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If you’re looking for a low sodium lasagna that has big flavor, this is the recipe for you! Not only are you able to make a cheesy, zesty, perfectly comforting classic dish with less sodium, I’ve also figured out how to turn this into the best gluten-free lasagna for an even healthier meal that still tastes just as yummy and satisfying as your favorite traditional lasagna recipe.
WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS POST
A Healthier Lasagna Recipe
I love lasagna, but I’m not so much a fan of the loads of sodium typically found in the ingredients of most traditional recipes. So I wondered: Is it possible to make a healthier lasagna that actually tastes good?
My challenge in creating this recipe was to make a low sodium lasagna without sacrificing any of the rich, zesty tomato flavor and essential gooey cheesiness.
Then, I decided to take it a step further and use gluten-free pasta that requires no boiling… And, wouldn’t you know, this lasagna recipe is perfect! It’s a cheesy lasagna that is easy to make with less sodium, is gluten-free, and still has all the comforting deliciousness you crave.
Ingredients For This Lasagna
This recipe calls for a variety of no-salt added canned goods. To find a good selection of no-salt added canned foods, check large chains like Safeway, Publix, Kroger, and Wal-Mart. Trader’s Joes has an exceptional selection of healthier, no-salt and low sodium foods.
Where to get Gluten-Free Lasagna Pasta
And, thankfully, more and more retailers are carrying gluten-free pasta. I’ve tried several brands and my favorite is Barilla. Look at stores like Target and Wal-Mart for the best selection.
- olive oil
- canned: no-salt diced tomatoes, no-salt tomato pasta, and no-salt tomato paste
- Italian seasoning and fennel seeds
- red wine
- ground beef
- gluten-free, no-boil lasagna noodles
- cheeses: ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella
How to Make the Best Low Sodium and Gluten-Free Lasagna
TFN Tip: The best lasagnas start with a really rich sauce. So, I let the sauce simmer for about 3-4 hours on the stove before using in this lasagna recipe.
The ground beef and half of the onions are cooked separately, and then added to the sauce before I assemble the lasagna.
I like to take out a few cups of the sauce (before adding the meat) for the bottom of the pan and to pour over the top.
1. To make the pasta sauce, first chop the onions and add half of them with olive oil to a dutch oven. Cook on medium-low heat for about several minutes, until soft.
2. Once the onions are translucent, add the low sodium tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and fennel.
It’s now ready to simmer. Add a lid and simmer on low for up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. As the sauce simmers, in a large skillet brown the ground beef and the rest of the onions. Pull out two cups of sauce (for layering the lasagna), and then add the browned meat to the sauce.
4. Stir in the red wine. Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, to burn off the alcohol.
5. Next, in a large bowl mix together the ricotta, egg, and parmesan cheese.
Layering the Homemade Lasagna
Here is how to build your lasagna casserole in a square dish:
First, pour a cup of the reserved sauce on the bottom of the dish. Then layer noodles, ricotta cheese mixture, beef and sauce, shredded mozzarella, more sauce and beef, then more noodles, and repeat the process.
Top the last layer with the last cup of reserved sauce and a hearty handful of mozzarella.
And into the oven the lasagna goes…
Here it is! Hot and puffy, low sodium and gluten-free, and oh so delish!
See Below For the Complete Low Sodium and Gluten-Free Lasagna Recipe!
I recommend serving this homemade lasagna with a fresh green salad and a side of crusty bread, if you’re not strictly gluten-free.
Shown below is my favorite romaine salad with Persian cucumbers, radishes, and white onions.
And you’ve got to try my incredible recipe for Easy Homemade French Bread!
There you have it: One of the absolute best classic comfort meals around that is delicious and low sodium. I hope you give this recipe a try soon!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FAQ. Is lasagna better with ricotta cheese or cottage cheese? This is a matter of personal preference but honestly, homemade lasagna tastes just as good with either ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. Cottage cheese will give you a slightly lighter lasagna while ricotta will give you a bit thicker, more rich texture.
How long should lasagna rest before cutting?
Tempting though it is to slice into your meaty, cheesy lasagna the second you pull it from the oven, wait at least ten minutes before attempting to serve it. This way, you’ll give the layers a chance to rest and then set.
Technically, you can reheat lasagna multiple times so long as you bring it up to an internal temperature of 165° each time. This temperature kills most bacteria that might be present in your leftovers. That said, the quality degrades with each reheat, so we suggest reheating lasagna one time only.
Lasagna – Low Sodium and Gluten-Free
- Casserole dish
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 28 oz can no-salt diced tomatoes, undrained
- 8 oz can no-salt tomato paste
- 8 oz can no-salt tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- 1 cup red wine (or 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar + 1 T sugar)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 16 oz box gluten-free, no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 egg, beaten
- 15 oz container ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
- 1 ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
- Brown onions in olive oil until almost translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and spices, bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer, add lid, and let cook at least 45 minutes. Check periodically and add a little water, if necessary.
- Remove 2 cups of sauce and set aside for later. Brown ground beef in a skillet on medium heat. While ground beef is browning, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, and parmesan cheese together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. When the ground beef is browned and drained, add it to the pot of sauce, along with 1 cup of red wine or red wine vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn down to med-low and cook for 15 minutes (to burn off the alcohol).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add 1 cup of the reserved sauce to the bottom of the 9″ x 9″ lasagna pan. Layer your lasagna noodles above it. Alternatively layer your lasagna noodles with the ricotta cheese mixture, meat mixture, and mozzarella cheese, then ricotta cheese and meat again. When you have added the last layer of lasagna noodles, add the last cup of sauce and the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top.
- Add foil to the top of the lasagna pan (spray the foil with cooking oil spray first so it doesn’t stick) and seal on all sides. Cook for 20 minutes then remove foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking. The lasagna is done when it is golden and bubbled on the top, including the center. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Although this lasagna recipe is much lower in sodium, the Nutritional Facts do not reflect the reduced sodium. My nutritional calculator doesn’t include “no salt” canned foods.