Gooey, meaty, cheesy...
An Italian comfort classic better known as lasagna.
But instead of solely relying on gobs of cheese and cups of meat sauce for flavor, this lasagna is lightened up.
Do not mistake "lightened up" being light in flavor, though!
Our three-cheese lasagna is smothered in garden marinara with carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and seasoned ground chicken.
Recommended to be served alongside roasted broccoli or another veggie, this brings you a meal under 400 calories and a powerful 35 grams of protein!
Find out how to prepare a garden vegetable lasagna in no time, along with a vegetarian option and storage tips!
Garden Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Nutrition per serving: 380 calories, 10 g fat, 35 g protein, 36 g total carb, 5 g fiber
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Total time: 80 minutes
• 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
• 2 lb lean ground chicken (96/4)
• 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 Tbsp fennel
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
• 1 medium zucchini, diced
• 1 medium yellow squash, diced
• 1 sweet onion, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2, 15-oz jars marinara sauce
• 1, 15-oz container ricotta cheese, fat-free
• 1 egg
• 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
• 1 lb (box) lasagna noodles, uncooked
• 12 oz shredded mozzarella, part-skim
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground chicken. Once it begins to brown after a couple of minutes, season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
2. Add carrots, zucchini, squash, onion, and garlic. Continue to sauté, stirring frequently until onions and garlic are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low-medium and add the marinara sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce, at least 15 minutes, then remove from heat.
4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a large baking dish with cooking spray.
5. While the sauce simmers, make the cheese mixture. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, egg, and Parmesan until ingredients are evenly distributed.
6. To assemble, start by spooning a thin layer of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with uncooked lasagna noodles to make an even layer.
7. Spoon ricotta cheese over the noodles and use the back of your spoon to spread it evenly. Then add a layer of mozzarella cheese followed by a thick layer of meat sauce. Repeat the pattern with layers of noodles, the remaining ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce. Repeat with one more layer of lasagna noodles, add any remaining sauce, and cover the top with mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. You want the sauce to be bubbly and the cheese to be completely melted and browned at the edges.
9. Let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. (Read on for tips to store any leftovers!)
Lasagna Preparation, Serving & Storing Suggestions
Enjoy lasagna with another type of meat or none at all? Want a delicious lasagna already prepped for an easy dinner during a busy week?
We grant these wishes with simple solutions!
Use various meats.
Already have ground turkey on hand? No problem! The lasagna recipe is versatile so feel free to swap out the ground chicken with equal amounts of ground beef, ground turkey, and Italian sausage as desired.
When choosing any sort of meat, try sticking to a leaner option to limit saturated and overall fat content.
Prepare a vegetarian-friendly lasagna.
Completely nix the use of meat and prepare a vegetarian-friendly lasagna. Likewise bulk the recipe with other plant-based protein and veggies, including:
• Bell peppers
• Mushrooms such as crimini and shiitake
To increase overall protein content, add favorite plant-based protein sources. These may include quinoa and red lentils.
Balance the meal with favorite veggies.
The lasagna is jam-packed with vegetables as is. But serving with other favorite veggies can further balance out the meal and ensure daily nutrient intake.
Some delicious veggie recipes include:
• Roasted broccoli that is roasted to perfection and takes a quick 30 minutes!
• Italian roasted cauliflower, perfectly seasoned with onion, balsamic vinegar, and garlic.
• Side salad with fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Refrigerate or freeze for later enjoyment.
Have any leftovers? Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
The lasagna can be frozen for later use as well, so feel free to make a double batch. Preparing and freezing the lasagna is also a great way to repurpose veggies about to spoil.
If planning to freeze, bake in an aluminum foil pan so a commonly used dish is not held up. Cover with foil tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, bake in a 375°F oven for about 90 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and golden in color.