One of my family’s favourite meals, this cheesy lasagne with turkey mince and a crispy topping is guaranteed to satisfy everyone. Easy to make, less in calories and freezable. You can’t go wrong with a Turkey Lasagne.
Lasagna or Lasagne?
You may be confused by the spelling, depending on where you originate from. In American, this dish is often called a Lasagna. In the UK you will most often find it called a Lasagne.
Although it is used to describe the entire dish, the word “Lasagna” is actually referring to the pasta sheets themselves. “Lasagna” is the singular form of “Lasagne” so the two words are technically the same thing, one meaning pasta sheet and the other pasta sheets.
In Italy you will most commonly find this dish being called a Lasagne.
As awesome as I think this turkey lasagne is, I am committing an ultimate sin in Italy right now, by even calling this a lasagne! Technically, I’m using layers and lasagne sheets, but since I’ve altered the meat, I am cheating here! So perhaps we can call this a “British Lasagne” or “Lasagne Con Tacchino” instead, just to ensure my Italian family members remain happy with my title description. Whatever you want to call it, it will still taste just as delicious and is actually thoroughly enjoyed by the Italians I know who have tried it. So rest assured, this recipe still gets the Italian seal of approval.
Despite turkey in lasagne not being the traditional way to go, turkey mince is a great alternative to using beef mince, it is a leaner, less heavy meat. I cheat a little with this recipe by beefing it up with beef stock but thanks to this little add, believe me, you won’t know the difference.
What To Serve with Lasagne
Traditionally, Italians will serve Lasagne as a “primo piatto” meaning “first plate or dish”. A first dish in Italian cuisine usually consists of a pasta dish of some kind and follows the “Antipasto” meaning “Before Meal” as in a starter or appetiser. Lasange is a popular dish, often served as part of a celebratory feast, during Easter, Christmas or a Family lunch on a Sunday.
If you wish to serve this as your main dish or “Secondo Piatto” try serving lasagne with:
- Fresh Green Salad
- Roasted Potatoes
- Rosemary Focaccia
- Steamed or Roasted Vegetables
- Garlic Bread
- Boiled new potatoes with oil and balsamic vinegar
- Garlic Doughballs
How to Make Turkey Lasagne
Lasagne consists of 3 different layers followed by a cheesy layer on the top. A lasagne has a bolognese meat layer, a pasta sheet layer and a bechamel or white sauce.
Firstly, you want to make the bolognese sauce. After sauteing the onions and garlic, add the turkey mince and cook until it is completely browned through. Add in the tomatoes and tomato puree, followed by the Worcestershire sauce and the beef stock. I don’t season with extra salt as there is usually plenty in commercial stocks and in the sauce too. The bolognese, at this point, will be watery. Cook over a medium heat, stirring every so often until your sauce has reduced down and thickened. Watery bolognese will make for watery lasagne, which isn’t good.
For ease, I have used a store bought bechamel white sauce, but you can make your own if you’d prefer. The pasta sheets are dried durum wheat sheets, there is no need to pre-soak them. You can make your own lasagne sheets or use fresh egg lasagne if you’d prefer.
The crunchy cheese topping is really what makes this dish a firm favourite in our house, it consists of a strong cheddar and mozzarella, along with some cubes of bread which crisp up as the lasagne cooks. If you want to add parmesan to the top layer, it will also work well.
Use slightly stale bread for the cubes, it makes slicing and cubing the bread much easier.
Don’t be over generous with each layer. You want around 3 layers of bolognese for this lasagne and all the layers should be equal to eachother, if you overfill each layer, you may find the result is watery and too loose.
Make sure you are using no-boil lasagne sheets. Some will require that you boil them before using, so double check the packaging. Don’t overlap the lasagne sheets too much either, just a little around the edges is fine. Overlapping the lasagne sheets will prevent them from cooking properly and they may come out hard.
You can substitute your turkey mince for chicken or beef mince too, if you’d prefer.
I often double up on my ingredients and make two lasagne at the same time. They freeze really well.
You can use fresh or cooking mozzarella. If you choose to use fresh mozzarella, I recommend cubing it up and placing it in a colander or sieve to drain with a pinch of salt, for a few hours before using. Fresh mozzarella has more liquid content and can make the topping too watery and not crispy as it should be here.
Some people consider the use of a glass oven dish to be superior to a metal one when it comes to baking lasagne. Cooking in a glass oven dish helps the lasagne to retain the heat and doesn’t react with the tomatoes in the same way metal containers sometimes do. Metal containers can give tomato based dishes a slightly metallic taste.
Leaving the lasagne to rest when it comes out of the oven, will help it retain its shape upon serving. If you try to portion it straight away, you may find the lasagne will collapse and fall apart, making it messy and harder to serve.
Turkey Lasagne FAQ
Yes you can, lasagne can be assembled, covered and stored in the fridge the day before cooking.
Yes you can, once it has cooled and before you put it in the oven, cover the lasagne and freeze uncooked for up to 3 months.
After baking, leave the lasagne to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This should help the individual slices to retain their shape.
Yes you can, be sure to reheat thoroughly. This can be done in the microwave or covered in the oven. You will notice, however, that the topping won’t be as crispy.
Turkey Lasagne with a Crispy Cheese Topping
- 500 g Turkey Mince
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 400 g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 180 ml Beef Stock
- Splash Worcestershire Sauce
- 470 g Jar of Bechamel White Sauce
- Lasagne Sheets
- 100 g Mozzarella Cheese
- 100 g Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Slices of Bread
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Chop Onion and Crush the garlic. Heat some oil in a pan and cook both until soft.
- Add turkey mince, break up any large pieces and cook until it is no longer pink.
- Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Continue to cook over a medium heat until the liquid is reduced and the mixture becomes thicker.
- Remove from heat and spoon a layer into an oven proof dish.
- Add a layer of lasagne sheets covering the meat.
- Follow with a layer of bechamel sauce.
- Repeat this 2 more times until you have used all the meat up. Finish with a layer of bechamel sauce.
- Cut your bread into little squares and grate the cheese.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Along with the bread cubes.
- Place into the oven and bake for 40 minutes until golden.
- Remove the lasagne from the oven and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes and Guidance
- Make sure your bolognese is thickened and no longer watery before using.
- Add parmesan to the cheese topping for extra flavour.
- Use bread that is slightly stale as it’s easier to cube.
- You can substitute the turkey for chicken or beef mince.
- If using fresh mozzarella, cube it and leave it to drain in a sieve or colander for a few hours with a pinch of salt.
- Ensure you are using a no-boil variety of pasta sheet.
- Don’t overlap the lasagne sheets too much.
- Leaving the lasagne to rest before slicing it, will help the portions retain their shape.
- You can freeze this lasagne uncooked.
Looking for More Turkey recipes?
Try this Turkey Chilli recipe now