White Lasagna with Turkey and Mushrooms

I almost always have everything need to make white lasagna on hand in the house, and for a impromptu weekend family style dinner my turkey lasagna is the perfect one dish meal. In fact, this meal was created when I was low on groceries but had six coming for dinner.  In a quick search of the kitchen I found frozen spinach, turkey, mushrooms, and lots of cheese.  White turkey lasagna has a few extra calories with all the cheese and the bechamel sauce, but every calorie is worth it. Pair with a simple tomato salad and this can be a family favorite. If you are one person or a smaller family make two white lasagnas out of this recipe in 8×8 pans, bake one, freeze one.

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White Lasagna with Turkey and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 box defrosted frozen spinach with water rung out
  • ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth

For the Bechamel Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Nutmeg salt and pepper to taste

For the Turkey-Mushroom Layer

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground turkey or use shredded already cooked
  • 2 onion sliced
  • 2 small carrots sliced
  • 3 cups thickly sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rosemary and Nutmeg to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

The turkey-mushroom layer

  1. Using a wide skillet set over medium-high heat, brown ground turkey, onions, and carrot. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has cooked out of the mushrooms, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add white wine, grated garlic, rosemary, and cook until most of the liquid has cooked off. Easy way to get your garlic in the filling is to microplane it right over the pan.
  3. If you are using cooked turkey instead of raw ground turkey add it when you add the mushrooms. Be sure to give the filling a taste and adjust spices to what you like. Set the cooked filling aside.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles as per package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

The Béchamel sauce

  1. While the pasta is cooking, make the béchamel sauce. Using a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Immediately whisk in milk, and cook until thickened, stirring frequently, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in half and half, Parmesan cheese, and season to taste with nutmeg, and pepper. Tastes and set aside.

Build the Lasagna

  1. Grease a 10 by 15-inch (3-inch deep) baking dish or lasagna pan. Spoon 1/3 of the mushroom filling onto the bottom of the dish, add 1/4 chopped spinach, and 1/4 mozzarella, and then 1/4 of the béchamel sauce. Cover with a single layer of lasagna pasta.
  2. Repeat the layering with more pasta, mushroom sauce, spinach, cheeses, and béchamel, until all of the ingredients are used up. The top layer should be béchamel sauce, spinach and cheese. Sprinkle the top with the last of the mozzarella cheese as well as the parmesan cheese. Add ¼ cup of either white wine or chicken broth to the pan.
  3. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake the lasagna, undisturbed, for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Uncover the lasagna and continue baking until the lasagna is puffed, golden brown on top and a paring knife inserted into the lasagna meets with no resistance, about 15-20 minutes longer. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs.

Recipe Notes

If the béchamel is too thick thin with chicken broth or white wine. Any veggies you have on hand can be added to the mushroom layer: zucchini, leaks, or celery. If you don’t have fresh spinach you can use 2 boxes of fresh, or if you don’t have frozen add 2-4 cups more of fresh. I like the mix of the two but have been known to just use one or the other.

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