This recipe is kind of funny, actually. So many people have the utterly false misconception that being Paleo is all about eating meat. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
But I couldn’t help myself. I love a good meat lovers…. well, anything really. And I LOVE lasagna!
I don’t eat cheese very often anymore because my skin is much happier without it, but my stomach doesn’t really mind it at all. So I do treat myself on occasion. And this? Boy, this was a BIG treat!
If you are dairy intolerant, then I’d like to apologize up front. The mozzarella shreds are easy to substitute, because Daiya offers a great product you can use in its place. But I’m honestly not sure how you could substitute for the ricotta mixture… and I can’t say for sure how it would change the final flavor and texture of the lasagna. But feel free to experiment and let us know what happens! I’m sure there are plenty of dairy-free folks just hankering for some decent lasagna again, who would be all ears to your advice.
So aside from the cheese… the noodles are the interesting challenge of making a Paleo-friendly lasagna. Sure, you could just slice up zucchini… but I’m all about trying new stuff! And luckily, I stumbled across an EXCELLENT recipe for a coconut flour tortilla (it’s texturally more like a crepe, though) over on Danielle Walker’s site, Against All Grain. I just love her recipes! And these particular “noodles” are so easy to make, and so versatile flavor-wise, that they can be used for practically anything! So I figured… why reinvent the wheel?! I’ve linked to the recipe and instructions on her website for the noodles, because it is not my recipe and I would never deign to take credit… but I have provided you with some of my own tried-and-true tips in the body of the recipe (a.k.a. things that have helped me enormously whenever I make them).
The rest of the prep work is all about the meat! Three different kinds, to be exact: ground beef, Italian sausage, and BACON. A force to be reckoned with, for sure. This lasagna ain’t for the faint o’ heart!
Once the sauce is simmering (it can be made fresh or a reheated batch), the various meats are all cooked, and you have a fluffy stack of “noodles”… it’s time to assemble the lasagna!
I started with a bit of meat sauce on the bottom, so nothing sticks. Then I followed that with a spread of the ricotta mixture, a not-so-fancy arrangement of sausage slices and bacon crumbles, and then a sprinkling of mozzarella shreds.
Got that? Okay, now REPEAT. Two more times. You want three layers in total. Don’t forget to end with mozzarella shreds, so you have some melted cheese on top! :)
Then you bake the whole thing in the oven ’til it’s nicely browned and bubbly all around the edges, about 25 minutes! The challenge is waiting for it to cool off before digging in…
One 8×11″ glass pan of this stuff lasted Mike and I for FOUR DAYS of leftovers! I say this because, although it might look like a lot of work up front, it doesn’t actually take all too long… and it totally makes up for it throughout the week, when you don’t have to prepare lunch or another dinner.
Now go make some for you and yours, then savor every last gooey, meaty bite! I know I did. ;)
- 1¾ cups homemade tomato sauce
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 slices uncured, nitrite-free bacon
- 3 Italian sausages (mild or hot, depending on your spice-o-meter)
- 10 grain-free “noodles” (recipe & instructions from Against All Grain)
- 8-10 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- In a large pot, make (or re-heat) the tomato sauce. When finished, cover and leave simmering on the lowest heat setting. Stir a couple of times throughout the lasagna-making process.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the ricotta, salt, pepper, and parsley. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon slices according to your favorite method until crispy; pour off excess fat from the pan, and set the cooked slices aside.
- Brown the ground beef. When done, drain excess fat and add cooked beef to the tomato sauce. Stir and re-cover pot.
- Cook the sausages 18-20 minutes over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Set aside when finished.
- While sausages are cooking, start making the crepe “noodles” (recipe & instructions over at Against All Grain). Cooking tips for this part: cook each crepe until the edges start to curl up, then use a silicone spatula to gently loosen underneath it around all the edges; finally, gently slide the silicone spatula underneath, lift, and flip the crepe over to let the other side cook. It might take some practice with one or two before you get the hang of it.
- Once the crepe noodles are all finished, start pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees F. Use your fingers to roughly crumble the bacon slices, and then slice all three of your sausages into ¼-inch slices.
- Begin assembling your lasagna: grease an 8x11” glass dish with a bit of olive oil, then make about 3 layers of: ¼ of the sauce, 2 crepe noodles, ⅓ of the ricotta mixture, 1 of the sliced sausages, ⅓ of the bacon crumbles, ¼ of the mozzarella shreds. End your layering with a generous sprinkling of mozzarella shreds!
- Bake for 25 minutes until starting to brown on top and bubbling around edges of dish.
- Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
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