This noodle-free lasagna recipe is one I encourage ALL my clients and friends to try, because it’s a favourite in the Binns’ household.  I’ve been telling one of my Nutrition students to make it for her daughter, and she finally had the chance.

She loved this gluten-free lasagna so much that she offered to help me share it with you!

In Nancy’s words:

I just wish I had done it sooner!  It’s definitely a dish that we will keep in our regular lineup. I’m all about ‘healthifying’ traditional recipes and this one definitely fits the bill.

Thank you Nancy for helping me share this goodie with everyone.  I’ll let you take it from here…

 

I come from an Italian background and, although the Mediterranean diet can be extremely healthy, while growing up I found it was heavy in refined carbohydrate.

Now, as a Certified Nutritionist, I know that refined carbs aren’t the best way as they are devoid of nutrients and fibre and can spike blood sugar levels.

So, this Italian just went for it!

I subbed the pasta noodles with sweet potato…eek!

But guess what?  It works and my husband and daughter gobbled it up.  They even went for seconds!

This Sweet Potato-Noodle Lasagna was inspired here; this particular recipe is completely plant-based. I made mine with dairy and meat.

Recipe tweaks:

  • If you are dairy-free, I recommend removing the cheese or trying her recipe for the vegan ‘ricotta’.
  • If you want to healthify this even further, we like to add a layer or two of zucchini with (or in place of) the sweet potato. And blend some greens into the sauce.

placemat for picky eaters

Why sweet potato?

They are an excellent source of carotenes, which act as antioxidants and enhance immune functions in the body.

They are also a very good source of vitamins C and B6. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of manganese, copper, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, and dietary fibre.

I’d say that’s a lot better than regular, old pasta noodles!

 

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes have significant antioxidant effects in the body, which we need for optimal function and protection against disease. You can check out a study here where they found anticancer effects of sweet potatoes on human colorectal cancer cells.

Sweet potatoes also promote brain function, healthy vision, and gut health. Interestingly, sweet potatoes are classified as an “antidiabetic” food as they help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve the response to insulin.

 

So, what about that recipe?

I gathered the ingredients below and went to work. Making the layers and assembling the lasagna took approximately 45 minutes. Then, about 50 minutes in the oven.  So I highly recommend making a double batch and freezing it for future meals (once you try it and know you love it).

The first layer is a sweet potato layer. I used a mandolin to slice them, but you don’t have to. Just make sure the slices are as even as possible. Disclaimer: mandolins are dangerous! It was my first time using one, and there was an incident. I’m not going to say anymore! 🙂

The next layer is a meat layer. I simply sautéed grass-fed beef with some onion, garlic, oregano, tomato sauce and some salt and pepper.

Next, was the ricotta layer. I just mixed the container of ricotta together with some parmesan, pesto and a bit of salt. Easy, peasy!

Assembly time! I used a 9×13 glass pan and built the lasagna: sweet potato layer, meat layer, ricotta layer, and repeat! I topped it with some organic mozzarella cheese, but you can always top it with non-dairy grated cheese.

Don’t worry about it looking perfect (I sure didn’t!) It will taste delicious no matter how it looks!

Pop it into the oven for about 50 minutes (or until the sweet potatoes are tender) and voila! Ooey, gooey, deliciousness!

It was a hit with my daughter! She seriously went for seconds – which melted this Italian mama’s heart! 🙂

So here’s the recipe! Let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato Lasagna (gluten-free, grain-free, gonna to blow your socks off)

Sweet Potato-Noodle Lasagna

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes sliced evenly
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef or lean ground beef
  • 300 grams ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp pesto (I used Sunflower Kitchen) more for garnish
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Optional:

  • 100 grams organic mozzarella cheese grated
  • 2 zucchini sliced evenly

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Slice the sweet potatoes evenly, about 1/8 of an inch thick. You can use either a mandolin or a sharp knife. 

  3. In a large pan, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, being careful not to burn the garlic. Then add the ground beef, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is well-browned, which should take about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato sauce and stir for a couple of minutes. Set aside.

  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, pesto and a bit of salt to taste. Mix well and set aside.

  5. To assemble the lasagna, use a 9x13 glass pan and create the first layer with the sweet potato slices. Make sure to overlap each slice to create an even layer.

  6. Pour out half the meat sauce over the sweet potato slices and spread out evenly.  Alternate with zucchini if using. 

  7. Pour out half the ricotta cheese mixture over the meat sauce and spread evenly. 

  8. Repeat each layer again. Then top with the grated mozzarella (optional).

  9. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the sweet potato slices are tender.

  10. Let the lasagna rest for a couple of minutes when it comes out of the oven. Then, enjoy!