Homemade Spinach Lasagna


I was going to take pictures of this and show the step-by-step process of how to make this.  However, I ended up making this the night before I was due to eat it (which I recommend, by the way) and was too arsed tired to dig out my camera. 

I would still recommend making this lasagna if you’ve got the time.  It’s delicious, nutritious and pretty low in calories/Weight Watchers POINTS, especially when you consider that it’s LASAGNA!  As most homemade things go, it’s somewhat labour intensive, but it’s worth the time and effort in my opinion.  This is great when assembled the night before, which means it’s ready to throw in the oven when you want dinner the next day.

Homemade Spinach Lasagna – Serves 12 – 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS per serving

For the sauce:

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
2 large ribs of celery, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can of diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

For the casserole:

9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 500 ML container of 1% cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 package of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
380 grams shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I use one pre-shredded bag like this)

To make the sauce, heat a deep pot over medium heat.  Brown turkey, breaking it up as it cooks, until no pink remains and any fat has rendered off.  Drain turkey and return to pan along with diced onion, celery, green pepper and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened.  Add remaining ingredients to the pot and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer fifteen minutes to allow flavours to blend.

A word about salt: I use canned products that are all salt-free.  I like this because then I am controlling how salty the end product turns out, by adding my own salt.  If you use canned products that contain sodium, you may want to omit or reduce how much salt you use.  With homemade tomato sauce, you MUST taste it in order to adjust the seasoning.

While sauce is simmering, bring a stockpot of water to boil on the stove.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  You can alternatively use no-boil noodles, it’s just a personal preference to use cooked ones.  I find them easier to handle when assembling the casserole.

While noodles are cooking, combine the cottage cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, and spinach in a bowl and mix well.

Drain noodles. 

Spray a standard casserole dish (I think they’re usually 13″ by 9″) with non-stick cooking spray. Place a very scant amount of sauce at the bottom of the dish (just enough leave a smear of sauce across the entire casserole).  Top with three lasagna noodles laid beside each other.  Top the noodles with 1/3 remaining sauce, followed by 1/3 the cottage cheese mixture and then 1/3 the part skim mozzarella.  Repeat the layering process three times, ending with cheese. 

At this point, you can do one of three things:

You can freeze the casserole by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to one month.  Allow to thaw overnight in fridge before cooking.

You can wrap in aluminum foil and place in fridge overnight, cooking the next day.

You can cook the lasagna.

To cook the lasagna, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to cook fifteen minutes to allow the cheese to brown.

IF YOU EITHER FROZE OR REFRIGERATED YOUR LASAGNA: you must increase the temperature to 400 degrees when cooking.  Otherwise the middle will not be warm enough.

Another tip?  Let the lasagna rest for AT LEAST fifteen minutes after you take it out of the oven.  It will be less soup-y and will come out of the pan “cleaner” then if you just dug in.

I hope you make this and enjoy it – it’s really an awesome meal.  It feeds large crowds too – which is why it’s become a favourite when I know family is coming over (our’s is big).


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