Kid-Friendly Lasagna

When I was growing up, it always seemed like a special treat when mom made a baked pasta dish or other cheesy noodle dish that crisped up on the edges and made the house smell like an Italian country home. Its hard to think that a cheesy lasagna can be a nutritious or recommended dish for any kind of diet! Fortunately, making some substitutions like tofu instead of meat, low-fat cheeses, and adding carrot puree makes this a tasty, guilt free dish. Although it takes some time and planning in advance, the advantage is that you can make it a day or even weeks in advance and refrigerate overnight, or freeze it up to 3 months instead of buying sodium-laden pre-made lasagna. I think your family will appreciate the homemade flavor and you can even get your kids to jump in and help assemble the lasagna by layering the sauce or cheese to make it extra special. Its also great party food too, just pop it in the oven and serve with a fresh salad.

Kid-Friendly Lasagna (Makes 12 servings)

  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup firm tofu (Half of a 14-oz block)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce* or pasta sauce (low-sodium preferred)
  • 12 pieces oven-ready, no-boil lasagna noodles (whole wheat preferred)
  • 2 1/2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*Click on the link for the Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce recipe here, it takes only 15-20 minutes to prepare. Prepare the sauce and cool slightly. Or save some time and buy a low-sodium pasta sauce. 
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a 13 X 9 baking sheet with cooking spray. 
2. Blend the low-fat ricotta, tofu and salt in a blender or immersion blender and set aside. 
3. Begin to layer the lasagna. Get your kids involved if possible! 
  • Spread 3/4 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish
  • Then, place 3 sheets of uncooked pasta on top of the sauce, side by side (not overlapping)

  • Spread 2/3 cup of the ricotta/tofu mixture evenly over the pasta

  • Then, spread another 3/4 cup of pasta sauce of the pasta, covering it completely
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over the top of the sauce
Repeat these steps two times. Place the rest of the sauce on top, the remaining mozzarella cheese, and all of the Parmesan cheese.

4. Cover the lasagna with foil sprayed with oil. Bake 25 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let the lasagna stand a few minutes before cutting.

nutrition facts label for Kid-Friendly Lasagna

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