Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna, From Return Guest Blogger

Returning Guest Blogger…Nicole!  And here she is (my comments in italics):

I basically never cook.  Ever. But I  got in the mood for some homemade lasagna and also secretly wanted to impress my Gentleman Friend. So after dusting off some cookbooks (just to clarify, Nicole did not use any cookbooks for this meal) I decided on this pretty healthy version of a favorite comfort food.

Gentleman Friend...looks impressed to me!
I’ll admit it; I had some anxiety over this endeavor. I did everything I could to help the experience go smoothly. I went grocery shopping the night before, g-chatted with Shanon about all my questions and allowed plenty of time to prep. At least double what was suggested in the recipe.  I’m slow.

Evidence of Preppage
Here is what I learned about making this lasagna:

-Dealing with the lasagna noodles after they are cooked is tricky.  Mine kept breaking. Shanon had the good tip to put them in a bowl with olive oil to keep them from sticking together which helped.  It might have worked even better to lay them flat on wax paper with olive oil.

-You don’t need Emeril’s “Essence”. I left it out and it was still amazing.  (the "Essence" is not included in the recipe below per Nicole's request)

-If you are about to put it in the oven for 45 minutes and realize you don’t have any aluminum foil to cover the pan-just use a cookie sheet instead.

-I split this recipe in half and didn’t have enough of everything to do as many layers as the recipe called for. It still turned out (amazing).

-Be generous with the mozzarella cheese topping on the top.

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna
slightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse via Food Network

12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 pound ground turkey breast, white meat only
1/2 pound hot Italian turkey sausage
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
3 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups part skim ricotta
2 cups thawed and drained chopped frozen spinach
1/4 cup grated Romano
2 egg whites
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot, bring several quarts of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until very al dente, 7 minutes. Remove from water and place on a towel lined baking sheet.

Place the olive oil, onion and red pepper in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute until the vegetables begin to sweat, about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey, turkey sausage, and garlic, stirring to combine until turkey cooks through, about 10 minutes. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and remaining ingredients and set aside.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup turkey mixture in bottom of the dish and arrange 4 noodles over turkey mixture; top with 1 1/2 cups turkey mixture. Spread half of cheese mixture over turkey mixture. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining turkey mixture.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Let lasagna stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

(Servings: 8, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 45 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Nicole (taste):  9/10
Megan (taste):  9/10
Effort:  4/5
Dishwashing Effort:  4/5


  1. This does look amazing! I love how you set up this guest post too (the italics were precious!) Thank you both for sharing with me tonight. I hope you have a wonder-filled Friday!

  2. Um hello gorgeous! I'm always looking for new lasagna recipes. Bam! As emeril would say.

    Love your comments in italics Shanon. Too funny and adorable.

  3. For someone who doesn't cook, this is a pretty impressive lasagna! You really did great! I keep on telling my friends that lasagna isn't for the pro, that they can do it, too! It only sounds intimidating, but really the recipe is quite simple. Anyway, I'll give your lasagna a 9 out of 10, lol, the edges are quite burnt, lol!

  4. This looks delicious!!