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Classic Lasagna
with Italian sausage / kale

Active: 40 Total: 90
Over the years we've received requests for a lasagna recipe, but never created one - until now. With oven-ready (no-boil) noodles and the ability to prep the layers (or assemble the entire dish) ahead, this lasagna takes a bit longer than our typical meal but still has a lightened-up, vegetable-packed Cook Smarts twist.
Smarts #1: Make this in an 8x8 pan for 4 servings. If customizing, try scaling down in a loaf pan or scaling up to a rectangular casserole dish.
Smarts #2: We included plenty of vegetables in the lasagna itself, but if you want a side dish, this would be great with garlic bread or a simple green salad.


Classic Lasagna:
  • Cheese, shredded mozzarella - 1 cup + 1/4 cup (look for pre-grated to save time or buy fresh mozzarella and grate it yourself)
  • Cheese, parmesan - 1/4 cup , grated (look for pre-grated to save time or grate it yourself)
  • Ricotta - 1 cup
  • Eggs - 1
  • Nutmeg, ground - 1/8 tsp
  • Lasagna Noodles, oven-ready or “no-boil” - 8 oz
  • Foil - for baking
Sausage and Kale Sauce:
  • Kale - 1 bunch , stems removed leaves finely chopped
  • Mushrooms, any button - 8 oz , chopped (look for pre-chopped to save time)
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Italian sausage, mild or hot - 8 oz
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
  • Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
  • Tomatoes, crushed (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can (sub tomato puree)
  • Water - 1 cup


  1. Kale - Remove and discard stems. Chop leaves. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Mushrooms - Chop mushrooms, if not pre-chopped. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make sauce - Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute, breaking it apart, until browned in spots and nearly cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in kale leaves and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes more. Stir in Italian seasoning and tomato paste. Pour crushed tomatoes and water over sausage and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors develop. Taste and season with some salt, pepper, or some sugar (if you’d like the sauce to have a hint of sweetness). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Cheese (mozzarella and parmesan) - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  5. Make cheese layer - Combine ricotta, first portion of mozzarella, eggs, and nutmeg. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Heat oven to 375F / 190C degrees. Spray an 8”x8” / 20cm x 20 cm square baking dish (adjust size if customizing) with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.
  2. Spread a thin layer of sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Top sauce with a single layer of lasagna noodles, then some cheese mixture, and then some sauce, repeating until all of the ingredients are used. Finish with a layer of noodles topped with sauce. (Note: Depending on the size of the noodles, you may need to break the noodles apart to make them fit and / or they may not reach all the way to the edges. Either of these is fine - even messy layers will cook into a delicious lasagna.)
  4. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
  5. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
  6. Take pan out of the oven and remove foil. Top lasagna with second portion of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  7. Continue baking, uncovered, until cheese is melted and golden, ~15 minutes more.
  8. Let lasagna rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!



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