Written by Sarah
A family favourite and one that always feels just like you are eating deliciousness…lasagne!
Lasagne is a family favourite!
It’s also one of those great meals that usually does a couple of night’s dinner or enough for some leftovers for lunch.
I love to use lasagne as a great way to get some extra vegetables in for the whole family. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms try them chopped up very finely and once they’re cooked and mixed in with everything, you won’t even know they’re there. The courgette is fine to leave out if not in season and you’re not keen on paying horrendous prices. Bulk up the veges by adding in an extra carrot.
In this recipe I’ve added a can of lentils which makes the mince go that little bit further; it’s an added source of low-fat protein as well as providing some extra fibre.
I’ve also cheated with the sauce and rather than mucking around with a white sauce combined cottage cheese and cream cheese. Serve this with a side salad or cooked vegetables.
This recipe makes about 10-12 serves.
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil (olive, canola, rice bran etc.)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 450-500g beef mince
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 courgette, grated
- 200g mushrooms, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary etc.)
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 700g jar of passata
- 400g can of lentils, drained and rinsed
- Half a bag of baby spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper to season
- 250g lite cream cheese
- 250g cottage cheese
- ½- ¾ cup grated cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 250g instant lasagne sheets
- Heat oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat, add onion and cook until soft.
- Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add mince and cook until brown.
- Add the carrot, courgette and mushroom and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the chopped herbs, tomato paste, passata and lentils and simmer for about 15-20minutes. If it’s looking a little dry, you can add some beef stock or water (rinse out the passata jar to get some extra flavour).
- In the last few minutes, add the spinach leaves (you can roughly chop or tear these up as you add them) and let them wilt into the mince mixture.
- Whilst the mince mix finishes cooking, mix the cream cheese and cottage cheese together.
- Using your largest baking dish, it’s time to layer the lasagne. I like to do a layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom (but it’s up to you). If you do a layer of lasagne first, grease the bottom of the dish. Start with the meat (on top of the lasagne or straight into the dish) then put a few dollops of the cream cheese/ cottage cheese mix on top, followed by another layer of lasagne sheet. Keep repeating until you’ve used up all the mince. Finish with a layer of lasagne sheets with a good spread of the cream cheese/ cottage cheese mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese and parmesan.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45mins at 180°. You want to make sure it is golden and bubbling on top and the pasta is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and leave it to cool for a bit before you slice, this will make sure it holds together better.
If you wish to make this gluten-free, use gluten-free lasagne sheets. If needing dairy-free you’ll need to make a dairy-free white sauce using equal parts dairy-free margarine and flour (gluten-free flour if needed). Melt margarine over a medium heat, add flour and cook it off for a few minutes (it will be a thick lump) and then slowly stir in your choice of dairy-free milk (almond works well) until you get the right consistency for your sauce. Whisking this will help to get the lumps out. Top with your choice of dairy-free cheese.