Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Lasagna has become an American household staple. It's great for large gatherings and entertaining; add a salad and garlic bread and you're set. My husband frequently orders lasagna at restaurants. Yet, until I made this lasagna last month, I had never done so before. Well, I'm sure glad I did!

This lasagna is delicious. The red sauce is loaded with flavor, and who doesn't love all that melted parmesan and mozzarella cheese on top? This recipe is different than some may be used to. It does not use ricotta cheese (which is a good thing if you have folks who don't like the ricotta). Instead, it is a combination of a red, meaty sauce and a bechamel sauce. I think that the bechamel sauce really contributes to the depth of flavor. While I will continue to try other lasagna recipes, this one is a winner and I highly recommend it. I split mine between two casseroles and kept one in the freezer; it held up very well and tasted fresh after defrosting and baking. The long directions may seem like a lot of work, but it's worth it!

Lasagna (Print)
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe
Prep: 1 hour / Bake: 45 minutes
Yield: 9x13-inch casserole

Red Sauce
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
4-8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bechamel Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (I used %)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 pound ground turkey
12 no-boil flat lasagna noodles
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are soft.

2. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and blend into a paste, if desired. I did not do this step. Return to pan and add remaining red sauce ingredients. Cover and simmer on medium to low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Meanwhile, continue with steps 3 and 4.

3. Brown turkey in a skillet and set aside.

4. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the salt and pepper. Continue slowly whisking continually for 5-7 minutes, until sauce thickens considerably. Remove from heat.

5. Add the turkey to the red sauce and prepare to make three layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese. You can do this in a 9x13, or two 8x8 casseroles. Place 4 noodles, slightly overlapped, in the bottom of the pan (2 noodles if doing the 8x8). Add 1/3 red sauce, 1/3 bechamel sauce, and 1/3 mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Repeat twice, for a total of 3 layers.

6. Cover the pan with greased foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand, covered, for 15 minutes before serving.

My Review

  • Preparation: 3
    • The process is lengthy, but it does go by rather quickly.
  • Taste: 5
    • This lasagna is delicious and I would definitely make it again. My only complaint, it smells kinda bad when reheated! I think it's the parmesan cheese, but it tastes so good, you won't mind.
  • Cost: 4
    • All that cheese can be expensive but the rest of the ingredients are cheap and it serves a crowd.
  • Clean-up: 2
    • Okay, this is a low score. 3 pans, one baking dish, blender, and cutting board...
  • Changes
    • I think it would be possible to use less cheese, may 2 ounces less of each.
    • You can use 12 regular lasagna noodles instead of the no-boil. You would just obviously need to boil them at some point! The barilla brand was priced the same for boil or no-boil, so I went with the more convenient choice.
    • You could substitute ground beef for the ground turkey, if preferred.
    • To freeze casserole, cover assembled lasagna with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Label and store up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in refrigerator at least 24 hours. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes and then bake as directed.
  • Summary
    • This recipe is long but it's definitely worth it. If you're looking for a really great lasagna, give this one a try!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delish! I'm guessing blending the shrooms was a bonus in your book? I'll gladly eat this dish when I come visit. Hint