lighter lasagna bolognese on plate

(This giveaway is closed.)

This lasagna, you guys. Oh, this lasagna.

It’s “last meal” worthy. It’s “fancy weekend date night at home” worthy. It’s “comfort food on a Wednesday” worthy. It’s “dinner party with old friends or new acquaintances you need to impress” worthy. And you don’t even need to bust out your fat pants for it.

Lighter lasagna bolognese, you guys. That’s where the pasta party is at, and you want to go to there.

vegetables in food processor

cooking ground beef

mixing sauce and beef on stove in pot

Speaking of pasta party, our friends at Dreamfields are hosting a Healthy Pasta Month party all October long, and it’s INSANE. Each week they’re featuring bloggers’ recipes focused on a different theme, from everyday classics to international favorites to simple stovetop saviors. This week’s theme is “Get Saucy,” and that’s just what I did here. Because while I do love me a cheese-topped pasta, having a good sauce for it all is key. And this healthier version of a hearty bolognese is a good sauce — nay, a GREAT sauce — to take on the job.

lasagna pasta in strainer

So let’s talk about that sauce, shall we? A classic bolognese sauce includes a combination of onions, celery and carrots, as well as garlic and white wine. For meat, I’ve seen beef, veal and/or pancetta used, and there is almost always a component of heavy cream or bechamel sauce. You layer the meaty sauce between lots and lots of sheets of pasta (and cheese), and bake it all to a golden brown perfection. It’s time-consuming, it’s not healthy, and while yes, it’s DELICIOUS, it’s just not as realistic of a recipe for a family of three to make on a random weeknight as it is for an Italian grandmother to make for a crowd for Sunday dinner. (Though if anyone has an Italian grandmother willing to do this, I’d love to be part of said crowd.)

lighter lasagna bolognese in baking dish ready for oven

baked lighter lasagna bolognese

lighter lasagna bolognese sliced in baking dish

So for me, I needed to find a route that was not only achievable, but lighter on my wallet, my time and the elastic waistband of my yoga pants. But it also needed to still be delicious (and still include all the cheese), most obviously. So with a few tweaks to the sauce — swapping the cream for milk, for example, and using lean ground beef and less pancetta — and using Dreamfields’ tender and flavorful lasagna pasta sheets, which are made with premium durum wheat semolina and pack a whopping 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving (!!), the result was this.

I know. I KNOW. I’m rendered speechless from all that glorious cheese, too.

baked lighter lasagna bolognese in baking dish

So my friends, whether it’s a fancy date night dinner you’re looking for or a comforting weeknight meal for the fam, give this lighter lasagna recipe a try. Or ask your Italian grandmother to make it for you. I’ll bet she’ll even appreciate spending a little less time in the kitchen.

To see more of the Healthy Pasta Month goodies, be sure to check out Dreamfields’ Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pages, as well as their website. And now for the giveaway!

Dreamfields and yours truly are teaming up to give one lucky reader a family pack of Dreamfields pasta (1 each of 7 shapes) AND a $25 gift card. Pasta + moolah? YAS.

To enter:

Share this post (through the social media of your choice: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram) and include the hashtag #HealthyPastaMonth. Then, leave a comment/comments below including the link to each share. Each social media share will count as a separate entry, so be sure to share each link in its own comment (so for example, one comment with a link to the Facebook share, another comment with a link to the Twitter share, etc.).

(The giveaway is open to any U.S. resident 18 years of age or older. The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 25.)

Good luck, pasta lovahs!

Disclosure: I received compensation from Dreamfields for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.

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lighter lasagna bolognese on plate

Lighter Lasagna Bolognese

  • Author: Girl Versus Dough
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 9 Dreamfields Lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup (3.25 ounces) coarsely chopped carrots
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (1%) milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, add onion, celery, carrots and garlic to bowl of food processor; pulse until finely chopped; set aside.
  4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add tomato paste and pancetta; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add ground beef; cook about 6 to 8 minutes or until beef is browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally, breaking beef into crumbles. Add wine; cook and stir 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits stuck to bottom of skillet. Add onion-carrot-celery mixture to skillet along with salt, red pepper flakes, oregano and pepper. Cook 3 minutes or until onions are softened, stirring occasionally. Add milk and basil; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. In medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and the egg; set aside.
  6. To assemble lasagna, spray 9X13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup sauce in bottom of prepared baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Top with 1/3 of remaining sauce and 1/3 ricotta mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
  7. Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. If desired, heat broiler (with lasagna still in oven) and boil just until cheese on top is golden brown. Let lasagna sit 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
  8. Nutrition information (1/12 of recipe): 370 calories; 26 g protein; 27 g carbohydrates; 17 g total fat; 8 g saturated fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 620 mg sodium; 4 g total dietary fiber.