White House Turkey Lasagna with Spinach

February 13, 2018

This lasagna was concocted in the White House for the Obama family. White House chefs say it was one of Michelle Obama’s favorite meals. Fresh herbs, spinach, ground turkey and whole wheat noodles help lighten up this delightful dish. No wonder it’s her favorite.
Turkey spinach lasagna

turkey lasagna

While looking at this recipe, I was skeptical of using whole-wheat noodles. Bad past experiences. Ya know? Plus, should you really mess with a good lasagna recipe?

Well, I shouldn’t have second guessed it–it definitely gets its “favorite” status for a reason. I didn’t even notice the noodles were whole-wheat and the fresh herbs take it over the top. So don’t go taking short cuts and using dried ones from your spice rack. Fresh ones are the only way to go with this dish. You’ll want to eat a second serving. And then probably a third. If it gets added to your “favorite”meal list too, we’ll all completely understand.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh ground turkey
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 16 cooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces low-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, washed, but not dried
  • 1 pound low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried basil



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add ground turkey and cook for about 10 minutes. Add damp spinach, stir until wilted. Add plum tomatoes, tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper; let simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil and parsley; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and egg; season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Ladle one-quarter of the turkey mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; spread to cover. Add 1/4 of lasagna noodles, one-third of the mozzarella, one-third of the ricotta mixture. Repeat process two more times; top with remaining lasagna noodles.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top; transfer to oven.

Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting; serve.

Author: Andrea

Former news reporter and Capitol Hill press guru, wife, mom, and pastry addict.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Jennifer Wise February 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    This looks delicious! And I appreciate your advice to not take any shortcuts with dried herbs. I’m lazy that way, but I know that fresh herbs really make an enormous difference. Pinning! 🙂

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