Hi there, I have a healthy beef lasagna recipe for you. So easy to make you don’t need to search for too many ingredients. The secret is I try to hide veggies in the sauce and bechamel sauce. In order not to compromise the taste and look of the bechamel sauce I use cauliflower, it’s white and tasteless so fits right in.
Just buy, ground beef, crushed tomatoes, mixed Italian herbs and cheeses. While I have used ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese in this recipe before, and it tasted really good! I find it very hard to find Ricotta cheese. It is just not that easily available in China, most of the ones I do find are imported and expensive! so what to do? I made substitutions. Let’s cover the bases first; You can use Ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Now this is NOT some classic Italian lasagna recipe! This is khadija’s improvised lasagna recipe.
I live to simplify things, while if leaving in Italy we would all make the perfect Italian lasagna some of us live in places where we can’t even find decent cheese! So what do then? of course we get creative! That is why I explained above how you can interchange the cheese, BUT if you do use ricotta. Too much cheese talk let’s make the lasagna;
- 8-12 dry lasagna noodles
- 500 grams (about 1 pound ground beef)
- 1 can (475ml) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon mixed Italian herb seasoning (contains basil,oregano,thyme,sweet marjoram)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil for cooking the sauce
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 large white onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- optional ad ins: minced carrots, finely chopped mushrooms
For the bechamel sauce;
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk, heated
- 1 head cauliflower boiled or steamed
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar/parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahreinheit . Make the sauce by blending together the crushed tomatoes with the Italian seasoning,salt and garlic. Set aside to use later.
- First cook meat sauce; Heat your cooking dish and add cooking oil, add finely minced onions. Cook onions for roughly 4 minutes. Add the ground beef. Add the black pepper and cook until it is no longer red(raw looking).
- Add in any veggies if using at this point.
- Pour in the tomato sauce you blended before. Mix everything and let this simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Stir it often to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you need more sauce you can add 1/4 cup water. keep stirring until your sauce has reduced and deepened in color. Check for salt and add if needed.
- Cook the bechamel sauce : Melt the butter in a pan, and add in the flour. Stir until well combined and no lumps. Add the milk, processed/ pureed cauliflower and black pepper and salt. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese until it melts in the sauce.
- In your baking dish, now assemble everything; pour meat sauce in first, make sure the meat sauce covers the bottom of the pan, Place the lasagna noodles on top. Cover all the surfaces with the noodles, if you need to break a few to make them fit feel free to do so. Spread the bechamel sauce on top and some cheese. Pour meat sauce again, then noodles, then bechamel sauce, and repeat this process until you fill the dish or use up all your ingredients. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and place in the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it settle for 10 minutes before serving.
Cook the lasagna covered with aluminum foil for half the baking time to prevent the top cheese from burning.
Happy Lasagna making and Happy holidays!