Heartburn-Friendly Tomato Sauce-Free Lasagna

Tomato-free cheese lasagna on a white plate on a wooden surface

Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

Total Time: 60 min
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Servings: 10

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

314 calories
10g fat
32g carbs
22g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving  
Calories 314
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 363mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 22g  
Vitamin D 1mcg 5%
Calcium 268mg 21%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 256mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Do you love lasagna but tomato-based products trigger your heartburn? Now you can enjoy this Italian classic with this low-fat, no-tomato sauce lasagna recipe.

Traditionally, lasagna recipes call for red pasta sauce. However, those with heartburn or gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) may want to avoid acidic foods like tomatoes and tomato sauce as these foods can trigger symptoms or make them worse.

This recipe centers around lean ground beef, beef broth, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and a creamy homemade low-fat Alfredo sauce. These variations make for a slightly different but delicious lasagna that the whole family will be begging for.

As a bonus, this recipe is low in fat. Foods high in fat are another trigger for heartburn, so lowering the fat content in your favorite foods may help alleviate your symptoms.

The lean ground beef, low-fat cream cheese, skim milk, and skim mozzarella cheese make for a creamy and hearty but healthier comfort dish. 

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces wide lasagna noodles
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 ounces very lean ground beef (ground round or ground sirloin)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups skim milk or 1% milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup high-quality Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups skim mozzarella cheese, grated

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375F.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to package instructions, or just until tender. Drain well. While the noodles are cooking, continue with the rest of the recipe.

  3. Spray cooking spray onto a large, non-stick pan. Add the ground beef and cook over medium heat until it is browned and no longer pink. Drain the liquid.

  4. In a large bowl, add the browned beef and beef broth. Mix together.

  5. To make the low-fat Alfredo sauce, combine cream cheese, about one-fourth of the milk, and flour in a small mixing bowl. Beat until well-blended. Slowly pour in the remaining milk and beat until smooth.

  6. Melt butter in a large, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk-cream cheese mixture. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened.

  7. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Turn off the heat.

  8. Spread 1 cup of the low-fat Alfredo sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan. Add three strips of cooked lasagna noodles to cover the sauce. Spread half the beef mixture on top.

  9. Lay down another three strips of lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining beef mixture on top. Then, lay down the remaining three strips of lasagna noodles.

  10. Spread the very top with the remaining Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

  11. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until bubbly and golden. Remove from heat and let cool for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Variations and Substitutions

If you want to up the veggie factor in this recipe, you definitely can. Before you brown the beef, chop one large zucchini. Spray the non-stick pan with cooking spray and cook the zucchini for 4-5 minutes over medium heat, or until it is tender and brown and add to the beef layers of your lasagna.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • To make this lasagna a more balanced meal, consider serving it alongside some grilled vegetables or a side salad.
  • Save the leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you're ready to eat, simply reheat the lasagna in a microwave until it's heated all the way through.

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Article Sources
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  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Eating, diet, & nutrition for GER & GERD. Updated July 2020.