Easy Healthy Lasagna
It’s time to cozy up with the BEST Easy Healthy Lasagna recipe for dinner tonight. All of the goodness of classic lasagna, but lightened up and packed with protein for a skinny version of the traditional recipe! This lasagna recipe is made with layers of noodles, meaty marinara sauce and a flavorful cottage cheese mixture, all baked to golden brown perfection. A satisfying main course option that even my picky kiddos love!
You can never go wrong with a tasty Italian dinner made healthier! Some of my favorite renditions include healthy sloppy joes, healthy baked chicken parmesan and this healthy lasagna loaded with plenty of delicious flavor.
If you want major comfort food, you’ve got to add this family-friendly dish to your menu. Easy Healthy Lasagna is the quintessential winter meal that must happen in your life. We love it served with this simple, yet tasty Italian salad and garlic bread. Let me show you how simple this one is to whip up!
How Do You Make Easy Healthy Lasagna?
This lasagna is simple, basic and would best be described by the term, traditional. Just the way my kiddos like it! I changed up the way that I layer it up since I opted to use whole-wheat NO BOIL lasagna noodles (aka.. best idea ever). If the noodles don’t get enough moisture, they don’t cook completely. Crunchy lasagna? No thanks!
I know that layering a lasagna isn’t exactly rocket science, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blown it. Please tell me I’m not the only one. Here’s a little help from me to you. You’re welcome.
Lasagna Layering Guide:
- Meat sauce (less meat, more sauce)
- Noodle layer
- Cottage cheese (use half)
- Meat sauce (more meat, less sauce)
- Noodle layer
- Cottage cheese (use it all)
- Meat sauce (use it all)
Lasagna doesn’t fall under the category of “classic health food,” but with a few simple swaps and some careful grocery shopping, you can eliminate all things funky while still using some store-bought shortcuts! You can use any variation of the ingredients listed below. I tried to keep the lasagna as light and full of protein as possible and my husband and kids still raved about this dish.
Healthy Lasagna Ingredients
Lean ground turkey – I used 93% lean ground turkey. You could even try the Italian seasoned ground turkey, but my store was out when I went to pick up items for this recipe. Even with out the Italian seasoned meat, my lasagna came out super flavorful. Try to get organic, free-range raised in the USA on 100% organic, all vegetarian, non-GMO diet with no antibiotics if possible.
Marinara – You could definitely make your own, but there are some really great store-bought options out there. Look for a variety that is made from all real food ingredients (no weird words) and doesn’t list sugar as an ingredient. My favorites are either Rao’s or Organico Bello – both are available at Target, Kroger and Amazon.
Cottage Cheese – This is where the unexpected superfood, cottage cheese, makes this Easy Healthy Lasagna so creamy and full of added nutrients and protein for a perfectly balanced meal. I usually use the fat free variety, but full fat or light work just fine. And you don’t have to love cottage cheese to love this lasagna.
Mozzarella – If possible, try to avoid the mozzarella that comes pre-packed and shredded. It contains an ingredient called cellulose (anti-clumping) and you just don’t need it. At my grocery I purchase the mozzarella from the deli and ask them to shred it for me (yep.. I’m lazy like that). Also, if possible, I like to try to use a light cheese variety.
Lasagna Noodles – You guys.. no boil is where it’s at! So much easier than pre-cooking. I use whole wheat oven ready noodles and I’ve never had a complaint.
Lasagna Tips + Tricks
Prep: The meat sauce and cottage cheese mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead of time if stored in the refrigerator.
Make Ahead: Assemble lasagna and cover it with plastic wrap. Do not bake. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you are ready to serve, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. You can then bake it according to recipe directions.
Freezer: Assemble lasagna. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the lasagna. Cover lasagna pan tightly with clear wrap. Store in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Many times when I make this for dinner, I make two – one to enjoy right away and one to freeze for later.
Other Family-Friendly Healthy Dinner Recipes
And be sure to give my other Easy Lasagna recipe a try!
Watch how easy this delicious healthy lasagna is to cook up!
Easy Healthy Lasagna
- 1 pound Italian seasoned ground turkey or regular ground turkey, chicken, or lean beef, (I used the 93% lean ground turkey)
- 16 ounces (2 cups) marinara sauce
- 1-1/2 cups fat-free cottage cheese (can use full fat or fat free)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6 oven-ready lasagna noodles (can use gluten free)
- 4 ounces (1 heaping cup) light mozzarella, shredded (can use full fat or fat free)
- Finely chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnish
- In a large skillet cook ground turkey. Once cooked, stir in marinara sauce, set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and in an 8 x 8 to 8 x 11" baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, layer 1/3 meat sauce (more sauce than meat), 2-3 noodles, and 1/2 cottage cheese mixture.
- Repeat layering process with meat sauce, noodles and then cottage cheese mixture.
- One more layer of meat sauce and then top with mozzarella.
- Cover with tin foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF. Remove tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy a large serving! Makes 6 HUGE servings!