Welcome to our Easy Mediterranean Lasagna recipe!
This is Mediterranean style as the ingredients are chopped larger and more rustic so the taste really comes out. Also, you will notice that cheese is not on top – rather we use light and fresh tomatoes with a liberal sprinkle of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. This brings out a big taste with a nice rustic and authentic texture.
Enjoy our post on Easy Mediterranean Lasagna.
With this Easy Mediterranean Lasagna recipe, a complex taste can be easily achieved. The ingredients really tilt to your advantage – making it memorable and distinctive. For example, the red onions are coarsely chopped and give a depth of flavor, paired with the garlic.
Key ingredients are fresh basil and fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley. They both really make it go pop! Also these fresh herbs make Food is Mood dishes with a flare of lightness.
This recipe is based upon my sister’s unique ingredient of chopped carrots 🥕 to the sauce add elements of sweetness and rustic texture to balance out the meats. The meats chosen here are ground beef paired with ground turkey 50% / 50% to reduce fat content.
You will find this combination much less greasy – and the cheeses, fresh basil and parsley, tomatoes, and a liberal dose of seasonings will carry the dish. The strength of easy Mediterranean lasagna is that there is a lot of flexibility – ground lamb and ground pork are also absolutely delicious. So you can repeat the recipe over and over with variations.
You also have the option to garnish liberally with fresh basil and fresh flat Italian parsley as zesty salad greens on the side – making the dish taste so fresh and light when combined.
If you double the recipe below you’ll be able to eat for lunch and freeze extra!
On a personal note, I hope this dish brings up past meaningful family memories. Lasagna certainly is such a wonderful household tradition that brings family members to the table.
Easy Mediterranean lasagna is perfect for a cozy night or entertaining friends and family. The combination of rich, flavorful ingredients creates a satisfying and hearty meal that everyone will love.
Lastly, the evidence-based health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are so delicious, anyone can do it ! Enjoy!!
Trinity of Flavors:
• Olive oil health
• Garlic, onions & olives depth & body
• Citrus, fruits & herbs pop & lighten!
Mediterranean Diet Triad:
• Evidence-based health benefits
• So delicious… anyone can follow!
• Easy & light – fruits & veggies + add 8-12 oz protein!
– ‘Dr. Thomas’ Campi, editor – Food is Mood!
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Ingredients for Easy Mediterranean Lasagna:
- Meats* – feel free to use and enjoy any of the ground meats. For the recipe above, I use 50/50 ground meat and ground turkey. This 50/50 combination works well. I tried dishes only with turkey meat before and it was too extreme. So if you want greater Health you can certainly consider a mixture. Ground lamb and pork are also options.
- Canned tomatoes – canned sauces are fine since the real ‘tomato punch’ is within the quartered tomatoes. I use the regular sauce (no chunks) since the fresh tomatoes will be quartered for texture.
- Tomatoes – this is one of the star ingredients and I would simply buy the biggest package of medium red tomatoes in a plastic container you can find and liberally put them through all layers and on top.
- Carrots – use fresh, large ones in their skin for more taste.
- Basil & Flat Leaf Italian Parley (FLIP) – sometimes basil is difficult to find but if you can find it then it really adds a lot of flavors. We’re adding a lot of Basil. Flat leaf parsley is once again the flat leaves which I abbreviate as FLIP. It’s full of big, fresh delicious taste – also add a lot of flat leaf Italian parsley.
- Onion – Red onion, but that’s just a preference – any will do. You can also experiment with shallots and chives.
- Garlic – Pre-chopped, that’s just a preference – any will do.
- Ricotta & Mozerella Cheese* – Full (not skim) is fine since Organic Valley ricotta and BelGioioso/Target Mozerella are also only 9% fat. The full (not skim) gives a better texture.
* Easy Mediterranean Vegan Lasagna – You can substitute Eggplant slices (for the meat) and use Vegan cheeses.
How to Make Easy Mediterranean Lasagna:
1️⃣ Preheat your oven to 375°F.
2️⃣ Precook the lasagna noodles 8-12 minutes per package instructions.
3️⃣ In a large skillet, start the garlic, and onions for 5 minutes add the ground meats over medium heat.
4️⃣ Cuisinart coarsely chop the carrots. Throw in the three seasonings – salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until browned and almost fully cooked.
Stir in the tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Turn off the heat immediately and remove from heat (otherwise it will get too watery)
5️⃣ In a large, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Add the chopped basil and parsley.
6️⃣ Spread a layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a deep ceramic bowl or a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of cheese mixture and fresh tomatoes.
7️⃣ Repeat with layers meat-garlic-onion-carrot-sauce layer, cheese-basil-parlsey-mixture layer, and fresh tomato layer until all of the ingredients are used up – ending with a layer of fresh tomatoes on top.
8️⃣ Sprinkle the three seasonings – salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on top.
9️⃣ Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes, or until the lasagna is hot and bubbly.
✮ Serve with a side salad of fresh basil and parsley.
- Feel free to customize this recipe by adding your favorite vegetables, such as zucchini or eggplant, to the meat mixture and layer.
- This recipe can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for later use. Simply assemble the lasagna as directed and cover it tightly with foil before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. To bake a refrigerated lasagna, remove the foil and bake it for 45-50 minutes at 375°F, or until hot and bubbly. For a frozen lasagna, bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 375°F, or until it is hot and bubbly.
- Note, if you are freezing the lasgna, only the top layer of noodles need to be precooked. The other noodles can be dry as they will cook later chewier (al dente) – which will make them hold up better in the freezer.
- 1 lb ground meat (1/2 pound ground beef, 1/2 pound ground turkey – however, ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork, and lamb can be used alone or in combination)
- 4 tbsp garlic, minced (I like the jar variety – 6-10 cloves can be used per taste – basically enough garlic throughout the meat)
- 1 each medium to large onion, chopped (red onion gives nice taste and color, although any variety is fine)
- 1 lb fresh red medium tomatoes, quartered (a plastic container full)
- 4 each large carrots, chopped
- 1lb 12oz can tomato sauce
- 8 oz can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp sprinkle on top italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp sprinkle on top salt
- 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp sprinkle on top pepper
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz mozerella cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 + 1 for garnish large bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 3 oz basil (a plastic container)
- 8 each lasagna noodles
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Precook the lasagna noodles 8-12 minutes per package instructions.
- In a large skillet, start the garlic, and onions for 5 minutes then Cuisinart coursely chop the carrots and add the ground meats over medium heat. Throw in the three seasonings – salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until browned and almost fully cooked.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Turn off the heat immediately and remove from heat (otherwise it will get too watery)
- In a large, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Add the chopped basil and parsley.
- Spread a layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a deep ceramic bowl or a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of cheese mixture and fresh tomatoes. Repeat with layers meat-garlic-onion-carrot-sauce layer, cheese-basil-parlsey-mixture layer, and fresh tomato layer until all of the ingredients are used up – ending with a layer of fresh tomatoes on top.
- Sprinkle the three seasonings – salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on top.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes, or until the lasagna is hot and bubbly.
- Serve with a side salad of fresh basil and parsley.
Historical Background of Lasagna
Lasagna, a beloved dish enjoyed by many around the world, has a rich history dating back to ancient times. The origins of lasagna can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire, where it was known as “lasagnum” and was made with layers of flat, wide pasta, meat, and cheese.
During the Middle Ages, lasagna evolved to include a variety of fillings such as spinach, ricotta cheese, and even fish. In the 14th century, a recipe for lasagna made with a meat-based sauce was recorded in a cookbook called “The Liber de Coquina,” which is considered to be one of the oldest cookbooks in existence.
In the 16th century, lasagna became popular in the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, where it was traditionally made with a meat-based sauce, béchamel, and Parmesan cheese. This version of lasagna is now known as “lasagna alla Bolognese” and is considered to be the classic version of the dish.
As Italian immigrants brought lasagna to other parts of the world, the dish has evolved to include a variety of different ingredients and styles. In the United States, for example, lasagna is often made with a meat-based sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese, and is a popular dish at family gatherings and holiday meals.
Despite its many variations, lasagna remains a comforting and delicious dish that brings people together. Whether you prefer a classic Bolognese version or a more modern twist on the dish, one thing is for sure: lasagna will always hold a special place in our hearts and stomachs!
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