Lasagne is one of those wonderful comfort dishes that never disappoints. Traditionally, it’s made with a rich mixed meat bolognese, creamy white sauce and lots of cheese which is delicious, but not so good if you are watching what you eat.
Just because I am working on weight loss this year, it doesn’t mean I want to give up on my favourite things. Instead, I’m finding ways to adapt my favourite recipes and make them not only healthier, but so good the whole family will enjoy them!
Earlier this week, I mentioned on Facebook that I was cooking up a delicious healthy lasagne for dinner and my dear friend Hira all the way over in Pakistan (Hi,Hira!) jumped right in and asked if I’d blog the recipe.
Well sure I can! Hira, this one is just for you
Now just to warn you, this isn’t your typical healthy lasagne.
I’m not substituting white sauce for yoghurt or anything crazy. Instead, I’m keeping ALL my favourite flavours (I love them!). Instead, I’m adding in a extra goodness, easing back on the richness and creating a dish that is totally tasty and in keeping with my Slimming World weight loss plan. (See bottom of post for Syns value).
My Healthy Lasagna Recipe
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 500g extra lean (5% fat) minced beef
- 2 x cans or cartons of chopped tomatoes
- 1 large carrot, grated
- Handful of mushrooms, chopped
- 2 x Oxo cubes, the red ones
- Good splash of Worcester sauce
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 25g butter
- Tablespoon plain white flour
- 400ml skimmed milk
- 50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the bolognese…
- In a large pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add the onions. Cook gently until softened, taking care they don’t brown.
- Add the garlic and stir through.
- Add the minced beef and cook until browned, stirring to break up any chunks.
- Crumble over the Oxo cubes and add the chopped tomatoes, carrot and mushrooms.
- Leave to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and press ahead to make your white sauce.
- Don’t allow your bolognese to become too dry. Keep it saucy! Add a splash of water to thin, if necessary.
- (Before assembling, add a good splash of Worcester sauce (I counted 6 shakes of the bottle!), a handful of chopped basil and season with salt and pepper).
For the white sauce…
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour.
- Stir until combined and cook gently over a low heat for a minute or two.
- Add a small splash of milk and stir. The mixture will thicken fast.
- Continue to add a *small* splash of milk and stir until blended without lumps. Repeat until all the milk has been used and you have a smooth, creamy sauce.
- If you add too much milk too fast, it WILL go lumpy and horrible. Don’t rush this part.
- Turn the heat down low and allow for your white sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper to season.
To prepare the lasagne sheets…
- In another pan, par boil your lasagne sheets until lightly softened.
- Grab yourself a large oven proof dish (I’m yet to find one that perfectly fits lasagne sheets) and start by placing a layer of your part-cooked lasagne on the bottom.
- Top with half of your bolognese meat sauce.
- Add another layer of lasagne sheets and top with the remaining half of your bolognese sauce.
- Place a final layer of lasagne sheets on top.
- Finish with a generous layer of white sauce and sprinkle over your finely grated parmesan cheese.
- To decorate, brush a few basil leaves with your remaining teaspoon of olive oil and arrange on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes (180* fan) or until light golden brown and the edges start to crisp.
Serve with a lovely fresh, crisp salad.
With a normal lasagne, I wouldn’t usually pre-boil the pasta sheets. But because you’re not adding a liquid layer of white sauce all the way through, it’s important to soften the sheets first so they don’t remain hard. For the same reason, keep your bolognese sauce ‘ saucy’ and not too dry as the pasta will absorb some of the excess liquid when in the oven.
You can add as many extra veggies as you like. I’ve included carrots and mushrooms, but why not try peppers, peas, sweetcorn – anything!
Slimming World Info:
If you’re following the Slimming World Extra Easy plan and wish to count the portion of milk & cheese as your HexA, then this would be just 3 syns per portion. Alternatively, if you prefer to use your daily Healthy Extra ‘A’ choice on something else and syn the full ingredients, this lasagne would then be 6 syns per portion.
By comparison, a typical lasagne portion served in an Italian restaurant is a whopping 12.5 syns!
So, there you have it.
My delicious healthy lasagne recipe. I hope you like it as much as we do