Weeknight-Friendly Spinach Turkey Lasagna Recipe

Not all dishes consistently evoke warm, fuzzy feelings. So when you find one, it's fun to experiment with it in all its variations. Lasagna brings up good memories for many people, whether it was a family staple or your favorite restaurant order. Sure it requires a few layers of assembly, but the result is worth it when it comes out of the oven with a golden brown top and bubbly sauce. A classic lasagna bolognese might be old news for you by now, which is why we're always keen to try a new version. 

Tasting Table recipe developer Katie Rosenhouse brings us a weeknight-friendly spinach turkey lasagna that fits the bill. Not only does it switch up the profile of the various layers, but it's also a totally feasible midweek dish. "I love that this turkey lasagna is incredibly fast to pull together, but tastes like you spent hours making it," Rosenhouse says. "It's hearty and quick for a great make-ahead meal, but impressive enough to serve to guests." Prep it tonight or in advance for stress-free hosting — either way it will be a success.

Gather the ingredients for the weeknight-friendly spinach turkey lasagna

For this lasagna recipe, start with olive oil, a yellow onion, garlic, ground turkey, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Next, get marinara sauce or, Rosenhouse says, "Feel free to use any tomato sauce you prefer (or have on hand) for this lasagna." 

You'll also need whole milk ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, baby spinach, and oven-ready lasagna sheets. Alternatively, Rosenhouse suggests, "You can also use standard lasagna noodles, if preferred. Cook according to the package instructions before layering into the lasagna." Fresh basil, whole milk mozzarella cheese, and, if desired, Italian seasoning finish the dish.

Step 1: Heat the oil

In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering.

Step 2: Cook the onion

Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 3: Add the garlic

Add garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.

Step 4: Cook the turkey with salt and pepper

Add turkey, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes.

Step 5: Add the marinara

Stir in marinara and remove from heat; set aside.

Step 6: Mix the cheeses, spinach, and seasonings

In a medium bowl, stir to combine ricotta cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, spinach, and Italian seasoning, if using. Set aside.

Step 7: Preheat the oven

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Step 8: Prep the pan

Spray to coat a 9x13-inch broiler-safe baking pan with cooking spray.

Step 9: Spoon sauce in the pan

Portion a layer of the sauce mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Step 10: Add pasta sheets

Top with three lasagna sheets.

Step 11: Add the ricotta

Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture over the lasagna sheets and top with a layer of sauce and sprinkling of basil.

Step 12: Add the mozzarella

Top evenly with ¼ of the mozzarella.

Step 13: Repeat the layering

Repeat, layering the lasagna with noodles, ricotta, sauce, basil, and mozzarella two additional times.

Step 14: Add the final layer

Top with noodles, then remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella.

Step 15: Bake the lasagna

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbling.

Step 16: Set to broil

Set oven to broil.

Step 17: Broil the lasagna

Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until browned in spots.

Step 18: Add Parmesan and serve

Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

How should you serve and store this spinach turkey lasagna?

You can always add some simple accompaniments to this hearty lasagna. As Rosenhouse says, "This lasagna can be served as a one-dish meal, but would pair well with a side salad or garlic bread for an extra-special touch." A leafy green salad can lighten up your plate, but you don't have to take it any further. Although you've got time for more complex side dishes while the lasagna cooks, how about just relaxing before dinner or getting another task out of the way instead? 

This recipe makes 10 portions, which means you may end up with leftovers unless you've invited a crowd to feast. And that's totally fine because extra lasagna is just one more aspect we love about this recipe. Rosenhouse says you can store leftovers for up to three days. When you're ready for more, she instructs: "Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350 F oven until hot throughout before serving." And ta-da, more lasagna for you to savor. 

Can you make this spinach turkey lasagna ahead of time?

Granted, this lasagna is speedy to whip up, but sometimes fast isn't fast enough for the time you have. Especially considering the lasagna requires a good hour between the time you put it in the oven and can dig into your first bite. Not to mention, if you're hosting then you may have other things to do than be in the kitchen before your guests arrive. Thankfully, Rosenhouse says, "You can prepare this lasagna up to two days ahead, and bake on the day of serving. Let [it] stand at room temperature while the oven preheats, then proceed as directed."

Meanwhile, if you're on a meal-prepping streak and want to assemble a lasagna to eat in the future, she notes, "You can also freeze the unbaked lasagna for up to two months." Assembling it in a disposable aluminum broiler pan is probably ideal in this case. (And set it on a broiler-safe baking sheet before cooking.) You'll also need to think ahead a little. Rosenhouse instructs to "thaw [it] overnight in the refrigerator, then let [it] stand at room temperature while the oven preheats and bake as directed." She also adds that it may need a few extra minutes of baking time.

Weeknight-Friendly Spinach Turkey Lasagna Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
By using oven-ready pasta sheets you can get this spinach turkey lasagna on the table a lot quicker, and with less hassle. Prep it up to two days ahead.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
55
minutes
Servings
10
Servings
lasagna slice on plate
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 (24-ounce) jars marinara sauce
  • 1 (32-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 8 ounces oven-ready lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
  • 1 pound shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Directions
  1. In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.
  4. Add turkey, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Stir in marinara and remove from heat; set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir to combine ricotta cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, spinach, and Italian seasoning, if using. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  8. Spray to coat a 9x13-inch broiler-safe baking pan with cooking spray.
  9. Portion a layer of the sauce mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  10. Top with three lasagna sheets.
  11. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture over the lasagna sheets and top with a layer of sauce and sprinkling of basil.
  12. Top evenly with ¼ of the mozzarella.
  13. Repeat, layering the lasagna with noodles, ricotta, sauce, basil, and mozzarella two additional times.
  14. Top with noodles, then remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella.
  15. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbling.
  16. Set oven to broil.
  17. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until browned in spots.
  18. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 575
Total Fat 32.0 g
Saturated Fat 16.2 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 126.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Total Sugars 8.5 g
Sodium 1,179.7 mg
Protein 34.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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