Lasagna seems like such an easy dish to make, but it actually takes a lot of prep work, cooking time and resting time before it’s good. I try to make it the day before I’m going to eat it because it always tastes better the second day.
And with most lasagnas, they can be too cheesy. In many other countries, they make it with a cheddar bechamel sauce instead of the 3+ cheese combinations you find here in the US. While I stuck to that 3 cheese combination, I reduced the amount of each and replaced it with some veggie goodness so the cheese isn’t so overpowering. This is the winning combo. I’ll share how to make this with a bechamel sauce instead of the 3 cheese combo on the next cold day when I want my oven on.
Healthy Beef Lasagna
- 15 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 green squash, chopped
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well then lay out on waxed paper to prevent them from sticking to each other. Or, use no-boil lasagna noodles.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- Add the oil to the same pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, yellow and green squash and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Return the meat to the pan. Stir in 2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Place a layer of lasagna noodles on top, touching but not overlapping. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Add another layer of noodles. Top with half the beef mixture. Repeat with another layer of noodles, then remaining cheese mixture, more noodles, then remaining beef mixture and finally 1 more layer of noodles. Top the final layer of noodles with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the grated cheeses. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more. Enjoy!