The thought of lasagna makes my lips quiver. I often fantasize of snuggling up in a six-foot long tray of it. I’d lay my head down on a piece of sausage and pull the noodle layer up around my face like a soft blanket. Sure the tomato sauce might make me look like I have a case of full-body rosacea, but I bet the ricotta would do wonders for my complexion. I’m fairly certain the only one who loves lasagna more than me is my fat pants. You know, if it weren’t for all that pasta and all that cheese, lasagna wouldn’t be half bad for you. Ergo my self-proclaimed weekend mission: to create a lightened up lasagna that could satiate my taste buds, no fat pants required.
For the love of lasagna, I wholeheartedly committed to this mission. My healthified version is an adaptation of The World’s Best Lasagna recipe on Allrecipes.com, which I made a year or so ago and LOVED. I made a few swaps here, a few karate chops there, and came up with a lasagna that tastes absolutely delicious and that comes in at under 350 calories a pop.
Now tell me you aren’t thinking about sliding in between those layers and swaddling yourself in a noodle blanket. Don’t worry. I completely understand.
Lightened-Up Sausage Lasagna (serves 6)
- 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 cup Shredded Italian Cheese Blend Cheese
- Homemade Sausage Marinara (recipe below)
Step One: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8×8 square baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg, parsley, and salt. Rinse no-boil lasagna noodles under warm water to make them slightly pliable.
Step Two: Layer the lasagna. This looks complicated but the concept is simple. Since you are using no-boil lasagna, you want to make sure that both sides of the noodles are touching the marinara, so portion the sauce accordingly. Pour one cup of marinara into bottom of prepared baking dish, top with two no-boil lasagna noodles pushing noodles slightly into the sauce. Layer on another half cup of marinara, half of ricotta mixture, then half of the shredded cheese. Add another half cup of marinara, then two lasagna noodles, half cup of marinara, then remaining ricotta mixture. Add another half cup of sauce, remaining two lasagna noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining shredded cheese.
Step Three: Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
* Note: if you are not able to find no-boil lasagna noodles, feel free to use regular lasagna noodles cooked according to the package instructions.
Approx stats on 1/6 of the lasagna: 337 calories, 30g carbs, 12g fat, 28g protein, 4g fiber
Homemade Sausage Marinara
- 5 links hot Italian chicken or turkey sausage (approx. 1 lb – I used Harris Teeter Hot Chicken Sausage)
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 6.5 ounces canned tomato sauce (no salt added)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large pot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Once hot, add sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook until the sausage is browned, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer over low heat for 1.5 hours.