Spinach and Rice Lasagna
This recipe is such a surprising twist on traditional lasagna but the flavors and textures work perfectly together! No matter your confidence level in the kitchen, this is a winner!
- 3/4 cup white or quick-cooking brown rice 2 cups cooked
- 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (or use any variety),
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (or use any variety)
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey or meatless crumbles
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 cups red pasta sauce (store-bought or homemade) see link below for homemade sauce directions
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8 x 11-inch baking dish (this can also work with a 9 x 9 if necessary) with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare the rice according to the package directions and cool it slightly in the freezer.
- Defrost the spinach in the microwave or stovetop and drain it thoroughly (I press the spinach with the bottom of a bowl over a strainer to squeeze out all the water).
- In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, the mozzarella cheese and the cottage cheese. Set it aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the rice, eggs and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- In a large nonstick skillet, brown the meat over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. (If you are using meatless crumbles, brown it in a tablespoon of olive oil.)
- Add the garlic powder, the spinach, breaking the spinach up with your fingers to separate it, and the pasta sauce, and continue cooking until it is heated through.
- Spoon one half of the rice mixture into the baking dish, spreading it evenly with a spatula (it might not look like you have enough of the rice mixture to cover the bottom but just do your best).
- Cover it with one half of the cheese mixture, and top that with one half of the meat sauce. Repeat the layers. Top it with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Bake it for 15 – 20 minutes until it is hot and bubbly. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce. Cook and prepare all mixtures as directed above. Spread reserved pasta sauce in a thin layer in the bottom of the slow cooker, then layer mixtures into slow cooker as directed, omitting the Parmesan cheese on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Turn slow cooker off, then top with Parmesan cheese and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the rice, defrost the spinach, grate the Parmesan cheese and shred the mozzarella cheese if necessary, beat and refrigerate the eggs, make and refrigerate the ground beef mixture, make and refrigerate the rice mixture, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the lasagna. Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic powder and/or add a pinch of black pepper to the skillet with the turkey. Tip: A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that higher brown rice intake (2 or more weekly servings versus less than 1 monthly serving) is related to a reduced risk of type 2 Diabetes. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 504, Total Fat: 9g, 13.5%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 16%; Cholesterol: 121mg, 40%; Sodium: 834mg, 35%; Total Carbohydrate: 67g, 22%; Dietary Fiber: 2g, 9%; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 36g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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