The ultimate makeover: Lasagne

The ultimate makeover: Lasagne

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(20 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins - 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins


Serves 6
A lighter version of the family classic that retains its full flavour

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal447
  • fat19g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein38g
  • salt0.96g
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    For the meat sauce

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 1 onion, chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 2 medium carrots, diced



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 3 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 250g lean rump steak, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced, then very finely chopped
    • 250g lean minced pork



      One of the most versatile types of meat, pork is economical, tender if cooked correctly, and…

    • 100ml red wine
    • 2 tbsp tomato purée
    • 400g can plum tomato
    • tsp ground nutmeg, plus a pinch
    • handful basil leaves, torn

    For the layers

    • 300g fresh spinach



      Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

    • 1 egg



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 250g tub ricotta



      Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from whey and traditionally a by-product of…

    • handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 6 wide sheets (about 175g/6oz) no pre-cook lasagne
    • 125g ball mozzarella, preferably buffalo, roughly chopped
    • 50g parmesan, coarsely grated



      Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

    • 200g cherry tomato on the vine
    • basil leaves and green salad leaves, to serve


    1. Make the meat sauce: heat oil in a large sauté pan, then tip in onion and fry for 5 mins until golden. Add carrots and garlic, then fry for 2 mins more. Stir in both meats, breaking up the pork with a wooden spoon. Cook over a high heat until the meat is no longer pink and the juices are released. Pour in wine, scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, then cook for 1-2 mins until the liquid is reduced. Tip in tomato purée, tomatoes and 2 tbsp water, then stir to break up tomatoes. Add ½ tsp nutmeg and some pepper, cover, then simmer for 1 hr, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt if you like. Mix in torn basil. Sauce can be chilled for up to 1 day.

    2. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the other layers. Tip the spinach into a large bowl and pour over boiling water. After 30 secs, tip spinach into a colander and put under cold running water briefly to cool. Squeeze to remove excess water. Beat the egg in a bowl, then mix with ricotta, parsley, a pinch of nutmeg and pepper. Soak the lasagne sheets in a single layer in boiling water for 5 mins. (Although the packet says no pre-cook, I find soaking improves the texture.) Drain well. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

    3. Start layering. Spread a few big spoonfuls of sauce to barely cover the base of an ovenproof dish (20 x 29 x 6cm deep). Cover with 2 sheets of lasagne, then spread over half the remaining sauce. Cover with 2 more lasagne sheets, then scatter spinach evenly over. Spread the ricotta mixture on top and cover with 2 more lasagne sheets. Spread with remaining sauce, then scatter over mozzarella and Parmesan to almost cover meat. Top with cherry tomatoes and some pepper, then cover loosely with foil.

    4. Bake for 35 mins, then remove foil and bake 5-10 mins more. Leave for a few mins, then scatter with basil and serve with salad.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    5th Nov, 2013
    I loved this but hubby didn't enjoy the spinach. Hurrah - more for me!! Not sure the extra effort & ingredients are worth it though.... Kept very well in the fridge overnight & warmed up nicely. Oh, and I'll defo keep using the wholegrain lasagne sheets in my go-to recipe!
    17th May, 2013
    A very nice alternative to the normal heavy lasagne. Shops didn't have any ricotta cheese in, so i swapped for half fat creme fraiche. Served it with warm garlic bread and a big salad. Will do again!
    5th Mar, 2013
    Yummy !! Going to be regular in my house !! :-)
    21st Feb, 2013
    Delicious. Used steak mince and can green lentils. No pork. Rest as per recipe. Making again as requested by family.
    2nd Jan, 2013
    I agree with petit_josephine. This version will never taste as rich and stodgy as a classic lasagne but what a fabulous healthy version it is. We are a big fan of Angela Nilsen's healthy takes on classics and this one didn't let you down. Even my carb loving husband approved! We will definitely have this again.
    25th Sep, 2012
    Brilliant recipe, made it the day before and kept it overnight in the fridge, cooked perfectly the next day. Only change I made due to other comments about dryness was cooking the meat sauce for 45 mins
    20th Jun, 2012
    Made this as an alternative Sunday lunch and it was absolutely gorgeous. Full of flavour and the additional veg such as the spinach and cherry tomato topping was an excellent way of getting more of your five a day.
    7th May, 2012
    I used 250g of minced beef instead of the rump steaks but everything else as the recipe and this was easy to prepared in advance and delicious. This is the only lasagne I will make from now on.
    6th Apr, 2012
    Great dish.... Made 2 for a dinner party... One guest went back for thirds... Light and full of flavour... A definite make!!
    18th Jan, 2012
    I was very impressed with this dish as a lower calorie alternative to lasagne. In addition to fresh basil I added some dried herbs and plenty of seasoning. I also added some beef stock and an extra tin of toms. Without these additions I think it could've been rather bland and dry. Will definitely cook it again, thank you.


    25th Mar, 2018
    Step 2--"Tip the spinach into a large bowl and pour over boiling water. So steam the spinach over the boiling water? Or actually put the boiling water on the spinach. Confusing.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    1st Apr, 2018
    Thanks for your question. You cover the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds and then drain it. This will be sufficient to wilt the spinach.
    12th Feb, 2014
    Can this be frozen as I've never frozen something with ricotta before? Many thanks
    goodfoodteam's picture
    21st Feb, 2014
    Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes, this recipe can be frozen. Freeze it unbaked, then defrost at room temperature before cooking as directed in the method above. Best wishes, BBC Good Food team
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