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Feb 06
68

The Best Lasagna Ever (really)

WOW. I’m swooning. My taste buds are jumping for joy. Someone get the smelling salts, I might faint. If you’re on Weight Watchers and you make this lasagna, it’s going to be one of those meals that makes you say “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I can eat things like this on my diet” (I know, I know, it’s a lifestyle change, not the d-word, but that didn’t have the same ring to it). Actually, I’m pretty sure anyone who makes this, regardless of dietary preference, is going to be overcome with joy from all the meaty, cheesy, saucy pasta goodness in this dish. I also think the green pepper and the hot Italian turkey sausage added a lot to the flavor profile. It’s lasagna, so of course there is some prep time involved (around 45 minutes, maybe?) but it’s worth every second.

I made a few changes to lighten up the original recipe I used, though I don’t think anyone tasting this would say it tastes “light.” I also changed the serving size from 12 servings to 9 large servings, because I wanted a big piece. If you want to make it 12 servings it’s 7 P+ for each, but for 2 pts more, I think you should just go for it.

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The Best Lasagna Ever (really)

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 3/4 lb Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed (I used Jennie-O Hot Italian Turkey Sausage, and ¾ lb was about 3 links)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 (26 oz) can Spaghetti Sauce (I used Hunt’s Traditional)
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup shredded 2 % reduced-fat Mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a sauté pan or large skillet, cook the sausage, beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat, breaking up with a spoon until browned. Set aside 1 cup of spaghetti sauce and combine the remaining sauce into the meat mixture. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat, simmering uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the cream cheese over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese and parsley.
  4. Spray a 9/13 baking dish with cooking spray and spread the meat sauce evenly across the bottom. Top meat layer with 3 lasagna noodles, followed by the cream cheese mixture and 1 ½ t of Italian seasoning. Lay the 3 remaining lasagna noodles over the top and cover with the reserved spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top and the remaining Italian seasoning over that.
  5. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Nutrition Information:
322 calories, 24 g carbs, 8 g sugars, 14 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 26 g protein, 3 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

Adapted from Taste of Home

   
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68 Responses to “The Best Lasagna Ever (really)”

  1. #
    1
    Janine — February 6, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

    hi Emily, I’m not a big fan of cottage cheese but I see it in recipes all the time. Does the taste blend in with all the other ingredients? This looks like a fabulous dish & I’d love to try it! Love your blog!

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    Mrs. Varble — February 6, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    That looks delicious, I’d also like to respond to Janine, I personally cannot stand cottage cheese, but it doesn’t bother me to eat it in things like lasagna.Go for it!

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    emilybites — February 6, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    Thanks ladies!! I like cottage cheese, but I agree with Mrs. Varble, once it’s combined with all the other lasagna ingredients, it doesn’t taste like cottage cheese, particularly in this recipe where it’s also mixed with cream cheese. I think you’ll like it!

    I seriously woke up this morning and thought “Yes! I get to eat more of that lasagna today!” which means a) this is delicious and b) I think about food way too much. 🙂

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    Janine — February 7, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    I drool over leftovers too! Esp pasta ones, they always taste better the second time around!

    Thanks for your reply & I will def try making this recipe!

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    Michelle — February 9, 2011 @ 2:18 am

    I tried this one and it really is good.

    This is the 5th recipe that I have made from this blog. Emily, I can’t wait to see what you post next. This is great for Weight Watchers. THANKS!!!!

  6. #
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    emilybites — February 9, 2011 @ 5:57 am

    Aw, thanks Michelle! That made my night.

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    Katie — February 21, 2011 @ 4:42 am

    As always, this was delicious!

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    Anonymous — February 27, 2011 @ 1:28 am

    this was great!! my boyfriend (who is anti lightened up anything!) loved it- and couldnt believe it was diet friendly! your blog has literally made cooking a possibility for me!

  9. #
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    emilybites — February 27, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    That’s so good to hear! I definitely agree that this is a great recipe to serve people who don’t think anything lightened up could taste good – glad you made him a believer! 🙂

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    Anonymous — March 4, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    Just found your site…loving it so far. How would you cut/divide this a 9×13 pan to get 9 servings? I can only think to cut it to get 8, 10 or 12 servings. THanks.

  11. #
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    emilybites — March 4, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    Thanks! I cut it into thirds both ways, so three slices in each direction instead of cutting down the middle. Hope that helps!

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    caitlin — March 16, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    Emily, when I made this it was really soupy–almost like chili put between lasagna noodles. Any suggestions? I followed the recipe as written…

  13. #
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    emilybites — March 16, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    Caitlin – I’m really not sure! Mine wasn’t like that at all and without seeing what you did it’s hard for me to guess what could have gone wrong. All that meat made the sauce pretty hearty…maybe you could let your sauce cook a bit longer to thicken it up? Sorry it didn’t work out for you and that I can’t be a bigger help. Mine came out great, so it’s hard for me to guess!

  14. #
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    Carebear — March 30, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

    This really was the best lasagna I ever tasted, and super easy to make. Totally delicious!!

  15. #
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    Anonymous — July 14, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    One thing that helps me with adding cottage cheese to lasagna is to wash it and drain it in a colander before adding it to the recipe. I use large-curd cottage cheese.

    If you’ve ever had Stouffer’s frozen lasagna, you may have noticed that there are larger cheesy chunks in it. The washed, drained large-curd cottage cheese looks and tastes just like it.

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    Anonymous — November 29, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    OMG, you couldn’t have said it better. This truly was the best lasagna EVER. I won’t ever make any other recipe. Hubby LOVED it !!

  17. #
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    Jill — December 8, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    I have been wanting to try this for a while and finally have the time today to cook it for dinner for DBF and I. We both love everything we’ve tried so far and this looks sooo good!

    Thanks for making WW that much easier for me by sharing your talent with us!

  18. #
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    emilybites — December 8, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    Awesome, I hope you and DBF both love it! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  19. #
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    Erika — December 12, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

    Emily, I actually made this lasagna a while ago but waited to comment because I had frozen it and wanted to see how it reheated. I must say, it’s just as delicious after being thawed as it was when I fresh made it!

    This really is the most fabulous lasagna I’ve ever made, and I am never using riccotta again!

  20. #
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    emilybites — December 14, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    So glad to hear it reheats well because I just suggested it to a friend as a dish that could be frozen and reheated! Happy to hear you loved it!

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    Anonymous — December 18, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    I’m making this tonight! Soo excited! I had a question about it being soupy…Do you think that I should drain the cottage cheese or will it be ok left as is?

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    emilybites — December 19, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    Mine was not soupy and I just used regular cottage cheese. Is your cottage cheese liquidy? Mine wasn’t. I would just stir it and use it as is. Hope you like it!

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    meredith — January 6, 2012 @ 1:26 am

    Hi Emily – I rarely, if ever, post on blogs, but had to let you know that I made this last night for my husband and one friend and there was one serving left to reheat today. My husband is so lucky his metabolism is what it is.. he devoured 6 pieces on his own yesterday.

    PS – Love the name – my 11 month daughter is Emily 🙂

  24. #
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    emilybites — January 6, 2012 @ 1:34 am

    Thanks for posting, Meredith! I’m so glad the lasagna was hit. If only I had a man’s metabolism…*daydreams*

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    Anonymous — January 17, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Hey Emily! This sounds fantastic!

    I’m a vegetarian. How many points would it shave off to make this without the meat?

    Thanks a million!

    • emilybites replied: — January 18th, 2012 @ 3:00 am

      Well, the meat is basically a whole layer and it adds a lot to the dish, so I would recommend replacing it with something. Without it each serving is 6 P+.

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    jen — January 26, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    hey, I was wondering why you sprinkle the italian seasoning instead of mixing it in to the red sauce and white sauce?

    • emilybites replied: — January 27th, 2012 @ 12:59 am

      You can do that if you prefer. I like it on top both for looks and flavor!

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    Emily — January 30, 2012 @ 3:29 am

    made this for dinner….seriously, best lasagna ever!!! I love your blog 🙂

    • emilybites replied: — January 30th, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

      Thanks, Emily! Fabulous name, BTW. 🙂

  28. #
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    Caitlin Yaeger — February 13, 2012 @ 3:07 am

    What do you think about using ground turkey instead of turkey sausage? Is one higher in pp than the other (if you know)?

    • emilybites replied: — February 13th, 2012 @ 3:39 am

      It depends on how lean the ground turkey or turkey sausage you’re considering using is, it could go either way. I recommend using the turkey sausage because it’s delicious in this, but if you’d prefer using ground turkey you could use the extra lean kind.

  29. #
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    sociodoc — March 7, 2012 @ 3:22 am

    I made this lasagna for dinner tonight, and both my husband and I agree that it was FANTASTIC! It doesn’t taste “diet,” and it really is so delicious. Thank you for creating recipes like this so those of us on WW can still enjoy our favorite foods!

    • emilybites replied: — March 9th, 2012 @ 3:48 am

      I’m so glad you both loved it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  30. #
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    Joy — April 2, 2012 @ 1:19 am

    Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how good this is! My DH and DS can’t stop talking about it. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes with us. It makes our journey so much easier to have tasty meals while we are in a quest for a healthier lifestyle.

    • emilybites replied: — April 7th, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

      Yay, I am so happy to hear it was such a big hit! Thank you for your nice comment 🙂

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    Anonymous — April 3, 2012 @ 3:39 am

    Emily,

    I live in the Syracuse, NY area, and since you are from Buffalo, I was hoping you might be able to tell me where you bought the sausage? I checked at Wegman’s and they did not carry it.

    Thanks!

    Sabrina

    • emilybites replied: — April 7th, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

      Yeah, unfortunately Wegmans doesn’t carry it, I find it at Tops in Buffalo. I hope one of the other supermarkets in your area has it! Wegmans also has their own Italian poultry sausage.

  32. #
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    Teresa — April 7, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    Emily,
    The family loved this lasagna! Thank you for another fabulous recipe!

    For dessert we had your chocolate donuts. You are a recipe rock star!

    • emilybites replied: — April 7th, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

      Aw, thanks! Haha. I’m so glad you loved both recipes!

  33. #
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    Courtastic — April 7, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    I’m going to make this on Sunday and can’t wait…just curious..can you use the no cook lasagna noodles with this recipe?

    • emilybites replied: — April 7th, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

      I have never tried them so I’m not sure. I would recommend using the normal kind!

  34. #
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    Anonymous — April 8, 2012 @ 12:55 am

    What would you use as reheating instructions? i’m making this a day early.

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    Teresa — June 6, 2012 @ 12:52 am

    This was awesome! I did change it up a tiny bit though. I cannot even stand looking at cottage cheese so I used low fat ricotta. 🙂
    It was worth the increase in calories! I also had a pound of ground beef so I used that and only used 2 links to make up for the extra beef.
    My husband and I both agreed it is the best lasagna ever!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    Margaret — July 9, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    I made this tonight and it was to die for. I joined weight watchers a few months ago and have lost 40 pounds after the birth of my second daughter. I have always been a terrible cook, every recipe I would try never came out right. It was always important to me to have wholesome good food for my family every night, and that was just not happening until I found your blog! Everything I have made has been more than fantastic, and you have given me the skills to cook wonderful tasting food for my family. Your blog has really changed my life and I just wanted you to know that.

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    Lori in NC — July 23, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    This was delicious. My husband is not usually a cream cheese fan, but he liked the flavor and texture that it added. I did add an extra layer of noodles for a few extra points, but I think it was worth it. We’re looking forward to leftovers for dinner tomorrow.

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    Jen — September 26, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    Just made this AGAIN, and I have to say it tastes better everytime I make it! The only problem – I want to eat the whole darn dish! Thanks again for blogging – my weight loss journey would have been a big fat failure if it weren’t for your site!

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    Anonymous — September 27, 2012 @ 1:57 am

    Sooooo yummy!!!! I would make this even if I wasn’t watching my weight. Thanks!

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    nazhamster85 — September 30, 2012 @ 2:29 am

    This is simmering on my stove right now! I’m attempting freezer cooking this weekend for my boyfriend and I. It’s going to get split into two and put in the freezer for a busy night! So excited to eat it sometime! With watching what I eat, I tend not to eat sausage, but my boyfriend loves it in his lasagna – it’s nice to find something I think we’ll both love 🙂

    Thank you for what you do! I have loved everything I’ve tried so far! You’re great!

  41. #
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    EvaNadine — November 13, 2012 @ 3:03 am

    Just made this tonight (doubled the recipe and have the other in the freezer). It was fantastic! Hubby doesn’t like cottage cheese, so I snick some fat free Greek yogurt in there for extra creaminess. Worked like a charm!

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    Meghan — November 13, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

    Hi Emily – I am making this a day-ahead. Any recommendations? Has anyone done this? Thanks!!

  43. #
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    Anonymous — November 26, 2012 @ 3:57 am

    This is the best lasagna I’ve eaten and the portion size filled me up! I ate it with a small veggie salad with low-cal dressing. Deeee-liscious!!!

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    Elizabeth — November 26, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

    This was really delicious! I wanted to clarify one thing though. It says the bottom layer is the meat – no mention of noodles on the bottom. How did you get yours to stay together? The meat mixture ran all over the place, as you’d expect, without the noddles on the bottom to keep it all together. I’ve never actually had lasagna without the noodle layer on the bottom before, so I’m wondering if this was a typo in the recipe or intentional? Can you verify? Mess aside, the flavor was amazing!

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    Katie — March 4, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

    I made this last night with a few modifications and it’s awesome! I don’t like sausage so I used all ground beef, it was 93% lean so it raised the points a little but it was worth it to have a hearty lasagna. I also added in some mushrooms to beef it up a little because I took out the green peppers.

    For those who don’t like cottage cheese, I don’t either. At all. But the combination with the cream cheese was delicious. I have leftovers in the freezer and I can’t wait for another piece!

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    Anonymous — April 7, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

    Love. Love. Love this. And so does my family. Thank you so much

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    Anonymous — April 13, 2013 @ 2:01 am

    Oh my goodness! Thank you! We loved it! It was fast and easy to make(not alot prep work-used the no boil noodles). I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow for leftovers. The flavors will improve even more overnight:-)

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    Meeker — June 13, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

    I used tofu and the recommended sausage instead…we’ll see?? After all the prep, mine is cooking. Looks and smells incredible!! Can’t wait to taste it.

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    Abbey — September 5, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    Thank you Emily! This was delish and really hit the spot for my 4 friends and I who are all in the beginning weeks of Weight Watchers. This one is going to make the rotation 🙂

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    Katie — October 7, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    I served this at a dinner party last night and everyone loved it. No one believed me when I told them that it A) only had 6 noodles in the whole dish and B) was a WW friendly recipe. It is so rich and delicious that you can’t tell how light it actually is. This is definitely going to be one I remake.

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    Maria — July 14, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

    I have never, ever taken the time to post a comment to a recipe blog but I had to this time. This is seriously the best lasagna I have ever tasted! Better than any restaurant version or full-fat homemade version. I will be making this as often as possible. Thanks Emily!

    • Emily Bites replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

      What a great compliment! So happy you love it!

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    Lisa — March 10, 2015 @ 3:09 pm

    I have made this several times – it is very easy and so delicious! I love it..and great for leftovers!

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    Katherine — July 28, 2015 @ 12:15 pm

    I made this last night and I am eating some leftovers at lunch right now. I did use the no boil noodles and it worked perfectly!!

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    Sarah — January 24, 2016 @ 6:48 am

    I love this recipe, it’s a go-to whenever I want something filling. Just put into the Smart Points calculator and it’s 10 Smart Points!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 26th, 2016 @ 4:18 pm

      I’m so happy you love it!

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    Stacy — March 1, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

    I am making this for dinner tonight. Should the noodles be cooked before they are used in the layers?

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    Lauren — January 2, 2017 @ 7:06 pm

    I’d love to make this and then freeze the leftovers! If I do, how do you recommend reheating? Thanks so much, Emily!

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    Stacey — April 19, 2017 @ 6:31 pm

    Has anyone tried this with the oven ready lasagna noodles?

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