Hearty Low FODMAP Lasagna
We have a few lasagna recipes here, but this Hearty Low FODMAP Lasagna is classic: it combines a richly flavored meat-based red sauce with lasagna noodles, creamy cheese filling, Parmesan and both fresh and dried herbs.
Our recipe will fulfill your lasagna yearnings, it is fun to make, and you even get to use a potato masher! (More on that in directions).
For some of our other lasagna versions, check out our Roasted Vegetable White Lasagna, Skillet Lasagna and Chicken & Spinach Lasagna Bake with Four Cheeses.
Let’s Make The Sauce
You will want to get your sauce situation together first thing. This could be as easy as popping open some jars of low FODMAP marinara sauce, and if you want to take that shortcut, I won’t judge, but I do suggest that you make our hearty meat sauce from scratch at least once. I think you will agree that it is worth the effort after one bite.
Sausage Can Be Low FODMAP
You could use 1½ pounds (680 g) of ground beef, but our combo of half ground beef and half low FODMAP sweet Italian sausage is fantastic! You will need to ask questions of your butcher and/or read labels to find a sausage that is free of garlic and/or onion. Many sausages do contain garlic in particular, so do your due diligence.
About Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles
Gluten-free lasagna noodles are easy to find and most are low FODMAP, the majority of them being made of rice. They are not, however no-boil.
There are no-boil GF lasagna noodles available, but they are not carried in all stores, whereas the uncooked ones seem to have become standard. I wanted to use those, as they are easiest to find.
While I never have any issue boiling and cooking rice-based GF noodles in smaller shapes, such as spaghetti, linguine and fusilli, the long, broad lasagna noodles are not as user-friendly.
These GF noodles often either stick together or fall apart! There is often little middle ground. I have found that soaking them in hot water – not boiling water – is a great way to soften them before layering with your other ingredients. Timing info is given in directions.
Dairy, Dairy, Dairy
Ricotta cheese is typically used in lasagna, but you won’t find any here. That’s because as of now there is no easily accessible low FODMAP, lactose-free ricotta commercially available. We do have a recipe to make your own, if you like.
Ricotta, being a soft cheese, has a small low FODMAP serving of 2 Australian tablespoons or 40 g.We prefer to use lactose-free cottage cheese, which can be more easily found in most large supermarkets. And, we do not think of this as a poor substitution. In fact we love it! Cottage cheese has a bit more of a tangy cheesy flavor, which we love.
The mozzarella and Parmesan are naturally low lactose and not a problem.
It’s All About Assembly
If you have ever made lasagna you know that it all about the layering. Get all your ducks in a row – meaning have your sauce ready, your noodles softened, your cheese grated, your cottage cheese whipped – and assembly will be a cinch.
Hearty Low FODMAP Lasagna
Our Hearty Low FODMAP Lasagna features beef, sausage, tomato sauce and all the cheese you crave, yet it is low FODMAP!
- 2 tablespoons low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil, made with olive oil, or purchased equivalent
- ½ cup (36 g) finely chopped leeks, green parts only
- ½ cup (32 g) finely chopped scallions green parts only
- 12- ounces (340 g) lean ground beef
- 12- ounces (340 g) low FODMAP sweet Italian sausage removed from casing
- ½ cup (120 ml) dry red wine
- 3, 15- ounce (425 g) cans diced tomatoes, well drained
- ¼ cup (60 g) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
Pasta & Cheese:
- 12- ounces (340 g) low FODMAP gluten-free lasagna noodles, such as Jovial
- 2, 16- ounce (453 g) containers lactose-free cottage cheese
- 1 cup (100 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (10 g) chopped basil leaves
- ½ cup (16 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1- pound (455 g) mozzarella, whole milk or skim, shredded
Make The Sauce: Heat the low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil in a large non-reactive straight-sided skillet over low-medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and scallions and sauté for several minutes until softened, but not browned. Add ground beef and sausage, breaking up well, and continue sautéing until the meats are no longer pink. Stir in the wine, turn up the heat, and cook, stirring often, until most of the wine evaporates. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and a generous amount of black pepper. Now grab your potato masher! Mash the sauce, mashing the tomatoes and the sausage, which might still be a bit clumpy. The masher works wonders. Adjust heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Set aside to cool briefly. Sauce may be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Bring back to room temperature before proceeding.
For Pasta & Cheese: While sauce is simmering, fill a large pot with very hot, but not boiling water and add the lasagna noodles, stirring them to keep them separated. Let them soak for 10 minutes or more. Keep an eye on them. You want them pliable, but not so soft that they fall apart. Drain when done.
Meanwhile, place cottage cheese in a large bowl and whisk vigorously until it smooths out a bit. Whisk in Parmesan cheese, eggs and herbs, season with black pepper and combine everything well.
Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Coat the inside of a 13-inch by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cpan with nonstick spray.
For Assembly: You will be creating four layers. Layer #1: Spoon a little bit of the sauce into the bottom of your pan and schmear it around to cover pan to help pasta release upon serving. Completely cover the bottom of the pan with noodles, cut to fit as needed. Dollop one-third of the cottage cheese over the noodles and spread it into an even layer using the back of a soupspoon. Now add one-quarter of the mozzarella evenly over all.
Layer #2: Evenly spread one-third of the remaining sauce (you can eyeball it), another layer of noodles, half of the remaining cottage cheese mixture and another quarter of the mozzarella.
Layer #3: Spread half of the remaining sauce, another layer of noodles, all of the remaining cottage cheese mixture and another quarter of the mozzarella.
Layer #4: Evenly spread all of the remaining sauce overall and then top with the rest of the mozzarella.
Spritz the bottom of a large piece of aluminum foil with nonstick spray and, this side down, very lightly cover the lasagna, tented as high as possible so as not to touch the cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melty and bubbly. Allow lasagna to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Lasagna can also be wrapped up well in plastic wrap and foil before baking and frozen for up to a month. Defrost before baking.
- There is no getting around the fact that this is a bit of a production. Why not make two at once and freeze one? And/or, once baked and cooled, you can also divide into individual portions, wrap, freeze and reheat as needed in microwave for super-easy, last-minute meals.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.
And we have an article for you for more tomato inspo: Canned Tomatoes to the Rescue: 18 Delicious Low FODMAP Recipes for Busy Weeknights.
Tell Us What You Think
23 comments for “Hearty Low FODMAP Lasagna”
For the HEARTY LOW FODMAP LASAGNA, if I made two, and froze one uncooked as suggested, how long would I have to cook the frozen one later?
I would defrost in fridge overnight, bring to room temp and then follow as directed.
I dislike the texture of cottage cheese but I have used queso effectively. I love the addition of leeks. Thanks for your ideas.
You can also use lactose-free ricotta or make it. And the leek tops are great. We are so happy that you are enjoying our recipes.
There is a no pre-cooking Gluten Free, egg free Lasagne noodle available through Amazon. Le Veneziane Gluten Free Lasagne Sheets. Their pasta is made from corn. Thank you for all of your recipes and support.
Thank you Daniele. I am not partial to corn based pasta, mostly for its very soft consistency, but if you like it, by all means use it! There is a Barilla that is a corn, rice blend, too, which many folks have liked.
Wow! This has been the first time ever I’ve had a meat lasagna that hasn’t given me any grief! I loved it thank you so much. Would totally recommend this and swapping the ricotta for cottage cheese definitely made a huge difference. Even my brother liked it.
Nice! It is quite hearty but is serious comfort food!
According to the Monash app, mozzarella is safe at 1/4 cup grated. It seems like I would get much more this amount in one serving, what with all the layering. Do you find that one must highly restrict her serving size for this meal in order to not overdo it on the dairy? And/or have you ever tried this with a vegan cheese substitute? I’ve been craving lasagna, but I’m kind of afraid to try this, given that dairy is a big trigger for me.
Hi Laura, thank you for writing. One thing that most people don’t realize (and we think much more education reshould be done around this) is that the Monash app entries are guided by Australian healthy eating guidelines. This is how they come up with what a serving actually is. We find this confusing as it overlays on top of the FODMAP info. This article, What Is A Low FODMAP Serving Size? should be of help. A couple more things: if you look up mozzarella and read the small print (always read the small print) you will see that it says that the cheese becomes high for FODMAPs at 630 g or 4 cups. That is a HUGE gap from ¼ cup. The other thing to always keep in mind is that what they report are lab results. They are the basis for which we all use to conduct a structured Elimination Phase – but the FODMAP amounts are based on lab testing. We are fond of saying, “You are not a lab”. You have to know your personal tolerances.
There is no getting around the fact that this is a RICH dish. High in fat and if you and lactose have a touchy relationship, it is not the recipe for you. The serving sizes we have set are recommended for you to try. There are never any guarantees as we all have unique reactions. I would say, if you are fairly stable and know you do OK with lactose and fat, then give it a go. Some folks will have issues with the acidity of the tomato sauce, so there is never a way for us to tailor something to each and every one of you. It is a hearty dish that non-FODMAPers will love and while it takes time, it is worth it taste wise! As far as substitutes, I can only vouch for the flavor, texture and FODMAP content for the dish as presented. Depending on the vegan cheese you might actually increase the FODMAP load.
If lactose doesn’t bother me, how much ricotta should I use?
Use the amount called for in the recipe, regardless. This is how the recipe works best from a taste and texture perspective.
You are very welcome!
Can you make the meat sauce ahead? Planning this for Christmas Eve and wondering if I can do some of this as prep.
YES! Go for it – enjoy!
This recipe was excellent. I had never made lasagna before and I wanted to pay homage to my husbands Italian roots for Christmas Eve dinner. Wow was this good. I will definitely be making it again soon!
I used Tinkyada noodles. I undercooked them by 2 minutes and they cam out perfect in the dish. I love Tinkyada noodles.
Emily, we are thrilled to hear this! Hopefully you have some yummy leftovers. It reheats very well, albeit often looking a bit messy:)
How much sauce does this recipe make? Can I use a 24 oz jar of Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce to save time?
You can see that the recipe calls for THREE 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, and then there is also the wine. have 2 jars Rao’s on hand, and maybe add some wine:)
None of the grocery stores in my area have lactose free cottage cheese and I really want to make lasagna!! Any other substitutions I could make??
Hi Rachel, a couple things come to mind. You could take a Lactaid caplet when eating…or, know that 40 g of conventional cottage cheese is low FODMAP according to Monash University – as is conventional ricotta BTW (you would have to divide recipe into 22 servings if you use this as the model)…or use FODMAP Friendly’s lab testing and threshold model of FODMAPs; according to them the max low FODMAP serving size of cottage cheese that is low FODMAP is 1.15 cups (306 g). Do you know your digestive reaction to lactose? Here is our article about why the lab test results differ.