Paleo Sweet Potato Lasagna

On whipping this one up for dinner, Maxx and I were skeptical.  Oh how thankfully wrong we were though.  This is, hands down, one of the best lasagnas Ive tasted.  And the jaw dropping part?  Its without noodles/wheat/grain (aka no gluten), with sweet potatoes in place of these, as well as without dairy (crushed almonds and nutritional yeast forming a cheese-like spread instead).  There is ground turkey in the dish, so its not vegan.  But its grain/gluten free, and dairy free.  Low in fat, and SO homey and delicious.

And, just why is a Paleo diet supposedly good for you?  A crash course on this here.

Meat Sauce
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• About 1 cup white onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 pound | 450 grams lean ground turkey
• 1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
• 1 tablespoon dried basil
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley
• 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/2 cup beef stock (can use water but you’ll need to be more generous when adding salt)
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon each sea salt & pepper or to taste
• 2 medium sweet potatoes

Almond Ricotta
• 2 cups slivered almonds
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt

• One small jar of Basil Pesto Sauce is needed for the recipe as well.

Meat Sauce + Sweet Potatoes
1. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet or pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onions, garlic and mince and cook. When the meat is browned stir in the fennel, basil and parsley.
2. Add the crushed tomatoes, paste, stock (or water) and vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce down and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to thicken the sauce.
3. Preheat the oven 375°F/190°C and lightly grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
4. Peel your sweet potatoes and then slice into thin rounds using either a sharp knife or a mandolin. The slices should be fairly thin, about 1/8 inch thick.

Almond Ricotta
1. Add all of the ricotta ingredients to a high-powered blender and process until whipped and almond entirely smooth. There should still be a few almond chunks and the mixture should resemble dairy ricotta. Taste and season with a little extra salt if needed.

1. Spoon out about 1/3 of the meat sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with a layer of sweet potato slices, overlapping only slightly (use half the potato slices).
2. Carefully spread 1/2 of the almond ricotta over the sweet potato and then 1/2 pesto sauce over the ricotta.
3. Top with the second third of the meat sauce followed by the rest of the sweet potatoes and then the remaining ricotta. Finally top with the rest of the meat sauce. If you have any remaining bits of ricotta you can dollop it over the top of the sauce along with a few dollops of pesto. Make sure to save most of the remaining pesto to drizzle over the top at the end.
4. Place on the middle rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
5. Drizzle the remaining pesto over the top, let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving and enjoy!

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This recipe was found and adapted from A Saucy Kitchen blog.

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