A lightened-up lasagna that tastes just like the one mom used to make--but with good-for-you, grown up ingredients by Dash of Jazz

Mommy’s Lightened-Up Lasagna

Lasagna is my most favorite meal and one I’ve been enjoying since childhood. My mommy’s version was very simple and I still remember helping her make it in the kitchen as a little girl. Over the year’s I’ve played with the recipe until arriving at the rendition you see here. Some changes include swapping ground beef out for ground turkey, adding lots of veggies, and different cheeses. I pack spinach, carrots, and mushrooms into a normal marinara sauce (sometimes store-bought and sometimes my own recipe) along with some aromatics–garlic and onion. The result is a lightened-up lasagna that tastes just like the one I grew up with but is kind of good for you. It’s also just as easy–you don’t even have to cook the noodles!

A lightened-up lasagna that tastes just like the one mom used to make--but with good-for-you, grown up ingredients by Dash of Jazz

My family still loves this meal, though, and they can’t even tell that it’s “healthier”! This is one of the first meals I made for myself in college and it quickly became a go to–from leftovers during finals to gossip filled dinners with my sorority sisters. This lasagna that is delicious when freshly made but even better the next day…and the next day! I can eat this for any meal (as evidenced in my Instagram feed and stories). I love it not only because of the taste but because it’s a dish that is my own–influenced by my dear mother and shaped over time through my experiences and experimentation. I think it represents the balance I try to achieve in my eating: healthy stuff like veggies and lean protein with carbs and sauce. 🙂 Add a cupcake or a macaron, and we’ve got a more complete picture! It can also be made without the meat for a [still very delicious] vegetarian option.

Do you have a family favorite recipe that you’ve put your own twist on over time? Let me know below. Thanks for reading!

Signature Dash of Jazz

P.S. A few other family favorites: Nigerian Rice & Stew, Sweet Tea Pound Cake, Aunt Georgia’s Peach Cobbler

A lightened-up lasagna that tastes just like the one mom used to make--but with good-for-you, grown up ingredients by Dash of Jazz

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Mommy's Lightened Up Lasanga
A lightened-up take on my mother's lasagna: layers of pasta, three cheeses, and a sauce made with ground turkey and fresh veggies.
A lightened-up lasagna that tastes just like the one mom used to make--but with good-for-you, grown up ingredients by Dash of Jazz
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
A lightened-up lasagna that tastes just like the one mom used to make--but with good-for-you, grown up ingredients by Dash of Jazz
Instructions
  1. Cook down onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add ground turkey, sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, and crushed red pepper then cook through.
  2. Add in carrots, mushrooms, and sauce. Let cook for a few minutes then stir in spinach. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, mix three cheeses (except 1 cup mozzarella) with egg and parsley by hand until uniform.
  4. Turn off heat to sauce then spoon a thin layer of it into the bottom of your baking pan. Place a layer of raw noodles on top. Spoon and spread out a layer of the cheese mixture.
  5. Repeat this order until all ingredients are used. This should be about three layers, ending with a thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle remaining cup of mozzarella over top. (It's ok if the noodles aren't completely covered, as steam generated in the pan will help cook them.)
  6. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to set for one hour before serving.
Recipe Notes

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9 Comments

  1. Oh man, I haven’t made lasagna in ages and this looks perfect. All those veggies packed in there and turkey! Gotta love that. I’m definitely trying this soon!

  2. Always nice to lighten up a recipe without loosing any of the great flavor. We have been cutting back on meat big time and would fill in with veggies.

    1. This is a good way to do it! I only eat meat a few times a week so would definitely try this with only veggies.

  3. Looks great. Im always looking for ground turkey recipes

  4. imthatamberlynn

    I am OBSESSED with lasagna. I think I’m going to order some from Olive Garden for lunch today. It is more than amazing, and I cannot wait to try your recipe. I’m so excited lol (good food does it to me every time)

  5. Dee

    I love that you made it Healthier with the Turkey! To be honest the few times I made Lasagna…the pasta did not cook all the way…..I think I should follow a recipe next time!

    1. Once you make it a few times, it’ll become second nature. Let me know if it turns out well for you!

  6. well, that looks super yummy! I’ve been switching out for turkey for a while and i love it. I also like meatless!

  7. bitesofflavor

    This sounds delicious! I love all the veggies 🙂

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