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I know this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t even have to – that’s how good it is.

What am I talking about? Turkey Lasagna, kids, Turkey Lasagna.

My recipe is derived from our girlfriend, Ina Garden aka Barefoot Contessa (aka The Butter Queen).

Her recipe for spicey turkey lasagna is SO GOOD! But, it isn’t SO HEALTHY.

We can’t have that, now can we? NO!

Without further ado, I give you my altered recipe for Healthy Turkey Lasagna:

Turkey Lasagna

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
1 small package fat free ricotta cheese
1 small package fat free cottage cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling  (I just buy the pre-shredded bag)
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fat free mozzarella, (again, I buy the pre-shredded bag)

TIP: Before getting started, I recommend that you make the meat sauce a day or two in advance, this really enhances the flavors and makes the whole dish about 10 times better, no joke.  See, since I’ve removed basically all of the fat from the dish, you need a way to replace the deep flavors. Letting things combine overnight (or two) really helps this dish regain its zesty richness.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet.
3. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.
4.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the turkey and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork/spatula, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.
5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
6. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
7. Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish.
8.  Then add the layers as follows: pasta (cover “wall to wall”), half the mozzarella, half the ricotta/cottage mix, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

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