Healthy Lasagna Recipe

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This Healthy Lasagna recipe is packed with ground turkey, veggies like onions, mushrooms, and celery, and flavor-packed herbs and spices.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe featured image close up shot

I tend to get carried away when making lasagna. I sometimes rummage through my fridge and cupboard and extract whichever ingredients need using up. I then build them into layers, come up with some novel name for this particular edition of lasagna, and serve it with a big smile to my family.

Other times, I submit to indulgence. I grab from the fridge and cupboard all my favorite ingredients based solely on taste. Diet, be damned! I subscribed to the idea that a lasagna couldn’t be both healthy and tasty. Boy, was I wrong! In fact, I’m kinda embarrassed to even admit that. I usually focus on tasty recipes on BB and just assumed that meant no diet-friendly dishes.

But we’re going to eschew that thinking with this recipe. Here, we are not only going to prepare a lovely and luscious lasagna, we’re going to make it a healthy one. I’ve done away with pork and beef and have instead gone with turkey. I’ve included sumptuous veggies like onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms, which are all good for you and, more importantly, tasty! I’ve made vegetarian lasagnas before but this is the first time I’ve purposely created something with health and taste in mind. Enjoy!

Ingredients

The Meat Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cans crushed tomato (27 oz.)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper
The Cheese Sauce:
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan, finely shredded
  • 1 egg
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
The Assembly:
  • 9–12 lasagna sheets, whole wheat or gluten-free
  • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, finely shredded
  • fresh basil
Healthy Lasagna Recipe ingredients above shot

How To Make Healthy Lasagna

Step 1: Drizzle olive oil into a large heavy-based pot over MEDIUM heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and ground turkey. Cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the turkey is white and the onions are translucent.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe steps shot above view

Step 2: Add the smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, crushed tomato, fresh basil, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir well. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 25–30 minutes, until the watery liquid has cooked away and you are left with a nice thick sauce. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe steps shot above view

Step 3: While the sauce cooks, make the cheese sauce by whisking the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg together until smooth.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe steps shot above view

Step 4: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch lasagna casserole dish with a thin layer of the turkey sauce. Layer on the lasagna sheets, then the ricotta cheese sauce. Repeat this three times until you have 3 sets of layers. Top it all off with the mozzarella slices and the rest of the Parmesan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top with fresh basil.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe steps shot above view

FAQs

Do I need to boil my lasagna sheets first?

Usually, no. Whole wheat sheets will typically be labeled “no boil” or “oven ready”, allowing you to skip a step. You just have to add them to your lasagna where they will be loosened up by the sauces.

Can I use pre-grated Parmesan cheese?

I recommend against it. For starters, fresh Parmesan tastes so much better. Second, you want to shred the cheese, not grate it. We want to use the Parmesan as an ingredient, not a topping. You can substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta for an even healthier version.

Can I use regular lasagna sheets?

If you’re not bothered about the health benefits of whole wheat or gluten-free noodles, then by all means, use what you like.

Do I need to drain the ground turkey?

No. Turkey meat is lean enough that you’ll actually want to retain that fat for flavor.

Which other herbs and spices could I use?

Apart from paprika, coriander, oregano, and basil, you can incorporate thyme, rosemary, onion powder, parsley, fennel seeds (a good one to make your sausage “Italian”), and/or red pepper flakes.

What to do if my lasagna is hard to cut?

Let the lasagna sit after cooking, about 10–15 minutes. This will allow the layers to set and make it easier to cut and serve.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe above view

Other Lasagna Recipes To Try

Easy Lasagna Roll-Ups: A fun twist on a classic. The individual roll-ups make these easy to serve and a hit at potlucks.

Lasagna Pie: Lasagna re-imagined as a pie. This one will surely be loved by the kids.

Vegetable Lasagna: Similar to this recipe. Without the turkey ground meat but all the taste.

Lasagna Soup: A rich tomato sauce base takes center stage as lasagna gets served up in a bowl with sausage and a ricotta-cheese mixture.

How to Prep and Store Healthy Lasagna

You can make this lasagna ahead of time then store it in the fridge for up to a day before baking it. You can also freeze it uncooked. Wrap it in both plastic and aluminum then put it in the freezer where it should keep for up to 3 months. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before cooking. As for leftovers, you can cover them in foil and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Healthy Lasagna Recipe front shot
Healthy Lasagna Recipe featured image close up shot

Healthy Lasagna Recipe

This Healthy Lasagna recipe is packed with ground turkey, veggies like onions, mushrooms, and celery, and flavor-packed herbs and spices.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

The Meat Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cans crushed tomato (27 oz.)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
  • salt and pepper

The Cheese Sauce:

  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan finely shredded
  • 1 egg
  • tsp ground nutmeg

The Assembly:

  • 9 – 12 lasagna sheets wholewheat or gluten-free
  • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese sliced
  • ¼ cup Parmesan finely shredded
  • fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Drizzle olive oil into a large heavy-based pot over MEDIUM heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and ground turkey. Cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the turkey is white and the onions are translucent.
  • Add the smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, crushed tomato, fresh basil, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir well. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 25–30 minutes, until the watery liquid has cooked away and you are left with a nice thick sauce. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • While the sauce cooks, make the cheese sauce by whisking the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg together until smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch lasagna casserole dish with a thin layer of the turkey sauce. Layer on the lasagna sheets, then the ricotta cheese sauce. Repeat this three times until you have 3 sets of layers. Top it all off with the mozzarella slices and the rest of the Parmesan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top with fresh basil.
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