KETO lasagna with "noodles"!
It has been a week y'all! I have been trying to organize my life (i.e. my stuff) and I have small space issues. Now don't get me wrong, I love small spaces and feel way more comfortable in smaller spaces than in huge ones which I suppose comes from my time spent in Japan. HOWEVER, with small spaces comes small storage and I need storage! Especially in the kitchen as I like having all the tools at my disposal. Also I have T-Rex arms. Like its an actual thing. I am slightly taller than my sister (an entire inch!) but she can reach more things than I can because of my short arms...ridiculous. Add in the fact that our kitchen cabinets go up high. Like really high. As in out of the 4 shelves on the upper cabinet, I can only reach the bottom one comfortably. I can reach the second one to the edges but if I have to deep dive into the back, I'm out of luck. I have 1 small step stool (like those toddlers use to reach the bathroom sink), 1 folding step stool with 3 steps (for the back end of the 2nd and the 3rd shelf) and if it gets really dicey, an actual fold up ladder (for the 4th shelf). Again, the word that you are looking for is...ridiculous. So, back to my original point, I have been trying to come up with the best way to utilize the space that I have that I can actually reach day to day easily. Hence the really long and trying week.
So back to the point of this post - I NEEDED COMFORT FOOD. Nothing says comfort to me more that an amazing lasagna. The added benefit to a really good lasagna is the amount that it makes, ensuring that you have readily available tasty food for the week ready in seconds. Also, it always tastes even better as everything hangs out in the fridge!
Now I am a lasagna snob. I am not a huge fan of the keto lasagna versions using zucchini or squash and things like that. I feel like they are flimsy and watery and don't hold up the layers of a lasagna like regular noodles do. When I cut into a lasagna, I want to see all the layers. I also love building different flavor profiles with lasagnas. So if I can find a keto lasagna noodle that I like and can work with, I can make so many great lasagnas! Beefy Bolognese, Creamy Chicken, Roasted Vegetables, etc... possibilities are endless. So that was my mission. I looked online for all kinds of recipes and then I did what I do and combined a few techniques and ingredients to come up with what worked best for me. I wanted something that was as thick as a normal noodle but still bendy and chewy too. Something that would hold up to all the sauce and cheese that I like to pile on. I think I finally put together a compilation of some recipes that hit all those notes! Let me tell you, I made this last night and it was completely delicious. Also, it didn't take long to make and it was even more delicious this morning as I had another large slice for breakfast!
Let's get started! I used my food processor to make this super quick and fast! Preheat your oven before starting on the batter. Then you basically add all the ingredients into the food processor and whiz it up! Then spread it out onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and it's ready to go into the oven. Seriously. That's it!
Bake that in the oven for about 20 minutes and let it cool enough to handle. Then you can cut them into lasagna noodles and load up your lasagna! The portions of this recipe made 3 layers to my lasagna pan and was perfect!
I made my own beefy bolognese sauce for this so that I could control the sugar but if I had Rao's marinara sauce on hand, I would definitely use it for this recipe to make it that much quicker. For my bolognese recipe that is made in the Instapot, here is the link. Otherwise, brown your meat of choice (or veggies) and add the Rao's sauce to it. Let it cook together for a few minutes and then set aside to build your lasagna. I also always add plenty of crushed red pepper flakes but you can add those on top of your lasagna to suit your tastes. I happen to do both!
Then you just top it with foil and put it back in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, I take off the foil and let the cheese on top brown under the broil setting. Just keep you eye on it as it happens pretty fast!
HOLY YUM! Here is the hardest part - let the lasagna sit for a bit right out of the oven to set up. If you get impatient and cut into it immediately, I'm sure that it will be just as delicious but it will be super oozy. I like my lasagna to hold up into it's shape so that I can cut into each glorious layer!
Whenever I make a bolognese, I keep the rest fairly simple. For this one, I just put layers of mozzarella and parmesan cheese along with a generous portion of the sauce. I've used ricotta cheese with herbs and an egg before too but because there was cheese in the "noodles" I wanted to keep it simple.
Keto Lasagna "Noodles"
INGREDIENTS: 4oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 9x13 sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until fully mixed. The mixture should be slightly lumpy from the cheese.
Spread the mixture into the sheet pan forming an even layer.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on your oven.
Let the noodles cool enough to handle. Meanwhile make your sauce. If using jarred sauce, brown your meat of choice (or veggies), drain excess fat, and add your sauce into the pan with the meat. Cook for a few minutes and set aside.
Cut your "noodles" into lasagna sized strips that best fit the pan that you are using (works perfectly for a 8.5"x4.5"x2.5" pan. You want to be able to get 3 layers for your lasagna.
Start building your lasagna! Put down a layer of sauce, a layer of "noodles", another layer of sauce, cheeses of choice (I used shredded mozzarella and parmesan), and repeat until you are done...ending with sauce and cheese on top. Sprinkle a bit of finely chopped parsley on top.
Cover the baking dish with foil (make sure to spray the bottom of the foil with cooking spray so that it doesn't stick to the cheese on top).
Bake in the oven (middle rack) for 30 minutes. Uncover and broil on the top rack for an additional 5 minutes keeping a close eye on it the entire time to brown the cheese on top. Don't let it burn!
Once done, let the lasagna set for about 15 minutes before cutting into it. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper if you want and enjoy!!
Look at all those amazing layers!!! I try really hard to eat just one good sized slice with a salad but sometimes you just need 2 servings without a salad lol. Or lasagna for breakfast with coffee. Or as a snack!
Back to organizing. Meh.