Recipe: Healthier Creamy Sausage Lasagna
Dish do-over, lasagna edition. Chef Shahir cut the cals without losing any flavour
This classic comfort food just got a makeover! Chef Shahir reduced the offending calories, sodium and fat of a traditional sausage lasagna and kept all the flavour. In place of the usually heavy, fatty, butter-laden béchamel sauce, Shahir used a blend of ricotta and Greek yogurt — it’s loaded with protein and super creamy without sacrificing taste. This delicious dish also includes a super simple homemade tomato sauce without all the sugar of those store bought brands — and you can control the sodium levels. Shahir included roasted red peppers to up the flavour since this dish loses some of the fat. And the third ingenious trick? He cut half the noodles by layering zucchini in between the pasta, so you’re left with a guilt-free lasagna that’s still creamy, full of flavour and disguises veggies so your kids won’t know the difference.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 tsp fennel seed powder
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 2 cups passata
- 3 roasted red peppers, jarred or fresh
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 large fresh lasagna sheets, store-bought
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced very thin with a mandolin
- 1 cup mozzarella, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mince 3 garlic cloves, dice onion and add both to pan, sauté until softened and translucent. To same pan add ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add fennel seed powder, chili flakes and ½ tsp of salt and stir. Sauté until ground meat is browned and fully cooked, drain all excess liquid and discard. Turn off heat and set turkey aside.
In a blender, add passata, roasted red peppers and ½ cup water. Purée until smooth, transfer to a pot on the stovetop and heat over medium heat until ready to assemble. If you do not have a blender, just finely mince your pepper and heat everything together until pepper dissolves, about 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, ricotta, lemon juice and remaining ½ tsp of salt. Rasp in 2 remaining cloves of garlic and season with pepper to taste. Mix and set aside.
Trim top and bottom off of zucchini using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice into ⅛ inch thick slices, lengthwise. Divide in half, set aside.
Into a 9 x 13 inch, high-sided baking dish, spread 1/5 of tomato mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Evenly layer on one uncooked fresh lasagna sheet, one third of yogurt sauce, and one third of the meat mixture.
Repeat layers again starting with sauce, this time with half of zucchini in place of lasagna sheet. Repeat layers again, starting with sauce and using lasagna sheet instead of zucchini.
Finish off with a layer of sauce, then with remaining zucchini. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on cheese.
Cover with parchment paper, then tin foil and bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and parchment paper and raise temperature to 400F and cook for 15-20 minutes until browned and crispy. Let set for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.
If you are not following a low sodium diet, feel free to add extra salt to your taste.