Clean Eating Healthy Sneaky Lasagna (with Spinach!)
Makes 10 servings This is hands down one of our family favorites and we ALWAYS have some in the freezer. This recipe makes one pan but I always double it and make 2 at once because I figure I’m already making the pans dirty and heating up the oven, I might as well make it worthwhile 🙂 I assemble the first one and pop it into the oven and I can usually have the second one assembled (and sometimes even get the dishes done!) so that when the first one is ready I can put the second one in and sit down to have the first for dinner.
You will see that this recipe has you making homemade spaghetti sauce which I really like to do when I have the time because then I know exactly what we are eating and can be sure that there are no random added ingredients. However, if I am crunched for time, I have used jars of premade sauce and then just browned the ground turkey and added it in. You will need about 4 1/2 cups of sauce to equal 6 cups total after adding in the meat. Just make sure you read the ingredients list really well when you pick a sauce. You would be amazed at the things that get added in to some.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, diced (2 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp dried basil
- 1 cup pureed cooked sweet potato (optional, but I always add it in because it gives the sauce a slight sweetness, which most commercial sauces achieve by adding sugar. When I first started adding it Matt said, “Wow. This is awesome! It tastes just like Chef Boyardee!” Thanks hunny, that’s totally what I’m aiming for. Homemade sauce that tastes like processed crap in a can, LOL. What he meant in his own goofy way was that the sauce was so good it tasted like it was professionally made… which he apparently thinks Chef Boyardee is…)
Filling and Pasta Layers –
- 1 lb fat-free ricotta cheese
- 3 cups reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (This is bolded because I ALWAYS forget to divide it!)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp dried basil (or ½ cup minced fresh basil)
- 1 large egg lightly beaten or equivalent of egg substitute
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 12oz bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped or torn
- 12 whole grain lasagna noodles uncooked (not no boil noodles, just regular whole wheat noodles. The whole no boil thing is a scam, you don’t need to boil any noodles. My friend, Ariana, taught me that 🙂 Before that I was preboiling all my lasagna, grrrr)
ONE: Combine the onion, oil, and ½ tsp salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook until it’s JUSTstarting to brown, about 4 minutes.
TWO: Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and measures about 6 cups, about an hour (the sauce might spit while it’s cooking so I always cover the pot with one of those mesh screen things that prevent splattering). Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
THREE: Dump the ricotta, 2 cups of the mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and stir well.
FOUR: Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 ½ cups of the sauce evenly over the bottom.
FIVE: Rinse 3 uncooked lasagna noodles under cold running water and lay them on top of the sauce spaced evenly apart. Place 1/3 cup of filling on each one and spread it out evenly over the entire noodle. Lay 1/3 of the bag of spinach over the top of the filling (this will seem like a big pile of spinach and will make the layers really tall but it will wilt during cooking and you won’t even notice it’s there).Spread 1 cup of sauce evenly over the spinach. Repeat this layering two more times, rinsing each lasagna noodle before placing it in the pan.
SIX: Lay the remaining 3 noodles over the top and cover with the remaining 1 ½ cups of sauce, making sure to cover the edges. Spray a large piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna tightly. Place the lasagna pan on a cookie tray (to catch any bubbling over sauce) and bake for 45 minutes.
SEVEN: Remove the foil and sprinkle the lasagna evenly with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella. Continue to bake, uncovered, until the cheese is bubbling and slightly brown, 10-15 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Let the leftovers cool completely in the fridge overnight. Slice into individual servings (one pan should yield 10 servings) and freeze using the flash freeze method to feed your freezer stash. Reheat in the microwave or thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven @ 350 for about 30 minutes.
Per serving – 424 Calories (136 Calories from Fat), 15g Fat, 7g Saturated Fat, 90mg Cholesterol, 590mg Sodium, 38g Total Carbohydrates, 7g Dietary Fiber, 7g Sugars, 35g Protein, 181% DV Vitamin A, 60% DV Vitamin C, 50% DV Calcium, 21% DV Iron