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Enjoy lasagna made heart-healthy

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Heart-healthy lasagna

Enjoy lasagna made heart-healthy

Lasagna can be part of a heart-healthy diet!

Dr. Matthew A. Schmidt, an interventional cardiologist with Aurora BayCare Cardiology, recommends this Simple Cooking with Heart lasagna recipe from the American Heart Association.

“I like being able to make this ahead of time and freeze it, so when I get busy – which I do – I can have something healthy ready in a short time,” Schmidt says.

If you’re pulling it out of the freezer, bake at 350 degrees F until the lasagna is bubbly and cheese is melted, usually at least 30 minutes.

This recipe makes eight servings. Enjoy!


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves fresh, minced garlic (or 4 teaspoons jarred, minced garlic)

1 small onion (chopped)

1½ cups fresh, chopped kale (about 3 leaves), cut into bite-size pieces, stems discarded (or 1½ cups frozen spinach, thawed)

2½ cups eggplant or summer squash, (about 1 small eggplant or 2 squash), cut into ½-inch cubes

1½ cups tomatoes (diced) (or 14.5 ounces canned, no-salt-added tomatoes, diced)

1 pound extra-lean, ground beef or turkey, 95% lean or more

2 cups white mushrooms (sliced)

1 cup low-sodium, or, no-salt-added cannellini beans (drained, rinsed)

¾ teaspoon black pepper (divided use)

2 teaspoons dried, salt-free herbs, Italian blend, divided use

½ cup low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella (shredded)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese

9 sheets whole-grain lasagna noodles

1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste

8 ounces canned, no-salt-added tomato sauce


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Leave out salt, butter and oil.

In a saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic and onion and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add kale (or spinach), tomatoes and eggplant (or squash) and pepper and cook 3 minutes. Turn up heat to medium-high, add ground beef or turkey and cook until meat browns slightly and liquid is absorbed. Add mushrooms, beans, vinegar, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir in red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dried herbs, ½ teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix together mozzarella and 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

In a 9x13 ovenproof dish, place 3 lasagna sheets, one -third of lasagna filling and half of ricotta in small clumps. Repeat, placing the lasagna sheets, filling and ricotta step. Top with 3 more lasagna sheets, remaining filling and top with mozzarella mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: 299 calories, 24 grams protein, 7 grams fiber.

Want to watch? A variation of this recipe is prepared in this Simple Cooking with Heart video from the American Heart Association.

Published: Friday, February 1, 2019