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Though the purists are sure to object, we’re of the belief that what truly defines a lasagna comes down to layers. Which begs the question: When building your tower, what will take up residence on each floor?
Of course, there’s the traditional wide noodle base followed by multiple levels of cheese, sauce, and ground beef. But if you’re a vegetarian, you can always swap the meat for vegetables which also come in handy as a replacement for noodles if you want a gluten-free meal…which can also be achieved by using meat as your foundation. Or go pesto instead of tomato sauce. Ground turkey over beef. You can even alter the design from flat and rectangular to burrito-style roll-ups.
In other words, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating the lasagna of your dreams.
See below for some of our favorite ways to tackle this big batch comfort food favorite (which also happens to be great for making ahead to freeze for a future meal).
The easy elements in this classic version of lasagna are the no-boil noodles, sliced provolone, and grated parm. The harder part is making your own Ragu alla Bolognese and béchamel for the sauces. But if you put in the effort, boy, is it worth it. Get our Lasagna alla Bolognese recipe.
Because of the unconventional handspun shape of this kid-friendly creation, stock up on noodles that require boiling. Once they’re cooked, have fun rolling them up with your cheese blend (ricotta, parm, and mozz) and frozen spinach, then gently coat in marinara sauce. Get our Hefty Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups recipe.
This poultry take on lasagna is no turkey. It utilizes a blend of herbs and spices in both the sauce and the meat prep to give it extra flavor. Make sure to get whole milk ricotta for added richness. Get our Turkey Sausage Lasagna recipe.
Speaking of turkey, this fall-flavored meatless marvel is bound to delight the vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table. Instead of using noodles, cooked polenta assumes the starring role. Then, load it up with the sharp, salty notes of gruyère and asiago, followed by butternut squash (or swap in sweet potatoes). Get our Vegetarian Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Polenta Lasagna recipe.
For another carb-cutting take on lasagna, let zucchini handle noodle duty. Capers and cottage cheese are here to provide a dash of tang to complement cremini mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella. Get our Noodleless Zucchini Lasagna recipe.
Axing meat is one thing, but to also eliminate cheese from the lasagna equation seems completely far-fetched. But if anyone is prepared to achieve the impossible, it’s vegan. Armed with eggplant, lentils, plenty of fresh veggies and herbs and, crucially, your favorite dairy-free hard cheese, this masterful culinary creation from MasterChef finalist Jackie Kearney is equal parts delicious, nutritious, and cruelty-free. Get the Vegan Roasted Eggplant Lasagna recipe.
You won’t see red in this tomato-less lasagna which is sauced with pesto and layered with a cheesy filling studded with peas. Who says it’s not easy being green? Get our Pesto and Pea Lasagna recipe.
Many a bubbe has tinkered with ways to make unleavened matzo more palatable during Passover. Well, this matsagna is the answer to her prayers. The clever and kosher application of thin cracker sheets layered with sauteed herbed mushrooms and salty feta will please members of the tribe and goy alike. Get the Matzo Lasagna with Mushrooms and Feta recipe.
You’re going to need a very sharp knife and a meat hammer to perfect chef Tyler Kord’s gonzo lasagna which uses thinly sliced and pounded chicken breast as a noodle stand-in. The layers are then filled with ground chicken cooked with peppers and onions, a tomato sauce spiked with heavy cream, and caramelized fennel. Like we said, sky’s the limit. Get the Chickensagna recipe.