Hi from Virginia! Ryan and I are enjoying a fun week hanging out with my side of the family at our home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia! It’s been a busy week so far trying to catch up with everyone and enjoy family time – we are having a blast!
In the midst of 3 weeks of traveling and a lot of cold weather, Ryan and I found ourselves needing some warm, hearty yet healthy comfort meals during the few days we have been in Lincoln getting ready for the next trip. Right before Christmas I managed to fill our freezer with some “lightened up” comfort food we could thaw and pop in the oven for those in-between travel days. One of those meals is the super savory and delicious Turkey Florentine Lasagna I’m sharing with you today!
Lasagna isn’t something I crave often – I usually make it twice, maybe three times a year. I’m in love with this version because it makes enough to feed an army, which is great for family or friend get-togethers. Even if it’s just Ryan and I eating it, I can get 2-3 good freezer meals out of the recipe, and it’s always a satisfying one-dish meal that tastes even better the next day when we pack it for lunch.
But let’s face it, lasagna is often a calorie and carb load with all that cheese, meat and starchy pasta goodness. I’ve lightened up this version quite a bit and beefed up the nutrition content by doing the following:
- Combining lean ground turkey with a bit of Italian turkey sausage for maximum flavor
- Use whole wheat lasagna noodles for extra fiber, protein, and nutrition
- Added a ton of spinach and zesty roasted red peppers for extra veggie nutrition
- Use canned crushed tomatoes and fire roasted tomatoes instead of tomato sauce to cut back on sodium and, in some cases with tomato sauce, sugar
- Choose low-fat ricotta and part-skim mozzarella cheeses to cut calories
This recipe is inspired by a version my mom used to make the 5 Hight kids when growing up. We were all pretty picky eaters, to an extent, but this dish was always a winner with everyone. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions and drained
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 links hot Italian turkey sausage
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
- 2 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
- 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers drained well and diced
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x13 inch lasagna pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey and turkey sausage over medium heat until just cooked through. Drain any excess fat before adding both cans of tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and herb seasoning. Simmer the meat sauce on low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, red peppers, egg white, ricotta, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese with a rubber spatula, folding to incorporate.
Place about 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with lasagna noodles. Add 1/3 of the cheese and spinach mixture to the top of the noodles, then another 1 -1 1/2 cups of sauce. Repeat this order until you have 3 layers of lasagna, ending with extra sauce on the very top.
Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes, then remove from oven and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and cover with foil, letting the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before slicing.