Want to change up the traditional Italian lasagna recipe? This is the recipe to try! Layers of mixed vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, and bell peppers makes for an even tastier and healthier recipe. I love a classic pasta lasagna, but sometimes we need to make some changes in our diet to eat the classic recipes we love with a better for you, healthier twist. There is nothing wrong with the classic Italian recipe, but by swapping the pasta layers with vegetables we make this a more nutrient rich meal. The more nutritious and nutrient rich our meals are the better for ones health it is. I believe pasta in moderation in small portions, as the Italian intended is great, but most of the time we eat too much pasta or too large of a portion. That becomes unhealthy due to the spike in our glycemic index of the layers of white pasta. These layers of fiber rich vegetables helps control any spike in blood sugar, making this a much more health conscious recipe. Swap the traditional Italian lasagna occasionally with this delicious and nutritious vegetable layer lasagna.
Of course you can use any vegetables you desire, but I like the flavor combo of mushrooms, spinach, and red bell peppers. Plus I used frozen vegetables which makes this a less expensive dish to prepare also. Sometimes purchasing fresh vegetables can be expensive so that is why I love to always have my freezer stocked with frozen vegetables ready to use in almost any dish at any time.
Yields 4 servings
Time 30-40 minutes
1 lb ground turkey (94-93% lean)
1/2 cup yellow onion - small dice
1 bag frozen mushrooms (can swap for fresh about 2 cups) - defrosted
1 large bag of frozen leafy spinach - defrosted
1/2 cup red bell pepper - small dice
1 garlic clove - minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
1 cup marinara sauce (I use Whole Foods Organic 365 brand)
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat and once hot add the ground turkey. Season well with salt and pepper. Let this cook until browned. Remove the cooked ground turkey and place in a bowl or plate.
3. In the same saute pan heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot add the onions and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the defrosted spinach and mushrooms, and season again. Let this cook for 5-8 minutes. You want to make sure to release all the water from the vegetable so as to not make the lasagna soupy (that would be terrible). Add the garlic and adjust any seasoning if necessary. Once cooked remove from the pan and plate in a plate and carefully try to drain any excess liquid.
4. Time to build the lasagna. First layer a baking dish with marinara sauce. Then a layer of the mixed vegetables, followed by the ground turkey, topped with ricotta cheese. Repeat the layers. After the second layer top the ricotta cheese with the remaining ground turkey and then top the lasagna with mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Then turn the oven to broil and broil until the cheese is golden brown. Then carefully remove and garnish with fresh basil. Serve hot and enjoy!