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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: 40 mins
    total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • servings: 4
Photography: David Loftus

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Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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.

Source
Everyday Food, November 2007

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Reviews (22)

  • cookingforfun333 13 Jan, 2014

    This recipe was delicious! My family truly enjoyed it. I loved the way each slice easily slid out of the pan. When I was making the sauce I accidentally forgot to include the onions. I ended up frying the onions in the same pan I made the sauce with, (I just added a little extra oil,) and then laid them on top of the mozzarella cheese. We all agreed that the onions on top gave the recipe a lot of flavor, and kept the top layer of pasta from drying out while baking.

  • Essex County Wineries 6 Jan, 2014

    Wishing you peace, happiness, prosperity, and of course, great Essex County Wine moments!
    We started out with Cooper's Hawk Vineyard's Talon 2012 Red paired with reduced calorie lasagna!
    A great Lasagna to pair with wine.
    http://www.essexcountywineries.ca/wines/2014/20140105.htm

  • historia34 29 Dec, 2012

    I loved this lasagna. As many of the other reviews note, much less greasy than more traditional lasagnas. I followed the recipe except for the following: I used regular cottage cheese; I used regular lasagna noodles; I substituted in a mix of ground extra lean and lean turkey for the beef; I pureed a can of diced tomatoes in my blender for the sauce. I found the meat sauce to be such a welcome surprise on the whole.Using the eggplant and onion was delicious. Easy! and Yum!

  • historia34 29 Dec, 2012

    I loved this lasagna. As many of the other reviews note, much less greasy than more traditional lasagnas. I followed the recipe except for the following: I used regular cottage cheese; I used regular lasagna noodles; I substituted in a mix of ground extra lean and lean turkey for the beef; I pureed a can of diced tomatoes in my blender for the sauce. I found the meat sauce to be such a welcome surprise on the whole.Using the eggplant and onion was delicious. Easy! and Yum!

  • kuipers7 7 Dec, 2011

    I made this but substituted a 1/2 lb. ground turkey and a 1/2 lb. ground beef for the ground sirloin. I also used fresh spinach instead of the eggplant, and added an additional jar of pasta sauce to the meat sauce. It turned out to be delicious!

  • foxxie 5 Mar, 2011

    IF this is supposed to be healthy - why not give us the calories per serving and also the Sat fat, fiber, carbs that are in this recipe - that way we can determine not Martha Stewart if this is truly healthy for us.

  • WoobyGirl 2 Mar, 2011

    Why can't the nutritional information be given at the end of the recipe. If you call it "healthy" we'd like to know the calories, protein, fat, etc. Thanks.

  • mshane 10 Jan, 2011

    I removed the meat and used fat free products and it turned out delicious - thanks!

  • dreab1974 14 Jan, 2010

    It would be very helpful to have the calorie, fat and fiber count on these recipes so I can figure out how many Weight Watcher points they are.

  • juliepmb 13 Mar, 2009

    I just made this and it was great!! Tasty and not as rich or greasy as traditional lasagna. Also, very quick to make. I used no-boil lasagna pasta. This recipe was better than I expected!!

  • NJD511 19 Feb, 2009

    Incredible, really! I used Part-Skim Ricotta cheese instead of Cottage Cheese and loved it!

  • colibri 12 Jan, 2009

    This recipe has become one of my family favourites. It is so easy and delicious.

  • cookingcrow 15 Oct, 2008

    i think the part-skim tastes better, much lower in fat and a lighter less gamey taste. ive been using lower fat cheeses for years and especially like the alpine lace swiss cheeses. my husband successfully lowered his cholesterol with statins and eating better and now doesnt have to take the medications!

  • cookingcrow 15 Oct, 2008

    i think the part-skim tastes better, much lower in fat and a lighter less gamey taste. ive been using lower fat cheeses for years and especially like the alpine lace swiss cheeses. my husband successfully lowered his cholesterol with statins and eating better and now doesnt have to take the medications!

  • aida_zrn 15 Oct, 2008

    what is the different between shredded part-skim mozarella and the regular shredded mozarella?..im a bit confius..is the taste different?

  • jenberg10 14 Mar, 2008

    I used zucchini instead of eggplant and it was incredible! My boyfriend said it was the best lasagna he'd ever had... Little did he know how much healthier it was than all the other lasagnas he's eaten! I froze the leftovers and enjoyed for weeks afterwards.

  • ajlockard 23 Feb, 2008

    This is delicious and satisfying. My husband loved it as well and it was wonderful as leftovers.

  • susanhowson 1 Jan, 2008

    I loved this, it was easy but still elegant, and it tasted just as luxurious as a regular meat lasagna.

  • mmsrjs 23 Dec, 2007

    I have been searching for a recipe that would be similiar to what I used to make. I used lean hamburger and broke up the meat as it cooked, then add the sauce and cook about 3 to 5 min. I also remember using sliced black olives in my mixture. No eggplant

  • callasmom 27 Nov, 2007

    not very good, at all. some dishes are best left as is - not healthy at all, but a super glorious indulgence for every once in a while!

  • yawaii30 12 Nov, 2007

    I made this, but used 1/2 part skim ricotta, and 1/2 lowfat cottage cheese. I didn't have any eggplant, so I just left it out. Everyone liked it. I added the tomato sauce to the meat mixture.

  • tapstein 11 Nov, 2007

    At what point do you add the tomato puree to the meat sauce?