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Zero Calories! My Lasagna without Ricotta.

Updated on January 26, 2014

Lasagna and it's ingredients

Making lasagna
Making lasagna | Source
4.5 stars from 10 ratings of lasagna without ricotta

This Recipe's History.

Over the years I have had to change the combination of cheeses in this lasagna several times before I could get a working recipe that would satisfy my family's different tastes in lasagna.

My first experiment was a sour disaster. I took the ricotta out of my lasagna completely and added only cheddar cheese. Uh! Sour city!

I kept changing from one combination of cheeses to another with disastrous results. Eventually, I have completely altered the recipe that I started out with.

So here is the recipe that I am using now :-

Ingredients for this recipe

pasta sauce & other ingredients
pasta sauce & other ingredients | Source

Ingredients

  • 18 oven ready lasagna noodles, does not need boiling before hand
  • 1- 640 ml jar Ragu pasta sauce
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup Kraft's Tex-Mex cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 3/4 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp hot peppers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp celery leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Prepared Veggies and Herbs

veggies & herbs
veggies & herbs | Source

Meat sauce and assembly for lasagna

  1. Place ground beef in a pan over medium heat and add salt. Let it cook until brown and fat is running clear. Then place in a strainer and let most of the fat drain.
  2. While the fat is draining, combine all the cheeses in a mixing bowl. then divide into 3 parts.
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan and saute onions, garlic, hot peppers and celery leaves until fragrant or onion starts to become translucent. About five minutes. Add basil and oregano.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, you have keep stirring to keep it from sticking to the pan and get burnt, about 1 minute. Pour in Ragu sauce and stir, until tomato paste is completely incorporated. Add ground beef and veggies. Add water if needed, and let cook for about 25 minutes.
  5. While sauce is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  6. To assemble lasagna, spread 1 cup meat sauce on the bottom of a 10" x 15" baking dish and place 3 sets of two noodles on top of sauce at about 1/2 inch apart. Spoon meat sauce over noodles, making sure that noodles are generously covered. Then spread one part of the cheese and repeat for second and third layers, alternating with noodles, sauce and cheese. If there is any sauce left just spoon it around on the inside of the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake covered for 40 minutes, uncover and bake until top is brown, about 15 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Cheeses used in this recipe

cheeses
cheeses | Source

Tips and Options

Tips :-

  1. To accommodate the uncooked lasagna noodles pour 1-2 cups of water around on the inside of baking dish. The noodles will use it up as they expand.
  2. A coating of Pam oil spray on the foil would prevent the cheese from sticking to it.
  3. After cooking lasagna for 40 minutes, instead of browning for 15 minutes, uncover and then grill on low for about 3 minutes for faster browning.
  4. Mushrooms can be either Button or Portabello or a combination of both.


Options :-

  1. If you prefer, substitute 1 tbsp dried basil with 3 tbsps of fresh and 1 tsp dried oregano with 1 tbsp fresh.
  2. Kraft TexMex blend contains mozzarella, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses as well as jalapeno peppers.This can be substituted for any other blends.
  3. Canned mushroom can be used instead of fresh.
  4. Hot peppers can be omitted.
  5. Make lasagna as cheesy as you want.
  6. Veggies can be sliced if preferred.
  7. Use meats of your choice, instead of 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef.

Cooked lasagna

Square of lasagna
Square of lasagna | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 55 min
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: Makes 14 servings of lasagna.

Nutrition value based on single serving portion

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 1/2" square
Calories 0
Calories from Fat108
% Daily Value *
Fat 12 g18%
Saturated fat 6 g30%
Unsaturated fat 4 g
Carbohydrates 35 g12%
Sugar 5 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 25 g50%
Cholesterol 49 mg16%
Sodium 744 mg31%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Veggies used in this lasagna recipe.

Veggies
Veggies | Source

Health benefits of the vegetables in this recipe

Zucchini is a summer squash that is high in fiber, water, vitamins A&C and potassium. This vegetable contains a lot of other nutrients that support our health. It's fiber and water provide low calorie volume in our body which helps to maintain our weight.

The vitamins and minerals that is contained within the zucchini provides boost to our immune system and promotes healthy heart, skin, lungs and eyes. It also, helps to lower cholesterol, cancer prevention,prostate health and lower blood pressure.

To select the best zucchini, look for the ones that are free of nicks and bruises, are small to medium size and have green stems. Plus, really fresh zucchini will have fine hairs on the skin.

Bell Peppers contain a large amount of Phytochemicals which contains antioxidants.

  1. The red bell pepper contains Lycopene which helps to protect us against cancer and heart disease.
  2. The green bell pepper contains Zeaxanthin, this keeps our eyes healthy and is said to reduce the risk of age-related eye disorders.
  3. The yellow bell pepper contains 1.65 milligrams of Niacin, it helps to keep our nerves working normally. Niacin also helps our digestive system to convert the food we eat into useable energy.

To select the best peppers in the store, look for the ones that have deep vivid color, firm skin that is free of blemishes, soft spots and darkened areas, Peppers should be heavy for their size and their stems should be green and fresh.

Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight and several types Selenium which helps to lower the risk of bladder cancer. Unlike most vegetables, mushrooms retain their nutrient content when cooked.

  1. Portobello mushrooms are rich in Selenium which assists in DNA repair in the body and Zinc, which plays an important role in our immune function, wound healing and cell division is also found in portobello mushroom.
  2. Button mushrooms contains high amounts of Copper, this mineral is needed by our body to produce blood cell and heart health. Button mushrooms have been found to significantly reduce the effects of breast, colon and prostate cancers.

In selecting the freshest mushrooms, look for firm caps with no bruises, the gills should feel crisp and tight and the caps on the button mushroom should be white.

Celery contains phenolic nutrients which our body uses to protect us from unwanted oxygen damage to our cells, blood vessels and organ systems. The unique non-starch polysaccharides found in celery are especially important in providing protection from inflammation in our digestive tract.

In selecting celery, look for leaves that crisp and free of spots. The stalks should be compact together, feel crisp, not yellowing. You can open the stalks to look for damage in the center of the bunch.

Onions are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that helps to lower blood levels of cholesterols and triglycerides. A diet in moderate amounts of onions has been known to reduce the risk of colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancers. This is because of the onion antioxidant, quercitin.

How to select - avoid onions that are sprouting and have mold. Be sure that the bulb you select is firm and dry and don't have a pungent rotting odour.

Garlic contains a disulfide called ajoene, which helps prevent our blood platelets from sticking together to form clots in our veins and arteries. There is also, garlic's aliin, which helps our blood vessel to contract to prevent unwanted increase in blood pressure.

To select - choose garlic that is plump with a clean, unbroken skin. Press your fingers into the garlic bulb to make sure that it is not soft and wet.

Hot peppers contains Potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure. There is a compound called Capsaisin, that triggers the release of Substance P in the stomach to protect itself from tissue damage caused by non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs, that can cause ulcers.

Select peppers that are firm, the stems should be green and the skin should be free of soft spots.

Always choose the freshest ingredients for your lasagna.

If not buy herbs that is dried and packed in a sealed packaging.

Choose frozen vegetables over wilted ones.

Comments

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    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 2 years ago from Canada

      You're welcome vespawoolf. It's delicious you should try it. Thank you for your comment and thank you for reading my hub.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

      Wow, the photos make my mouth water! I like ricotta, but your special recipe sounds delicious and healthy. Thanks for letting us benefit from your experience!

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for your comment Au fait. We like spicy food so I usually cook that way. Thanks for reading my hub.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This recipe has a lot of the same ingredients I put in my own lasagna, but mine is not spicy, no hot peppers, no celery either. I usually put spinach in mine. Also cottage cheese along with the mozzarella and parmesan.

      Yours looks delicious and I'm certain people who like the spicier foods, and there are a lot of them, would love this recipe. Voted up!

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      You are welcome Janices7. Hope you like it. Thank you for your comment

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 4 years ago

      Awesome! I hate ricotta and this recipe sounds SO yummy. Thanks for sharing.

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Oh thank you Andrea! It makes me very happy to know that you have used my lasagna recipe. The fresh veggies and herbs are the ingredients that boosted it's flavour. Well, each ingredient gave it the complete experience but I found that it really made our taste buds and stomach happy with those particular veggies and herbs.

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Hi Linda, thank you for your comment. I find that flavoured cheeses worked really well at boosting the flavour. I have used jalapeno havarti cheese in this recipe, it is a creamy, table cheese. You can buy it in slices at the deli counter or your grocers dairy freezer. It comes in a variety of flavours, plus there are other Kraft cheese blends such as the three cheddar blend if you would like to try it. My family and I are cheese lovers too. hope your family likes my recipe.

    • profile image

      Andrea Linberg 4 years ago

      I absolutely love this recipe it was delicious. I don't mind ricotta but I heard its high in saturated fats (not sure if that's true) and I've been trying to watch what I eat and this Lasagna was perfect for that. It tasted amazing! Please post more recipes I'd love to try more!

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Oh! I was hoping someone would work with it. I'm so happy you enjoyed it. I find that I digest it better, since I started making it like this. We don't get heartburn from eating Lasagna anymore. Thank you so much for letting me know that you have used my recipe. I've modified quite a few recipes over the years, so I need to go over them and choose the next one to share.

    • profile image

      Lora penally 4 years ago

      My husband and I loved this recipe, he does not like any of the wet cheeses like ricotta and I was trying other recipes with out and all of them were rubbish I enjoyed reading and making your recipe and so did my husband i hope to see more recipes on your page !

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Thank you Nicolas Cage. I'm so happy you enjoyed reading my hub. I had fun making it.

    • profile image

      Nicolas Cage 4 years ago

      I really enjoy reading this , I love how you included the images of the fresh produce and showed the end product I really enjoyed your post And hope to see more from you in the future

    • skperdon profile image
      Author

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for your comment JustforWhat. I especially loved writing that part at the end too. It has become a habit of mine to look at the benefits and nutrition content of what I buy for food. It has been a pleasure sharing that with you.

    • JustforWhat profile image

      JustforWhat 4 years ago from USA

      I like the bit in the end about the health benefits of all of these ingredients. This takes it from normal recipe to great!