It has been SO cold in Seattle this last week, and I have to say, this cold weather really makes me crave some winter comfort food. What says that better than a big pan of homemade lasagna? Eh, not much. I’ve tried out a few different recipes, but the one I made last night has been a tried and true one for awhile now. It’s based off of an old Taste of Home recipe, but I’ve altered it to make it my own. I made one big change to my recipe this time though: I used ground turkey & chicken in place of ground hamburger and sausage. IT WAS SO GOOD. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not, but I don’t think I’ll go back now! I’m going to write my recipe using this, but if you’re not up for trying it, hamburger and sausage works just the same.
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground chicken sausage (I used Italian style for extra flavor)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 package lasagna noodles (I tried oven ready noodles; they worked great!)
1 large + 1 small can crushed tomatoes (33 oz total)
2 small cans tomato paste (12 oz total)
2/3 cup water
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons (or 3 large pinches) fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning (divided)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (divided)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 large egg
1 small carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. If you don’t have oven-ready noodles, cook the noodles al dente; drain. In a very large pan (a wok works too), heat onion, turkey, chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon pepper over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. I like to crumble the meat so it’s really fine. Add garlic; cook for 1-2 more minutes. If you used hamburger & pork sausage, you’ll want to drain at this point.
2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, 3 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, basil, and the rest of the pepper and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste before adding to pan – sometimes I’ll add a little extra garlic salt if it’s too sweet.
3. In a small bowl, mix egg, ricotta cheese, parsley, garlic salt & rest of salt.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 2 cups meat sauce into an ungreased 13×9 baking dish. Layer with 3-4 noodles (see below) and 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Repeat layers (meat, noodles, ricotta, cheeses) 2 more times. Top with remaining meat sauce, mozzarella & shredded parmesan (you won’t have any more grated parmesan).
5. Bake covered for 25 minutes, Then bake uncovered for another 30 minutes (or until cheese on top is your desired color. I like mine darker and a little crispy around the edges). It’s best to let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Good to know: A lot of baking dishes leave room on the sides of 3 lasagna noodles. I’ve found you can usually break a lasagna noodle in half length-wise and leave each half on the sides of the full noodles, so each layer actually uses 4 noodles.