Healthy Lasagna Recipes That Aren’t Total Gut Bombs
Recipes By Elena Boaghi | October 12, 2017
Lasagna often gets overlooked. Yes, it is a comfort food, and yes, recipes are known to include upwards of four different cheeses, but that doesn’t mean all lasagnas fall into the indulgence category. Lasagna has come a long way in the past few years, and it should be celebrated—and more importantly, eaten.
From veggie noodles to butternut squash sauce to vegan ricotta, there are plenty of ways to lighten up what’s known to be a super heavy load. The pros? These recipes are still crazy-delicious, and you’ll have leftovers for days. The cons? Even though lasagna is a great dish for dinner parties, you won’t want to share.
If cheese is your first love and noodle-less pasta is your nemesis, this lasagna may be your match. This vegetarian dish gets clever with its layers, alternating between pasta sheets and strips of zucchini. It also packs in extra greens with a spinach filling and extra fiber with butternut squash purée as a stand-in sauce. Perfect for a rainy day, fall dinner party, or weekday pick-me-up.
Roasted tomatoes just put bubbling cheese to shame. We love the robust color and flavor you get from this cheese-free topping, and we love that all of the nutritious ingredients mean seconds are strongly encouraged. For the best texture, stick to almond flour lasagna sheets. For extra protein and a not-so vegetarian spin, add a layer of ground chicken or turkey.
Don’t let the cook time fool you: This recipe is actually incredibly easy and requires very little action in the kitchen. The hardest work is waiting for the spaghetti squash to soften, so make sure you start cooking at least an hour before hanger strikes. Once cooked, mix the spaghetti-like squash strands with marinara sauce, ricotta, and greens; stuff the mixture back into the squash boats; and broil. No layering, no fuss, no complaints.
We don’t know who started the mason jar trend, but we do know that we’re happy about it. These single-serving lasagnas mean you don’t have to worry about overeating—though you’ll likely still be tempted to—and that you can bring them (and eat them) just about anywhere. Zucchini noodles ensure there’s plenty of room for sauce and an extra helping of cheese.
Nutritional yeast, miso, and tofu? Yep, you read that right. Though this lasagna is prepared with some surprising ingredients, it’s well worth the adventure. Crumbling the tofu gives it the perfect, ricotta-like texture, and the nutritional yeast provides just a hint of cheese-like flavor. Trust us: You won’t miss the meat—vegan or not.
For a sturdier noodle stand-in, try sweet potato. The layered rounds are the perfect base for mounds of ricotta (this recipe also uses a tofu variety), and the homemade pesto is an ideal top-off for an otherwise sauceless dish. We love mixing the ricotta with chopped spinach and a touch of truffle oil to make it extra delicious—and nutritious.
Skip the layering and the baking in this single-skillet, family-friendly meal. Packed with veggies and protein from lean turkey or chicken, this simple dish is sure to be a cold weather, weekday staple. Because the noodles are broken, it’s also a great dish for gluten-free substitutes, which can be a bit flimsy.
Tomato sauce is great, but sometimes we want something a little less tart and a lot more creamy. This recipe skips the classic pasta sauce and uses a cheese- and milk-based cream sauce to tie together shredded chicken and bitter greens. We love the kick from red pepper flakes and subtle spice from nutmeg. Don’t have shredded chicken? Use chicken sausage or skip the meat altogether and double up on mushrooms.
Eggplant Parmesan meets lasagna in this simple yet super-tasty recipe. Start by halving two eggplants; scoop out the centers; stuff with marinara sauce, Italian sausage, and ricotta; top with extra cheese; bake; and enjoy. For a vegetarian version, omit the sausage and add mushrooms and artichoke hearts.