Lasagna with Italian Sausage {#sponsored}

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of . All opinions are 100% mine.

With the holidays upon us, lots of people are probably thinking of ham, turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. At least that is the traditional fare in my house. However, over the years I have heard several people say that their traditional meal includes lasagna. I have a friend who will visit her parents and her in-laws on Thanksgiving, so she has turkey, ham, etc at lunch, but for dinner, her mother-in-law prepares lasagna and some different dishes that incorporates their family’s heritage. I think that is a pretty neat idea.

Since I’ve been thinking about lasagna non-stop, I decided it was time to make it. I had homemade Italian turkey sausage in the freezer, so I decided to use that for the meat sauce, but you could use ground beef, ground turkey, or skip the meat all together. You could use roasted vegetables, as well. I added a little kale in with the meat, but just a little, and chopped very fine because my kids can spot something green in their food a mile away. When they asked what the flecks of green were, I told them they were herbs. No, I don’t advocate lying to your children, but, well, I will lie to mine if it means getting some vegetables in them. (And technically, there are herbs in there.) Of course, the most important component of lasagna, in my opinion, is the CHEESE. Mo’ cheese is mo’betta in my house.

My plan was to pick up mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan but then I saw the Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian and I thought, YES! It’s a blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina, Romano and Asiago. Why limit myself?! I also used sliced Provolone and shredded Parmesan. What can I say, I really like cheese.

Lasagna takes some time and isn’t exactly ‘quick and easy’, but it is definitely worth it. I would also say this was Holiday worthy as well!

Lasagna with Italian Sausage

  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (I used homemade Italian turkey sausage)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kale, stem removed, finely chopped (desired amount, optional)
  • 1 jar (approx 24 oz.) or 2 1/2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese if you prefer)
  • 1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 9-12 lasagna noodles (depending on pan size, mine held 9)
  • 8 oz. Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Italian Cheese
  • 6 slices of Sargento Provolone (or 12 if using the Ultra Thin sliced)
  • olive oil (for drizzling bottom of pan)
  1. Prepare meat sauce by browning ground meat on medium high heat (if not using Italian sausage, then season meat with salt and pepper, to taste) with the onion, garlic, and kale (if using). Once meat is cooked through and onions are tender, drain any fat and add the spaghetti sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning and salt. Set aside.
  3. Boil lasagna noodles per instructions on box for al dente.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  5. Arrange 3 to 4 lasagna noodles in bottom of pan, side by side (mine held 3).
  6. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles.
  7. Top cheese mixture with 1/3 of the meat sauce.
  8. Top meat sauce with 1/4 of the Shredded 6 Cheese Italian cheese.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 two more times.
  10. After the last layer is complete, place the 6 slices of Provolone cheese on top along with remaining Parmesan.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbly (40-45 minutes). Then remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbling.
  12. Let lasagna cool for 15-20 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long, we couldn’t!)

Recipe adapted from

Look at all that cheese! Can you see why I’m a fan of ? Well, not just the shredded, we use the sliced all the time too. We love Swiss, Provolone, and Cheddar on our sandwiches. If you love cheese too, then check out . There are lots of recipes available!

Also, Sargento currently has a recipe contest going on. Head to  to find out all the details and enter to win! You have to submit an original recipe and photo of a dish featuring a Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese variety, plus an explanation of why using real, fresh-tasting ingredients like Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese matters to you. The Facebook recipe contest winner will receive $2,000 toward kitchen supplies and ingredients for the perfect holiday meal, plus a year’s supply of Sargento Shredded Natural Cheese. Sounds good to me!

I’m curious, what do your traditional Holiday meals include?

Lighter Lasagna Soup

I hate to keep complaining about the weather, but….ughhhh, it’s soooo cold! Spring is on the way however, because I’ve already seen some ants and two spiders. *shiver* We’ve also got birds everywhere today. It’s nice and sunny (but still cold!). SO, as long as it’s going to be this cold, might as well continue enjoying some nice warm soup.

This soup was lightened up by Bobby Deen, son of the legendary Paula Deen. It’s warm, filling, comforting, and best of all….cheesy! I may have added a little more cheese than the recipe called for. As in, I did add more cheese, so I don’t know how much lighter this ended up being! But whatever, it was yummy.

Lighter Lasagna Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth 
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes (I used one with Italian seasonings)
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper *adjust according to desired heat
4 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces  
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I omitted since my basil plant is so very dead; used 1 tsp dried basil)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick pot. Add the sausage and onion and cook until sausage is browned and onions are translucent (approx 8-10 mins) – stirring frequently to break up sausage into crumbles. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring to prevent burning. 
  • Add broth, cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. 
  • Bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. 
  • Add noodles and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the soup starts to thicken and noodles are tender, approx 10 – 12 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent noodles from sticking together.
  • Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and Parmesan.
And if you are like me, add  more cheese to your individual serving, because more cheese is better. So says me. The soup is also good with a nice hunk of toasted bread. Because carbs are good. (My thighs don’t agree.)
Recipe Source:
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