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5 secrets to healthier lasagna

By Carolyn Malcoun, October 27, 2009 - 10:42am

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Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. Although it's not exactly the most stellar meal nutritionally, its cheesy goodness is irresistible. But with a few easy swaps, you can make your favorite lasagna recipe healthier. Lasagna actually has quite a lot going for it, health-wise—it's all in how you assemble it.

When developing Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna we came up with some strategies to cut fat and calories and boost fiber in lasagna, without sacrificing flavor. (See more recipe makeovers of your favorite comfort foods here.) Here are our 5 secrets to making healthier lasagna:

  1. Swap whole-wheat lasagna noodles for regular ones to increase fiber.
  2. Use full-flavored Italian turkey sausage instead of pork sausage to cut saturated fat.
  3. Add frozen spinach to add nutrients and bulk up the filling with minimal calories.
  4. Replace some of the sausage with sliced mushrooms; mushrooms have a "meaty" flavor that is as satisfying as meat but with far less calories and fat.
  5. Use part-skim cheeses instead of full-fat versions to reduce calories and saturated fat.

Try these techniques with your favorite pasta recipe, or make our healthy lasagna recipes for Classic Lasagna with ground beef and creamy cheese, our vegetarian Caramelized Onion Lasagna or our quick Lasagna Rolls.

Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna
Vegetarian Variation: Use a sausage-style soy product, such as Gimme Lean, or simply omit the sausage altogether.

Which comfort food would you like to see made healthier? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Healthy Cooking Blog

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: Which comfort food would you like to see made healthier?

Tell us what you think:

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