Christmas Lasagna, 2 Ways

by on December 27, 2013

I shared a few photos from Christmas day and a couple folks asked about the lasagna that I made. Well, I was a bad blogger and didn’t get shots before we dug in on Christmas day (we we’re hungry!) but luckily there were some leftovers and I was able to take a few photos yesterday to share.

I’m going to go ahead and preface this post with the fact that these lasagnas are the real deal and I didn’t skimp on any of the cheese or noodles to lighten them up. I’m all about indulging for special occasions and I’m glad I tried these two recipes because both lasagnas came out wonderfully and my family enjoyed them. As an aside, if you’re looking for something a little lighter, you can always check out my skinny lasagna. :)

First up, the vegetarian version — Butternut Squash Lasagna from Foodie Crush.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

It had layers of butternut squash purée with almond cookies (yes, cookies!), shiitake mushrooms, a béchamel sauce with fresh basil and three cheeses: ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. It had a nice sweetness from the butternut squash puréed with cookies and fresh basil but it wasn’t too sweet and I loved the texture and flavor of the shiitakes.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

I followed Heidi’s recipe for the most part but couldn’t find the amaretti cookies so I went with these almond thins. The lasagna tasted amazing so I think it’s safe to say that they worked. Plus, I have a few of these almond thins left over, which I’m happy about because they’re good!

Almond Thins

Next up, here’s the meat version. I followed this recipe for the World’s Best Lasagna and I must admit, it was good — maybe the world’s best! I purchased all the ingredients for this one from Relay Foods, the online grocery store that I work for, and was able to use local, grass-fed beef from Wolf Creek Farm and local, artisan sausage from Sausage Craft. The meat sauce was homemade and took about two hours to cook but it was worth it. I’m just glad I started cooking it on Christmas eve rather than waiting until Christmas morning.

World's Best Lasagna

This one was a traditional meat lasagna with a red tomato sauce. The sauce had lots of flavor from dried spices, onions and garlic and the ricotta cheese mixture had fresh parsley added to it. Oh, and the recipe called for almost a pound of mozzarella cheese. My family loved it!

Originally I had planned on making a vegetarian and a meat version so that I would have a veggie version to eat but the sauce smelled so good while I was cooking it that I decided to try a little of the meat lasagna. Crazy, I know! But, it actually not that crazy because a few weeks ago I stared craving meat. Meat cravings have never really occurred in the past four years that I’ve been pescatarian (which is why eating a primarily vegetarian diet has never felt limiting to me).

However, after a couple instances of having cravings for meat, I thought that my body was trying to tell me something and decided I would try it again. Getting used to the thought of eating meat has been the hardest part. I didn’t have any digestive issues and I’m getting used to the texture again too. Granted, all the meat I’ve eaten has been in small portions and I’ve been sticking with organic, ethically raised (local when possible) meat prepared at home. I still see myself eating a diet that’s primarily pescatarian/vegetarian but I’ll probably add in meat occasionally — maybe once a week or so when I’m craving it. We shall see.

Do you like lasagna? What’s your favorite type?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

My Virtual Mission December 27, 2013 at 9:07 am

Love the butternut squash idea. We will giving that a shot! Thanks for the great ideas.

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Shel@PeachyPalate December 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

Veggie and butternut squash is my fave! That’s so random..I’ve been having egg cravings (I’m vegan) and I’m just about to cook up my first one in about 6 years!!! Here goes! :)

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Eating Bird Food December 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Oh man. Let me know how cooking and eating your first egg went. I hope you enjoyed it. I LOVE eggs. :)

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun December 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

YUM! We had lasagna on Christmas night and it was DELICIOUS! I haven’t had it in so long which is what I think made it taste so good!

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Kimberly December 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm

I used to love lasagna, but I can’t eat dairy anymore. I’ve yet to try the dairy free cheeses for lasagna because they don’t always melt well. I have seen a dairy free ricotta so maybe I’ll have to give it a whirl.

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Eating Bird Food December 31, 2013 at 9:40 am

Have you tried Daiya cheese? It’s vegan and I’ve heard that it melts really well and that people like the taste.

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Erika December 28, 2013 at 2:59 am

I love lasagna with meat sauce and lots of cheese

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Nea December 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm

This comment isn’t related the lasagna, though I love it, but I have been following your blog for about a year now and I love it! I just bought the heart rate monitor you suggested and I love it! It’s great how it makes a fitness program, gives you a break down of your times in different “zones”, and calculates your calorie burn! Just wanted yo say thanks for recommending such a great gadget!

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Eating Bird Food December 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm

That’s awesome Nea. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Polar HRM. I don’t work out without wearing one now — it’s so motivating. :)

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Tara | Treble in the Kitchen December 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Both of these lasagnas look fantastic! I love a good white lasagna with veggies :) My mom makes the BEST lasagna for Christmas dinner…I have had good lasagnas but nothing tastes like Moms :) Hope you had a merry christmas!

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Eating Bird Food December 31, 2013 at 9:37 am

I have some favorite dishes that my mom makes too. No one can cook them like mom can. :)

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Bethany December 31, 2013 at 8:35 am

My family does lasagna for Christmas too! My mom makes a traditional red sauce and cheese lasagna a week or two before Christmas and freezes it so there is minimal prep on Christmas day – just start thawing a day or two before!

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Eating Bird Food December 31, 2013 at 9:38 am

See! Isaac was trying to tell me that he didn’t think lasagna was very Christmasy but I’m realizing that lots of people do lasagna for Christmas dinner.

Hope you are doing well Bethany!

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