I have been THERE! I read a step I was supposed to do and all the ingredients ahve been mixed in or piled on. Damn! Looks good though and that’s what counts. And taste, of course.

    October – c’mon boot weather!

  29. Pam says:

    I always appreciate those recipes – everything that could go wrong, does, and it still turns out. The tart is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L! This carnivore would totally pass up the turkey to eat this over the holidays!

  30. Shannon says:

    i’m glad i’m not the only one who still does things like that 🙂 looks awesome. although, i can’t *quite* think about the holidays yet…

  31. That Girl says:

    I never read the recipe all the way through and am frequently surprised by those in between steps that require 6-8 hours of my time.

  32. This is so pretty, and the colors are perfect for Christmas! I really should remember to smell the cheese before shopping. Great reminder!

  33. Wow! Wow! Wow! This looks absolutely delectable, Joanne! A fantastic idea…my God, my mouth is watering. Save me a slive! :))


  34. I don’t know if you mood is doing as well as it sounds, but I applaud you for persevering. It can’t be easy. The fact that with all of that going on, you are still creating master pieces with food. This is beautiful and worthy of any guest or holiday table.

  35. Such a brilliant idea! Not the moldy cheese part, but everything else. I still have one more ready made pie shell, and I think you just solved my dilemma of how to use it. Tofu ricotta instead of shredded cheese should do the trick!

  36. debbie says:

    Your recipes are amazing and always look delicious. I am still thinking about the one you posted yesterday with the cranberry beans and squash!!!

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  38. sophia says:

    Holy cow that looks GOOD!!!!! Your Italian roots comes to play! But where oh where is the meat? As usual, really enjoying your writing, Joanne. 🙂

  39. Natalie says:

    catching up on your blog and so sorry to hear about your stress fracture 🙁 however, i have no doubt you’ll pull through…runners are strong like that! i’ve been in that same position (no stress fracture but injured and unable to run!) so many times and i hate it! hang in there!

    ps. think i could add some ricotta to this tart? YUM

  40. daphne says:

    everyone has to go through “one of those days” in the kitchen,,, u r so right on the tip of checking the recipe and cheese! now why didn’t i learn from that?? 😉

  41. Love this. And I’m with you – I hate making the same recipe twice now that I’m blogging. However, I will be doing it tomorrow, but that’s okay because I’ll be replacing a reeeeally bad picture 🙂

  42. teresa says:

    i just love the idea of a lasagna tart! just the name is appealing, not to mention the gorgeous pictures. zucchini is such a great addition as well. i hope you’re healing quickly!

  43. Lasagna on Christmas? I love the way you think Joanne!

    Camila Faria

  44. Kelly says:

    Well, this is definitely a first for me. I don’t think I’ve come across lasagne tart before. It looks absolutely FANTASTIC! Love the photos. You do amazing work Joanne.

  45. sally says:

    This lasagna tart looks perfect for Christmas. I’ll keep it in mind for our vegetarian holiday meals.

  46. brocstar says:

    I love the photos of the tart on spinach.. pretty! My family used to be meatmeatmeat all the time. After my dad had bladder ca they changed their ways a bit.. which is nice for me!

  47. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, I just love reading your posts! I am glad everyone forgives and forgets. The way it should be when rainbow cookies and cannoli’s are on the list for dessert. Your holidays sound perfect in every way and so does your lasagna tart. Hope you are feeling better. Blessings dear one. Catherine xo

  48. Reeni says:

    I do things like that all the time! It turned out great in the end for all the obstacles you had. A lasagna in tart form is so unique. I have to tell you how you inspired me to buy spelt flour – haven’t made anything yet but I can’t wait to try it out.

  49. tigerfish says:

    Creative to make lasagna into a tart! Looks beautiful too!

  50. Ben says:

    Oh, we’ve all made those mistakes in the past, I’m sure (I’ve personally made all of them and more). But the lasagna looks amazing and you are not talking about Christmas yet, young lady. Too early for that, or am I too late? 😀

  51. elly says:

    I am notorious for not reading a recipe in its entirety before starting it – which is also why it took me about 4 tries to finally make cassoulet. We enjoyed this dish when I made it, too. Always love to read your blog. 🙂

  52. This looks so so delicious!!1
    Just perfect, look at the wonderful colors…
    OH my list of mistake in kitchen is really long and growing well… LOL
    I love messing around in kitchen….

  53. I was taken by the first picture! This is fabulous! Perfect for the holidays and every day in between!

  54. Super gorgeous and creative. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  55. Sara says:

    Haha, this is a hilarious post! Love it – I so know the feeling of getting somewhat thru a recipe and realizing…wait, this goes in the fridge for 6 hours????? The tart looks wonderful! 🙂

  56. Barbara says:

    I’ve done that crutch bit….my BIL made me the most wonderful apron with HUGE pockets to tote things from here to there. (Wouldn’t work with a hot lasagna tart, however.) I ended up getting a lightweight table on wheels. Tough when you live alone. Luckily, you have roommates. 🙂

    The bottom crust on your tart looks nice and crisp! That’s hard to do. This looks marvelous, Joanne.

  57. Jeanette says:

    That is quite a trick, making this gorgeous lasagna tart on crutches and taking some pretty pictures of it too!

  58. Lora says:

    Totally guilty of #1 and #2. Wait that didn’t sound right. Anyway, gorgeous tart.

  59. Patsyk says:

    You are too funny! Love how your sense of humor hasn’t been lost with the addition of the crutches! This lasagna tart is simply gorgeous… and healthy, too!

  60. newlywed says:

    This looks and sounds so, so good! I hope to try it soon.
    Best of luck with those crutches. Will you be off them before there is snow and ice on the ground?

  61. ..”.some of us are going to be the lone vegetarians in a house full of carnivores who still firmly believe that any type of poultry is not actually meat. Will they ever learn?”

    Will you come be my advocate on Thanksgiving? My parents just do NOT understand that turkey and the stuffing they cooked using its juices is not vegetarian. This looks wonderful. I am making a lasagna stuffed zucchini this weekend 🙂 no pie crust chilling required. phew.

  62. I can relate – at least to the part about not reading the recipe thoroughly and forgetting to buy ingredients. You’ve got me on the crutch part.

    All in all, it turned out beautifully and really looks delicious. I love Heidi’s recipes!

  63. Beth McCurdy says:

    Just beautiful. And I’ve done all of those things in one way or another!

  64. Gloria says:

    what nice and beauty idea a lsagne tart! gloria

  65. Beth says:

    If I just remembered to follow step 1 for every recipe, how wonderful my life would be.

  66. Mary says:

    This looks great. Really really great, Joanne. This might be happening in my near future. What is it about Heidi’s recipes? They always sound divine!

  67. BigFatBaker says:

    Yum this looks great! I definitely want to try this for a new weeknight dinner.

  68. La Liz says:

    LOL’d at the freezer-burn episode. I love the first photo of the lasagna wedge over baby greens. Yum!

  69. My family always wants the same holiday food too…wonder what would happen if I made this on Christmas?

  70. Johanna GGG says:

    looks delicious – but I hope it will give you enough energy for all the yelling gesticulating and arguing – that is why you need hefty slices of lasagne surely! And good luck with your cheese stocks – we usually just have cheddar and go through it like nobody’s business!

  71. Carolyn Jung says:

    That is the prettiest one-handed tart I’ve ever seen! You put the rest of us who can use TWO hands to shame. 😉

  72. Claire says:

    Oh, this look GREAT! I think that my mom and I would BOTH love this…my dad and brother, on the other hand, would surely look at us like we were crazy. What is it with guys a vegetables?

  73. Katie says:

    I need a recipe that will serve some vegetarians amongst carnivores, and I know all eaters will be happy with this! Definitely bookmarking for future use.

  74. Deborah says:

    I have never had lasagna on Christmas, but I’m thinking that it’s a tradition I need to start!! And I love that you made this in tart form!

  75. Miriam says:

    Goodness, what a troublesome tart this was for you to make!!! Those darn crutches! It would indeed look lovely on a holiday spread though, good luck with all the prowling carnivores. :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  76. kankana says:

    oh boy! how much touble u had to go through for the tart ? I would have given up…seriously!
    But thank god u didn’t and you shared it with us .. and now I am craving for some!

  77. Cindystar says:

    From the mother nation of Lasagna, I can definetely admit that yours has earned an honorable place in the podium!
    thanks for all tips, we should remind everything for any single recipe, but surprisingly so easy do not! 🙂
    btw, this lasagna has the bright traditional Christams colors: red, green and white! (patriottic Italian too!)
    thanks so much for participating!

  78. Fabulous, delicious and Health, what more can someone ask for? Thanks for sharing such an inviting dish.

  79. Nicole, RD says:

    Au contraire is right! I want that on my table any night, however. I wish my garden were still pumping out the zucchinis…good thing you can find them year-round!

  80. Veronica says:

    Oh no! You’re on crutches! I have gotten behind in my reading but I did see you weren’t running the halfer you had planned to. I’m so sorry you’re injured. These mistakes happen to the best of us who aren’t on crutches but it looks like your tart turned out wonderful anyway! Nothing wrong with thinking about Christmas–it’s only two months away. Yikes!

  81. Cara says:

    I totally need that support group too. Let’s start it. Can we also start the support group for bookmarking recipes years ago and never getting around to making them? This recipe has been on my list forever!

  82. Lori says:

    I am so bad about missing parts in recipes. I try to read through them, but end up skipping an important part. I find myself reading over and over again to make sure I have all the details. This looks really great. Colorful and I love the idea of my lasagna in a pie shell.

  83. Tasha says:

    Wow, this looks beautiful, sounds awesome and has me so happy I just picked up more spelt flour (my very favorite of flours)!

  84. I totally just learned that cheese you didn’t think could go bad, does, in fact, go bad. Interesting.

    This is such a unique, awesome concept. I love it!!


  85. grace says:

    what an interesting idea! it looks amazing, especially considering your current handicaps. bravo!

  86. Oh honey, please don’t be mad that I laughed at you for that whole process? But you know what, I’ve pretty much done the same thing. It’s all about improvising!

  87. Chris says:

    From reading this post, I picture you totally running around in a sitcom episode.

    If it makes you feel better I screwed the pooch on my bearnaise sauce TWICE friday night. And I have two good legs…..

  88. Your lasagne tart is gorgeous! I love all of the bright colors, and I would totally not miss the meat in this. I haven’t ever been on crutches, but I can relate to the ingredient issue. I live way out in the country and a quick trip to the grocery store takes about forty minutes- not fun to do in the middle of a recipe! 🙂

  89. Marisa says:

    Yup, gotta love the holidays! All those crazy people (erm family members) together… This lasagna tart though? Wow. It looks absolutely fantastic!

  90. Boo yah indeed! This is a recipe for me. MG is going to love it as well. I’ll let you know when I posted my attempt at it. Thanks! – Gary

  91. Kevin says:

    That is one nice looking tart and it sounds like it is both tasty and healthy!

  92. You know how I love tarts….this one is a beauty!

  93. With all the gorgeous color this is perfect for a holiday table–yum! 😉

  94. I would love this! While I rarely make recipes twice, when it comes to special holiday meals I like to always eat mostly the same things, and then add in a couple of new ones. 🙂

  95. […] Next up is this creative lasagna tart, which is a spin off  from the traditional lasagna recipe. This one is perfect if you want to make some delicious lasagna for fewer people. The recipe is here, enjoy. […]

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