Mac and Cheese Turkey Lasagna

A brilliant combination of Mac and cheese with turkey lasagna meat sauce.
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Next level mac and cheese layered with turkey lasagna meat sauce. Why not? This brilliant marriage is super rich and creamy. There is no denying that it is flava-licious. [Is there such a word?] Warning: you will be licking your tongue long after you have eaten it. Needless to say it’s probably the most favorite of lasagna in our household.

It is highly recommended that you go head over heals with this one – so worth it! The recipe is very versatile. Note that this recipe does not use the lasagna sheets – the Mac and cheese pasta serves as the bed, if you will. I also did not use the traditional ricotta as the Mac and cheese béchamel does the job. When I first created this recipe, I did use the ricotta and it was equally as delicious. Because this recipe is so cheesy, I have since eliminated the ricotta and the taste was not missed. Also the turkey ground meat works the best since it has less fat. However, you can use lean ground beef and reduce some of the cheese.

I encourage you to make the recipe as is the first time and then subsequent versions, you can adapt to make it your own. I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as we do. Happy Cooking!

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Mac and Cheese Turkey Lasagna

A combination of mac and cheese with turkey lasagna sauce. A rich and super delicious meal that is suitable for any dinner or holiday table.

Course Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Béchamel Sauce, Cheese Sauce, Lasagna, Mac & Cheese, Mac & Cheese Lasagna, Pasta, Quarantine Comfort Food, Turkey Lasagna, Turkey Meat Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 People
Calories 942 kcal
Author Yasmin Jackson

Ingredients

  • 3 cups penne pasta
  • water and salt for cooking the pasta (I usually use 4 to 5 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt)

FOR THE MAC AND CHEESE:

  • 2 cups milk (I use carnation) or whole milk
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic or 1/2 tablespoon freshly crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese (I use yellow cheddar)
  • 1 cup freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Kerigold reserve white cheddar).

FOR THE MEAT SAUCE:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium or large shallot finely diced
  • 1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs finely chopped (I used rosemary, oregano and thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic or 1/2 tablespoon fresh crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 32 ounces Marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

FOR ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA:

  • 1 pounds fresh mozzarella shredded or tear into chunks. You can use up to 1 1/2 pounds depending on how cheesy you want it)
  • 1/2 cup grated white reserved cheddar cheese (for topping off the lasagna). Or use grated parmesan.

Instructions

Pre heat the oven 375 degrees.

MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE:

  1. In a 5 quart dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  2. Add the shallots and saute 2 minutes.

  3. Add the herbs and garlic. Stir. Saute 30 to 60 seconds.

  4. Add the ground turkey. Stir and use the spoon to break up the ground meat to prevent lumps.

  5. Cook the meat until it is no longer pink. About 4 to 5 minutes.

  6. Add the salt, black pepper and paprika. Stir and cook 30 seconds.

  7. Add the marinara sauce. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cover. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the stove.

WHILE THE MEAT SAUCE IS COOKING, MAKE THE MAC AND CHEESE SAUCE:

  1. Add the milk, cold or room temperature, to a 5 quart dutch oven.

  2. Add the flour. Whisk until desolved.

  3. Turn on the stove. Use medium heat.

  4. Use a whisk to stir in the garlic, nutmeg, salt and black pepper.

  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes.

  6. Turn off the heat. Use the whisk to stir in the shredded cheddar yellow and white cheeses.

  7. Stir until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth.

COOK THE PASTA simultaneously:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    Note: I use 1 tablespoon salt with 4 to 5 quarts of water. The pasta will not be salty since the water is discarded.

  2. Cook the pasta 4 to 5 minutes less than the al dente directions.

    Note: The pasta sauce is used in place of lasagna noodles so you need it to be firm and it will continue to cook during the baking process.

  3. Drain the pasta and stir it into the cheese sauce.

ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA

  1. Place a large enough oven proof dish on a sheet pan.

    Note: I used an 8 quart baking dish with a three inch depth.

  2. Use a spoon or ladle to spread 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the bowl.

    Note: I use a ladle to pour in 1 ladle of sauce.

  3. Spread 1/3 of the mac and cheese pasta sauce over the meat sauce.

  4. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese on top of the mac and cheese pasta.

  5. Continue the layering with two additional layers… meat sauce, mac and cheese pasta, mozzarella. Ending with mozzarella cheese and top off by sprinkling the grated white cheese (or Parmesan cheese).

    Note: You should have three layers.

  6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until nice and bubbly and cheese is lightly brownish.

  7. Allow to cool 15 to 20 minutes before cutting.

  8. Plate and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The mac and cheese pasta was used instead of lasagna noodles. 

Nutrition Facts
Mac and Cheese Turkey Lasagna
Amount Per Serving
Calories 942 Calories from Fat 441
% Daily Value*
Fat 49g75%
Saturated Fat 27g169%
Cholesterol 179mg60%
Sodium 1949mg85%
Potassium 1112mg32%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 64g128%
Vitamin A 2270IU45%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 995mg100%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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