Thursday, October 30, 2014

Creamy Chipotle Turkey Sausage Lasagna

When the weather gets cold, or at least cooler here in AZ, I love nothing more than to make large batches of lasagna. They last a couple of days, and contrary to what your traditional mother tells you, the limits are endless as to what you can bake in between those beautiful noodles.  While I tried to convince my boyfriend to make a pumpkin kale lasagna with me, he simply stated that he was "pumpkin-ed out", and vetoed the option before I could say another world. In my defense, he ate about 10 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins the same day that I proposed this, so I guess I will have to accept defeat on that front. However, this smoky lasagna was my next suggestion, and it was an absolute home run (#sports). I used my mother's classic lasagna recipe as a starting point, and then added all of the flavors. Chipotle. Cream. Spinach. It's all there.

Creamy Chipotle Turkey Sausage Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb. ground Turkey
  • 1/2 lb. Italian turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can dices tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, about 10 minutes. They will continue to cook when the lasagna bakes in the oven.  Drain and set aside to cool enough to handle with your hands.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, cook the ground turkey, the sausage, and the onion together, breaking up the meats with a spoon. Cook until browned. Add in the garlic and spinach and continue to cook until the spinach begins to wilt.

Remove from the heat and set aside while you make the cream sauce. Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add in the butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly add the milk in 1/2 cup at a time, whisking continuously, and waiting for the mixture to thicken before adding the next 1/2 cup. Once all of the milk has been added and the sauce has thickened, add it into the sausage mixture and stir to coat. Add in the diced tomatoes, salt, and chipotle pepper. Mix well until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together the mozzarella, ricotta, salt, and pepper with a spoon. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with some non-stick cooking spray. Spread a light layer of the sausage mixture on the bottom of the pan to keep the noodles from sticking. Lay 3 lasagna noodles down and top with 1/3 of the sausage mixture. Then top with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat with 2 more layers of the noodles, sausage, and end with the cheese layer.

Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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