Happy Holidays! I hope you are having a wonderful time with resting and enjoying the season. As we bravely head into the new year, I wanted to share with you a veggie twist on a weeknight favorite, to help you turn comfort food into something just a little healthier. No need for crazy changes, trying eat wheat grass for a week, or plans that are impossible to stick to. Just start making a little change at a time to move in the direction of variety, whole foods, and health. So why not ring in the new year with a super tasty Sausage Lasagna that has a bunch of greens hiding inside. I wish I could find the exercise equivalent of turning comfort food into healthy food to tackle my own 2015 resolution: get active… outside the kitchen. I think it will be hard to find an activity that is more fun than eating, so wish me luck, or share a tip in the comments below! Any other New Year’s resolutions you have in store for 2015?
My biggest beef with lasagna (pardon the pun 😉 ) is the ricotta. More often than not I think the cheese takes over the dish and you lose all the other textures, so in my version I went with a cream cheese filling that lets all the other layers come through. But be warned, this lasagna has ruined me for all other lasagnas, bake at your own risk!
Also, this lasagna is just as good two days later, pulled from the fridge and reheated in the microwave… Making it the perfect make-on-Sunday-and-eat-through-the-week-dish or a great-take-dinner-to-a-friend-dish.
In a large sauce pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the yellow onion and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes (you may want to use a splatter guard so you aren't cleaning up sauce all over your stove later). Remove from the heat and set aside.
While the sauce is cooking, in a large sauté or frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering, then add the ground sausage, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Brown the meat until cooked completely through. Drain off the grease, and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, first puree the artichoke hearts and then pure the spinach in batches until it is completely broken down and looks like a pesto.
Cut the creamed cheese bars into small squares and add to the spinach and artichoke in the food processor. Also add the lemon zest and juice.
Puree it all until it is fully combined, then scrape the cream cheese mixture into a bowl.
Get your extra-deep 9x12 pan out (seriously, the deepest one you have!) and line up your layer mixtures next to it (I like to line them up in order so I don't miss something as I go along).
Start with a thin layer of the tomato sauce along the bottom of the pan and top with a layer of the lasagna noodles. On top of the noodles spread the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle on the browned sausage, and finish with the shredded mozzarella.
Repeat the layers: sauce, noodles, cream cheese, sausage, and mozzarella until you are almost at the top of the pan. Finish the top of the dish with a final layer of noodles, sauce and any remaining mozzarella as well as the 1/4 cup of grated parmesan.
Finally, cover the entire dish with a tent of aluminum foil, trying to keep the foil from touching the top of the lasagna.
Bake the dish in the 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 40 minutes covered, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes until the top is bubbly and golden.
Please note that some of the links in my posts and sponsor ads are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I have used all of the companies or products listed and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. You can visit My Cup is Full's Site Disclosures and Polices Page for more info about this site.