Try this healthier low carb lasagna recipe + video instruction for your next Italian night. What’s that you say? Healthy lasagna, is that such a thing? Well, I’m here to tell you that, yes, it is. You can still enjoy that classic Italian-American dish with all the delicious creamy cheese, and pasta and still stay on a healthy track.
A LOOK AT LASAGNA NUTRITIONAL VALUE
What we all know today as layers of pasta, cheese and meat sauce didn’t originally start that way. It’s been said that the first origins of lasagna included layers of just pasta and Ragu sauce. Later it became perfected into what we know and love.
However, I think we can all agree that while it may be our favorite comfort food, there is very little nutritional value in the dish. A typical lasagna serving is filled with white noodles, fattier meats (think beef, lamb, pork or all three), and gobs of cheese and heavy cream. While this makes for an amazingly tasty dish, one serving can clock in at over 1100 calories, 79g of fat and 42g of carbs. If your eyes got wide with surprise, you’re not alone.
HOW IS LOW CARB LASAGNA HEALTHIER?
For starters we are switching out the white noodles for whole grain brown rice noodles. Whole grains are higher in fiber and helps keep you full longer. One of the layers we swap out for zucchini slices to sneak in some additional veggies. For the meat sauce we are using a lean ground turkey which reduces the fat significantly and a low fat ricotta and 2% mozzarella cheese. Lastly, in order to help with portion control, ramekins are used for individual servings.
WHAT DOES HEALTHIER LOW CARB LASAGNA TASTE LIKE?
It tastes like heaven in your mouth. Okay seriously, (although I think it comes really close) it’s a nice balance of deep savory flavors that has a nice spicy kick at the end. Plus there is still the creaminess of a traditional lasagna that you come to expect. I promise, you won’t even realize that there is a hidden layer of zucchini slices that helps this dish stay low in carbs and oh so friendly to our waistlines.
I DON’T EAT MEAT, ARE THERE ANY SUBSTITUTES?
While this recipe calls for lean ground turkey, if you are a meat freer, then you can easily swap that out for a mix of heartier mushrooms that will yield the same or similar results. Ones I recommend are:
- Portabella Mushrooms
- Cremini Mushrooms
- White Button Mushrooms
- Non-Stick Skillet
- Mixing Bowl
- 1 lb Ground turkey 93/7
- 1 jar Tomato sauce
- 1 box Whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 1 Zucchini thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Onions chopped
- 1/2 cup Mushrooms chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic diced
- 1 cup Low fat or 2% ricotta cheese
- 1 Egg white
- 1 tbsp Black pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Dried or fresh basil
- First, thinly slice your zucchini and set aside on a paper towel. Next cook 4 noodles to package directions (this is for 2 ramekins if using a regular pan, use the amount needed for top and bottom layer).
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high heat and spray with spray pam. Preheat oven to 350- 375.
- Add your onions and mushrooms and cook until wilted. Next add garlic and stir to combine. Push your mixture to the side of the pan and add your ground turkey. Season ground turkey with half of your spices. Once turkey is cooked, combine with the onions and mushroom mixture and drain off any excess fat. Return ground turkey mixture to pan and add jar of tomato sauce, add remaining spices and bring to a simmer. Set aside.
- Next prep your ricotta cheese by adding 1 egg white.
- Now you're ready to build your lasagna. Scoop some meat sauce on the bottom, next add your first layer of lasagna noodles, next add additional meat sauce, ricotta cheese mixture, layer of zucchini slices. Next add an additional scoop of meat sauce, ricotta cheese, top with the last piece of lasagna noodle. Top your lasagna with another scoop of meat sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 350 – 375 for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.