Lasagna can go either way. You can stuff it full of saturated fat and cheese or lean protein and veggies. This healthier lasagna recipe features the later and is delicious! After hosting Thanksgiving this year and preparing 14 recipes and washing the 42 dish that came along with that, I needed Christmas to be simpler. I remember my grandma making Lasagna on Christmas and it’s one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook. So this year I went the one pan route and have enjoyed healthy leftovers all week long!
Healthier Lasagna Recipe Ingredients
As a part of my clean and colorful concept, I simply can’t prepare a dish that is not stuffed to the brim with vegetables. So in addition to meat and cheese, this recipe features zucchini, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli. For cheese, I used mozzarella and ricotta on the inside and parmesan on the top. For meat I went with lean ground turkey and also made a meatless version for my vegetarian BFF (who swore it was just as delicious).
Healthier Lasagna Recipe
I don’t actually follow a recipe when I make lasagna, it’s more of a piece of art than a finite, product identically recreated over and over again. But here is the general gist of it all. And make as much as you can at once because the leftovers are even more delicious than the initial meal! And yes, while it cooks in one pan, it did actually require 4 other vessels and the blender to prepare it all. Still far easier than a ham and 4 side dishes in my opinion 😉
- 1 box Lasagna Noodles
- 28 +15 oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey (optional)
- Garlic Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning
- 4 cups Broccoli Florettes (chopped)
- 1 Zucchini (sliced in medallions)
- 1 package of Mushrooms (sliced)
- 15 oz Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1/3 cup Milk (of your choice)
- 5 cups Raw Spinach
- 3 cups Mozzarella (shredded)
- 4 oz Artisan Parmesan (shredded)
- Cook the Noodles: According to package directions, or just get the kind you can toss in uncooked and they cook while baking. I prefer to cook them before, but that does require an extra step and pot. You can also make this gluten free by purchasing 4-5 extra zucchinis and slicing them lengthwise to create thick “zucchini noodles.”
- Prepare the Sauce: Open the cans and empty the tomatoes into a medium sauce pan and heat to a mild simmer. Season with your favorite herbs and spices like garlic salt, cracked pepper, oregano, thyme, basil or a simple “Italian seasoning” is an easy way to go to.
- Cook the Turkey: In a large skillet, add the ground turkey and use a spatula to break it up into crumbles. Season as you’d like and cook until fully opaque. About 5-7 minutes.
- Cook the Veggies: I like to do a steam/sautéed version here. I use a large skillet and add about 1/4″ of water to the bottom and heat it up. Feel free to toss in some fresh diced garlic here too. Then when it’s almost to a boil I add the veggies. Broccoli first, let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini, let cook about 2 minutes then add mushrooms and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes. You will need to add more water as it evaporates and cover it in-between adding veggies to allow for a good steam bath.
- Prepare the Ricotta: Ricotta can be clumpy/sticky so tossing it in the blender with a little milk and the spinach is a great way to get it “spreadable” and also sneak in even more veggies! Blend until smooth.
- Put It All Together: This is the fun part! I put a tiny bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan and then add a row of noodles. Then add meat, veggies, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, then sauce. Then you can add a new row of noodles and repeat until it’s all gone. I got up to 4 rows of noodles I think. Top the entire pan with the shredded Artisan Parmesan.
- Bake it ‘Till it’s Bubbly: Bake it in a preheated oven at 375 for 25 minutes. If it’s looking a little crispy, cover it with foil and cook for an additional 20-30 min. You’ll know it’s done because it will literally be bubbling up deliciousness on the sides of the pan.
Why Ground Turkey Instead of Beef?
I’ve always used ground turkey over beef. Even as a kid, I didn’t like all the oil that came out of ground beef. This graphic from Foster Farms gives you a little more detail into the nutrition behind the decision.
Organic Ground Turkey!
Foster Farms introduced its organic ground turkey in 2015. It’s 93% lean, USDA-certified organic, antibiotic free, raised free-range on organic land and is fed an organic vegetarian diet. It is 100% natural with no added hormones, steroids, salt, chemicals or artificial enhancers.
So…what’s your favorite lasagna ingredient?
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