Chicken Sausage Spinach Lasagna with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
This an old standby in my house. It is such a huge hit I find that people always have a hard time eating just one serving. So much wonderful flavor abounds in this lasagna –to the point where every other lasagna I’ve tried since pales in comparison.
If I know I have a busy work week, I will make the lasagna a day or two in advance and refrigerate it uncooked and then cook straight from the fridge– always with great results. It’s foolproof!
The dish has a lot of liquid from the sauce, but this is so the dish will not get dry. So don’t forget to add plenty of sauce between the layers, and enjoy!
- 2-3 jars of Spicy Red Pepper Sauce or Spicy Tomato Sauce (I prefer Classico)
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds spicy Chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1 15-ounce container part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
- 2 stalks green onion (scallions), finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 cups of sautéed mushrooms
- 5 cups Mixed Italian Cheese (I buy bag that has provolone, mozzarella, fontina, parmesan mixture)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Gluten-free lasagna noodles
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausages; sauté until brown, using fork to break up meat into coarse pieces, about 7 minutes. Sautee garlic cloves. Add Spicy Red Pepper/Tomato Sauce, and mushrooms. Simmer 20-30 minutes.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Whisk ricotta, spinach, green onion, 1 cup cheese mixture, eggs, milk, garlic powder, basil, oregano and pepper in large bowl. Set aside. Spoon 1 cup sauce over bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Place 3 noodles over sauce in single layer. Spread 1 cup sauce over noodles. Spoon 1 cup ricotta mixture over sauce. Sprinkle 1 ½ cup mixed cheese over ricotta mixture. Repeat layering with 3 noodles, 1 cup sauce, 1 cup ricotta mixture, 1 ½ cup mixed cheese. Arrange remaining 3 noodles over cheese. Spoon 1 cup sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining mixed cheese over lasagna. Dollop remaining ricotta mixture atop lasagna. Spoon 2 1/2 cups sauce around ricotta dollops. Tightly cover baking dish with foil.
Bake lasagna for 45 minutes on top of a cookie sheet to catch any overflow; uncover and continue baking until noodles are tender and lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes longer. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving. Rewarm remaining sauce over medium heat. Serve lasagna, passing remaining sauce.
Notes: This dish can be made with turkey sausage, casings removed. Also, to reduce the amount of fat, use less of the mixed cheese or use low fat cheese instead of fat free cheese – fat free cheese is typically too salty for me. If the sauce is not spicy enough add more red pepper for a bigger kick.