Lasagna is one of those dishes that just brings the feeling of warmth, family, and coziness. My first ever recipe posted to this blog was my mom's beef lasagna. A classic. But here we are, nearly 3 years later, and I'm bringing you a delicious spin on the classic lasagna with my Turkey Sausage and Goat Cheese Lasagna.
It still brings all of the comforting goodness that you hope for an expect with lasagna, but with some surprising flavor spins and a slightly lighter feel thanks to the turkey. It's different, but doesn't stray too far which is why anyone I've ever served it to absolutely loves it, including the turkey-suspicious diners (you know, the ones who are suspicious about subbing turkey or chicken for beef).
This lasagna comes together relatively quickly (an hour or so before baking), but it serves a crowd, is great leftover, and you can certainly make it a few days in advance and bake it off when you need it. It also freezes really well. And with the help of oven-ready lasagna noodles, assembly is a breeze.
I promise if you take a leap and try this slightly different but entirely delicious lasagna, you won't regret a thing. You'll find yourself, like me, trying to decide between which lasagna recipe to make (this one or Mom's Hearty Beef Lasagna) every single time!
Turkey Sausage and Goat Cheese-Ricotta Lasagna
Makes ~ 9-12 servings
Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 35-45 minutes
Click the file below to download and print the recipe
**This recipe may include affiliate links for which I may be paid a commissions for purchases made through the link.**
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
1.25lbs of hot OR sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (usually 1 package)
1 medium onion (or 1/2 of a large onion), small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
43 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (28 oz. can + 15 oz. can)
6 oz. tomato paste
3/4 tsp. salt (more to taste)
3/4 tsp. pepper (more to taste)
1/4 C. finely cut fresh basil
3/4lb. oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (about 12 pieces)
Goat Cheese-Ricotta Filling
15 oz. ricotta cheese
4 oz. plain goat cheese (room temp)
1 C. grated parmesan cheese (separated to 3/4 C. and 1/4 C.)
1 TB dried parsley (or 2 TB fresh, finely chopped)
Heat a large, high-sided pan over medium heat and cook the turkey sausage, breaking up with a spoon to crumble, until completely cooked through. If needed, drain off the fat.
Turn the pan with the sausage to medium-low, add 2 tsp. of olive oil, onions, and a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent (about 5 minutes). If onions are browning, turn heat down. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper to the pan, stirring to incorporate and break up the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer (turn down heat if bubbling to hard). Once simmering, stir in basil and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. Keep heat low.
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Allow sauce to cool off the heat for a bit before assembling.
While sauce simmers, combine in a medium bowl the ricotta, goat cheese, 3/4 C. of the parmesan cheese, parsley, and egg. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
To assemble, spoon and spread about 1/2 C. of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 (or close to) Reserve an additional 1/2 C. of the sauce for the end. Then begin to layer, using 1/3 of each ingredient in each layer:
noodles (breaking up as needed to make them fit in a layer),
goat cheese-ricotta mixture (dollop then gently smoosh with the back of a spoon. It doesn't need to be in an even layer)
Repeat 2 more times.
Finish with the reserved 1/2 C. of sauce and 1/4 C. of parmesan cheese. Evenly distribute the fresh mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 400° for 35-45 minutes until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and the cheese is starting to brown. Cover with foil if it is browning too quickly.
Allow to rest on the counter for 10 minutes before serving.
*Recipe notes + Variations*
You can make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble. Allow sauce to cool completely before putting in the fridge. Reheat on the stove to warm the sauce before assembling.
To freeze leftovers, allow uncut lasagna to cool then put in the refrigerator until completely chilled. Cut into desired size pieces and wrap in plastic wrap. Place wrapped piece on a baking tray and put in the freezer until frozen solid. Transfer to a ziplock bag with reheating instructions written on it. Here is a quick tutorial. To reheat from frozen, remove plastic wrap and bake at 375° loosely covered with foil until internal temperature reached 165°, about 1 hour. From thawed it should take about 35-30 minutes.