Hearty, Chunky Lasagna

**This post was written, cooked and partially photographed (voluntarily!) by my husband, Dave. I love it when he joins me in the kitchen, but I love it even more when he takes over. This is one of his favorite things to make, and one of our favorite things to eat. I was thrilled when he asked if he could be a guest blogger on Fresh and Foodie — of course I couldn’t say no! Bon appetit!**

I don’t cook often, but when I do, there are two things I do really well: grilled meats and this lasagna. I received a simple version of this recipe from my mom when I was in college. It was always a favorite of mine that she would cook for me growing up, and it always reminded me of home. Due to my poor knife skills, there were no fresh cut veggies in the lasagna to start. As I became more confident (and daring) in my cooking, I would throw in a chopped pepper or an onion to mix it up a little.

It wasn’t until I met Bobbi that I learned I could mix it up to my liking. I’ve since added the fresh veggies and the fresh mozzarella balls to the original recipe. I have also experimented by adding a link or two of spicy italian sausage.  The cottage cheese is a nice touch without making the dish too rich, however the next time I make it I plan on experimenting with ricotta instead. This recipe is easily customizable and is one of my favorites to make for guests. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Hearty, Chunky Lasagna (serves 8-10)

What you need:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces of button mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • A handful of chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 8 ounces of cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, drained and quartered
  • 8 ounces of grated parmesan
  • 1 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked to package instructions
  • Salt & pepper to taste

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large stockpot, cook turkey until cooked thorough.
  3. Add chopped pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes until the veggies start to soften.
  4. Add pasta sauce, stir to combine, cover and let simmer. Just before assembling the lasagna, stir in the handful of chopped parsley.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir cottage cheese and eggs together until blended. Set aside.
  6. Spray a 9×13 glass dish with non-stick spray. Layer the bottom of the dish with three noodles. Next add one-third of the cottage cheese and egg mixture,  one-third of the sauce mixture, one-third of the mozzarella balls and one-third of the parmesan cheese. Repeat for 2 additional layers.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. For additional browning of the cheese on top, turn broiler on high for and cook the lasagna (keep an eye on it) for 2 minutes or so.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with parsley, additional parmesan cheese and garlic bread.


10 thoughts on “Hearty, Chunky Lasagna

  1. Wow, that looks outstanding! And what a welcome treat to have hubby write a guest post! :-p I love hearing about love stories in the kitchen. My husband, Jason, was the pickiest of the pickiest eaters before I met him, but slowly but surely, he opened up to new food experiences. I’ve now got him eating things like sashimi, guinea pig (LOL!), and chicken livers! :-p I’m so proud of him.

    BTW, I love how you photo the things you buy @ Whole Foods. That place is my second home. The fresh mozzarella they sell is the bomb!!! :-p

  2. I love reading your blog – your adventurous spirit in the kitchen makes me smile. Where did you learn to be so free spirited?

  3. “This recipe is easily customizable and is one of my favorites to make for guests.” You’ve never made this for me before, which I will take as evidence that I am not considered a guest, but family. Extra-bed-sleeping, Cat-wrestling, All-day-couch-sitting-Jersey-Shore-marathon-watching, family.

    Great post Dave! I’ll make a veggie version ASAP.

  4. Nicely done, Dave!! Excellent pictures and a wonderful post. My son has recently been asking for lasagna and I really need to make that for him. I like your addition of the turkey. What’s your next post going to be???!!

  5. Great post Dave. The last photo makes me hungry! I like the fact that this recipe is from your Mum. The photos are nicely taken. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to see more posts from you.

  6. oooh how nice that your husband did a “guest” post. my husband says he will do one and then gets lazy. :S

    lasagna is one of my favorite comfort meals, the fennel seeds are a nice touch!

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