Turkey Lasagna

Well, here we are on New Year’s Eve…again.  How does one year go by so fast?  For that matter, how does a decade or two decades go by so fast?  It was 22 years ago today that I lost my mom and it’s still so unreal.  I don’t get sad on this anniversary anymore because the sadness comes on throughout the year when I least expect it and it’s enough.  Instead of mourning her on this day, I choose to celebrate her and think of the many times I would stand at the kitchen table with her and assemble lasagna.  It was one of my favorite meals to make with her because we each had our roles.  She would be standing at the counter mixing ground beef and tomato sauce in the electric skillet while I would stand nearby stirring a bowl of cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and egg.  Then we would come together and do the layering until we were left with the perfect pan of lasagna ready for baking in the oven.  I can’t not think of her each time I make lasagna and I’m glad I do.  Making this Turkey Lasagna was no different.

This particular recipe comes from my aunt who started making this a few Christmases ago.  She had found it in the newspaper and liked it so much, it became a regular meal in the rotation.  Ground turkey (or ground chicken) is browned and mixed with jarred marinara, spinach and basil.   A little bit of ricotta is added, making the meat sauce slightly creamy.  Lasagna noodles, meat sauce and parmesan cheese are layered and baked until gold and bubbly.  What I love about this lasagna in particular is not just the addition of the spinach but also that there isn’t much cheese so it keeps the calories down.  Rather than having ricotta or mozzarella cheese layered in, the little bit of ricotta and sprinkle of parmesan is just enough.  If you don’t like lasagna unless it’s dripping with cheese, you might not like this.  But if you want a flavorful, tasty lasagna that won’t make you feel too guilty, this might be for you.  And just as I did when I was a kid, I used the extra noodles to scoop up the leftover meat sauce until the pan was clean.  I just wish my mom was there to do it with me.

Turkey Lasagna (from Chicago Tribune)

  • 1 box (16 ounces) lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground lean turkey
  • 2 jars (25 ounces each) marinara sauce
  • 1 bag (8 ounces) fresh spinach, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 30 seconds.  Add turkey; cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Add sauce; cook 1 more minute.  Add spinach, basil and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes.  Add ricotta; lower heat to simmer.  Cook 1 minute; remove from stove.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with at least 4 to 5 noodles. Spread 1 cup of sauce over noodles; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat process until remaining noodles are used.  Bake for 25 minutes, cool for at least 7 minutes before serving.

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The ingredients:

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Cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 30 seconds.  Add turkey; cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 3 minutes.

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Add sauce; cook 1 more minute.  Add spinach, basil and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes.  Add ricotta; lower heat to simmer.  Cook 1 minute; remove from stove.

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with at least 4 to 5 noodles.  Spread 1 cup of sauce over noodles; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat process until remaining noodles are used.  Bake for 25 minutes.

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Cool for at least 7 minutes before serving.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Chicago Tribune

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna | A Fork In Each Hand

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