I don’t like to post different versions of the same dish within a short period of time. It’s like going shopping for clothing and finding a huge sale, and then buying different colors of the same sweater. The problem is, around this time of year I am conditioned to think of turkey. Cooler temperatures, autumn colors fading to grays, and Thanksgiving season turning into Christmas! So this time I thought about taking turkey as the secret ingredient and developing a cozy holiday recipe just the same. My husband loves lasagna (who doesn’t?), and I wanted to host a Thanksgiving meal without turning down his craving for lasagna. So my turkey lasagna creation was the best solution!
I’d like to dedicate this post to Moses Chan. He is a dear friend of mine who recently lost his hands and feet after suffering from a severe infection. His story as a single father learning to live as a quadruple amputee is so encouraging and really puts things into perspective. I encourage you to read about his story on the news here. My friends have helped him set up a trust fund to help raise money for more functional prostheses. I made this turkey lasagna to bring to Moses while he was still recovering at the hospital.
This year, let us be so thankful for good health, loving support, and all our friends and family. Moses’ story is a reminder that every day should be a day to express thanks and connect with our values. It is then that we can find strength and perseverance to progress beyond what we may prematurely believe are our limits. Dare you to move!
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs turkey breast and thighs, finely diced (fresh or leftover is fine)
300 g pork sausage
1 cup creamy French salad dressing
55 g package dry onion soup mix
348 ml can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup turkey broth, and more if needed
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 lb Olivieri lasagna sheets, cooked
14 oz can turkey gravy, heated
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the apple vegetable stuffing
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1 loaf garlic bread, prepared, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
Add pork sausage and cook, breaking apart with a fork until browned. If you are using fresh turkey meat, remove the sausage from the pan set aside on a plate, then add turkey and cook until browned. (If you are using leftover turkey meat, remove a 1/4 cup sausage and just add the cooked turkey to the sausage in the pan). Return most of sausage to the pan, reserving 1/4 cup for assembly. Add dressing, soup mix, cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, turkey broth, ginger, and sugar.
Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour until turkey is tender, checking every 20 minutes and adding more turkey broth if too dry.
Meanwhile, make stuffing: melt butter with the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onions; cook for 15 minutes until softened.
Add thyme, apples, salt, and pepper for 5 minutes until tender. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with bread cubes, cream and parsley.
Preheat oven to 350oF and butter a 9×12 inch baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup of turkey mixture on bottom of dish. Cover with layer of overlapping lasagna noodles.
Spread 1/3 remaining turkey mixture on top. Top with new layer of noodles followed by half of the vegetable mixture. Drizzle with 1/3 of the gravy.
Add another layer of noodles and repeat the layers until all filling ingredients are used.
Spread the reserved 1/4 cup sausage on the top of the lasagna.
Bake for 45 minutes until heated through and bubbling. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and bake until cheese is melted.