posted by Kalyn Denny on January 11, 2018
It’s January so I’m reminding you of some low-carb dinner options you might have missed like I do every year! If you like sausage and peppers and the cheesy goodness of lasagna, you’ll love this Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole! This delicious mock lasagna is also low-glycemic, and gluten-free. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
This Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole was one of those low-carb comfort food ideas that just popped into my head, but it was definitely inspired by my friend Lydia’s Slow Cooker Sausage and Four Cheese Lasagna. When I made that recipe for our family Christmas party (using my Casserole Crock Pot) it was a huge hit, which got me thinking about a low-carb mock lasagna casserole with those same lasagna flavors but using a low-carb ingredient to stand in for the noodles.
I first tried this recipe idea of a mock lasagna with Jake, adapting Lydia’s homemade sauce a little and using roasted red peppers from a jar to replace the noodles. It was good, but I thought it could be improved, so the next time I cooked with Kara we made it again, making the sauce with lots of hot Italian sausage and using fresh red peppers that we roasted in the oven.
If you absolutely don’t have the time or desire to roast your own red peppers, go ahead and make this delicious low-carb mock lasagna with roasted red peppers from a jar and it will still be wonderful. But if you can take the extra time and roast red peppers in the oven, that takes the recipe to a whole new level of deliciousness!
Watch the video to see if you might like to make this
Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole.
First make the sauce and mix the cheese. Squeeze hot turkey Italian sausage out of the casings and brown in a little olive oil; when it’s brown add the finely diced onion and minced garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Dijon mustard (Lydia’s secret ingredient), Italian Sausage seasoning, and a few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, pesto, or basil from a tube. Simmer over low heat until the sauce looks dry. While it simmers, mix together the 2/3 cup grated Mozzarella, cottage cheese, ricotta, eggs, 2-3 tablespoons basil, and freshly grated Parmesan to make the cheese mixture.
While the sauce simmers, cut 4 or 5 red peppers into quarters lengthwise, removing the stem end and seeds. Put peppers on a baking sheet and broil just until the skin of the peppers is mostly black. Immediately put peppers into a plastic or glass bowl and cover with cling-wrap; let them steam for 15 minutes. Then peel off the skins and discard.
Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray a make layers of half the roasted peppers, half the sausage sauce, half the cheese mixture. Then make a second layer of the other half of the roasted peppers, sausage sauce, and cheese mixture. Top with a little more grated Mozzarella and Parmesan.
Bake at 375F/190C for 45-55 minutes, or until it’s bubbling and the top is browned to your liking. As you can see, we had to try it right away! (That’s my photo from Instagram; are you following me there to see those kinds of recipe previews?)
Serve hot, with more grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired. This recipe stays good in the fridge for at least a week, or it can be frozen, and it reheats beautifully. I’d love Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad served on the side for a low-carb meal.
More Low-Carb Casseroles with Lasagna Flavors:
Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Garlic and Chevre Eggplant Lasagna ~ All Day I Dream About Food
Low-Carb Mock Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Casserole ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Low-Carb Lasagna Meatballs ~ I Breathe I’m Hungry
Grilled Zucchini Low-Carb Lasagna ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole
- 5 links (19.5 oz.) hot or mild Italian sausage (I used Jenni-O Hot sausage)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 2-3 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 T Dijon mustard (probably optional but highly recommended)
- 1 tsp. Italian Sausage Seasoning (optional; you could use Italian seasoning instead if you have that)
- 4-6 T chopped fresh basil, divided (I used my frozen basil; use basil pesto from a jar or chopped basil from a tube if you don’t have fresh or frozen basil.)
- 2/3 C + 2/3 C grated Mozzarella
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 15 oz. Ricotta cheese (slightly over 2 cups of ricotta)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C + 1/4 C grated Parmesan
- 4 or 5 fresh red bell peppers (We used 4 peppers, but next time I would use 5. If you’re not up for roasting peppers, use 2 jars -12 oz. each – of roasted red peppers, drain them well and pat dry.)
- Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan, squeeze the turkey Italian sausage into the pan and cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is nicely browned and all liquid has evaporated. Break it apart with a turner (or use an old-fashioned potato masher) while it cooks.
- When the sausage is brown add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, Italian sausage seasoning (if using), and 2-3 T chopped basil, stir to combine, then turn the heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and you have a thick sauce, about 15-20 minutes.
- While the sauce simmers, mix 2/3 cup Mozzarella, cottage cheese, Ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the other 2-3 T chopped basil to make the cheese mixture.
- Preheat broiler and spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Cut each pepper in quarters lengthwise, cutting away the stem and seeds, and place peppers skin side up on the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet with the peppers about 3-4 inches away from the broiler heat element and broil peppers until the skin is mostly black and charred. (You will have to watch them, actual time will depend on your broiler.)
- When the pepper skins are mostly black and charred immediately transfer peppers to a plastic or glass bowl and cover with cling-wrap. Let them steam in the bowl about 15 minutes, then peel the skins from the peppers. (The skin should come off quite easily, but no problem if a little skin stays on.)
- Switch the oven to bake and preheat to 375F/190C. Spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray. (I used a dish that was 13″ x 8″ but any similar size will work.)
- Make layers with half the roasted peppers, half the sausage sauce, and half the cheese mixture, spreading out the sauce and cheese mixture so it’s even and covers the whole surface.
- Then make a second layer of each ingredient with the second half of the roasted peppers, sausage sauce, and cheese mixture. Sprinkle the other 2/3 cup grated Mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan over the top.
- Bake 45-55 minutes or until the the casserole is bubbling and the top is browned to your liking. Serve hot, with a little more grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days and can also be frozen, and this reheats well.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
It would be recommended to use low-fat sausage, cottage cheese, Ricotta, and Mozzarella if you’re making this for the South Beach Diet; other low-carb diet plans would prefer full-fat ingredients. No matter which sausage and dairy products you use, this is a pretty low-carb dish, but there are some carbs in the tomatoes. If you’re really limiting carbs you might skip the can of diced tomatoes.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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