Turkey Lasagna

Fun fact: It’s National Lasagna Day!

It’s quite baffling to realize that I have had this blog for over two years now and have yet to share my lasagna recipe! I played off of it for a fancier version with lasagna roll ups last February.

Lasagna - Sew You Think You Can CookNo-boil noodles are the secret to making this dish easy to whip up. They don’t have that wavy shape of traditional lasagna noodles, but they make spreading ricotta on them as simple as spreading butter on toast. I like to sneak in extra veggies, too; bell pepper and onion join the ground turkey and I mix chopped fresh spinach in with the ricotta cheese. A double helping of cheese (mozzarella in every layer with the ricotta) doesn’t hurt anything either!

When I would have to travel for work I liked to prepare a lasagna the night before I left so my husband would have something to eat in my absence. (It’s also a great option to take to someone’s house in the event of a new baby’s arrival!) I most recently made this particular lasagna (read: this [poorly] photographed lasagna) the night before I took the little man to Florida for a friend’s wedding.

IMG_4253 (2)I’m happy to report that even my little man loved my lasagna! I was astounded by how much he devoured. I do think it was my favorite lasagna to date! I have a couple of theories as to why this one tasted better: whole milk ricotta cheese and Parmesan Romano marinara sauce – both of which are Kroger brands.

Turkey Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground turkey (you could increase this up to 2 lb if you like a meatier lasagna)
  • 1/2 C chopped baby spinach
  • 1 container (15 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. When onion is translucent add the garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add the turkey to the pan and cook through, breaking up as you go. Seasoning with S+P.
  3. In a bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Layer the lasagna: Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread some of the ricotta mixture on the noodles and place in the dish (break up noodles as needed to fit your dish – I used a total of 7) ricotta side up. Top with half of the turkey mixture, half of the remaining sauce, and half of the mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer.
  5. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5-10, or until bubbly and golden. (Note: If you prepare the lasagna ahead of time, remove from fridge while oven is preheating and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the covered bake time.) Allow lasagna to cool for 5 minutes before cutting or it will fall apart.

Turkey Lasagna | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for family dinners and gatherings among friends.

I developed a taste for lasagna in college. My roommate and I would whip up a lasagna for dinner and have leftovers to get us through the busy week. She introduced me to no-boil noodles and they’ve changed the lasagna world for the better!

My recipe for lasagna uses spinach, turkey, onions, and bell peppers. And a combination of mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.

Lasagna Roll Ups 2If you want to elevate your lasagna to fancy presentation status, try these lasagna rolls! Instead of taking advantage of the no-boil noodles, these need to be boiled until they are pliable, a little harder than al dente so as to prevent them from breaking when you roll them.  Because the noodles still get baked they’ll be cooked through by the time you break into them.

We had friends over for dinner when I made these, and their youngest announced that it’s better than pizza. It’s his favorite thing that’s like pizza. (aka we have cheese and tomato sauce) I will take that as a very big compliment.

I took Judy’s suggestion and mixed two different pasta sauces – vodka and marinara. The result? A tastes-like-homemade pasta sauce.

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients:

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 C shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 jar, 26 oz pasta sauce
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles 7-8 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat saute onion in olive oil. When onions are translucent add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey, season with S+P, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain any fat and set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. In a large bowl combine spinach, ricotta, Italian blend cheese. Season to taste with S+P.  Mix in ground turkey. Add the egg and mix.
  5. Pour about 1/2 of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ casserole dish.
  6.  Place 1/3 – 1/2 C of lasagna filling onto each noodle and roll. Place lasagna roll ups seam side down in prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining pasta sauce and mozzarella.
  7. Bake covered for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. A knife should go through a roll without resistance.

*This recipe is modified from Judy at http://www.bakeatmidnite.com/2013/11/cheesy-lasagna-rolls.html*

Lasagna Roll Ups