Show Off Paleo Lasagna

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paleo lasagna recipe

Recipe: Show off Paleo lasagna

This dish is a bit of a show pony in my paleo recipes repertoire. It’s a perfect meal to serve to your non-paleo friends, partners, or fussy kids. It’s so yummy, hearty and filling, they won’t even remember to ask about the missing pasta. Speaking of pasta, I don’t think I can technically call this a lasagna as it’s missing the actual lasagna pasta sheets but it still retains the traditional shape, layers, colours and flavours.

The key to a good lasagna is a tasty, hearty base sauce. I believe this lasagna sauce tastes as good as it does because of the grass-fed beef used in the recipe. I’ve been paying attention to the beef mince sauces I make with grass-fed mince versus regular grain-fed and I can say with outmost certainty that the grass-fed beef based sauces are more delicious. The rest is just good fresh produce and a bit of patience as it does take a little while to assemble all the layers. It’s a good recipe to make on the weekends and you can get you kids or partner involved in preparing all the layers.

For no dairy folks, it’s totally fine to leave out the last layer of ricotta and grated Parmesan. I used those two cheeses as they contain less lactose and ricotta is mostly whey protein as most of the casein is removed during the making of the cheese. You can alternatively make a puree from pre-cooked cauliflower, olive oil and cashews processed until smooth. This can be used as a ‘white cream sauce’ topping.

As there are a few processes to making this dish, please read the full recipe to get the best timing and order. If you’re looking for coconut products like coconut oil, I order mine from here.

Ingredients

For beef and tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tsp + pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 500g grass-fed beef mince (1.1 lb.)
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced chopped
  • 2/3 tsp black pepper
  • 2/3 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3 cups tomato passata

For the lasagna layers

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1 cm-thick disks (1/2 in.)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 5–6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced vertically into thin ribbons
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese (optional)
  • 2–3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Cherry tomatoes to garnish

Looking for more Paleo info and resources? Go here.

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 180°C (355°F). Place a layer of parsnip slices with a little ghee in a deep lasagna tray and pre-bake in the oven for 15 minutes, this will help to soften them slightly before we build the rest of the layers. Set aside
  2. To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté onion with a pinch of salt for 5-8 minutes, until slightly caramelised. Add 1 tsp of ghee and bring the heat up to high. Break the beef mince and add to the frying pan. Use a spatula or a potato masher (my little trick) to stir and break the mince apart into small pieces, as it tends to clump together during cooking. Cook for about 5–6 minutes, until browned.
  3. Add red wine, garlic, pepper, paprika and salt to cooking meat and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Add tomato passata, bring to boil and turn the heat down to simmering temperature. Cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle eggplant slices with sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes to draw out some of the juices. Rinse and pat dry. Heat the oven back to 180°C (355°F).
  4. In another frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp ghee. Fry the eggplant in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, until light golden brown. Add more olive oil and ghee as you go along. Set aside, by this stage all our layer ingredients should be ready.
  5. Take the baking tray out of the oven and start layering the lasagna in the following order: pre-cooked parsnips, 1/3 of tomato meat sauce, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, mushrooms, the rest of the meat sauce pressed down evenly, baby spinach, zucchini, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven, at 180°C (355°F), for 35–40 minutes. See step-by-step pictures below. If using ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese, add on top of the lasagna at the 20 minutes cooking-time mark. Increase the heat to 200°C (390°F) for the last 10–15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes. Serve with a side mixed salad.Cook’s notes: Tomato passata is basically a fresh tomato puree but you can use diced tomato instead, just process them into smoother consistency in a food processor or blender.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Number of servings: 4 – 6

paleo lasagna step by step

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Check out my Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook -  a fantastic edition to any kitchen, filled with exclusive recipes, cooking tips and easy guide to paleo. Also just out, the new Rejuvenate program, which I co-authored with a medical nutritionist Claire Yates – it will teach you how to achieve radiance, wellness and longevity through food and holistic living. 

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38 Comments

  1. sophie
    Posted July 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I made this on Friday and it was INCREDIBLE!
    x

  2. Posted June 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. I don’t know how it’ll feel eating lasagna without the ‘sheets’ like you said, but if it’ll help me break free from pasta and get a little healthier it’s certainly worth a shot.

  3. Michelle
    Posted April 26, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    My husband has just made this as his first paleo meal. It was delicious even though he had to fiddle with the recipe due to lack of some ingredients.

    Neither of us like conventional lasagne so we are really pleased to enjoy this. No nasty white sauce.

    thank you very much for sharing this recipe.

  4. Jade
    Posted March 25, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much Irey! Your recipes are divine!
    I have made your show off lasagne many many times, it is an all time fav in our home…
    FYI – It freezes quite well! My hubby works away and he makes me freeze some for him if I cook it when he isn’t around so he gets some when he gets home :)
    I personally think isn’t quite as delicious as when served straight up as the moisture in the veges once frozen changes the texture of the meat a little on defrosting.

    • imacri
      Posted March 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Jade! Good to know it freezes well as I often get asked but we never have enough left to freeze :)

  5. Rinelda
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Good morning!

    Can the lasagna be frozen?

    Thank you

    • imacri
      Posted March 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t tried to be honest because it disappears too quickly ;) I can’t see why not.

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