Healthy (Low-Carb) Lasagna

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TGIF!

Yesterday was…stressful. But the most unfortunate part of yesterday was having to settle for a Subway dinner rather than leftover lasagna. I was 45 minutes away from home at my unit, Lily had been home for 8 hours already, I had to teach, and Mr. Prevention had a meeting. It was clear there would be no letting Lily out, or having leftovers for dinner. Why do meetings with doctors always run late?

zucchini

I know 3 very important things about this recipe.

  1. It’s incredibly healthy. A filling, protein and fiber-rich meal for under 250 calories?!
  2. It doesn’t photograph well. At all. Don’t base this recipe on looks alone – you’ll be missing out.
  3. I didn’t expect to like this recipe. And Mr. Prevention…forgetaboutit. This is what I love about recipe swaps…you try recipes that are outside your comfort zone.

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However, I was wrong, very wrong, on item #3.

Sometimes, there’s such a thing as “too healthy” (I promise, I’m a dietitian). When a recipe is scaled back to a point that it loses its desirable attributes, it may be “too healthy”. For lasagna to be good, it has to have “noodles”, cheese, and Italian spices. Or at least that’s what I like about lasagna.

But this recipe actually mastered the ultimate health-factor while maintaining the ultimate lasagna-factor. I did up the cheese a bit, and I not only used zucchini and squash, but I used twice as much. While not picture-perfect, this dish is absolutely delicious.

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Healthy Lasagna slightly adapted from Cooking for Fun

1 lb ground turkey breast
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large summer squash
2 zucchini
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups 2% mozzarella, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a skillet cook the turkey, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, onion & garlic until the turkey is cooked through & the onions are translucent.

Using a mandoline, slice the squash and zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons.

Spoon just enough tomato sauce onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Lay 1/3 of the zucchini and squash slices. Spoon 1/2 of the turkey mixture on top of the squash. Then top with 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce & sprinkle with 2/3 cup of mozzarella. Add another layer of zucchini/squash slices, then the rest of the meat, 1/2 the remaining sauce & 2/3 cup of mozzarella. Use the last of the squash slices to make one more layer. Top with the remaining tomato sauce & mozzarella.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cheese is melted & brown & the sauce is bubbly. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing & serving. Yield: 6 large slices.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 237 calories; 7.2 g. fat; 67 mg. cholesterol; 801 mg. sodium; 12.5 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 33 g. protein

Result: A 4-and-a-half star delight! This recipe far surpassed my expectations, and was most certainly Mr. P-approved. It reheats well and can certainly be made ahead of time. This dish is perfect for those looking for a low-carb “pasta” meal that is satisfying and filling. Note: when buying ground turkey, be sure to buy ground turkey breast (ground turkey includes things like turkey skin – bleck!). I hope you loves this meal as much as us…enjoy!

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Today will be a better day. But regardless, the weekend is drawing near! 😀

TGIF,

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23 Comments

  1. January 27, 2012 / 7:21 am

    This sounds wonderful. I’ve always been meaning to try squash in place of noodles but haven’t gotten around to it (seems like a lot of work to make the “noodles” maybe?) Now with your lovely recipe, definitely going to make this – thank you! Have a great weekend!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      January 27, 2012 / 7:22 am

      A mandoline is certainly helpful, but great knife skills go a long way, too!

  2. January 27, 2012 / 8:10 am

    I’ve made something similar to this in the past and yes, very delicious. The only problem I had with it was it made a ton of liquid and the “lasagna” ended up soupy…tasted good though! I was thinking about precooking the squash to help cut down on the total liquid next time I make it? what do you think about that idea? Did you have a problem with it being soupy?

  3. January 27, 2012 / 8:23 am

    I’m definitely guilty of making things that taste too healthy. I usually will sort of pretend that I like it anyway, but Jason won’t! This looks good though.

  4. January 27, 2012 / 8:54 am

    That looks delicious! I’ve made something similar with thinly sliced eggplant and we LOVED it. I wasn’t sure if my husband would go for it (he’s Italian, likes his pasta) but he raved. Plus we both felt so much better after eating it compared with the pasta-induced coma that usually follows a lasagna-feast. I’ll have to try your version!

  5. January 27, 2012 / 9:38 am

    I think this looks and sounds fantastic! Of course zucchini and yellow squash are probably my two favorite vegetables ever. Now if I could only convince my husband that he doesn’t hate all squash.

  6. January 27, 2012 / 9:54 am

    I hope your Friday goes a lot more smoothly!
    Ha, I love your comment about it being “too healthy.” Sometimes there are recipes I pass up because they seem too much. Give me the good stuff once and a while. 🙂

  7. January 27, 2012 / 11:16 am

    I would never have thought something could be “too healthy.” Good to know! I’m glad this was a surprise winner. 🙂

    Thanks for being part of the recipe swap!

  8. January 27, 2012 / 11:22 am

    Here’s to a better day Nicole! Yep, zucchini lasagna and spaghetti squash are two of the worst things to photograph – yours looks delicious though!

  9. January 27, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    Love.

    I recently found out lasagna can be done in a crockpot if you so choose to do so. (clearly I’m obsessed) I think when I try it, zucchini will be a good addition…

  10. January 27, 2012 / 12:26 pm

    Haha, I know what you mean about too healthy! This looks great. I know my mom sometimes swaps half of the pasta for zucchini and I can’t even tell, so I’m not scared by this at all. For me, even if there’s no cheese in the middle, it’s gotta have that layer of cheese on top. Yum!

  11. January 27, 2012 / 1:44 pm

    I’m so glad you loved it!! I too was surprised at how good (and good for you) it is. 🙂

  12. January 27, 2012 / 1:48 pm

    This sounds really good, and I love my carbs, so it takes a lot to convince me to switch noodles out for veggies. 🙂

  13. January 27, 2012 / 1:51 pm

    I made a zucchini lasagna a few years ago (with a freakishly big zucchini from our garden) and I remember being pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. I also upped the cheese. YUM! I also think you were wrong about it not photographing well, looks good to me!!

  14. January 28, 2012 / 3:56 am

    I could definitely see using summer squashes instead of noodles because sometimes I use butternut squash to replace noodles in lasagna. But that lasagna, with a rich bechamel sauce, is hardly healthy!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      January 28, 2012 / 8:55 am

      Mmm! Sounds delicious, though!

  15. January 28, 2012 / 7:02 am

    YUM! I’ve actually been meaning to do a recipe like this, and have it on my list, but have yet to do it. I make lasagna with spaghetti squash and B-nut squash, but zucchini has to be next! Thanks for the wonderful (Mr. P-approved) recipe!

  16. January 30, 2012 / 8:17 pm

    great recipe! 🙂 I have visioned this before, but never made it! now i have a recipe to follow 😉

  17. Shannon
    February 20, 2012 / 10:42 am

    I’m making this tonight! Last night I pre-sliced my zucchini and squash using a large knife as I don’t have a mandoline. Some of them came out thicker than others, but I’m not worried about it. Our zucchini and squash were looking kind of wimpy at Whole Foods so I bought more than you recommended. I really hope it turns out well. My dad and my husband are pretty skeptical about dinner tonight, but I’m psyched! Finally, I’m not making 2 different meals! Thanks for posting such great recipes! 🙂

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  19. George
    November 3, 2012 / 6:42 pm

    This looks very watered down……you can get low carb noodles for this.

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      November 3, 2012 / 8:04 pm

      I think you might be pleasantly surprised…I sure was!

  20. May 26, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    Great recipe, I can include it in my diet plan. Thanks really.

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