5 secrets to healthier lasagna

Published on October 27 2009 - 2:42 PM
Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. Although it's not exactly the most stellar meal nutritionally, its cheesy goodness is irresistible. But with a few easy swaps, you can make your favorite lasagna recipe healthier. Lasagna actually has quite a lot going for it, health-wise—it's all in how you assemble it.

When developing Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna we came up with some strategies to cut fat and calories and boost fiber in lasagna, without sacrificing flavor. (See more recipe makeovers of your favorite comfort foods here.) Here are our 5 secrets to making healthier lasagna:

  1. Swap whole-wheat lasagna noodles for regular ones to increase fiber.
  2. Use full-flavored Italian turkey sausage instead of pork sausage to cut saturated fat.
  3. Add frozen spinach to add nutrients and bulk up the filling with minimal calories.
  4. Replace some of the sausage with sliced mushrooms; mushrooms have a "meaty" flavor that is as satisfying as meat but with far less calories and fat.
  5. Use part-skim cheeses instead of full-fat versions to reduce calories and saturated fat.

Try these techniques with your favorite pasta recipe, or make our healthy lasagna recipes for Classic Lasagna with ground beef and creamy cheese, our vegetarian Caramelized Onion Lasagna or our quick Lasagna Rolls.

Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna
Vegetarian Variation: Use a sausage-style soy product, such as Gimme Lean, or simply omit the sausage altogether.

Carolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing as a recipe contributor for EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison. Carolyn lives in Burlington, Vermont, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.