Lasagna is a classic comfort food that is perfect for a cold winter night. This recipe for Hearty Ground Turkey Lasagna is a twist on the traditional lasagna, using ground turkey instead of ground beef. The result is a lasagna that is just as flavorful but a bit lighter and healthier.
This tasty recipe for Ground Turkey Lasagna is picky eaters approved. I cannot tell you how many times I have made this dish and received the same compliment and reaction. I have tried my best not to change it much because it is simple and tasty.
I’m sharing this recipe is that it’s a great way to make your family happy. My Ground Turkey Lasagna is a one-dish meal, so you only need to make one thing. This is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook a full three-course meal. And because it’s so flavorful and delicious, your whole family will love it.
I’ve never met a child who doesn’t like my Ground Turkey Lasagna. Kids love cheese and noodles, so combining the two is a surefire way to get them to eat their vegetables. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some extra protein.
As parents, we know that kids go through phases where they’re not as interested in eating. But making a dish like my Ground Turkey Lasagna can help lure them back to the dinner table. It’s a healthy and delicious meal that they’re sure to enjoy.
How to Make Hearty Ground Turkey Lasagna
- Olive oil
- Ground Turkey
- Lemon or lime juice
- Garlic Cloves
- Fresh Parsley
- Italian Seasoning
- Ground Thyme
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- Red Onion
- NouBess Hot and Spicy Sauce
- Jars of Marinara Sauce
- Oven-ready Lasagna box
- Ricotta Cheese
- Ground nutmeg
- Parmesan Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and break it up with a spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the juices have been released and the meat is browned, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the lemon/lime juice, garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, black pepper, and salt to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the onion and crushed hot pepper (if using) to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the marinara sauce, reserving 1 cup. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, beaten egg, nutmeg, and parsley. Set aside.
- Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish.
- Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread 1 cup of the ground turkey mixture over the noodles. Dollop 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture evenly over the turkey mixture and flatten with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat layers 2 more times. On the top layer, pour the remaining meat sauce and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
- Coat one side of a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray or olive oil. Cover the baking dish with the foil, with the oiled side down.
- Bake the lasagna in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, until the noodles are cooked and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Let’s talk about Ground Turkey.
Ground turkey is a lean protein that can be bland if not cooked properly. One trick I use to add flavor is to add lemon or lime juice. The citrus juice’s acidity helps break down the meat and give it a more complex flavor. It also helps to remove any gamy or off-putting smells.
I know this may seem like a strange addition, but it works! I learned this trick from my mother, and it’s one of my favorite ways to cook ground turkey.
Here’s how to do it:
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until browned.
- Add the lemon or lime juice and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
- Season with your preferred seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
That’s it! This simple trick will make your ground turkey taste so much better. Try it out next time you’re making lasagna or another dish that calls for ground turkey.
Notes and Tips for the Ground Turkey Lasagna
- You can substitute vegetarian ground beef crumbles for a vegetarian lasagna for ground turkey.
- You can also add other vegetables to the lasagna, such as mushrooms, zucchini, or peppers.
- If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can use frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry.
- To make ahead, assemble the lasagna up to the point of baking. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
One downside to sharing this recipe for Ground Turkey Lasagna is that I can’t share the specific brands of ingredients I use. I believe that the brand of each ingredient can make a big difference in the taste of a dish. However, I can give you some general guidelines. For the marinara sauce, use one that you love and trust. For the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, use brands you like and that you think will complement the other flavors in the lasagna. For the lasagna noodles, use no-broil noodles, as these will prevent the lasagna from becoming soggy. And for the spices, use your usual favorites.
Enjoy this one-dish meal of Ground Turkey Lasagna with your family, friends, and loved ones.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon red hot pepper crushed optional
- 2 24- ounces jars Marinara sauce reserve 1 cup
- 1 box oven ready lasagna
- 1 15- ounce container of Ricotta
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded
- Heat up a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium high heat; add olive oil and ground turkey. Break chunks of meat and stirring occasionally cook turkey until all the juice has been released and completely gone – about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add lemon/lime juice, garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, black pepper, and salt and let cook for about 2 minutes. Add onion and hot pepper crushed if using. Continue to cool while stirring for another 2 minutes. Add marinara sauce (reserve 1 cup). Stir to incorporate all ingredients and cover to cook on low heat for about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring 1 or 2 times.
- Meanwhile in a bowl, mix ricotta cheese, beaten egg, nutmeg and chopped parsley and set aside.
- Spray a 13 X 9” baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom.
- Top with one layer of oven ready lasagna pasta, top with 1 cup of ground turkey mixture. Using a spoon, dollop ½ cup ricotta mixture evenly over the sauce and flatten with back of spoon. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Repeat 2 more layers as needed. On the top layer pour the remaining meat sauce, top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Coat one side of the aluminum foil with either cooking spray or regular olive oil and cover the dish tightly with the oily side down.
- Bake lasagna at 375F for 20 minutes – 30 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top of the lasagna is browned, about 30 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.
Originally published on December 24, 2014. Updated and revised.