spicy no-noodle lasagna

This is  a great recipe if you’re following a low-carb diet or simply want to eat a little healthier.  I originally found the recipe when we were trying the Paleo diet but never made it until now.  The author called it “Paleasagna“.  I’m not sure her recipe (which used goat cheese) strictly qualifies, but I’m not the Paleo Police and will issue no tickets. 🙂

The Paleo diet, for those who don’t know, harkens back to our ancient ancestors and is very meat-centric.  The theory is that our bodies are designed to eat what cavemen ate, and all the changes since the agricultural revolution have only hurt us.  It eliminates all processed foods (butter, sugar, grains, starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes, legumes, etc.) and focuses on (free range) meats, natural oils (such as coconut) and fruits and vegetables.

Most paleo-dieters don’t eat dairy (cavemen didn’t keep cows), so I’m not sure if a true lasagna is ever possible for the devout.  I am not devout.  I fell off the Paleo wagon a while back, but you really can’t go wrong minimizing your pasta and maximizing your vegetable intake.  

I used regular mozzarella cheese (I’m not even sure where to find raw shredded goat cheese around here), used turkey hot Italian sausage rather than regular ground turkey, less Italian seasoning and added some spinach I had left over from the Feta and Spinach Rolls we made a few weeks ago.  I also had frozen some leftover tomato paste in 1-tablespoon portions a while back, but they wouldn’t photograph well, so they’re not pictured below.  I pressed out extra moisture from the thawed spinach using a couple of paper towels.

I was more than a little concerned about making a lasagna with Greek yogurt, but it combines with the egg and cheeses in the most delightful ways.  The texture was actually very similar to the ricotta I would normally use, and the vegetables were perfect – firm without being crunchy.  It turned out fantasic!  The Greek isn’t a fan of zucchini, so I was a little nervous about how this would work out, but even he agreed it was great.  From a meat-and-potato man, that is high praise (I think the hot sausage helped).  Try it – you’ll love it.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pound (5 links) turkey Italian sausage (hot), removed from casings
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into medallion rounds
  • about 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 (7-ounce) containers Greek yogurt
  • 1 head or 2 crowns broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

no noodle lasagna directions

Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the turkey sausage and cook until browned.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Mix and cook until heated through.

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, egg and broccoli pieces.  Mix well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Make a layer of zucchini rounds on the bottom of the pan, using about half.  Add a layer of the turkey/sauce mix, using about half.  Top with about half of the broccoli/cheese mixture.

Use the rest of the zucchini to create another layer and top with the thawed spinach.  Continue to layer with the rest of the turkey/sauce mixture and the broccoli/cheese mixture.  Add the last cup of mozzarella cheese as the final layer.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The cheese will be nice and browned and bubbly.  Allow to cool for 10 -15 minutes prior to serving.

You could cut the zucchini into long strips rather than medallions, but I don’t have a mandolin and didn’t think I could do a good job by hand.  This casserole is a little on the “saucy” side, but you could drain the tomatoes ahead of time if you’d prefer it to be drier, I imagine. 

Note: The “Print and PDF” button below will allow you to easily delete as much of the text and pictures  as you like prior to printing, so you’ll save on ink and paper.

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