This is a comfort food for me that I haven’t had in years because the original recipe I used called for jumbo shells or manicotti, neither of which I’ve been able to find in my local grocery stores in gluten-free form. They are available on Amazon.com but since I didn’t have any today, I used some lasagna noodles – I tried two kinds, Tinkyada made from brown rice and Explore made from pea protein. When cooked, they both tasted about the same, like lasagna noodles so in the future, I’ll probably use the Explore because it has a higher protein and lower carbohydrate count. This is really quite an easy recipe to make. And you can either use a marinara sauce or the mushroom béchamel recipe given here. If you wanted to make this a vegan meal, Kite Hill makes an almond milk ricotta cheese which you can use to make a vegan filling.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For the lasagna noodles mix:
- 1 pound ground turkey, not turkey breast which will be too dry OR you can use 1/2 pound ground veal or a pound of hamburger. If you use veal, also add 1/2 pound ground pork.
- 2 teaspoons ground sage (you’d probably want to use thyme, marjoram, or another herb if you use a different meat)
- 1/4 cup shredded non-dairy cheese
- 1/4 cup ground mushrooms (this adds moisture to the mix)
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- Salt and pepper to taste (I used about a 1/4 teaspoon of each)
Cook 10 (depending on which noodle you decide to use) lasagna noodles per package directions or when the water boiled, I added the noodles and when it came back to a boil, I cooked them for 3-4 minutes, then turned off the heat and covered it for another 3-4 minutes. Be sure when you remove them from the pot to run cold water over them so that they don’t stick together. (I had to pull apart the Explore noodles since they stuck together in the boiling water.)
For the longer, brown rice noodles, cut them in half so that you have two equal sized pieces from each noodle. The Explore noodles, I just used a larger portion of the meat to fill each one. Take approximately 1/4 cup of meat mixture, shape it into a log to fit in the noodle side to side rather than lengthwise. Be sure that you’ve put a good amount of sauce into your baking dish before you add the rolls because they will stick to the bottom of the baking dish. Line the rolls up in the baking dish with the ends side of the noodle on the bottom. Once you have them all in the pan, add more sauce to the top, non-dairy cheese shreds if you like, and bake at 350 degree for 45 minutes if your oven isn’t pre-heated or 30 minutes if its to temperature.
For the Mushroom Béchamel Sauce, put into a saute pan:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6-8 ounces of sliced mushroom, or you can dice them if you prefer
- 1/4 cup of minced onion
- 2 diced garlic cloves
Cook until soft, approximately 4-5 minutes. Stir in:
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground sage (again, if you’re using veal or hamburger, use a different herb)
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free brown rice flour
Let this cook for a minute to get the flour incorporated and then add:
- 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (anything other than soy)
Cook until the milk gets hot. This will thicken in the oven as the noodles and meat cook so it doesn’t need to be thickened on top of the stove.