One of the biggest qualms I have about Italian American food is the sodium count in much of it.
When you eat something like lasagna, the experience is very different in America compared to Italy, purely based on the health content in much of the food.
In America, when making lasagna, I’m sure you gravitate toward the basics: the cheapest lasagna noodles you can find. The tomato sauce your 0% Italian grandmother grew up using, the one that has as much sugar in it as a soda. Store brand bought beef and shredded cheese.
The problem is, just one tablespoon of even the sauce alone could have more mg of sodium than your daily recommended total contains.
When you’re eating lasagna in Italy, or an authentic Italian American restaurant, the experience is much different.
Most of the food you’ll be eating at these kinds of restaurants are homemade or locally sourced, often created the very day of consumption. This results in naturally healthy recipes and healthy cooking, even with your favorite Americanized “unhealthy” dishes.
The food is as natural as can be, ensuring a lack of preservatives and way less sodium.
Now, this might sound frustrating, as I’m sure you’re wondering how to achieve the perfect low sodium lasagna recipe at home.
But luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place!
How can I make my lasagna healthier?
There are plenty of different ways to make a lasagna that hits all of your target daily values.
For starters, take a look at your tomato sauce.
Most store bought jarred sauces contain as much sugar, if not more, than your average cup of soda.
And of course, with that, comes the crazy sodium amounts from added preservatives.
If you want a way to reduce sodium in your sauce, check out our Low Sodium Marinara Sauce Recipe. This recipe contains fresh tomatoes, all fresh herbs and seasonings, and nothing like tomato paste that would increase the sodium content. I promise, you’ll love it!
Another way to reduce the sodium count in your lasagna is by choosing the right noodle.
Oftentimes, lasagna pasta sheets with extended shelf lives (even oven-ready lasagna noodles) can be ridden with sodium.
Instead, opt for a fresh noodle from your local specialty products store, or nixing a layer of lasagna noodles and substituting for a layer of zucchini slices.
Other than using fresher ingredients (spend that extra money on the nicer mozzarella cheese, you’ll thank us later), one final way you can reduce the sodium level in your lasagna is by using extra lean ground beef.
The sodium found in that will be practically nonexistent than that of your standard ground beef mixture, and you’ll thank us later.
Of course, you can always use lean ground turkey or ground chicken instead, or nix the meat all together, making a Quattro Formaggi Lasagna.
Our Favorite Low Sodium Lasagna Recipe
Lucky for you, all of the lasagna we make at Mortadella Head is naturally lower sodium than the Americanized version of lasagna you would make at home, just based on the freshness of the ingredients we use alone.
But if you wanted to take a stab at making it yourself for dinner tonight, it’s actually a pretty easy lasagna recipe.
Here’s how we do it.
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Mortadella Head Lasagna
For the sauce:
- Use your favorite pasta sauce recipe, or our very own low sodium marinara sauce recipe.
- Don’t feel like cooking? Try some Mortadella Head Marinara!