With the weather cooling off, I am SO excited to break out all my favorite fall meals. Comfort food, a warm oven, leftovers...what's not to love. Fall is by far my favorite season. I love turning inward, slowing down, and spending more time being at home and cozy in the kitchen. And pumpkins! And Halloween! I can't wait.
Anyway, here is our favorite lasagna recipe. And by favorite I mean Nick's favorite. On any given weekend when I'm meal-planning for the upcoming week, if I ask him what he would like me to make, he will say "lasagna" 99% of the time. And while it is delicious, it is definitely not a 20 minute meal. But sometimes you just want a hearty, yummy meal, so the extra work, prep time and dirty pans are well worth it. And leftovers! YES! Nothing wrong with that.
Reese loves this as well, and I love that she is getting protein from the ground turkey and even eating the spinach in the filing...which is awesome. Anything to get greens in the toddler. And I used a TON of frozen chopped spinach in this, which helps to displace some of the cheese while still tasting yummy.
I've tried many a gluten-free noodle, and here are the ones I am currently digging for GF lasagna, by Tinkyada. They aren't always easy to find, so I usually buy two at a time:
First step is to cook the ground turkey with minced garlic and basil in a medium pan and boil a huge pot of water. Once the turkey is done, cover pan with a top to prevent it from drying out. Get the noodles in the boiling water. You want the noodles almost cooked through, but not quite. While the noodles are boiling, defrost the frozen chopped spinach (either in a strainer under hot water or in the microwave). Once the spinach is defrosted it is KEY to drain the water from spinach. Grab a bunch of clean kitchen towels and squeeze as much of the water out as possible. If you miss this step, your lasagna will turn into soup! Again, tedious but worth it.
Next, whip together the ricotta filling (organic ricotta, 1 egg, all the spinach, parm, salt, pepper and basil):
Once that's done, check the noodles. Drain them before they get too soft. Next, get your assembly line in order: greased lasagna pan, cooked ground turkey, drained noodles, your preferred sauce, ricotta filling, and mozzarella cheese.
First add a little bit of sauce to the bottom of the pan to cover it completely. Then add your first layer of noodles across the pan going long-ways. Using a spatula, spread the ricotta filling over the noodles. Top with a layer of the turkey, and then a layer of sauce. Add shredded cheese here if you want. Or for a lighter version with less cheese, skip it and use cheese only on the very top.
Repeat the layers in this order, and switch the way you place the noodles each time. So go one long-ways and one short-ways. Normally I do three layers of noodles, with two layers of meat and ricotta in between. After the third layer of noodles, add the rest of the sauce and top to cover entirely and add additional shredded cheese like mozzarella or parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the foil off and continue to bake until bubbly and golden brown and looking delicious:
Hope your family enjoys our favorite version of lasagna this fall. I know we will be making this at some point again this month!
Turkey & Spinach Gluten-Free Lasagna
- one pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- one 15 ounce container organic ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 bag of chopped frozen spinach - defrosted and drained
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
- 1 box of GF lasagna noodles - cooked al dente
- 1 to 1.5 jars of favorite organic tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Boil a large pot of water for the noodles. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium pan, cook the ground turkey with garlic and teaspoon of dried basil. Cover pan when finished.
- Once the water is boiling, add the noodles. Boil for around 8-10 minutes.
- Defrost the spinach next, either on a towel cover plate in the microwave or in a strainer under hot water in the sink.
- Drain the spinach using clean dish towels or paper towels. Get as much water as you can out, until the spinach looks flakey and not soggy.
- Make the ricotta filling: in a small bowl, add about 3/4 of the ricotta cheese container (about 8 ounces), the drained spinach, 1 egg, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, the salt and pepper, and more basil or oregano. Stir together until combined.
- Drain the pasta.
- Assemble the lasagna next: in a greased 9x12 pan, add a little sauce to the bottom first, then noodles, then ricotta, then turkey, then sauce and shredded cheese (optional).
- Continue layer and add the rest of the sauce to cover the top layer of noodles, and add shredded cheese.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove foil and place back in the oven for 20-25 more minutes, until golden on top and bubbly around the edges.
- Let cool before digging in!