I’ve learned a lot about cooking since I decided I wanted to learn how to do more in the kitchen than heat up a can of soup or a frozen dinner. And while I’m definitely gaining more confidence in my cooking abilities, I’m still not as awesome as I’d like to be.
Once in a while, though, I manage to surprise myself. Today’s recipe was one of those surprises.
I usually try to make meal plans for the week ahead (mostly for my own sanity when things get chaotic). If it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve gone to the grocery store (and we don’t have time/don’t feel like going that week), I have to get a little more creative and find recipes that only contain ingredients we already have on hand. Or, in the case of today’s recipe, I get even more creative and come up with something on my own.
I don’t do this often because, to be honest, I’m still not confident enough in my culinary skills to regularly come up with my own recipes. (I hope I’ll eventually get to that point, though!) But once in a while I decide to give something a try and hope for the best. And once in a while it actually turns out to be pretty damn good.
Spinach Turkey Lasagna Toss
A Divulge and Indulge original recipe.
- 1 box short pasta (I used Garofalo organic gemelli from Costco)
- 1-1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
- 1-1 1/2 cups white onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped (you could also use a 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, but we usually have a big bag of fresh spinach on hand since it’s one of our Costco staples)
- 2 14.5 oz. cans diced fire roasted tomatoes in their juices (I used Hunt’s)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic (or, if you’re lazy like me, the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
- 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Italian Medley
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used whole milk ricotta in this recipe)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to get tender.
- Add the ground turkey to the skillet and season with the black pepper and sea salt. Cook until the meat is completely browned, breaking it up as it cooks.
- Add the garlic to the meat and onions and cook for 30-60 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Season the meat mixture with the Mrs. Dash Italian Medley, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions until al dente and drain.
- Pour the 2 cans of tomatoes (with their juices!) into the meat mixture. Cook through, stirring a few times to mix thoroughly.
- Spray an 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray and add about half of the drained pasta to the pan.
- Add about half of the meat sauce, 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the shredded Parmesan, and the ricotta to the pasta in the pan.
- Make a second layer using the other half of the pasta, other half of the meat sauce, 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of the shredded Parmesan.
- Bake the pasta for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted.
As you can see, it’s a very simple recipe that’s easy to throw together. It’s perfect for when you’re craving the flavors of lasagna but don’t have lasagna noodles on hand (or just don’t feel like spending an extra few minutes assembling perfect layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese). I would like to note that this is not an overly saucy dish (which is actually surprising since I love saucy pastas), but it’s full of flavor. I served this with a simple green salad and a glass of white wine (my favorite is Riesling).