Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Secret To Making The Best Lasagna And Home Made Turkey Meat Sauce

When it comes to Italian food, lasagna definitely tops my list.  What's not to love?  Gooey cheese sandwiched between layers of pasta noodles, all smothered in delicious sauce.  I made this recipe a tad healthier by using ground turkey instead of ground beef.  Read on for how to recreate this classic meal, homemade sauce and all!

Meat sauce ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small onion, minced or pureed (can use 1 tablespoon onion powder if you don't have an onion)
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 28 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes 
  • 2 6 ounce cans of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil.

Add the ground turkey and the 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt.

Crumble and brown the turkey.

Once the turkey has browned, turn off the heat.

In a stock pot, heat up 1 teaspoon minced garlic and the pureed onion for a few minutes over low heat.

To the onions and garlic add sugar, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and dried parsley.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste to the spices.  Stir together well.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients for lasagna:

  • 1 pound lasagna noodles (about 16 noodles)
  • 16 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Carefully add the lasagna noodles.

Cook for 10 minutes or until el dente.

While the pasta is cooking, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and salt.  Set aside.

Drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water.

In a 9X13 baking dish, cover the bottom with meat sauce.

Place cooked lasagna noodles in a single layer over the meat sauce.

Spoon out half of the ricotta cheese mixture onto the layer of noodles.

Spread the mixture as evenly as you can on the noodles.

Sprinkle a third of the Parmesan cheese over the ricotta mixture.

Place a third of the mozzarella over the other cheeses.

Repeat these layers.

Top with remaining meat sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan cheeses.

Cover baking dish with a layer of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray (so that the cheese doesn't stick).

Bake the covered lasagna for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy this lasagna with a crisp salad and some yummy garlic bread!
     ~ Chef Megs


Lasagna said...

This is such an amazing meal. It does requires a bit of your time but just like you said, it's all worth it. I love home cooked meals! Whenever I'm not busy, I always cook lasagna for my kids. I find it easy to make, yet very heartwarming and homey.

Mary said...

Joe, the lasagna looks great. I found your blog by chance and had planned only to say hello. I was lured by some of your earlier posts into staying a while. I really like your blog and will visit whenever I can. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Joe Smoe said...

Thanks again Mary! I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed the blog. You're welcomed here anytime. I really enjoyed looking at your blog as well and will be stopping by often. Blessing to you too!

Lasagna... thanks for stopping by. Lasagna is always worth it! A classic Italian dish that never fails to satisfy.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow great lasagna and bread yum

Anonymous said...

That lasagna looks amazing! I'd give it a go but stop short of the bread sticks as they are not my thing.

Torviewtoronto said...

this looks wonderful and filling

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Rosalba said...

I love that you used fennel seeds for the sauce. Must be great.

Chef Megs said...

It is a wonderful sauce! I use this recipe (minus the liquid and the meat) for pizza sauce! The fennel gives it a beautiful hint of sweetness.

My mom decided to have a huge pizza party, and have each member of the family bring different toppings. She said she'd just go buy the sauce. I stepped in and suggested that I'd make sauce for everyone. Everyone loved it!

Autism United said...

Great lasagna alternative, way healthier with turkey, thanks so much.

Mary said...

This really looks delicious. I am new to your blog, so I've spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Maika said...

idk why I never thought about seasoning my ricotta cheese before :) Great recipe :)

Gexton said...

I'm not familiar with fennel seeds but this is good to know the benefits of this fennel seeds
sesame seeds
fennel seeds

Debra Eliotseats said...

Oh my, yes! This looks delicious. I have some ground turkey in the freezer that needs to be used in this fashion.

Chef Matt said...


Thanks! Now that's putting the turkey to good use! You'll absolutely love this Lasagna recipe! Chef Megs made it for me and I was blown away. It was better than any Lasagna I've ever had!

Best Regards,

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