The story behind this Protein Lasagna begins in the Whole Foods that’s close enough to my building to feel like an extension of my kitchen. I know it doesn’t sound so exciting that the story behind this dish originates in the grocery store, given that the story behind most recipes begins in some grocery store, somewhere. However, there is something refreshing about finding novelty in the ordinary. There’s something nice – and quite inspiring – about slowing down just a bit while walking past the pastas and realizing that you can come up with an original recipe using an ingredient you’ve wheeled past countless times.
The ingredient I’m talking about here is no-boil, yellow lentil and brown rice lasagne pasta. I’ve had pasta alternatives before (see this lentil pasta salad recipe or this summer pasta salad recipe, which can be made with brown rice pasta), however, this was my first time seeing an alternative pasta in lasagna form, so you can understand why that was exciting to me, being a future dietitian who’s into food and all. On top of that, the discovery that inspired this Protein Lasagna recipe came after at least five weeks of consuming simply-prepared tofu as my main protein source for the week. While there is nothing wrong with keeping things simple, I was definitely ready for a change, so this discovery came at the right time.
I present to you my recipe for Protein Lasagna. This lasagna is seriously protein-packed; in addition to the lentil and brown rice pasta, it contains silken tofu and cottage cheese, two foods that contain lots of satisfying, muscle-building protein. I also threw in spinach leaves for an iron boost and fresh basil for additional flavor.
In case you need some more convincing to make this Protein Lasagna, this recipe is boyfriend-approved (so much so that he asked to take home the leftovers!), very filling and easy to prepare. Just so you know, I don’t take that last part, about this Protein Lasagna being easy to prepare, lightly, since I know how valuable your time is. For reference, I assembled this lasagna in under ten minutes! Even if you are distracted while making this Protein Lasagna or are having #cookingissues or small-kitchen-so-cooking-everything-takes-longer issues (I get it because I’ve been there), there is no way that assembling this lasagna will take you longer than 20 minutes – and that’s even a stretch.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for company, trust me that it’s a good idea to add this Protein Lasagna to your meal-prep plan this week. And while we’re on the topic of planning, grocery lists are great starting points, but don’t be afraid to stray away from them if other items catch your eye. I’ve found that my best recipes are often made with impulse purchases.
Wishing you a week filled with some straying from your typical and – hopefully – this lasagna,
Note: This post is not sponsored in any way! I am recommending these yellow lentil and brown rice lasagne noodles from Whole Foods solely based on my positive experience with the product.
- One 16-ounce package silken tofu
- One 24-ounce container cottage cheese
- 2 ½ cups shredded cheese
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped (reserve some for sprinkling on top)
- One 25-ounce jar Paesana Vodka Sauce, divided
- One 8.8-ounce package Whole Foods yellow lentil and brown rice lasagne pasta, not boiled
- 1 ½ – 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Set aside.
- Mash the silken tofu using a fork in a large mixing bowl. Then, add the cottage cheese, 1 cup of shredded cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil to bowl. Mix. Add about ¼ of the jar of vodka sauce, and mix well.
- Pour some vodka sauce into the bottom of the baking dish (reserve about ¼ of the jar for later). Place four lasagna noodles on top of the sauce (Note: It's okay if the lasagna noodles do not span the entire dish). Layer noodles with half of the cottage cheese mixture, spreading the mixture out in an even layer over the noodles. Then, place spinach leaves on top of the cottage cheese. Next, layer ½ cup shredded cheese on top of the spinach leaves, and top with four more lasagna noodles.
- Next, add the remainder of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the lasagna noodles, and spread out evenly. Top with ½ cup shredded cheese. Place four more lasagna noodles on top of the shredded cheese. Pour remaining vodka sauce (~¼ of jar) on top of the pasta, spreading out evenly. Sprinkle on remaining shredded cheese and basil.
- Bake lasagna, covered, at 400 F for about 40 minutes, until cheese is completely melted and lasagna is bubbling. (Note: If using foil to cover lasagna, you can lightly grease the foil to prevent the cheese from sticking to it once it melts). Then, uncover lasagna and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until lasagna reaches desired doneness. Cool lasagna for 15 to 20 minutes before serving to prevent lasagna from falling apart when cut.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe to The Artsy Palate so that you can stay up to date with my latest recipes and nutrition tips! Subscribe by entering your email address below. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments! Follow The Artsy Palate (@theartsypalate) on Instagram for more! <3