It’s been a crazy busy weekend for us and it was time for dinner with no plans in sight. A quick peruse in the fridge revealed a small amount of fresh spinach that needed to be eaten soon. From there I found ricotta cheese, grated parmesan and shredded mozzarella so I was already leaning towards something Italian. We had lasagna noodles, Alfredo sauce and canned tuna in the pantry so I was ready to create a fast version of the classic meal, inspired by a recipe called "Individual Lasagnas" from Rocco DiSpirito.
His version is very traditional – ground turkey meat, marinara sauce, etc. – and he’s got the right idea about making comfort food that won’t give you a heart attack or leave you slaving away in the kitchen for hours. I’ve adapted his recipe previously a few times – even once I concocted “Mexican” lasagna using queso blanco, black beans and corn!
This time around I decided to go with the white Alfredo sauce inside of a red marinara because we’ve had a lot of red sauce in the last week. My husband Jon actually prefers Alfredo over tomato based sauces. The first step was boiling a pan of water for the noodles. While that was getting going, I measured half a cup (56 grams) of mozzarella, half a cup (60 grams) of grated parmesan and one cup (248 grams) of ricotta into a small bowl. I also opened the cans of tuna and drained them. I broke the noodles in half before adding them to the pan. They took 10-11 minutes to cook. After draining the water I put the noodles in a medium bowl and returned the pan to the stove. I added the Alfredo sauce, the cheeses and the tuna and heated them up for about 4 minutes. I used ceramic bake ware from Rachael Ray 12 oz. size for the lasagnas.
I placed them on a cookie sheet and sprayed the insides with non-stick Canola spray. Once the filling was warm, I wilted the big handful of spinach (41 grams) into it and removed from heat. Jon helped out and layered filling, then a half noodle, more filling, another half noodle, more filling, and the third half noodle to each lasagna dish. I topped them with half an ounce (14 grams) of mozzarella.
Jon left two out to save for leftovers. I covered those two with foil and put them in the fridge. Our kids like noodles without sauce so I cooked extra just for them. I preheated the broiler to 550 F in the oven. He placed them on the lower rack (farthest away from the broiler coils) for 2 minutes to warm before moving to the top for 1-2 minutes until the cheese browned.
We served them on a plate because the bake ware gets very hot. Next time I would drop down the parmesan to a fourth of a cup because the white sauce had cheese in it already and it was a little salty (I’m very sensitive to salt).
Tuna Spinach Alfredo Individual Lasagnas
Difficulty: Mostly Easy (Broiling Intermediate)
6 Lasagna Noodles broken in half (I used Barilla Whole Grain)
1 cup ricotta cheese (I used Great Value Part-Skim from Wal-Mart)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided (I used Happy Farms from Aldi)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese – can drop down to ¼ cup if desired (I used Reggano from Aldi)
1 ½ cups Alfredo sauce (I used Prego Roasted Garlic Parmesan)
1 big handful of fresh spinach, about 41 grams
2 5 oz. cans of light tuna packed in water, drained (I used Kroger brand)
- Bring water to a boil in a medium to large pot or pan.
- Add broken in half noodles and cook until tender (1-2 minutes more than al dente).
- Open tuna cans and drain out the water.
- Spray 4 bake ware individual ramekins with non-stick spray and place on cookie sheet or sheet pan.
- Measure out the cheeses (reserving half of the mozzarella) in small bowl.
- Drain noodles and reserve in a medium bowl. Place pot or pan back on stove.
- Add sauce, bowl of cheeses and tuna. Stir until combined. Heat until warm, about 4 minutes.
- Wilt in the spinach about 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Layer lasagnas as followed: filling, noodle, filling, noodle, filling, noodle.
- Top with remaining half cup of mozzarella (1/8 cup per lasagna).
- Preheat broiler to 550 F.
- Place cookie sheet/sheet pan with lasagnas on lowest rack in oven for 2 minutes to warm back up.
- Move cookie sheet to top rack nearest broiler coilers to brown cheese for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to let the cheese burn!
- Remove cookie sheet with lasagnas from oven. Use an oven mitt to place each ramekin on a heat proof plate to serve.
Calories per serving (based on brands I used): 477
If not serving all four at once, can be left covered and unbaked in refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Heat refrigerated lasagna in microwave or oven at 400 F before broiling to brown cheese. Recipe can be downsized to 2 servings by halving all ingredients.