• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Spinach Lasagna

With savory layers of tomato sauce, noodles, sausage and melted cheese, this classic is sure to warm the hearts of your family tonight. This homemade Spinach Lasagna is easy to make and delicious to eat.

Although this recipe may not be the poster child for health, but it sure can be a great family meal. Lasagna is classic comfort food. I think everyone should have a good home-made lasagna recipe. This one is easy, tasty and certainly a crowd-pleaser!

This recipe is based on one from a former neighbor of mine. She brought me this amazing meal after I had my 2nd baby. I have made it many a time since. My kids love it too.

The recipe is easy, because the ingredients are simple. I use a Ragu Garden Combination pasta sauce as the base. Also, it’s made with cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese, so it’s a bit less expensive.

The original recipe calls for frozen spinach. I didn’t have any when I made this, so I chopped up half a box of fresh spinach and it worked great. It also saved me the extra step of squeezing all the liquid out of the frozen spinach. I think I will make it with fresh spinach from now on.

Also, if you are not a meat fan, you can make this without the sausage. It would be considered “Skinny Lasagna” at that point, coming in at only 343 calories per serving. You would still have plenty of protein from the cottage cheese, so this is a great option for a meat-less family dinner.

Now I do love a good lasagna, but I don’t love eating it for a whole week. When I make this recipe, I split it into an 8x10 and an 8x8 pan (two 8x8 pans would work great). One goes in the oven for dinner that night. One goes in the freezer for another day. If you are feeding a bigger crowd, you might need this whole recipe for one family dinner. But you can easily double the recipe and still get the benefit of the freezer meal without any additional effort.

Below is a step by step of the layering process. Because I use the smaller pans, i have to tear the noodles to fit. You can see it's just pieced together. But once the whole thing is cooked up, now one can tell.

As I said before, lasagna is not leanest of meals. However, balancing the heavier lasagna with a big green salad can turn it into a pretty good dinner. Skip the large slices of butter-drenched garlic bread, and choose a simple dinner roll instead. There’s plenty of sauce to dip your roll in anyway!

The Meal:

  • 10 oz portion of Lasagna (1/12 of the recipe)

  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce

  • Chopped cucumber, tomato and sugar snap peas

  • 1 Tbsp Italian Dressing

  • 1 dinner roll

Recipe Used in this meal:

Spinach Lasagna

Serving size: 10 oz portion

Servings per Recipe: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground sausage (optional)

  • 2 24-oz jars of Ragu Garden Combination Pasta Sauce

  • 24-oz tub of cottage cheese (4%, large curd)

  • 2 eggs (beaten)

  • 3 ½ oz fresh spinach (chopped)

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

  • 9 lasagna noodles

  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese (shredded)

Directions

  1. Brown the sausage in a large saucepan. Once thoroughly cooked, drain the fat.

  2. Add the pasta sauce to the sausage and stir to combine. Set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and chopped spinach. Stir until well blended. Set aside.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook lasagna noodles to al-dente (about 9 minutes). Drain in colander and set aside.

  5. To assemble the lasagna: prepare baking dishes (1 9x13 or 2 8x8 pans per recipe). Gather sauce, spinach mixture, noodles and shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover the bottom of the baking dishes with a small amount of the meat sauce.

  6. Layer: Noodles, spinach, sauce, mozzarella cheese. Repeat. Cut or tear the lasagna noodles as needed to fit in the pans.

  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

For freezer meals: Do not bake. Cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge the night before. Remove plastic wrap, and then cover with aluminum foil before baking. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes covered, and 10-15 minutes uncovered.

Nutrition Facts Label for the Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Spinach Lasagna:

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RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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