My friend, Jenny, LOVES pasta dishes…I know this for a fact since I catered her wedding reception and she asked for pasta, pasta and more pasta! So when I asked her for a dish she loves but wants a healthier version of, I wasn’t the least bit surprised that she picked….PASTA, Lasagna to be exact! Now…how to make a healthier version??? Hmmm…how about a Low Carb Lasagna recipe!
First, I decided to lose the noodles (very risky!) and replace them with eggplant (even riskier!); making this a Low Carb Lasagna. I also substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta, further reducing carbs and calories, but increasing the protein a bit. I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, but you’d never know it! The way the wine and spices reduce in this sauce, makes the turkey so flavorful and yummy. The result….a delicious and healthy Low Carb Lasagna!
I can honestly say, I was a bit skeptical about pulling this one off! I was sure I would miss the lasagna noodles and was a tad worried that the eggplant noodles would become too soft and not be able to hold the lasagna structure when cut. I was wrong on both counts! The eggplant “noodles” did their job perfectly! If anything, I enjoyed this Low Carb Lasagna more than the traditional carb-laden lasagna! As my husband, Jeff, always says when he likes something…this one is a keeper!
What you’ll need for Low Carb Lasagna:
- Ground Turkey
- Cottage Cheese
- Tomato Paste
- Vidalia Onion
- Red Wine or beef stock
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- Italian Shredded Cheese Blend
- Mozzarella Cheese Stick (string cheese)
- Dried Basil
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
Dice onion. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to large saute pan and heat on medium. When pan and oil are hot, place onion and ground turkey in pan and cook over medium heat until turkey is browned and onions are soft (about 5-7 minutes). While onions and turkey are cooking, crack an egg into a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk egg with fork and add cottage cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil leaves. Mix together and place in fridge until ready to use.
Mince garlic and add to ground turkey and onion mixture. Stir to combine and reduce heat to low. Add fire roasted tomatoes, red wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves. Sir to combine. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes (liquid should reduce by half). You want it to simmer, but not boil.
Cut ends off of eggplant and slice lengthwise to create the “noodles” for this Low Carb Lasagna. Sprinkle each eggplant slice with salt and pepper. One, medium size eggplant will yield about 9-10 “noodles”. I decided to make my Low Carb Lasagna using a meatloaf pan and it worked great! If you want to double the recipe for 8-10 servings, use a deep 9×11 casserole dish.
Add tomato paste to the simmering sauce and stir to combine. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Time to assemble our Low Carb Lasagna! Layer 2-3 eggplant slices on bottom of pan, add 1/3 of sauce then 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, 1/4 cup of Italian blend shredded cheese. Do the same for your second layer. The last layer should be eggplant slices and remaining third of sauce. Topped with 1/2 cup of Italian blend shredded cheese. Then cut your mozzarella cheese stick into 1/4 inch slices and place on top. You could use regular Mozzarella cheese or skip this step all together, but I loved the way the Mozzarella slices browned on top, giving you that crunchy top that we all LOVE about lasagna!
Bake Low Carb Lasagna in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes. The top should be bubbly and golden brown. Serve and Enjoy!
Low Carb Lasagna
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 8 Ounces Ground Turkey
- 1 Vidalia Onion diced
- 4 Cloves of Garlic minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
- 1 egg
- 1 Cup of 2 % Cottage Cheese
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt divided
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Black Pepper divided
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil Leaves divided
- 1 Can 14.5 oz Hunt's Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Red Wine or Beef Stock
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Medium Eggplant cut into strips lengthwise
- 1 Cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
- 1 Mozzarella String Cheese Stick
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Dice onion and mince garlic
- In large saute pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add ground turkey and diced onion, cook on medium until turkey is browned and onion is soft (about 5-7 minutes)
- Add minced garlic and stir to combine
- Add Fire Roasted Tomatoes and red wine (or beef broth), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried Basil leaves.Cook on low for about 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half.
- While sauce is cooking, crack egg into medium mixing bowl and whisk with a fork. Add cottage cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon dried Basil leaves. Mix together and place in fridge until ready to use
- Add Tomato paste to sauce and continue to cook on low. Sauce should be simmering, not boiling. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until sauce becomes thick. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed
- Cut both ends off of eggplant and slice lengthwise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. One medium eggplant should yield about 9-10 slices. use remaining salt and pepper to season eggplant slices.
- In a meatloaf pan (or deep dish casserole), layer Low Carb Lasagna as follows:
- Layer one: 2-3 eggplant slices, 1/3 of the sauce and 1/2 cottage cheese mixture and 1/4 cup shredded Italian Cheese
- Layer two: 2-3 eggplant slices, 1/3 of the sauce and remaining 1/2 cottage cheese mixture and 1/4 cup shredded Italian Cheese.
- Layer three: 2-3 eggplant slices, remaining 1/3 sauce mixture, 1/2 cup shredded Italian Cheese.
- Cut Mozzarella string cheese into 1/4 inch slices and place on top of lasagna.
- Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes or until top is bubbly and brown.
- Serve and Enjoy!