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Green Lentil Noodle Lasagna

{VEGAN options, dairy-free, gluten-free} I “cooked up” this recipe from a combination of traditional and veggie lasagna recipes I’ve used over the years. But it’s the first one I’ve tried with the “no boil” green lentil noodles from Explore. I found them at Walmart, but Wegman’s and Amazon have them too. Also, I was SO happy to find Kite Hill almond milk ricotta cheese. That’s something I’ve been missing. Whole Foods carries that. I brought this to our recent Easter dinner and believe me when I tell you that no one can sneak a bad lasagna past my Italian mom! I was so relieved that she and the rest of my family enjoyed it and even went in for seconds. I would have heard about it FOR SURE if it “tasted healthy”! (Of course I didn’t really tell them about the almond milk ricotta...what they don’t know...)

A few notes:

You’ll see a few ingredients in parentheses like this: {...}. That’s because I want you to choose what to add to this lasagna as you build it. You can use everything. You can go vegan! You can pick and choose. Personally, I like to use the turkey and the eggplant together. But if you choose to go vegan then leave out the turkey (of course) and use all the veggies (and more if you want). Also, remember that raw mushrooms tend to release a lot of moisture so be careful of watery lasagna. (I usually sauté them first so the water is released and then add them to the lasagna mixture after they’re cooked. Trader Joe’s frozen mushroom medley is an easy option. Just microwave them and drain them before adding.) As far as an egg substitute: use ground flax seed a

nd water to replace the egg for the vegan option (mix together 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water, to create a vegan “egg” mixture as a binding ingredient; set it aside for a few minutes so it will thicken). ————————— Ingredients- • 2 packages Explore green lentil lasagna noodles • {1 lb. ground turkey} • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise • {3 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise} • {1 large carton of sliced mushrooms} • 1 onion, chopped • 2 cups clean tomato sauce (divided) • 1 can tomato paste • 1/4 C olive oil • 1/2 cup water • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional) • Tabasco, to taste • 1 tsp. garlic powder • 1/4 C. fresh chopped parsley (or 1 tbsp dried parsley) • 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste • 1/2 tsp. black pepper • 1-2 containers Kite Hill almond milk ricotta cheese • 1 egg {or flax substitute as described above} • 1/2 C. Follow Your Heart Parmesan cheese • 2 C. Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella cheese or Trader Joe’s Almond Mozzarella cheese

Instructions 1. In a skillet, brown turkey with onion. 2. While the turkey is browning, arrange the eggplant slices (and other veggies if you use them) on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes at 350F or until just tender. After removing the veggies, turn the oven up to 425F. 3. To the turkey & onion in the skillet, add 1 cup of tomato sauce, paste, olive oil, water, Worcestershire/Tabasco and spices. Stir well and simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine ricotta, half the mozzarella, the parmesan and egg (or flax mixture). 5. Layer the veggies, meat sauce, noodles, and ricotta/egg mixture in a 10×13 casserole pan (make as many layers of these items as you think will fit. I usually do two. I usually start with a noodle layer, then eggplant & other veggies, then meat, then ricotta mixture, then repeat). Finish with a last noodle layer on top. Then top further with the other half of the mozzarella and additional tomato sauce.  Cover with aluminum foil. 6. Bake 35-45 minutes at 425F.  Remove aluminum foil and continue cooking 10-15 minutes until cheese browns. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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