This turkey and spinach lasagna is a great recipe. It can be easily adjusted to meet the needs of different dietary restrictions or preferences. It's also a wonderful recipe for leftovers or big groups. So many of us are making most of our own meals, anything that can have a lot of serving and be easily reheated is key.
This lasagna is pretty close to my mama's lasagna recipe. For the last few years, my mom has made this lasagna for Christmas dinner for the family. And a vegan/gluten-free version for my sibling. I love working with her in the kitchen and making these delicious layers. Now, I've made a few tweaks to make it more my style or to make some things a bit easier. It's a delicious recipe and so fun to build up those layers.
For my gorgeous baking dish, you can find this at Staub.
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Tips on Ingredients for the best Turkey and Spinach Lasagna
Usually the better the ingredients, the better your food will taste. However, I do like to go over which ingredients that you should have the best quality for. And the others that I think don't need to be the highest quality. But again, if you don't have access to high quality, it will still be delicious! I also let you know if a certain type or style is best.
These are the items that I have notes for. Whether it's to buy the best quality or if there are specific notes about those ingredients for this turkey and spinach lasagna.
- Pasta Sauce: This is personally something that I go for a higher quality or taste. It has such an impact on the flavor profile. My favorite? Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata sauce. But their normal marinara, vodka, or tomato basil would be amazing.
- Olive Oil: I always believe in a good quality olive oil. You can find these in any grocery store. But the taste and flavors of a real olive oil is 100 times better than a phony.
- Parmesan Cheese: Cheese and dairy products are usually something I always recommend using the best of the best for. They don't need to be the most expensive. But a good quality wedge of cheese will make the flavor so much better.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Now, I'm not one to speak because I did use sandwich cheese on this one. However, it was all I had and still delicious. But to get a great flavor and proper melt, a good quality shredded mozzarella cheese would be best.
Best Tips and Knowledge to make the perfect Lasagna
- Layering: Make sure you follow the steps in order so that your ingredients are ready and prepped for when you go to build the layers of the lasagna. Be sure to layer fairly thinly so that you can make plenty of layers (5-6).
- Sauce: Tomato paste can be very thick, so the water from the spinach helps to thin it out. If you don't use spinach in your recipe, it is probably wise to add a little water or broth to your sauce.
- Herbs: If you don't have fresh herbs readily available, you can of course use dried spices from your cabinet. Also, feel free to mix in some other herbs where needed or wanted. Anything to add to the overall flavor is great.
- Heat level: I use an arrabbiata sauce, which is already kind of a spicy sauce. So when it comes to adding the crushed red pepper, I don't use as much as I would for a plain marinara sauce. But we also love spicy, so the more heat for us the better. However, you can use a non-spicy sauce and omit the crushed red pepper as well.
- Grease: Yes, be sure you grease your pan thoroughly, this will ensure a clean pull out of the pan.
- Easy cutting: You can always make this a few hours or a few days ahead of time. I like to make it a few hours before dinner, refrigerate, then slice with a large sharp knife, wiping between slices for the cleanest cuts.
- Customize: Feel free to customize this recipe as you want. That's what makes it so great. I love mine with ground turkey and a lot of spice. However, my mom makes this as a vegan version for my sibling. You can mix up your protein, sauce, and herbs very easily.
Other Savory Recipes to Try
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- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 25 ounces pasta sauce jarred or fresh
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 6 ounces spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 sprigs fresh basil chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional (if you use arrabiata sauce be sure to watch heat-level)
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated/shredded
- 1 teaspoon parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon basil chopped
- 1 egg
- 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded, for top of lasagna only
- 16 oz lasagna noodles or no-boil noodles
- 1 teaspoon olive oil if not no-boil noodles
- Preheat oven to 350; In a 13x9 casserole or similar baking dish, spray lightly with baking spray or lightly grease with olive oil.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait, begin on the layers below.
- On the stove in a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and add in onions. Stir and cook down until onions are translucent.
- Add in the garlic and cook until starts to brown.
- Then add in your turkey and cook until cooked through thoroughly.
- Add in spinach until sautéed.
- Add tomato sauce, paste, herbs, and spices. Mix until all is completely cooked through, about 4-6 minutes.
- Set aside.
Noodle layer (if not non-boil)
- Cook noodles for half the time directed on the package's instructions.
- Drain in colander and transfer to a bowl. Add a little olive oil and loosely lay noodles out so they don't stick to each other while assembling lasagna
- Set aside.
- Beat egg until fluffy and then blend in ricotta. Add Parmesan, parsley, and basil until combined.
- Set aside.
- Begin layering by spreading small scoop of the sauce on bottom. Just sauce, no meat, in a thin layer.
- Layer 1 full layer of noodles (about 3 to 4 noodles) in dish.
- Layer the cheese mixture on top of the noodles in thin layer, using about ⅕ of mixture.
- Then layer the meat and sauce mixture, using about ⅙ of mixture.
- Repeat for a total of 5-6 full layers (mine is 5).
- You'll finish the top layer with just noodles, sauce, and top with the mozzarella.
- Loosely cover lasagna with the dishes lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes
- Remove foil and finish for additional 15-20 minutes, cheese will begin to brown on top, don't let it burn.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. You can top with freshly grated parmesan and herbs.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.