Grain-free, Dairy-free, Saucy & Savory:
Some days, you just need some warm, gooey, comfort food. This Paleo Lasagna is the dish for those days.
This recipe is full of all the beloved Italian flavors but made with grain-free, dairy-free ingredients. I use a cashew cream to replace the ricotta and delicious Paleo lasagna noodles from Cappello’s (they make the best gluten-free pasta products I’ve ever tried! You can find them at Whole Foods). These noodles don’t need to be cooked prior to layering the lasagna, which takes out a whole step and makes this recipe even simpler to prepare.
I also snuck some extra vegetables into my Paleo Lasagna, like I always do, by including some finely shredded Lacinato Kale within the layers of pasta and meat sauce. This is the dark green, flat kind of kale, also called Dinosaur Kale.
I chose ground turkey for this recipe – there are already plenty of healthy fats in here (cashews, turkey, almond flour in pasta) so I wanted to use a leaner type of protein and the turkey works perfectly with the other flavors and textures.
As for the pasta sauce…. I used a jar! I know, I know, not the most impressive, but this really helps to cut down on total cooking time and the taste does not suffer in the least. You’ll already be making the cashew “cheese” from scratch and I have your busy lives in mind, people! The Whole Foods 365 brand is really good and doesn’t add any extra sugar which I LOVE because this is actually a hard quality to find in a pasta sauce. Plus, it’s a decent price.
One of the things I love the most about this Paleo Lasagna is the leftovers. I swear it just gets better overnight. One pan of this makes several meals for me and my hubby (who by the way does not have to eat gluten/dairy-free but still loves it), and then we can have stress-free weeknight dinners ready to mow down. I honestly get so excited coming home from work when I know there is a pan of this waiting in the fridge! It’s also an excellent dish to make for a crowd – just serve this up with a nice salad and some wine and you’re golden.
You can make it in any type of vessel that allows for layering – I’ve used a dutch oven before, and several different sizes of casserole dishes. You may just need to adjust ingredient amounts if you want to use something really big.
Why You Should Eat It
This Paleo Lasagna is a complete meal, all wrapped into one warm, yummy dish. Let’s start with the turkey – I actually used half ground breast and half ground thigh to get a little extra texture. You get an awesome dose of protein from this super lean meat, along with a generous amount of Vitamin B-12 which is vital for a strong nervous system, healthy red blood cells, iron utilization, and the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Turkey provides Vitamin B-6 too, that has these same helpful metabolic effects – keeping your body burning at its best.
Cashews are rich in minerals, so you’re getting a nice amount of copper from the creamy “cheese”. This is an essential mineral we don’t hear a lot about, but it’s a fundamental part of proper enzymatic reactions throughout the body along with healthy hair, eyes, and connective tissues (like cartilage, tendons, and bones).
The tomato sauce is a great source of lycopene – an antioxidant that is actually higher in cooked tomatoes than raw ones. It has been found beneficial for prostate health and decreasing heart-disease risk, and it has potent anti-aging effects by scavenging for single free-radicals that can cause damage throughout the entire body.
Lacinato kale is very hardy and lends some nice additional texture as it cooks down a bit. It’s a great plant-based source of calcium and also lends tons of Vitamin A and Vitamin C to this dish, boosting your immune system and creating a glowing complexion.
How You Can Make It
The first step in this delicious Paleo Lasagna is to make sure you soak the cashews for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Simply put them in a glass bowl, fill with water until they’re covered by about a half inch. When you’re ready to make the cashew “cheese”, put the soaked cashews in a colander and rinse well. Toss these in a food processor along with the water, lemon juice, and a dash of sea salt and then blend until smooth.
Next, you’ll make the meat sauce. Reserve ½ cup of the red sauce, set this aside to use on the top layer. Then you’ll heat the coconut oil over medium heat and add the ground turkey once it’s melted. Sprinkle with the basil, oregano, and sea salt and continue mixing and chopping with the spatula. When the meat begins to brown add the 2 cups of sauce and continue mixing well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and then remove from the stove.
If you’re using the Capello’s noodles remove them from the freezer 10 minutes beforehand, so they’re easier to bend. You can also use any other type of lasagna noodles, but usually, you have to cook those beforehand and I love that these can go straight from the freezer to the dish.
Before you start layering, grease your casserole dish with coconut or avocado oil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start with a layer of noodles, then the cashew cream, then meat sauce, and then a layer of shredded kale. Continue layering like this until you’re near the top of the dish. For the top of your Paleo Lasagna, use a layer of noodles, then the reserved red sauce (without turkey in it), and then drizzle some cashew cream on top – take this opportunity to make a pretty design and then of course take some pictures of it, to show your friends how awesome your food is.
Now you’re ready to bake! Just pop it in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the sides are bubbling and the top looks toasted. Garnish with some finely shredded fresh basil – this kind of cut is called a chiffonade. I love serving this with a simple side salad and calling it a night!
Hope you enjoy! Please leave a comment when you try it and let me know what you think.
If you’re looking for some more guidance with healthy eating check out my Work With Me page and learn more about customized nutrition counseling.
Best Ever Paleo Lasagna
Yield 6 servings
This warm, creamy dish is unbelievably comforting and delicious. It's perfect for a crowd or to have leftovers ready for a busy week!
- 1 cup soaked raw cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- juice of 1 lemon
- dash of sea salt
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 lb ground turkey breast
- 1/2 lb ground turkey thigh
- 2 1/2 cups Whole Foods 365 Garlic Pasta Sauce (1/2 cup reserved for top)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- dash of sea salt
- 2 cups shredded Lacinato Kale
- 1 package Capello's Grain-free Lasagna Noodles
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
- Soak cashews in bowl of water at least 3 hours or overnight
- Place soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, and a heavy dash of sea salt in blender, blend until smooth (scraping down sides as needed). Set aside.
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat, adding ground turkey once melted.
- Sprinkle with dried basil, oregano, dash of sea salt, and use a spatula to mix and chop the ground meat.
- Once browned, after about 7 minutes, add 2 cups of pasta sauce and continue cooking, until heated through, about 3-5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spray 8x8 baking dish or dutch oven with avocado oil and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Begin with a layer of noodles, then cashew cream, then meat sauce, sprinkle with chopped kale, and continue.
- For the top layer, lay noodles and cover with the 1/2 cup reserved pasta sauce (without meat) and then drizzle with cashew cream.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until bubbling on edges and toasted on top.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing, garnish with fresh, finely chopped basil.