Lean lasagne

By Kirstin Buick
19 June 2014

This lean lasagne dish proves you don't have to sacrifice taste to lessen the calories. Here’s a version that’s lower in fat and kilojoules but sacrifices none of the sumptuous Italian flavour.

Serves 8-10 Preparation time: 15 min Cooking time: 1½-2½ hours


  • 15 ml (1 T) oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 300 g extra-lean beef mince
  • 2-3 tins (410 g each) whole peeled
  • tomatoes
  • 300 g spinach, trimmed and finely
  • chopped
  • 4 sachets (60 g each) tomato paste
  • 30 ml (2 T) chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ml (1 t) fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 15-30 ml (1-2 T) sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 125 ml (½ cup) red wine or chicken stock


  • 15 ml (1 T) low-fat margarine
  • 60 ml (¼ c) cake flour
  • 500 ml (2 c) low-fat milk
  • pinch of mustard powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 160 ml (1/3 cup) grated low-fat medium cheese such as 10 per cent Cheddar, Elite or Edam


  • ¾ packet (400 g) spinach lasagne sheets, or ribbon noodles, cooked according to the packet instructions until just done

1 Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease an ovenproof dish.

2 MEAT SAUCE Heat the oil and stir-fry the onions, garlic, celery and carrots in a large

pan until soft. Add the mince and stir-fry until done but not browned. Use a fork to break up any lumps.

3 Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours or until the sauce is fragrant.

4 WHITE SAUCE Melt the margarine and add the flour, stirring until smooth. Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil and season with the mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in half the cheese.

5 TO ASSEMBLE If using lasagne sheets, plunge them into boiling water. Spread a little of the meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared dish. Arrange a layer of pasta on top. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of pasta. Pour over the white sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

6 Bake for 20 minutes or until done. Serve with a green salad or roast veggies.

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