with Italian sausage / kale
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.
- 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
- 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
- Crushed tomatoes (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can (sub tomato puree)
- Water - 1 cup
- Kale - Remove and discard stems. Chop leaves. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mushrooms - Chop mushrooms, if not pre-chopped. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- 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)
- Cheese (mozzarella and parmesan) - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Make cheese layer - Combine ricotta, first portion of mozzarella, eggs, and nutmeg. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- 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.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.
- 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.)
- Cover the dish tightly with foil.
- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Take pan out of the oven and remove foil. Top lasagna with second portion of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Continue baking, uncovered, until cheese is melted and golden, ~15 minutes more.
- Let lasagna rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Easy and delicious meal! I substituted ricotta and egg with tofu ricotta.1 Helpful
I needed a wider dish. It was so thick with vertical layers and thus too much actual pasta. We omitted the egg. We really enjoyed the kale in it.0 Helpful
I love a good zucchini boat. I added cheese to half (I am not 100% Paleo all the time). Husband and I enjoyed it.0 Helpful
Very tasty - but needed much longer to cook then stated. Used spinach instead of kale and left out the mushrooms (because I loathe mushrooms). Used a really yummy sausage. Family loved it.0 Helpful
Made it with onion garlic and carrot to up the veggies, and some leftover frito. Great0 Helpful
This was a delicious lasagna! I'm not a fan of mushrooms so I omitted them and just doubled the sausage. It was really good with garlic bread on the side!0 Helpful
doubled the seasoning. It cooked over in the oven. Would use a bigger pan next time. Flavors were outstanding.0 Helpful