“Whoa. A healthy lasagna? Nope, no thanks, definitely not eating that”. Those were the exact words out of my husband’s mouth when I mentioned what I was cooking for dinner.
Don’t worry, this lasagna is going to blow your mind. It is so flavorful that you’re not going to even miss the onions and the garlic. And if you think a squash and a zucchini can’t make awesome gluten-free “noodles”, well guess what? You’re wrong again!
I have to confess, I was doing so great at making this lasagna dairy-free. So great that is, until my mind caught up with what was actually about to happen and freaked out! Lasagna without cheese?! Not in this lifetime. So naturally, just before I put it in the oven things got severely out of hand, and I ended up putting an entire POUND of fresh mozzarella in this lasagna!
Wait, (you say) fresh mozzarella doesn’t even come in pounds…it comes in tiny little mozzarella balls. Nope. Also wrong. Curse you Trader Joe’s. I was seduced into buying this pound of fresh mozzarella because at Trader Joe’s a full pound of fresh mozzarella costs almost the same amount as a normal 8 oz ball would cost in any other grocery store. And me, not being able to do things any other way than completely over the top; at the last moment I felt the need to use the entire package! I only bought this cheese as a backup, just in case this recipe needed a little cheese…trust me, it doesn’t anymore!
Part of the problem is that I’ve never cooked with fresh mozzarella. I have really only used it for tomato caprese salad (yum!). I wanted to give it a try it because fresh mozzarella tastes so fresh and light compared to regular mozzarella, perfect for a summer lasagna. I was terrified that it wasn’t going to melt, and if it wasn’t going to melt, I wanted to be sure that I had enough cheese in the layers so that each bite included cheese…who wants a cheese-less bite? Hello?
Much to my delight, I found that fresh mozzarella melts exactly like regular mozzarella. That being said you really can use HALF of the amount that I did. I’m not saying it’s not delicious with a full pound, but it would be just as fantastic with half a pound…yes, half!
I considered just telling you that I had used half a pound and not even admitting to my own cheese madness (that’s right, and I’m saying this right to your face!) but you deserve the truth…and I know I’m not the only one out there worrying if the cheese has enough real estate on any dish. Since both ricotta cheese and cottage cheese are not FODMAP friendly, there had to be mozzarella…there just had to be.
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1 28 oz can of Plain Diced Tomatoes (I used Hunt’s)
- 1 large Zucchini
- 1 large Yellow Squash
- 2 cups Raw Kale, chopped
- 1/2 lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (Or a full pound, hey, do you!)
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch (and 2 Tbsp Water)
- Keep close by: Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil Spray
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Wash the squash and zucchini, then slice into strips on a mandoline (be careful, don’t cut yourself, blood does not add flavor to this recipe!).
- Place the vegetable strips on paper towels to absorb the moisture while you cook the ground turkey.
- In a large skillet sauté the ground turkey until cooked through.
- Drain off the excess fat and continue to brown the turkey in the skillet.
- Once you have achieved the desired brownness on the ground turkey, add in the full can of diced tomatoes (if you are worried about a sloppy sauce you can drain the tomatoes first, I didn’t).
- After 5 – 10 minutes slowly add the kale to the skillet and fold it in until it cooks down.
- If you feel your sauce is too thin, mix the cornstarch in with the water (in a separate bowl) and then add it into your sauce mixture, it will thicken almost immediately.
- Next, spray your baking dish with olive oil (I used an 8 x 8 square glass dish) and make a thick layer with your sliced zucchini on the bottom of the dish.
- Add half of your sauce mixture on top of the zucchini layer.
- Then make a layer of sliced mozzarella.
- Follow with a thick layer of your sliced squash.
- Layer the rest of your sauce mixture on top of the squash.
- And the final top layer will be cheese (don’t worry, it doesn’t have to look pretty, it WILL melt!).
- Finally, bake it in the oven for 45 minutes, uncovered. **See recipe notes/thoughts about cooking times
- I used an 8 x 8 baking dish for this recipe; had I known how delicious it was going to be (and how much work) I would have made a much larger pan of it.
- I also like the idea of mixing the zucchini and squash together to make the layers; I didn’t do it this time because I wanted to see the colors separately in each layer, but you might want to mix it up!
- My mandoline is a cheap-y and only cuts one thickness…paper thin! I would have cut the zucchini and squash much thicker than it came out, but that’s me, I like thick layers. Which is also the reason I decided to pile it on top of itself and only make 2 layers. If you prefer your layers thin you can layer them up to the sky…it really is your limit!
- I wasn’t sure how watery the zucchini and squash would make the lasagna, so I did lay them out on parchment paper covered baking sheets after slicing them, and I broiled them in the oven for 4 minutes per sheet to remove any potential excess moisture. I truly think this is an unnecessary step, honestly, not that much moisture came off of them (because they were sliced so thin) and I almost burned them!
- If you decide to use thicker cuts of veggies you may want to 1. Let the slices rest on paper towels as I suggested in the recipe above 2. Salt them and then rest them on paper towels 3. Go ahead and pre-roast them to remove the excess moisture 4. Or, cook the lasagna an extra 15 minutes and be sure to drain off any excess water you notice around the 45 minute mark.
- Also, be sure to put either a sheet of aluminum foil or a cookie sheet on the rack under your lasagna; I had minimal spillage, but you never know, better safe than sorry and I hate the smell of a burnt oven.
In the end, once he was forced to try it, this dish was 100% husband approved!
What did you think? Could you or your family tell that this is actually a low FODMAP and gluten-free lasagna?