If Italian food is your thing and you are on a low sodium diet, you are probably missing lasagna. If that’s sounds like you, you will love this recipe with its hearty sauce, sausage, and cheese.
Typically filled with salty meats, sauce and cheese, lasagna can definitively be a challenge for the low sodium diet. But having tried some really great low sodium marinara sauces and growing up using dry curd cottage cheese (=low sodium!), I knew it was just a matter of getting the balance of flavors right.
I started with a recipe for a really really great sauce from Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low Sodium Cookbook. The sauce I use is her Chunky Red Tomato Sauce, which packs a ton of flavor for very little sodium. From there, I made a “sausage” by mixing herbs with unseasoned ground pork. And then I add two cheeses – dry curd cottage cheese and mozzarella.
The only ingredient in this recipe that might be a little tricky to find is dry curd cottage cheese. I use Meadow Gold brand, which is packaged in a bag and sold alongside the other cottage cheese. It is very low in sodium, with only 135 mg in the entire container (3 cups cottage cheese). If you can’t find dry curd cottage cheese and your local store can’t (or won’t) order any for you, you can sub ricotta but it will impact the sodium content. I have had good luck making this using about 1.5 cups of ricotta (instead of 3 cups dry curd cottage cheese), which increased the sodium by about 225 mg in the entire pan. It is a little bit higher, but still tastes great.
Simply Lasagna (Low Sodium!)
- 4 cups no salt added tomato sauce (we love Pomi)
- 5 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 medium carrots (chopped)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms (diced)
- 1/4 red onion (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 t fennel seed
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1 t dried basil
- 1 t dried oregano
- 2 t red wine vinegar
- 1 lb unseasoned ground pork
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- ½ tsp oregano
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 12 ounces oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 lb dry curd cottage cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella*
Combine the tomato sauce, carrots, and minced garlic in a blender and puree until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce puree, the spices, and the red wine vinegar to the saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
Combine the unseasoned ground pork with the spices (I use my hands). Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9”x13” baking pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread about ¼ to ½ cup sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan (it does not need to be spread evenly). Create the first layer by placing noodles evenly across the bottom of the pan; top the noodles with dry curd cottage cheese, sausage, and sauce. Repeat one more more time, reserving about 1 cup sauce and 4-5 noodles for the top layer (you should use all the cottage cheese and sausage in these two base layers).
For the top, add a layer of noodles, spread with the remaining sauce, and top with all of the mozzarella. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until the lasagna is heated through and the cheese is browned.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION – Yield: 12 servings
Sodium: 143.2 mg, Calories: 316.7, Total Fat: 13.1 g, Saturated Fat: 5.4 g, Cholesterol: 32.4 mg, Carbohydrates: 27.3 g, Fiber: 3.3 g, Sugar: 3.9 g, Protein: 21.7 g.
* We use Kraft shredded mozzarella, with 150 mg sodium per 1-ounce serving.