Traditionally, lasagna is layered, flat pasta with lots of delicious edibles in between. If you replace the pasta with vegetables, it looks like a lasagna and tastes like a lasagna, but is it still a lasagna?
Thankfully, we don’t need to answer that question in order to enjoy this absolutely delicious dish that celebrates the fresh vegetables and herbs of summer. Zucchini and eggplant replace traditional lasagna noodles, reducing the carbs. Ground turkey and no-salt-added canned tomatoes create a flavorful low-fat sauce. Layered all together with creamy ricotta and gooey mozzarella, this indulgence is light enough for an end-of-summer meal and comforting enough to get you through the snowy days of winter.
Use this recipe as a template to create a meal your family will love. Skip the ground turkey to make it vegetarian. Prefer one vegetable over the other? Use all zucchini or all eggplant.
|1 medium onion, diced|
|4 cloves garlic, minced|
|1 lb ground turkey|
|28 oz can no-salt-added or low-sodium crushed or whole tomatoes (whole tomatoes make a chunkier sauce)|
|1 ½ teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoon fresh|
|½ teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoon fresh|
|1 15 oz container part skim ricotta|
|1 egg (Egg can be omitted. Ricotta texture will be significantly more loose.)|
|3 medium or 2 large zucchini|
|1 large eggplant|
|3 cups shredded part skim or reduced fat mozzarella|
|Optional: ¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper|
|a pinch of nutmeg|
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large sauté pan. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic (and crushed red pepper if using) and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add ground turkey and continue to sauté until turkey is cooked through. Drain any fat that has accumulated in the pan before continuing.
- Add canned tomatoes with their liquid and fresh or dried herbs to turkey. If using whole canned tomatoes, break them apart with a stiff spoon or potato masher to make a chunky sauce. Reduce heat and simmer sauce uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until slightly thickened. Taste your sauce and season as desired.
- While sauce simmers, prepare the vegetables. Slice eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch planks. Place vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets prepared with cooking spray or lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake for about 14 minutes or until vegetables are pliable but not mushy and remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly.
- While vegetables cook, prepare ricotta filling. In a large bowl, stir together ricotta and egg. Season to taste with pepper and a pinch of nutmeg if desired.
Layering the lasagna, step by step:
- Begin layering lasagna. Spread ½ cup ground turkey sauce over the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking pan. Cover the sauce with a single layer of zucchini slices, cutting them as needed to make them fit. Cover zucchini with 1 cup of sauce. Dollop half the ricotta mixture over the sauce. Ricotta will spread more evenly as it cooks. Sprinkle with 1 cup of grated mozzarella.
- Completely cover the shredded mozzarella with a single layer of eggplant, cutting as needed to make sure it fits. Cover eggplant with 1 cup of sauce, the last of the ricotta mixture and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Cover shredded mozzarella with a single layer of zucchini and top with remaining sauce. Cover baking dish with foil and bake in 375 oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle lasagna with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and return to oven uncovered. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until lasagna is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.
|Calories||249||Total Fat||12 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g||Monounsaturated Fat||2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1 g||Trans Fat||0 g|
|Cholesterol||94 mg||Sodium||198 mg|
|Potassium||345 mg||Total Carbohydrate||17 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g||Sugars||7 g|