Is Turkey Lasagna Healthy? 


Lasagna is one of the best comfort foods to enjoy after a long day. You have cheese, pasta, and meat all in one place. 

If you are following any sort of diet, you’ll know that beef tends to run a little high in calories. Are there any other meat substitutes that can taste just as good as ground beef? 

Will you be able to tell the difference if you substitute turkey for ground beef in your lasagna? 

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Turkey is a healthy alternative to ground beef in lasagna. Turkey is a much leaner and healthier meat than ground beef. 

Is Turkey Lasagna Healthy? 

If you are looking for a low-calorie lasagna that doesn’t taste much different than traditional lasagna, you can follow this turkey lasagna recipe. 

  • Gather your ingredients: 
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾  cup diced basil
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • 1 15 ounce container ricotta (or cottage cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Preheat your oven to 400º. Spray your baking pan with a nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Add the olive oil to a large pot and place it on the stove at medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic. After 30 seconds, add the ground turkey and onions. Cook until the ground turkey is no longer pink. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Next, add the spices, ¼ cup basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and all the meat, sauce, and herbs to simmer.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles for seven minutes or until al dente. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. You can also use no-cook noodles to save time too.  
  • Make the ricotta mixture by placing the ricotta in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the egg, ¼ cup basil, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture thoroughly. 
  • Assemble your lasagna by adding a layer to the bottom of the pan with the turkey meat sauce. Place the noodles on top of the sauce. Next, spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and some of the mozzarella. Add more of the meat sauce over the cheeses. Repeat the process of layering noodles, cheese, and sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 
  • Cover your baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 25 minutes. You can also broil the lasagna for an extra two minutes for a crispier topping of cheese.  Allow the lasagna to cool for 15 minutes before serving. 

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Is Lasagna Good For Diabetics? 

If you have been diagnosed as diabetic, your whole world has been turned upside down. You now have to monitor your glucose levels, you may have to take insulin, and your whole diet has just changed. 

If you loved lasagna and other pasta dishes, does this mean that you have to give them all up? Are there healthier alternatives to pasta that you can still enjoy as a diabetic? 

Diabetics can have lasagna but they will need to swap out the normal lasagna noodles for a different kind. They will also want to choose healthier cheeses and meat as well. 

The best pasta options for diabetics are vegetable, whole wheat, or gluten-free pasta. These options of pasta are better alternatives to eat rather than regular pasta. 

Be sure to never overcook your pasta either. Overcooked pasta has a higher glycemic index. Overcooking your pasta can raise your blood glucose levels. 

This also means that you shouldn’t reheat pasta either since you would be cooking the pasta even further past the al dente point. 

Does Eating Lasagna Make You Gain Weight? 

Most people associate carbs with weight gain. The weight loss industry has consumers convinced that eating any type of carb is bad for you. This is not the case, our body needs carbs, but it needs the right kind of carbs. 

If pasta is considered the type of carb that is not healthy, does this mean that all pasta is unhealthy? Pasta is made up of carbs and lasagna is made up of pasta. 

Does this mean if you eat lasagna, that you are doomed to gain weight at dinner? 

Eating pasta, in general, is not the reason you are going to gain weight. Everything needs to be eaten in moderation so if you eat lasagna in moderation it alone won’t cause you to gain weight. 

This being said, if you were to eat an entire family-sized lasagna that serves 12 by yourself, then yes, you might gain some weight. If you were to eat just a slice or even head back for a second slice, you will most likely not gain weight. 

A 2018 study researched whether or not pasta is behind weight gain. They found that eating a serving of pasta three times a week did not cause any weight gain, and some individuals lost weight. 

Next time you are in the mood for some carbs to eat, choose a serving size of pasta instead of rice or white bread.  

Is Veggie Lasagna A Healthy Alternative To Meat Lasagna? 

If you are looking to cut out the meat option from lasagna altogether, you can create a veggie lasagna. Does removing the meat and replacing it with different vegetables make the lasagna healthier? 

Adding vegetables may make the lasagna healthier, but it is not guaranteed. By removing the meat, you are removing the protein from the meal and your body needs protein in order to function properly. 

You would need some high-protein vegetables for your lasagna to make up for some of the missing protein. You could use vegetables like spinach, zucchini, red bell pepper, and carrots to fill that void of protein.

 As long as you add an appropriate amount of vegetables to replace removing the meat from lasagna, then yes, a veggie lasagna can be a healthier alternative to a meat lasagna. 

If you are wanting to make the entire lasagna healthier, you can also swap out the ricotta cheese for cottage cheese. Cottage cheese will lower calories and fat as well. 

Final Thoughts

There are several different ingredient swaps that you can make to create a healthy lasagna. You can swap the ground beef for turkey or even vegetables. 

If you’re diabetic, you can swap out regular lasagna noodles for whole wheat noodles and enjoy a safe, delicious dinner. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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