This mushroom and spinach lasagna is bursting with flavor and is the perfect dish to serve as leftovers. For this health friendly lasagna I used part cottage, part ricotta cheese to cut calories and fat. I also used whole grain noodles to bulk up fiber and nutrients. Feel free to switch up the types of mushrooms you use depending on your personal preference. Use oven ready lasagna noodles to save time or use frozen spinach instead of fresh. Just make sure to completely drain the spinach if you decide to use frozen so you don’t end up with a runny mess.
Makes 8 Servings
9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided in half
3 onions, diced
10 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 cups sliced chestnut mushrooms
1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup 1% milk cottage cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 (26 oz) jar pasta sauce or 3 cups home made pasta sauce *See note below*
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking and set aside.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add spinach and sauté 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Transfer spinach mixture to a large bowl. Add in ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, salt and pepper; mix well and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked. Season mushrooms with sea salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of pan. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread 1/2 cheese and spinach mixture evenly over noodles. Arrange mushrooms over cheese mixture; spread 1 cup pasta sauce over mushrooms.
Layer 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread the remaining 1/2 cheese mixture evenly over noodles; top with 1 cup pasta sauce.
Layer 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread remaining 1/2 cup pasta sauce evenly over noodles and top with Parmesan cheese. Cover pan with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let lasagna sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Nutritional facts per serving: 317 calories, 9 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 645 mg sodium, 41 g total carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 21 g protein
BALANCE IT OUT: A large fresh salad is the perfect compliment to this creamy and hearty dish.
A Brief Note on Pasta Sauces:
The more time I spend cooking – the more stubborn I am about not using ingredients from a jar. I absolutely love to make things from scratch when possible. That way I can control exactly everything that goes into it. The particular sauce I used for this recipe was a raw tomato and basil sauce consisting of tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. Cousin’s Incredible Vitality Vegan Raw Food Restaurant in Chicago is the genius behind this brilliant and absolutely delicious sauce that is one of the best I have ever tasted. I learned the basics of this recipe during a raw culinary foods class I took there this past summer and it has been a stable in my kitchen ever since.
However you don’t need to invest the time and effort to whip up a tomato sauce from scratch. Luckily there are tons of healthy tomato sauces available at any local grocery store and all you have to do is a little comparing between brands to find the best. As with anything else you want to make sure the jar you pick is loaded with fresh and familiar ingredients and you can do this by simply checking the ingredient list on the jar. You will also want to take note of the calories, sodium and sugar content which is quite variable between brands and types of tomato sauce. Try to pick a jar with the lowest amount of sodium, sugar and less than 80 calories per 1/2 cup.