Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Skinny Turkey Lasagna

Suffice it to say that no lasagna is skinny... I mean clearly, let us operate in the realm of truth. Nonetheless, this is a less calorie intensive rendition of this delicious comfort food. I switch out the normal pork sausage for a low fat turkey turkey sausage. I use part-skim and fat-free cheeses. I bulk up the flavor of marinara with balsamic vinegar and a ton more veggies. This is a great freezer meal or you can make ahead and store in your refrigerator a day in advance. 

What you need

  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 pound of raw turkey sausage 
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced or micro-planed 
  • 1 tablespoon of salt free Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups of marinara 
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 oz of fat-free ricotta
  • 2 cups of low fat mozzarella 
  • 1 box of no boil lasagna sheets or fresh pasta sheets
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flake (optional)
  • basil leaf for serving

What you do

  1. Make the sauce: In a large non-stick sauce pan over medium heat cook the celery, onions, and carrots. Cook the vegetables for a minute or two. Add the turkey sausage out of the casing. Cook until no longer pink, stirring. If the turkey sticks to the bottom of the pan add some water. Micro-plane in or add the minced garlic, add the Italian seasoning. Then add the marinara. Turn the heat down to low, and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. Make the cheese filling: In a large bowl whisk the eggs and add the ricotta. Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.   
  3. Assemble the lasagna: Cover your pan in foil and spray with non-stick spray. Pour a ladle full of sauce into the bottom of 11 X 9 X 3 inch serving dish or lasagna pan. Place the no-boil noodles, one at a time to make a noodle blanket and cover the bottom of the dish. Lots of thin layers is better than 2 thick ones. Layer a few laddles of the sauce. Cover with a layer of raw noodle sheets. Pour about half the cheese mixture, spread into a flat layer, cover with noodles. Repeat with remaining noodles, sauce, and cheese. When at the top, cover the noodle sheets with sauce, then mozzarella and top with Parmesan. You can bake right away or freeze for later. 
  4. Bake: Cook the lasagna covered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees; then uncover the dish for an additional 15 minutes so the cheese can turn bubbly and brown.  
  5. Serve: thinly slice fresh basil leaves. Serve with red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan cheese.

Make-ahead and freezer directions 

  • The dish will keep in the refrigerator tightly covered for a day. 
  • If you are freezing cover the entire dish in foil. 
  • Write what is in the dish and label with date and cooking instructions. 
  • You can either thaw the lasagna and cook covered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees; or you can put the frozen lasagna in the oven covered in foil for 2 hours at 400 degrees. Either way you want to uncover the dish for an additional 15 minutes so the cheese can turn bubbly and brown.  
As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cooking!

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