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An updated twist on the classic with spicy sausage and sweet potatoes tucked in between lasagna noodles with layers of stringy mozzarella and ricotta cheese.
I’m on a mission to make classic lasagna obsolete. Just joshin’. It has it’s time and place, mostly on special occasions and holidays. This one is for everyday when my you’re boring meals need spicing up.
The hot Italian sausage is cooked into an easy homemade sauce with onion, garlic, herbs and crushed tomatoes. It’s pretty hot all on it’s own but when mixed among all the other flavors in the lasagna it mellows out a little. It’s not overpowering or mouth burning but you definitely know it’s there.
The filling is made of cooked sweet potatoes, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan and an egg to help hold it all together. It’s mostly savory with a subtle touch of sweetness. I wasn’t sure about sweet potatoes with tomato sauce but it works.
The funnest part is assembling the lasagna and seeing it all come together.
The spicy bite of the hot sausage and the natural sweetness of the potatoes are perfectly balanced against the creamy, mild-flavored cheese and chewy noodles. It’s mostly savory with just a subtle touch of sweet that is incredibly delicious.
If you don’t know the sweet potato is in there you might have a little trouble figuring out what it is. Butternut squash would make a great substitute if you don’t like sweet potatoes.
Dear classic lasagna, I still love you. . . I’m sorry my heart is prone to wandering. . .
Can I use mild sausage instead of hot sausage in this recipe?
Of course! If you or your family prefer milder flavors, mild sausage would work just as well in this recipe. The dish will still be flavorful, just less spicy.
What can I use instead of sweet potatoes?
If you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes, you could try using butternut squash or regular potatoes as an alternative. Keep in mind this will change the overall flavor of the dish.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
Yes, you can make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the sausage with a plant-based alternative or you could use a mix of hearty vegetables like mushrooms and spinach.
How can I store this lasagna?
Leftover lasagna can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze individual portions for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble this lasagna ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. You might need to add a bit of extra cooking time if you’re starting with a cold lasagna.
I don’t have a lasagna pan. Can I still make this recipe?
Yes, you can use any oven-safe dish that’s approximately the same size as a lasagna pan. If the dish is a different size, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces ground hot Italian sausage (or links – remove the casings)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 1 + ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed with your fingers
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 16 ounces fresh lasagna noodles (or no-bake)
- Make the sauce: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat and add the sausage, onion and garlic. Break apart the sausage as it cooks and brown on all sides.
- Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often about 25 minutes. Skim the fat off as it rises to the top and discard.
- Taste and season as needed. Remove from heat, mix in the parsley and set aside 1 cup of the sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drips. Butter a 9×9-inch square baking or casserole pan with high sides.
- Make the lasagna: In a medium bowl mix the sweet potatoes, ricotta, egg, parsley, ½ cup of the mozzarella and the Parmesan together with a couple dashes each of salt and pepper.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of the sauce then cover with noodles, breaking them apart to fit if needed.
- Spoon half the sweet potato mixture over the noodles and spread out evenly with the spoon. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles.
- Layer ½ of the sauce over that topped with ⅓ of the mozzarella. Top with noodles.
- Repeat the layers. Top with the remaining sweet potato mixture and evenly spread out.
- Top with another layer of noodles, the remaining ½ of the sauce, ⅓ of the cheese and another layer of noodles.
- Top with the sauce you set aside earlier and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
- Bake about 35 minutes then tent the top with foil and bake another 15 – 20 minutes.
- Let the lasagna set 5 – 10 minutes before slicing. Cut into squares to serve.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 55mins
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: HOT SAUSAGE & SWEET POTATO LASAGNA