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Spicy Kale Lasagna

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Spicy Kale Lasagna

Lasagna is one of those rare dishes that has it all – it’s comforting, but at the same time elegant. It’s substantial, yet also fairly economical. It can involve meat, but easily stand on its own without. Basically, it’s the perfect versatile entrée – to serve for guests, or a cozy night in (thank you, Italy!).

It seems that many families have their own favorite recipe for this dish. For whatever reason it wasn’t a staple in my household, so Alex and I had to forge our way into new territory on this one. I loved the idea of using kale, especially since it’s seasonal and can be picked up here if you’re local. (Feel free to substitute spinach or another dark leafy green if you’re not as big of a kale fan as we are!)

However, I was a little overly optimistic about the effort involved in creating our own “simple and healthy” seasonal lasagna recipe. Three pans and a lot of research later, we’ve finally emerged with a recipe that we enjoy. We hope you’ll enjoy it as well…and that this week’s pasta overdose has not been in vain!

Spicy Kale Lasagna
Serves about 8

What You Need
1 pound no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles (or noodles cooked according to the package instructions)
1 1/4 pounds kale (around 3 bunches) or substitute spinach
4 cups cottage cheese
3/4 cups parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (with herbs, if available)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

What To Do

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2  Prepare the kale: In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Remove the stems from the kale. Boil the kale for 2 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Using a towel, wring out as much water as possible from the kale. Chop it and season with salt and pepper.

3  Make the tomato sauce: Meanwhile, dice 3 cloves garlic. In a cold saucepan, combine garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 scant teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less depending on your spice tolerance), and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to medium high heat, stirring as the mixture heats up. Saute for about 30 seconds, then add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

4  Make the filling: Strain out all liquid from the 4 cups cottage cheese (squeeze it in a strainer, if necessary). Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.

5  Assemble the lasagna: Place a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish. Cover the sauce with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce. Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese, and the remaining kale. Top with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan.

6  Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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SonjaSpicy Kale Lasagna

Comments 28

  1. Leah

    I love the idea of doing a spicy version of the leafy green. I’ve done variations on vegetable lasagna with both red sauces and bechamel/white sauces. Usually my vegetable filling is just a combination of whatever leafy green vegetable plus whatever other vegetables I may have on hand. I recommend slicing up some mushrooms or bell peppers and sauteing them together, then mixing with cheese mixture (I usually use ricotta, parmesean mixed with one egg and salt and pepper). My layers are sauce, cheese/vegetable mix, noodle, sauce, etc.

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      Author
      Sonja

      Sounds excellent! We were going for a “simple-ish” recipe so did not add extra veggies, but we’ll definitely try that as a future variation!

  2. Vegolicious

    Wonderful recipe. A healthy alternative to a traditional favorite too.

    I’d love for your to submit them to Vegolicious, a vegetarian food photo gallery where readers can browse beautiful photos to discover new recipes and wonderful blogs. If you would like to share this recipe with our readers please submit http://www.vegolicious.com/submit a photo along with a link to this post.

  3. kateiscooking

    Love it! We’ve not made it to the Winter Farmer’s Market yet this year. Last year we were there every other weekend… Hope you two were warm and safe during the ice storm. I was amazed at how clear the roads were today.

  4. Joy

    Great use of kale! It’s a funky vegetable to cook, it’s so easy to get sick of it especially when your farmer sends it every.single.week. in your CSA. I’m totally snagging this recipe to get through the rest of kale season.

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