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Three Cheese Spinach Lasagna
If you’re not a huge fan of spinach, but you’re looking for a way to incorporate more of this nutrient-packed leafy green into your diet, this recipe is perfect for you. The spinach flavor is extremely mild, but you’ll still get all of the health benefits of this nutrient-packed leafy green. Just be sure to really squeeze the spinach well to remove all the excess moisture. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy lasagna.
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
14 dry whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 package (12 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cups all-natural fat-free ricotta cheese, drained of any liquid on top of the container
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2-1/2 cups all-natural low-fat, low-salt, no-sugar-added marinara sauce (I used Monte Bene Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
4 ounces finely shredded almond mozzarella cheese (I used Lisanatti)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, add the olive oil to the pot. Add the noodles to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well. Cut or tear 2 of the noodles in half widthwise.
Meanwhile, drain the spinach well by squeezing it in a clean, lint-free dish towel until all of the excess moisture is removed. Once you think all of the moisture is removed, continue squeezing the spinach even more to ensure it is completely dry. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, egg whites, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, parsley, and garlic powder until well combined. Stir in the drained spinach until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ glass or ceramic baking dish. Lay 3-1/2 noodles evenly across the bottom of the dish in a single layer. Dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture in big spoonfuls across the noodle layer and, using a rubber spatula, spread it into an even layer. Top the ricotta with 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle one-quarter of the mozzarella evenly over the sauce. Repeat this layering process (noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella) two more times. For the final layer, top the lasagna with the last of the noodles. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella, then the remaining Parmesan.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and the lasagna is hot throughout. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 8 squares and serve.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving: 257 calories, 22 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates (6 g sugar), 4 g fat,
Reprinted from: The Biggest Loser Flavors of the World Cookbook by Devin Alexander (c) 2011 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. The Biggest Loser (TM ) and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. www.devinalexander.com
Photo Credit: Mitch Mandel