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Jul 29, 2019

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage is a classic, and it's a big favorite in our family. 

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage in a pan

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage is the first lasagna I ever made. It was also my first introduction to ricotta cheese and goat cheese. It was a revelation, and making it again brings back a lot of memories.

I've made a lot of lasagnas since, including this lasagna for two and this Easiest lasagna for a Crowd, but I'm always drawn back to Barefoot Contessa's.

With the turkey sausage and only two layers of noodles, this is a "sort of" lightened up version of lasagna.

Slice of Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

This recipe is from Ina Garten's book, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, first published in 2002. When I first fell in love with cooking, the Food Network probably had a lot to do with it. My favorite shows were Emeril, Barefoot Contessa, and Two Fat Ladies (I adored Jennifer and Clarissa riding around on their side-car equipped motorcycle).

I remember watching Two Fat Ladies with my son and being instantly inspired to run downstairs to make a fried potato dish. I miss the early days of the Food Network.

When Ina Garten first started publishing cookbooks, I bought every one... and I still do.

Special thanks to my sister Katie, who worked for a kitchen store (where they sold cookbooks) for first introducing me to Ina's books and this lasagna recipe. It's the best. P.S. Katie is a way better cook than I am. I work hard at it. She is a natural.

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

How to make Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage:

What I love about this recipe is that you don't have to cook the noodles. Instead, you soak the noodles (regular, not pre-cooked) in hot tap water while you are cooking the sausage, garlic and onions. 

Once you have the noodles soaking, you cook the onions, some garlic, and the turkey sausage in a large sauce pan. Next, you add the tomatoes and tomato paste, some parsley and basil, and simmer the sauce until it's nice and thick. 

After that, you blend ricotta, goat, and Parmesan cheese with and egg and chopped parsley. 

Finally, you layer the ingredients, including the noodles and some fresh mozzarella cheese in a casserole dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. 

You can also assemble this lasagna a day in advance, refrigerate it, and bake it right before dinner. "How easy is that?!" to quote Ina! 

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna

This lasagna is great for family get togethers and dinner parties. Serve it with a green salad and garlic bread, and you have all you need for a filling and comforting dinner.

While you can use your favorite casserole pan, I used an enameled cast iron pan for baking this lasagna because it retains heat, which is great for keeping the lasagna hot on the dinner table for a long time.

This turkey sausage lasagna is light (for a lasagna), easy, and delicious. I'm pretty sure Garfield would love it.

Garfield with lasagna

National Lasagna Day Recipes, hosted by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures.

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Recipe

Yield: 8 large servings
Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage is a classic, and it's a big favorite in our family.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) sweet or hot (or a mixture) Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


How to cook Barefoot Contessa's Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, and add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until the onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. 
  3. Add the sausage to the pan and continue to cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 
  5. Simmer the mixture uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened. 
  6. While the sauce is cooking, fill your 9"  by 12" by 2" casserole with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and let them sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain the water out of the pan, dry the casserole pan, and set the noodles aside. Spray the pan with spray oil. 
  7. Mix the ricotta, goat cheese, grated Parmesan, egg, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well blended. 
  8. Spread 1/3 of the sauce onto the bottom of the casserole pan. Top with half of the lasagna noodles, then half of the mozzarella, half of the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat with the noodles, mozzarella, and ricotta mixture. Top with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the shaved parmesan over the top. 
  9. Bake the lasagna, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until bubbly. If you make it advance and refrigerate, bake it for 40 minutes, until bubbly. 
Lasagna, Turkey sausage, make-ahead
Main dish, casseroles
Created using The Recipes Generator

Five Favorite Comfort Food Casseroles:

Would you like to comment?

  1. This sounds so good! I love that it uses turkey sausage, but what sounds even more delicious is the addition of the goat cheese! I can't wait to try it!

    1. Thank you! The goat cheese does add a special something.

  2. This looks and sounds fabulous. I love love the addition of the goat cheese. I bet that flavor is incredible!

    1. Thanks Nicole! The goat cheese is pretty special.


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