Healthier Lasagna with Turkey, Mushrooms and Eggplant
Lasagna usually isn’t regarded as a healthy food but I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t try to make it healthy so I used lean ground turkey instead of beef, low fat ricotta cheese which has half of the calories of regular ricotta and plenty of vegetables such as eggplant and mushrooms. I didn’t skimp on cheese though, in the end I’m a cheesy girl and eat cheese with everything. Other than cheese you won’t find fat in my lasagna but it doesn’t mean that it has no flavor. Oh no, it’s as flavorful as typical bolognese lasagna. And in just one portion you get full serving of vegetables. Isn’t that just fabulous?
(makes 8 regular portions or 6 for very hungry and greedy like me)
1 standard size lasagna pan
1 box of lasagna sheets
1 pound of lean ground turkey
1 medium sized eggplant
8 oz mushrooms (I used baby bella)
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
15 oz box of low fat ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp italian seasoning
24 oz jar of marinara sauce
1 cup + 1/4 cup of parmesan to sprinkle on a top
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (1 cup if you want to make it extremely low fat)
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
- Start with peeling the eggplant and slicing it into rounds. Place on a kitchen towels, sprinkle with salt and let ir rest for 30 min to get rid of the bitter flavor.
- Meanwhile chop the onion, garlic and slice the mushrooms.
- Mix ricotta cheese with 1 egg, 1 cup parmesan, parsley and salt and pepper.
- After 30 min wash the eggplant of the excess salt, dry it with kitchen towels and chop into small cubes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil lasagna noodles for roughly 2-3 min. I used boil free noodles but I don’t believe in boil-free so I boiled it a little bit. Just make sure that they wont stick especially after you’ll drain them under cold running water in the colander. Don’t let them just sit in the colander, separate them right away or they will stick together and you won’t be able to separate them (yes that happened to me). Also even though it might seem like a lot, it’s better to use whole box just in case.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, add onion, garlic, mushrooms and eggplant. Season with salt and Italian seasoning and let it cook on a medium heat for 10 min stirring occasionally.
- Add turkey and separate with the fork to prevent large clumps of meat. We don’t want turkey meatballs.
- Cook turkey just until no longer pink and add whole jar of marinara sauce. You can also add half cup water to thin the sauce as I did. Let it cook 2 min more.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan. Place the noodles. Evenly spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture on the top and follow with 1/3 of the sauce.
- Cover with lasagna noodles and again spread the remaining half of the ricotta mixture. Follow with another 1/3 of the sauce and top with lasagna noodles.
- On the top part just spread the remaining 1/3 of the sauce, sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly and top with remaining 1/4 cup of the parmesan.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 min. After 30 min remove the aluminum foil and bake additional 15 min.
- Take out of the oven and let it rest about 15 min before cutting and serving.