No-boil lasagna is one of my favorite inventions, omitting the most cumbersome part of the process entirely. Couple that with the speed of a microwave, and you now have an everyday favorite you can make in half the time. Just brown the top under a broiler and no one will know you only pressed a few buttons.
Super Simple Microwave Lasagna
Stopwatch icon: 22 minutes
1/2 cup White Bean Puree (see recipe below) or store-bought hummus*
1/2 cup butternut squash puree (frozen or baby food squash puree)
2 1/2 cups store-bought marinara sauce
1 cup part-skim ricotta
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 oven-ready no-boil lasagna noodles
1 1/4 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
*Note: Substituting time-saving hummus for my White Bean Puree adds more flavor and a bit more fat to this dish; be sure your family likes the taste of hummus as it doesn’t go as unnoticed as the homemade White Bean Puree.
Spray a microwave-safe 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish with oil.
In a mixing bowl, combine the White Bean Puree (or hummus), squash puree, and marinara sauce. In another bowl, combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheese.
Spread 1/2 cup of sauce mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Place 2 no-boil lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, side by side. Spoon 3/4 cup of sauce mixture evenly over noodles to cover completely, then top with 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture in small dollops. Gently spread dollops with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella. Repeat with 2 more noodles, 3/4 cup sauce, 1/2 cup of ricotta mixture and another 2 tablespoons of mozzarella. Top with last 2 noodles, remaining sauce, then remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with wax or parchment paper, tucking ends under baking dish to hold them down.
Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is fully melted and noodles are tender. (Optional next step: in order to brown the cheese, place baking dish in oven under hot broiler for about 2 minutes.) Let sit about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Makes 6 servings.
PER SERVING: Calories 305; Total Fat 10.5g; Saturated Fat 4.6g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 723mg: Carbohydrate 37.5g; Dietary Fiber 4.9g; Sugars 10.9g; Protein 17.8g; Vitamin A 46%; Vitamin C 1%; Calcium 31%; Iron 15%.
White Bean Puree
1 (15-ounce) can white beans* (Great Northern, navy, butter, or cannellini)
1 to 2 tablespoons water
*Note: If you prefer to use whole beans, soak overnight and cook as directed.
Rinse and drain the beans and place them in the bowl of your food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of the water, then pulse on high until you have a smooth puree. If necessary, use a little more water, a tiny bit at a time, until the mixture smoothes out and no pieces or full beans are visible.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1/4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
Makes about 1 cup of puree.
Sneaky shortcut: No time to take your food processor off the shelf? Just mash the beans using a fork.
Recipes reprinted with permission from THE SPEEDY SNEAKY CHEF © 2012 by Missy Chase Lapine, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.