Thursday, June 12, 2014

Power Green Lean Lasagna

By posting this recipe I am entering a contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I went through a stage in second grade when my ponytails had to be perfect. And I don't mean just "nice looking," I mean I didn't have a stray hair out of place and there was not a bump to be seen. It's a phase my mom and I laugh about to this day because my ponytails look nothing like that anymore.

In eighth grade, I discovered the "messy ponytail." And that's when I realized that the occasional bump, stray hair, and imperfection not only looked and felt better, it made my life so much easier.

So what does this have to do with my favorite Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna? I’m getting to it, I promise.

When I first started cooking, I was so terrified of making mistakes. As someone who is a self-proclaimed people pleaser and perfectionist, I was so worried about my end result coming out messy, burnt, too bland, too spicy, too sweet, or too salty. Thankfully, I’ve made so much peace with this reality. I’ve made all of those mistakes (and way more), but I always learn from them and always have fun making the mistakes. I truly enjoy my time in the kitchen creating my masterpieces and disaster-pieces.

I developed this recipe a few years ago when I was craving lasagna, but didn’t want to have to go through the process of layering everything perfectly. This version is so easy to make, so satisfying, and so perfectly imperfect. The combination of the sautéed mushrooms with ground beef blend together to create a lighter version of lasagna compared to the typical super meat-heavy recipes. I’ve served this to many of the people I love and because of that, it’s one of my all-time favorite imperfect creations.

Power Green Lean Lasagna


2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup onion, chopped
½ pound pasture-raised lean ground beef
3 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoons oregano
2 cups crimini mushrooms, thinly chopped
4 cups of dark leafy greens of your choice (i.e. spinach, chard, kale)
2 cups reduced-fat Ricotta cheese
2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked
½ cup freshly grated mozzarella


1.      Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2.      Place a large pot of water on high heat on the stove. Once the water begins to boil, add the whole grain pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.

3.      Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté the garlic and chopped onions over medium heat in the olive oil until slightly golden.

4.      Add the mushrooms, sautéing until the mushrooms soften.

5.      Add the ground beef to the onions and garlic mixture, separating the meat with your spoon, until cooked (about 7 minutes).

6.      Add the tomato sauce and oregano, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the sauce to a simmer on the stove.

7.      While the sauce is simmering, in a separate large bowl, combine the leafy greens with the ricotta cheese.

8.      Time to assemble! In a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, place the cooked pasta on the bottom, top with the ricotta and green leafy mixture, and then top with the mushroom, beef and tomato sauce. Top with the mozzarella cheese.

9.      Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Enjoy, preferably with those you love.

If you want to share your own love of mushrooms, The Mushroom Council is hosting a fun contest this summer called “Swap It or Top It.” The grand prize winner will receive $5000! How great is that?           


  1. OK - love the lead in to this recipe - from getting comfortable to "messy" hair to "messy" recipes - I always use the word "rustic" instead. This looks delish!

    1. I LOVE that Deanna :) "Rustic." I'm going with that from now on!

  2. I think we must be related! I had somewhat of a perfectionist personality growing up, although mine was not reflected in my ponytails, but in the fact that I re-copied all my school notes to make them "perfect" Sigh..... Thanks fully, I. Ow embrace "perfectly imperfect" and your messy power lasagna sounds fabulous, although it looks pretty good (unmessy) to me too :-)

    1. Oh, EA -- we MUST be related. I did the exact same thing. *Double sigh* So happy I've outgrown that stage too :)

  3. Beautiful lasagna! Look perfect to me!

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy! It tastes yummy and that's the most important part :)