Healthier Meat Lasagna

Transform lasagna with meat sauce from a guilty pleasure into a wholesome meal. Small swap-ins can make a mighty difference: Whole-wheat noodles, low-fat cottage cheese, and lean ground sirloin create a light and delicious baked pasta. A topping of melted mozzarella and Parmesan keeps this dish feeling indulgent.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Healthier Meat Lasagna

Photography: David Loftus

Source: Everyday Food, November 2007


  • 6 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 ounces total), broken in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 pint (1 percent) cottage cheese (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella (2 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place noodles in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, and cover with hot tap water; set aside to soften.

  2. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, eggplant, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add sirloin, and cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, and cook until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Season meat sauce with salt and pepper.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine cottage cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Remove noodles from baking dish, discarding water.

  4. Spread about 1/4 cup meat sauce in bottom of dish, and top with 4 noodle halves. Layer with 1/3 cheese mixture, then 1/3 sauce. Repeat twice with remaining noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until lasagna is bubbling and cheese topping is golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.


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