When I think of home cooked hearty, comfort food meals lasagna always makes the list! Yes it is a fairly labour intensive meal but I find I can have the veggies chopped, sauce made, assembled and in the oven in about 45 minutes. Not an every night type of meal but delicious and healthy! Plus the added bonus of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner!
I use ground turkey to make my lasagna but I’ve used ground beef, veggie ground round, as well as a beef Italian sausage mix in the past. All turn out wonderful but ground turkey is the leanest and healthiest choice. I mean other then the veggie option of course!
I also like to use the no boil noodles but again in the past have used the traditional type. I just find it adds to the prep time and I’m not a fan of burning my fingers on slippery hot noodles! Quit snickering ladies 😉 I am a big fan of the Trader joes no boil noodles because they have a nice texture once cooked. I am also a jan of the Trader Joes basil marinara sauce. Ummm yum! However if you’re anything like me you will use whatever you have on hand!
So here we go!
1 pound ground turkey (or beef/meat of your choice)
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
2 cups mozzarella (I use low fat)
1 bunch of basil (1/2 cup chopped)
1 bunch cilantro (1/4 cup chopped)
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 jar marinara sauce or pasta sauce of choice
1 box of lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons finely chopped. jalapeño (optional)
1 can mushrooms (optional)
2 cups baby spinach
Olive oil for sautéing
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Seasoning salt & pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional but delightful)
Chop onion, pepper, chopped jalapeño, 2 garlic cloves and sauté with a tiny but of olive oil for about three minutes. Add in meat, garlic, seasonings of choice and sauté
until cooked. Once the meat is cooked to a safe temperature add in the marinara sauce and 1.5 cups of water. At this point if you are using the cinnamon add it now! Trust me it makes the flavours really pop. Turn heat down to lowest setting and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
While the meat sauce mix is cooking prep the cottage or ricotta cheese by simply adding the egg, chopped basil, cilantro, garlic seasonings if choice and mixing well!
At this point you are ready to assemble start by placing 1/3 of the sauce mix in the bottom of a large casserole pan and topping with a layer of noodles and another 1/3 of sauce. Add another layer of noodles and top them with the cottage cheese mixture. Spread mixture out evenly and top with baby spinach and another layer of noodle! Top those noodles with the remainder of the sauce spread mozzarella cheese on top! Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes! I like to spray my foil with Pam to keep the cheese from sticking. I also like to broil the lasagna uncovered for a couple of minutes before removing from the oven.
I bake my lasagna on a cookie sheet because if you ever have to clean bubbled over lasagna out of your oven you will quickly decide you never wish to do it again!!!
Be sure to let your lasagna sit for 10 – 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!