Veggie & Turkey Lasagna
I am so excited to share this post, not only because it tastes delicious, but also because it features my all-time favorite tomato sauce from Muir Glen. Ever since I was a kid, lasagna has been one of my favorite things. It is hearty and nostalgic, making it the perfect weeknight dinner during these cold winter months. However, when I think about lasagna, I don’t necessarily think of it as healthy. Lasagna is comforting, for sure, but it can certainly be indulgent. Then again, when making lasagna, I don’t typically turn to it for its health benefits!
One thing I love about lasagna is how foolproof it is. Let’s be honest, as long as the pasta is properly cooked, you can layer and flavor it however you like! I love traditional lasagna, but this time wanted to add some veggies to “healthify” it a bit. I wanted to add veggies that would be easily incorporated into the dish, so decided on adding zucchini and eggplant. I felt these were two ingredients that wouldn’t be unusual if they were included in an Italian dish in the first place! Plus, they add another textural element as well as some added nutrition.
However, I will say that the star of the show for this recipe is the delicious Muir Glen tomato sauce between its layers. Muir Glen’s Tomato Basil and Marinara sauces have been my go-to’s for years! Muir Glen is also amazing because they focus on the following three principles: organic, pollinators, and zero waste. You all have heard me preach about the reasons why I choose organic, and Muir Glen makes it easy. Plus, their desires to keep their waste to a minimum, while also supporting Sacramento Valley bees makes me love them even more! The farmers at Muir Glen work in combination with local bees to keep a healthy ecosystem, all while producing the most delicious tomatoes.
For this recipe, I purchased my Muir Glen products at Common Market, a co-op grocery store located in Frederick, MD. They had a TON of options to choose from, but when choosing Muir Glen you really can’t go wrong! I love shopping at local co-ops because of the community involvement and support the co-ops give back to local farmers. You can find the nearest co-op store by checking out their store locator. Shopping at co-ops like Common Market are a great way to support your community and local farmers!
I hope you will give this recipe a try, it has been a recent favorite in our house! Feel free to use whatever meat suits your fancy. I use ground turkey, but beef would work just as well! Also, while I prefer the Muir Glen organic tomato sauce from the jar, you can also use their canned varieties as well! Just so many options - until the end of January, you can even buy 10 of their 14.5oz cans for $10!
1 jar or Muir Glen tomato sauce (I like Marinara or Tomato Basil best!)
1 pound of ground turkey
1 (10oz) box of lasagna noodles
1 white onion, diced
1 medium eggplant, sliced length-wise, ¼ inch strips
2 small zucchini (or 1 large), sliced length-wise in thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-cup ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon fennel seed
Preparation: Serves 4-6, Prep time: 30 minutes, Cook time 30-40 minutes
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil, add box of lasagna noodles and cook until al dente.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Next, add the ground turkey and cook over medium heat, using a fork to break up the larger pieces. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add 1 can of Muir Glen diced tomatoes, dried basil, fennel seed and salt. Allow the mixture to simmer over medium-low heat, for 10-15 minutes.
Slice the zucchini and eggplant length-wise into long strips. Eggplant should be about 1/4inch thick. Allow the eggplant to “sweat” excess moisture by sprinkling salt over cut slices and let it rest for 5 minutes. Dab excess moisture with a paper towel before adding the eggplant to the dish.
Spoon 3 tablespoons of Muir Glen Tomato sauce into a 9 x 12 rectangular baking dish, making sure to spread the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: pasta, eggplant, ricotta, zucchini, ground turkey, Muir Glen Tomato sauce. Repeat layering process until you’ve used all of the pasta. Top the lasagna with remaining Muir Glen tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Either wrap the lasagna in tin foil and freeze, or bake for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted. Garnish with red pepper flakes. Serve immediately. Enjoy