$500 Winner: Savory Category
Nicole Chisum | Wise EC
Using vegetables and creamy Alfredo sauce creates a memorable spin on traditional lasagna. This dish is perfect for feeding a crowd (just add a green salad and red wine), and the unbaked lasagna freezes well (bake frozen 15–20 additional minutes, or until bubbly), so it’s a great way to get a jump-start on entertaining.
12 lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 bag (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 jar (12 ounces) Alfredo sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3–4 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente, then drain.
2. Brown the beef and onion in a skillet, then drain excess fat. Squeeze excess water from spinach and add to the skillet, then add zucchini and stir until mixture is warm. Add the Alfredo sauce, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until warm, then remove from heat.
3. Combine the eggs, ricotta, cottage cheese, Parmesan and parsley in a medium bowl.
4. Spread about 1/2 cup of meat mixture in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Top with 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise, and 1 widthwise. Evenly spread half the cheese mixture over noodles, followed by half the meat mixture, then half the shredded cheddar jack. Repeat with another layer of noodles, followed by remaining cheese mixture, meat mixture and cheddar jack. Top with remaining noodles.
5. Topping: Sprinkle top with the mozzarella, Parmesan and parsley. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5–10 minutes until edges are bubbly and top is slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to set approximately 10 minutes before serving.
Feel free to use fresh parsley in this recipe. As a general rule, you’ll want to double or even triple the amount of fresh herbs, as dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor. Substitute an equal amount of your favorite homemade Alfredo sauce for store-bought.