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I have only made lasagna once or twice before this. So I was a bit nervous and wanted to do something different since I am not a fan of meat lasagna and so I decided to make spinach lasagna.
I took the good parts of a few recipes that sounded tasty and came up with this. It actually turned out super delicious, even though it looked a mess!
- Lasagna Noodles (I used about 14)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Chopped mushrooms: 1 cup
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 to 4 cups fresh spinach
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- Dried oregano: 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 cups pasta sauce
- 1 ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
That list seems much longer now after typing it all out! Most of these are ingredients I keep on hand at all times, but feel free to take away or add to this recipe as you see fit.
Also, you can use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. I’m not a fan of ricotta cheese, it’s too rich for me.
Cottage cheese is also a bit healthier, but use whichever you prefer. As for the pasta sauce, you can use any type you want. It really doesn’t matter so use what you like!
First, you need to preheat your oven to 350°. Now you want to get your lasagna noodles going. You could use the kind of noodles that don’t require you to boil them first.
In fact, I would highly recommend it because the worst part about doing this lasagna was the stupid noodles.
I am no expert and since I never make lasagna, it was an adventure to say the least. I’d suggest not boiling your lasagna noodles until you have almost everything else ready.
My noodles took about 8 minutes until they were al dente, which is about how you want them. While your water is boiling, sauté your mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium to high heat.
I used less than I have listed because I have mushrooms and onions in my sauce and didn’t want to overdo it.
You just want to get these tender. Drain the excess liquid once you are done and put them in a bowl to cool.
Now you want to get your spinach ready. Clean it and cut off any big stems. You can cook your spinach a few different ways, but I prefer to use a sauté pan.
You could also boil the spinach. If you choose to sauté it, just add it to the pan you had the mushrooms, onion and garlic in. It doesn’t take too long to cook.
You can either cover it and let it cook up for about 1 minute, or you can stir it around until all of the leaves have shrunk and turn a dark green.
Also, I used about 2 ½ cups of spinach and I wish I had used more. It might look like a lot before you cook it, but it isn’t! I would definitely suggest using 3 to 4 cups of fresh spinach.
Once your spinach is done, make sure you drain it well. This is probably what I didn’t do correctly, so learn from my mistake! Squeeze the heck out of your spinach. Once it is well drained, chop it up.
Now you want to combine your cottage cheese, ½ cup of your parmesan cheese, spinach, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and egg. Mix it all up.
Now you have everything ready to go. Grease a 9×13 pan and layer your noodles…
Ok, I need to make a note here! I pushed my noodles to the top of the pan and added part of a lasagna noodle at the bottom.
You want to make sure your pan is well covered with the noodles. My camera has been having some issues lately, so I guess that picture went to picture heaven. Ok, so now put about a third of your cottage cheese and spinach mix….
Followed by 1 cup of your mozzarella cheese and ⅓ cup parmesan cheese… And then, spread 1 cup of your sauce…
Make two more layers then top with noodles. I put sauce on my top layer and I would have put more cheese, but I ran out (bummer!).
Finish it off however you’d like and then cover with foil. You need to bake this for about an hour. I was iffy about this spinach lasagna… until I took a bite.
It’s not picture perfect, but I am telling you, the spinach and cottage cheese mix was awesome! My husband absolutely loved it, which is a huge plus!
Turkey Sausage Pasta Bake
Ironically my hot dinner was inspired by my freezer. I like to keep Italian turkey sausages in the freezer – they come in very handy.
You can grill one and add it to sauteed peppers and onions, slice one to top your pizza or crumble it and add to pasta.
I also love to keep these in my freezer – pop one out and add it to anything…no stinky hands from chopping fresh garlic!
Last night I went for the turkey sausage/pasta combo
- 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 Italian turkey sausage link (sweet or spicy), crumbled
- 1-2 oz whole wheat pasta (shape of your choice!)
- 1/4 cup jarred tomato sauce
- 1 oz mozzerella cheese (equal to one string cheese stick)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the oven is heating and the pasta is boiling, heat a pan sprayed with olive oil over medium-high heat and add the turkey sausage.
Cook for a few minutes until the sausage begins to brown. Lower the heat to medium and add the veggies and garlic.
Season with salt & pepper. Saute together for 5 more minutes to combine the flavors and allow the veggies to soften.
Drain your cooked pasta and add to a small baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the sausage/veggie mixture, the tomato sauce and top with cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is gooey and melted. I also broiled mine for a few minutes at the end to get that crispy baked pasta topping.
The shells were a perfect pasta shape for this – they held in all of the yummy goodness of the veggies and sausage.
I cleaned that casserole dish…yum! Totally worth raising the temperature of my apartment with my oven to make this.