Lasagna is a popular Italian dish across the globe. Whether you have Italian and your blood or not, you may love all of the pasta ribbons, the ooey gooey cheese, and a hearty meat sauce. If you think that lasagna is a no go on your diet, think again. You can break out this delicious recipe around the holidays, and enjoy it guilt-free. This is because of a few healthy substitutions that are made throughout.
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles, whole wheat
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
- 4 cups mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup water
- 1 pound spinach, thawed
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup basil, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 16 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 7 ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded, divided
You can choose to make a vegan substitution with veggie crumbles and eliminate the two cheeses for a soy-based version of each.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, spray a 9 x 13” baking dish (glass, ceramic, or metal) with nonstick spray.
- Bring a stock pot of water to a boil. Place lasagna noodles in and boil until tender, two minutes less than what the package directs. Drain and place noodles back into the pot – and cover with cool water. Set aside until later.
- Spray a skillet (preferably nonstick) with nonstick cooking spray and heat over a medium-high temperature. Add sausage and use a wooden spoon to crumble and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add water and mushrooms, cooking for approximately 8 minutes or until water is evaporated and mushrooms are tender. Press spinach to remove excess water and stir into the mix. Remove from heat.
- Mix crushed tomatoes with salt, pepper, and basil in a bowl.
- Assemble the lasagna. Spread ½ cup of tomato mixture into the baking dish. Place a layer noodles on top. Dollop have to ricotta over the noodles and spread. Top with half the sausage mixture and then one third of the mozzarella and one third of the remaining tomato mixture. Continue and create another layer of noodles, the last of the ricotta, the last of the sausage, and then half of what’s left of the mozzarella and tomato mixture. Top with the final layer of noodles and all of the remaining tomato mixture.
- Cover the lasagna pan with foil and bake approximately 1 hour or until heated through and mixture is bubbling. Remove foil and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Bake in the oven another 8 to 10 minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
- Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes prior to cutting and serving.
The recipe is yours to change as you wish. If you don’t want elections, they can easily be eliminated. If you want to add in shredded carrots into the sauce or anything else, it can certainly add flavor, and align it with your own touch on things. Perhaps you want to follow family tradition with your lasagna, but simply make it healthier. As long as you use whole wheat lasagna noodles and part skim cheeses, is going to reduce the calorie count considerably.