• Home
  • Services/Classes
  • Cookbooks/Writing
  • Italy Tour
  • Travel
  • Sources/Links
  • Contact

A Lasagna Compromise

June 8, 2012 | One Dish Meals, Pasta & Pizza

Lasagna seems like the perfect place to get more vegetables into your diet. In fact, I love a vegetarian version with layers of spinach and ricotta throughout. But my husband seems to have an aversion to most vegetables and prefers his pasta dishes with meat and cheese only, so I came up with this version of lasagna as a compromise. It does have meat, but I also snuck in some nicely caramelized mushrooms, sauteed onions, and beet greens. I’m hoping that the layers of rich cheese entice him enough that he doesn’t object!The secret to that rich and creamy layer is in using whole milk ricotta (and also whole milk mozzarella) instead of part skim.I did layer in some cooked ground beef (along with a tiny bit of cooked Italian sausage that was looking for a home) and topped the meat layers with some sliced fresh mozzarella cheese.But I added a layer with these nicely caramelized crimini mushrooms……and topped that layer with that heavenly ricotta cheese.I did one more meat layer, then the final layer was sauteed onions and beet greens that I also topped with ricotta.After adding the top layer of noodles (uncooked I might add – I never waste the time to cook my lasagna noodles first), I spread that with some marinara sauce, added more sliced mozzarella cheese and a good heavy sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.Does this not look fantastic? Although my husband was happy with his meat layers, the caramelized mushrooms and other veggies really added outstanding flavor and texture to the dish. Finally, a compromise on lasagna that I think we are both happy with!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Meat and Vegetable Lasagna
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped beet greens or fresh spinach
  • Lasagna noodles (enough for 5 layers in a 9 x 13 casserole dish), uncooked
  • 1 pound ground beef or bison, browned
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 pound fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in each of two skillets. Add mushrooms to one and cook over medium heat until nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add onions to the other skillet and cook until slightly softened, then add beet greens just until wilted slightly. Set vegetables aside.
  2. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray and cover the bottom with a layer of noodles. Combine 3 cups marinara sauce with the browned meat and spread half of it over the noodles. Top with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese. Layer noodles on top of the meat and cheese, then spread mushrooms on top of that; top with ½ of the ricotta cheese. Layer noodles on top, pressing down slightly to tighten the layers, and spread remaining meat sauce on top. Top with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese and another layer of noodles. Spread onions and greens over this layer, then top with remaining ricotta cheese. Top with one more layer of noodles and cover with remaining marinara sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle with Parmigiano.
  3. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Let stand a few minutes before cutting and serving. To save leftovers, wrap individual portions in plastic wrap and freeze.



5 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. do you use the no-boil noodles or just regular lasagna noodles?


    • I used the no-boil noodles, but I also make lasagna with regular noodles and don’t pre-boil them. Just make sure you have enough sauce to absorb in and cook them!


  2. Nice. I am impressed that you snuck beet greens in! My hubs is the same way.


  3. if it’s got Ricotta and lasagna noodles, I’m loving it. Got my first shipment from Monroe Farms. How fun. Wish I would have joined years ago.


    • I can’t believe how early the produce is this year from Monroe – hope you enjoy the farm as much as I do!


Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe:  

About Michele

My Cookbooks


Profile in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles

CHL with books 7-2014

Restaurant Reviews

  • linger denver ceviche with taro chips and avocado
  • chinese takeout
  • aspen the wild fig alamosa striped bass-1
  • perbacco-san-francisco
  • taste of the nation vail
  • earls kitchen
  • ThinkstockPhotos-503528737

Ingredient Search

almonds apples arugula Asian asparagus avocado bacon baking balsamic barbecue basil beans bechamel beef beets bison blueberries braising broccoli brunch butter buttermilk cabbage cake carrots cauliflower celeriac celery cheese chicken chickpeas chiles chili chocolate Christmas cilantro coconut cookbook cookies Cooking Matters Colorado corn couscous cranberries CSA cucumber curry dips duck eggplant eggs fennel feta cheese fish gardens garlic ginger giveaway goat cheese grains greens grilling herbs ice cream Italian kale lamb lasagna leeks leftovers lemon lime meatballs meatloaf Mexican mint Moroccan muffins mushrooms mussels nuts oats olive oil onions orange pancetta parsley peach pears peppers pesto pickles pineapple pine nuts pizza plums pork potatoes prosciutto quinoa ribs rice ricotta roasting rosemary salmon sausage Share Our Strength shrimp soy spaghetti Spanish spices spinach squash stews strawberries sushi sweet potatoes swiss chard tarragon Thanksgiving tomatoes tortillas tuna turkey vegetarian vinegar wine yogurt zucchini


Click on the Door to Door Organics logo above to sign up for delivery and receive 10% off your first order!

Help End Hunger


Other Stuff

Cooking with Michele

my foodgawker gallery

Sommelier Courses and Wine Classes from the International Wine Guild Wine School

The International Wine Guild Wine School