Turkey Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta, my take on the classic lasagna, just a lot healthier and lighter. A great comfort food for a family dinner. Super easy to make, this is a delicious turkey recipe to enjoy any time of the year.
Lasagna or Lasagne, depending how you like to pronounce it, it's such a classic comfort food. It's filling, it's absolutely delicious, and it's got a bit of everything: carbs, protein, and a whole lot of goodness. It goes down really well with kids too; if you have a fussy ones, give this recipe a try, they will just love it.
I do love cooking a wide range of dishes from around the world, and l've been sharing here some of my favourite recipes from different cuisines, but l feel that l have been neglecting the Italian one. It's time l got this rectified with this hearty lasagna.
Although you might find that usually lasagna is made with ground beef, any other meat works great too, there is no rule here when it comes to personal choices. The addition of ricotta gives a creamy texture, while the spinach adds colour and extra goodness.
There may be quite a few ingredients listed, but putting the dish together is easy and does not take that much time either. I've made this recipe time and time again, and it never fails to impress.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
There are a few steps, but it's a super easy process, I promise you that. Start by cooking the ground turkey first, the sauce and filling can be done afterwards while the turkey is cooking.
- sautee the onion
- add the ground turkey, and use a wooden spoon to break into small pieces, then cook well until no longer pink
- in go the chopped carrots
- add stock (broth) and bay leaves, and leave to cook until the liquid is evaporated
- stir in the chopped tomatoes, season to taste, and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes, then set aside
Once the turkey mince is ready, we need to prepare the white sauce that will be topping the lasagna. It's important to have the top fully covered with sauce and cheese, so that the pre-cooked lasagna sheets can soften well during baking.
- melt the butter, add the flour and mix well to get a paste
- add the milk and whisk well until it thickens into a sauce, then add the dijon mustard, cheese and seasoning, and remove from the heat
Note! It is crucial to whisk continuously, otherwise the sauce will become lumpy and stick to the pan. The sauce is ready, all we need to do now is mix the ricotta with the spinach, and job done.
To assemble the lasagna
To assemble the lasagna, spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a baking dish, arrange lasagna sheets over, spread half of the turkey, arrange more lasagna sheets, top with the ricotta mixture, again lasagna sheets, add another layer of turkey, lasagna sheets again, and in the end spread the white sauce over and top with grated cheese.
I know it sounds complicated, but trust me, it makes a lot more sense when you do it yourself. It's an easy process, but describing it in detail makes it sound the most difficult dish to make, which it definitely isn't.
What are the best lasagna sheets to use
Lasagna sheets can be found in pretty much any larger shop, and there are quite inexpensive. I used the ones that do not require pre-cooking. I wasn't very sure at first, was worried they might not soften well, but they are great, just 20 minutes in the oven and they get nice and soft.
If you do not use pre-cooked lasagna sheets, you need to boil them first in hot water until soft, there will be instructions on the packaging. If they are not cooked first, they will remain though even after they come out of the oven.
Other lasagna recipes
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- 500 g minced/ ground turkey ( 1 lb)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- 1 cup frozen spinach, tawned
- 30 g butter ( 2 tbsp)
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 250 ml milk ( 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 50 g grated Cheddar cheese (¼ cup)
- 50 g grated Parmesan cheese (¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 8 lasagna sheets
- Peel and chop the onion, garlic cloves and carrot.
- Add the oil to a large pan, and fry the onion until transluscent.
- In go the garlic and carrot, stir well and add the turkey mince.
- Continue stiring for 10 minutes until the turkey mince browns a little.
- Add the stock/broth and bay leaves and leave to cook until all liquid is evaporated.
- Next, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Season well with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley. Take the bay leaves off the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Now, to make a white sauce, melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and quickly stir to get a smooth paste.
- Pour in the milk, and whisk until you get a lump-free sauce, it should not take longer than 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, mix in the dijon mustard and half of the grated Cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with spinach.
- Now, time to assemble the lasagna.
- Spread half of the white sauce over the bottom of an oven-proof dish.
- Top with lasagna sheets, spread over half of the turkey mince mixture, top again with another layer of lasagna sheets, next goes the ricotta mixture, more lasagna sheets, the remaining turkey mince, again lasagna sheets.
- Spread the white sauce left all over the very top lasagna sheets and sprinkle some grated cheese over.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. (350 Fahrenheit).
- Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the lasagna sheets have soften.
- If you'd like to see the measurements in CUPS and OUNCES, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients can be adjusted according to the number of servings you need, please click on the number of servings to change it.