Traditional Meat Lasagna


Good ol’ lasagna – the ultimate one-pan confort food.  Ever since I was a kid, I was always excited whenever my mom would cook this for dinner – layers and layers of ripply pasta, my mom’s special bolognese sauce, ricotta, and tons of gooey cheese, all baked with a nice toasty cheese crust that had a nice textural chew whenever you took a hearty forkful.  All through college, I perfected this amazing dish – I can recall my roommate had once asked me to make this for her when a then-boyfriend came to visit!


Obviously, I had to make my famous version of this dish into macros – what would my life be without lasagna (hehe)?  Luckily enough, I didn’t have to change much except for a few swaps – from traditional white pasta to whole grain pasta, full fat ricotta to nonfat ricotta, and whole fat mozzarella to part-skim mozzarella – and the rest is basically the same (plus my special ingredient – fish sauce!!).  I think I may make another pan this week since I’m all out of this spectacular dish…

(makes 9 servings)

For the sauce:
16 oz. 93/7 ground turkey meat
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
20 oz. chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1/2 cup. onion, diced
2 tsp. italian herb seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper

For the lasagna:
1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 15 oz. container nonfat ricotta
1 12 oz package part-skim mozzarella

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a stock pot, boil lasagna noodles in salt water as directed on package.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Take spinach and squeeze out all excess water with a cheesecloth (or with your hands) and set aside.
  4. Chop onions and mushrooms and set aside.
  5. In a dutch oven or large saute pan under medium heat, add olive oil and saute garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant; then add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, until translucent.
  6. Add ground turkey meat, salt and pepper and saute until meat has browned and broken apart in small bits.
  7. Add mushrooms and spinach and saute until juices have evaporated (about 4-5 minutes)
  8. Add crushed tomatoes, fish sauce and italian seasoning and stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.  Adjust temperature to low heat – cover pot and let sauce simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Set aside.
  9. In a large lasagna pan, light spray with cooking oil and cover the bottom with 3-4 lasagna pasta ribbons.  Evenly spread spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, then cover with sauce and cheese.  Repeat this process until you have run out of all ingredients (except cheese).  Make sure to use the cheese sparingly in between the layers so that you have enough cheese to cover the top of the lasagna!
  10. Bake lasagna for 40-45 minutes until top cheese layer is golden brown.
  11. Let lasagna cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.


(photo credit:  (c) 2016 by Tristan Sullivan)

2 thoughts on “Traditional Meat Lasagna

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