My cheesy, noodle-y lasagna makes any slow-cooker skeptic a believer. It's easy to prep while my kids nap, and dinner's ready when their dad walks in the door at night. We bring more pesto and marinara to the table for our resident sauce lovers. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, VA
To start, our home economists reduced the total amount of meat in the recipe and replaced it with a healthier alternative-bulgur, a form of cracked wheat. This resulted in a thick "meaty" tomato sauce with less fat and more fiber. To lighten the cream cheese sauce, they used less butter and Parmesan cheese, replaced the milk with the fat-free variety and used reduced-fat cream cheese in place of the full-fat kind. Finally, they used three fewer lasagna noodles. The slimmed-down lasagna has 35% fewer calories, about 60% less fat, and half the saturated fat and cholesterol of the original. After just one taste, you won't even realize it has been lightened up.
Store-bought spaghetti sauce simplifies preparation of this loaf-size lasagna from Kathy Coble of Missouri City, Texas. With a salad on the side, a serving of this Italian-style casserole makes a hearty meal.
Addella Thomas of Mt. Sterling, Illinois crumbles leftover meatballs into the homemade spaghetti sauce she uses in this cheesy lasagna. "My family wants me to make this dish all the time. It goes over well at reunions, too," she adds.
"This saucy lasagna is one of my specialties," says Sharon Allen of Allentown, Pennsylvania. "It's packed with fresh-tasting vegetables, such s zucchini, mushrooms, carrots and peppers. The colorful casserole is a great way to celebrate the bounty of summertime."
Mary Oberlin of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania was lucky enough to receive this recipe from one of her friends. The perfect take-along for charity events and church potlucks, the comforting crowd-pleaser is sure to warm tummies on the coldest of winter nights.
On a cool day, nothing hits the spot more than a comforting casserole. People can't resist the combination of a rich homemade white sauce, broccoli, mushrooms and Swiss cheese.—Launa Shoemaker, Landrum, South Carolina