Have you ever gone out to eat at a restaurant and said to yourself “I’m ordering something healthy. I’m not getting the cheese soaked nachos or deep-fried chicken wings this time,” only to end up ordering something equally bad and feeling like crap as you walk out of the restaurant?
This is me EVERY SINGLE TIME we go out for Italian. For some reason, I’m hooked on lasagna. I crave it whenever I walk into an Italian restaurant. I don’t know if it’s because it’s hearty, comforting and filling, or if it’s because it reminds me of childhood. Whatever the reason, I can’t help myself.
I always have a frickin’ war with myself when ordering because I know there are healthier options than white refined noodles, ground beef and loads of cheese. Add to that the bread basket I ate soaked in balsamic vinegar (because it’s my second love) and I feel even worse about my meal choice, and not even that hungry anymore for my main course. By the end I’m sighing deeply, letting my belly expand over my pants, and regretting what I just did to myself.
Since I can’t give up my lasagna obsession, I decided to just figure out how to make my own, healthier version at home. I’ve used Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagne w/ Rice Bran – 10 oz (for all you gluten-free people), ground turkey breast and added some extra veggies. But the best part of this recipe is that you can make it days or weeks in advance, and it only takes 30 minutes to make since you don’t have to pre-boil the noodles.
Some of the nutritional benefits:
High in Protein
Low in sugar
Higher in fiber than traditional lasagna
Try making it on the weekend, freezing it, and pulling it out on one of those busy days where you know you won’t have enough time to cook. It’s a lifesaver!
Rate it and let me know how you liked it!
30 Minute Make Ahead Lasagna
NUTRITION FACTS: Calories: 269 Total Fat: 8.9g Saturated Fat: 3.4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 58mg Sodium: 581mg Potassium: 200mg Total Carbohydrate: 22g Dietary Fiber: 5g Sugar: 4g Protein: 24g
- Meat layer:
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1.5 lbs ground turkey thigh
- 4 cups spinach, chopped
- 1 jar (25 oz) pasta sauce (try to get a no sugar added kind)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Cheese layer:
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Noodle layer:
- about 10 brown rice lasagna noodles
- For topping:
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees*
- Step 2 Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until onion begins to soften.
- Step 3 Next add mushrooms and allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes before adding in ground turkey.
- Step 4 Break up turkey and cook until it’s cooked all the way through. At this point, you may need to drain off some of the excess liquid.
- Step 5 Add in the spinach, mix to combine and let the spinach wilt down a bit before adding the pasta sauce, garlic powder and sea salt.
- Step 6 Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Step 7 Meanwhile, mix the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and egg in a small bowl.
- Step 8 Once the meat mixture has simmered, remove from heat and begin assembly.
- Step 9 Start by spreading a little bit of meat sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer of raw noodles → ⅓ of the meat sauce → ½ of the cheese mixture → layer of raw noodles → ⅓ of the meat sauce → last half of the cheese mixture → last ⅓ of the meat mixture → top with mozzarella cheese.
- Step 10 Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour until noodles are tender.
- Step 11 Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- Step 12 * If you’re making this recipe in advance, keep it in the refrigerator for up to a day. If making it further in advance that 1 day, seal tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. If you are freezing it, defrost completely before cooking in the oven.