Lightened Up Beef Lasagna

Lean beef and blended cottage cheese is the secret to lightening up this traditionally calorie and fat laden dish. Lasagna has got to be one of my favorite meals. Layers of cheese upon cheese, pasta, and that savory meat sauce, it’s basically a big bubbling pan of comfort.

Lightened Up Beef Lasagna

 As the temperatures begin to drop, the days get shorter, leaves are changing and falling….I don’t know, big plates of comfort food just seem like a natural course of action. And isn’t lasagna the ultimate comfort food?

Lightened Up Beef Lasagna


My 4 year old son is going through this fun phase where he hates any kind of dish or food that is mixed up. Pasta salad, any kind of casserole, taco meat….. It’s a no go. So when I set this in front of him,  ok yes, he actually cried. Not exactly a ringing endorsement;) (we go through a lot of peanut butter right now, lol)  On the upside, my 6 year old absolutely loved it. She was literally singing it’s praises and ate every morsel. Even my hubby, who isn’t the biggest fan of pasta (wait, what?! Yeah, I know, it took me awhile to wrap my head around that one but what can I say, opposites attract) even my hubby went back for seconds… Or was it thirds? Either way,  I figured 2 out of 3 wasn’t bad and so will most definitely consider this a win in the family dinner department.
Lightened Up Beef Lasagna
This is actually a pretty basic lasagna recipe with a few simple (but important) substitutions. The first thing you’re going to want to do is buy lean ground beef. You’ll want at least 90% lean. It’s a smidge more expensive but well worth it. Secondly, you’ll notice that ricotta cheese is not included in this lasagna. Instead, I used 1% cottage cheese. I like to blend it in my food processor for the creamiest of textures. Cottage cheese is lower in fat and calories than ricotta but is very similar in taste especially when baked into something like lasagna. Lastly, I tried to reduce the cheese as much as I could without compromising the wonderful taste and texture that only a cheesy lasagna can have. I think you’ll agree, at only 250 calories a serving, this lasagna may be lower in fat and calories than traditional versions but is definitely not lacking in flavor!


Lightened Up Beef Lasagna

Lightened Up Beef Lasagna

  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 fresh ground pepper
  • 24 ounce 1% cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 coarsely ground garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Italian cheese
  • 9 oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese


  1. Begin browning beef on medium low- medium heat.

  2. Add diced onion, garlic, and pepper and continue cooking until meat is no longer pink and onions are soft.

  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic salt, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and pepper.

  4. Reduce heat to low while you prepare the cottage cheese.

  5. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, salt, and basil in food processor and blend until smooth.

  6. Pour into bowl and stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan and 1/3 cup Italian cheese

  7. Spread about 1 cup of meat sauce in bottom of greased 9X13 pan.

  8. Lay down 3 lasagna noodles

  9. Spread 1 cup of cottage cheese mixture over noodles and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Italian cheese

  10. Carefully spread about 1 cup of meat sauce over cheese layer.

  11. Lay down 3 lasagna noodles.

  12. Gently spread 1 cup cottage cheese and 1/4 cup Italian cheese over noodles.

  13. Carefully spread about 1 cup of meat sauce over cheese layer.

  14. Lay down 3 lasagna noodles.

  15. Gently spread remaining cottage cheese.

  16. Spread remaining meat sauce over cheese layer and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.

  17. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

  18. Remove from oven and allow to cool and set for 20 minutes.


Nutrition Facts Servings 12 Amount Per Serving (1 square) Calories 250 Total Fat 8g Saturated Fat 4g Monounsaturated Fat 1g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 73mg Sodium 679mg Potassium 192mg Total Carbohydrate 23g Dietary Fiber 3g Sugars 8g Protein 24g

Lightened Up Beef Lasagna

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