The BEST turkey lasagna EVER. Made with a homemade tomato basil sauce packed with fresh herbs & italian spices, layered with lean ground turkey, mozzarella, creamy ricotta and a touch of parmesan. Perfect for serving crowds, family style dinners, or freezing for later!
YO YO YO.
Remind me to never start a blog post with that intro again. HI. It’s me. Your neighborhood healthy comfort makeover lady coming in with a juicy new recipe for you that’s perfect for when you want to impress your family, make your love swoon, comfort a friend or just make cause you freaking love Italian food.
Say HELLO to my healthier turkey lasagna. She’s a beauty, isn’t she?
Surprisingly, this is my first lasagna recipe on the site. I say that because I absolutely love lasagna more than any other Italian food. Back during my college years I had asked my mom to make me a spinach and butternut squash lasagna for my birthday meal; it is still one of my favorite meals of all time. I can remember the warm butternut squash sauce between noodles and tons of mozzarella.
I loved the recipe SO much that instead of sharing the leftovers with any of my roommates, I cut the lasagna up into individual servings, ate it for lunch and dinner for 4 days straight, then froze the remaining slices so that I could enjoy it again the following week.
CALL ME THE SELFISH LASAGNA GIRL.
Or wait, actually don’t.
I decided I wanted to make a classic version of lasagna but with a turkey meat sauce instead of beef and little creative twists here and there. It turned out a million times better than I could have ever expected, so let’s discuss what’s all involved:
Homemade tomato sauce: I like to make this with a homemade tomato basil infused sauce. I use tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to thicken. Then I like to add italian seasoning, oregano, garlic, fennel, a hint of pure maple syrup, nutmeg (a secret Italian ingredient). Finally, I stir in fresh basil to give it a beautiful fresh and flavorful taste. It’s pure love.
Lean ground turkey: I’m a HUGE fan of ground turkey. It’s just so easy to make recipes with and I love the nutritional profile. I use the 94% lean ground turkey, but you could also use 99% lean — just know that it won’t be as flavorful as moist if you end up using the extra lean. Check out other recipes you can use with ground turkey here.
Whole wheat lasagna noodles: I have a feeling that for most of you, whole wheat lasagna noodles are hard to find. They were available at my local grocery store, but just in case they aren’t at yours, know that you can use regular OR gluten free lasagna noodles. You can also buy the whole wheat lasagna noodles online here.
Fresh basil: Between the layers of noodles isn’t just cheese and sauce, but also fresh basil leaves. It adds a little something special to the lasagna and increases the flavor profile.
CHEESE! Also between the layers of noodles is fresh mozzarella cheese, parmesan and a creamy ricotta. This also contributes to the lasagna flavor, so do not skip the cheese (an excellent source of protein!).
How to Freeze Lasagna: Two different ways
Another thing I absolutely love about this meal is that the lasagna is freezer friendly! There are two methods to freezing lasagna:
- Bake first, then freeze. You can either bake it first, then cool to room temperature, slice into servings, place in freezer safe containers and then freeze. Or you can bake it, bring to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Just make sure you double wrap it so the lasagna does not dry out. This is assuming you are freezing the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out. Then bake, covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
- Freeze before baking: To freeze before baking, simply assemble the lasagna as written in the instructions, then double wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to bake, thaw out then bake according to instructions.
Personally I like to cook mine first, then freeze in individual portions, so I can take it out for meals or for lunch as needed. I just reheat my serving in the microwave. YUM.
See how to make the turkey lasagna:
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. It’s great for parties and football season too. If you make it, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram and/or leave a comment and rate the recipe below!
This recipe is part of my best of series, where I test and improve recipes to make them the ‘best ever’. Let me know which recipe you’d like me to make next!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
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Creamy Chipotle Sweet Potato Penne Pasta
Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese
Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Meat Sauce
30 Minute Healthier Turkey Sloppy Joes with Homemade Sauce