Mariel here. This lower-fat lasagna happens to be one of the first dishes I learned to cook – right alongside enchiladas and turkey chili. While lasagna is typically the consummate high-calorie comfort food, I decided to try my hand at a lighter rendition, one I had stumbled across on Good Morning America. After an initial trial, I wasn’t quite content with the ingredient list, so I swapped, subbed in and reworked until I created a recipe that had the rich, savory flavor of traditional lasagna, minus the heart attack.
This saves fantastically well for up to a week in the fridge, and at $1.50 a serving, it beats the pants off prices at the local trattoria. I’ll be eager to hear your thoughts if you end up trying this classic lasagna recipe in your own kitchen, since this has become a standby in mine.
Lasagna on the Lighter Side
1 28-oz jar of marinara sauce (I like Classico’s Tomato Basil or Roasted Garlic) – $3.09
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth – stock
2 eggs – stock
2 teaspoons minced garlic – stock
1½ cups shredded mozzarella, divided – $2.79
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese (don’t use fat-free, the consistency and flavor isn’t worth it!) – $2.99
½ lb lean ground beef or turkey – $3.00
1 Vidalia onion, chopped finely – $0.99
1 package white mushrooms, sliced – $1.99
1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock
½-teaspoon soy sauce – stock
1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar – stock
8 oz no-cook lasagna noodles (uncooked, you’ll cook them in the oven) – $2.39
Salt & pepper to taste – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $18.04
Cost per serving: $1.50
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil (I use Pam) the bottom of a glass casserole/baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, stir chicken stock into the marinara sauce and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese with the garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. In a skillet, brown the ground beef until no longer pink – make sure to crumble it into small pieces. Season with salt. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
5. Saute the onion and mushrooms in olive oil medium-high heat. Once onions are translucent and the mushrooms are tender, turn the heat to low, add the soy sauce and vinegar, as well as the ground beef. Simmer the mixture until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
6. In the oiled glass baking dish, begin building the lasagna. Start with a layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish. Then lay down one layer of uncooked noodles followed by more marinara sauce. Next add 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture followed by 1/3 of the mushroom/beef mixture. Repeat twice more, finishing with the beef mixture and any remaining sauce.
7. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and ½-cup parmesan on top and bake the lasagna uncovered for 55 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes (this allows the cheese to congeal a bit making it more likely to stick together when serving) and enjoy!