Hearty Lasagna

piece of hearty lasagna

I didn't get many pictures of this lasagna because we were kind of eating it. Oh, and it was really dark in the kitchen because there was an (awesome) summer thunderstorm going on!

This isn’t just lasagna–it’s hearty lasagna. Bursting with mushrooms, spinach, onions, peppers, lean organic beef, cheese and tomato sauce, and packed between whole-wheat lasagna noodles, this plate packs a punch. In the best way possible.

There were a few reasons I wanted to make a huge and slightly extravagant casserole like this last Sunday night. A neighbour has just had a baby, and I wanted to take over a dish that would really feed her other kids–for at least one night. Because there is nothing more useful to a new mom than food. Surely I wasn’t the only one who thought that! So in making her family a lasagna, it was only natural to double the recipe and make two HUGE lasagnas to feed us all.

Plus that afternoon was kind of dark and spooky with a big thunderstorm going on–and there is nothing as good as holing up in the kitchen with a big project when it’s like that outdoors.

full pan of hearty lasagna

This makes a lot of lasagna--it fed us for several dinners and lunches. Around here, that's rare.

And this recipe really worked. The rich cheese and meat combined with the flavourful vegetables and tomato sauce just made for a crowd-pleaser. Which is why I must write it down, so I finally have an excellent lasagna recipe at the ready!

Hearty Lasagna
Recipe Type: Main dish
Author: very loosely on one from Cooking Light*
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 12
This satisfying casserole is packed full of vegetables, cheese, organic beef, and all layered between whole-wheat lasagna noodles. It makes a LOT of food, so you should get several meals out of this one. Guaranteed to please the crowd at the family potluck.
  • about 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 500g tub of 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 700mL jar of pasta sauce (about 3 cups)
  • 1 lb lean organic beef
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 10oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and with excess moisture squeezed out
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped; divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced; divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • cooking spray
  1. Cook and drain the pasta noodles. Set aside. (If they stick together later when you’re assembling, run them under water.)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, eggs, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Over medium-high heat, in a frying pan coating with cooking spray, saute the mushrooms and peppers with the dried basil until softened, using only half of the onion and half of the garlic. Remove vegetables and place into a bowl. Mix in your spinach.
  4. When your frying pan is cool enough, give it a wipe and reheat it over medium-high heat. Saute the other half of the onion and garlic, and crumble in the organic beef. Cook until the beef isn’t pink anymore, about 6 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Lightly cook a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  6. Layer about 3/4 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan, and then line with one layer of noodles. Then add another 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, and half of the white sauce. Add in half of the vegetable mixture, and then a layer of the beef mixture.
  7. Repeat the layers once, ending with noodles. Spread the top layer of noodles with the last of the pasta sauce.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20min. Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the dish. Bake for another 20min.
  9. Remove from oven when cheese is melted and lasagna is bubbling. Let sit for at least 10 or 15min.
  10. Enjoy!
Serving size: 1 of 12 pieces; 228g Calories: 261 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 3g Protein: 20g

*recipe I very, very loosely followed for basic structure


  1. Looks delish! We were going to make some lasagne tomorrow night, using some amazing local, grass-fed, organic beef. Good timing on this recipe, we’ll try it out!

    • Awesome, Agnes! I hope you guys love it. I am really glad I finally wrote down the recipe, so that I can do it again soon.

  2. holy moly this looks so amazing!! yummy!!! i see this as dinner in the very near future :)

  3. Mother of pearl – that lasagna looks AMAZING!

    Enough said.

  4. this lasagna just made my stomach grumble

  5. i need this in my tummy noww!!!

  6. I made this last week. It was absolutely the best lasagna I’ve ever ate. My 16 month old even loved it!

  7. Suzanna Cermak says:

    Perfect for a snowy day. Lasagna smells wafting in my kitchen thanks to you. Can’t wait to eat.

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