The problem with most casserole dishes?
Besides the fact that they very often aren't made with real foods, they also lack protein! At best, you might get a couple chunks of meat mixed in with starches and sauces.
In our family, that's not good enough. We know and believe that getting adequate protein at each meal equates to better overall health, both physically and mentally.
Thus, my mission this last winter has been to tweak yummy casserole dishes by making them with whole foods and ample protein. The first dish I tweaked was our lasagna!
Now to be honest, I actually hadn't made lasagna for years. Years!
The first pan tasted really good and had plenty of meat, but it was watery. I've since made it a bunch more times, and now it's finally “there”.
Classic, super easy, MEATY lasagna. So yummy, made with real foods… and packed with protein!
In case you're wondering, a slice that's one-eighth of the pan gives you the equivalent of a 1/4 pound hamburger.
Easy Real Food Meaty Lasagna
The problem with most casseroles? They aren't healthy (read: made from REAL, whole foods), and they lack protein! I made it my mission to perfect a classic meaty lasagna recipe... and guess what? I did it! With gluten-free noodles, yummy ricotta, and plenty of grass-fed beef for protein, this is the best easy homemade lasagna ever. One serving will give you the equivalent of a 1/4 pound hamburger!
- 10 ounces lasagna noodles use brown rice noodles such as Tinkyada brand for gluten-free lasagna
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- sea salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 32 ounces marinara sauce
- 2 cups kale de-stemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (optional)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated and divided
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese shredded
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook noodles in salted, oily water until al dente (2 minutes less than package says).
Once cooked, drain noodles.
Rinse with cold water to stop cooking, then lay on a cookie sheet and mist with oil to prevent sticking.
In a large pot, brown ground beef with garlic and oregano.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add marinara sauce and kale (if desired). Stir and warm through.
Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix.
In a 9"x13" casserole dish, spread a thin layer of meat sauce, a single layer of noodles, a layer of ricotta mixture (spread spoonfuls on noodles), and a layer of mozzarella.
Repeat three times.
Top last layer of noodles with meat sauce, remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan, and mozzarella.
Bake, covered, for 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then increase to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, uncover, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until cheese brown and bubbly.
Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Do you have any favorite high-protein comfort foods? Will you try this homemade meaty lasagna with ricotta cheese?
Looking for other comfort food recipes? Try these…
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