In one of my favorite YouTube series, chef Chris Morocco recreates popular dishes blindfolded, using all his senses except sight. In his latest challenge, he was tasked with making The Pioneer Woman’s Lasagna Dip with Pasta Chips. It’s a fun watch but before you head that direction, let’s talk about making a slightly healthy lasagna dip.
My spin on Ree Drummond’s lasagna dip beefs up the original dip with more meat, a lower fat cheese sauce, and options for higher protein pasta chips. In the end, it ends up being a higher protein, lower fat, and lower calorie dip option.
The Meat Sauce for Lasagna Dip
The original Pioneer Woman lasagna dip calls for ground beef and hot breakfast sausage. I considered using lean ground pork with Italian seasoning but found a ground Italian sausage from H-E-B that didn’t have that much fat. You could use any ground meat combo for your dip, though.
My Kinda Healthy spin also uses double the meat. Because who wants to use half a pound of ground beef or sausage?
Other than the meat, you’ll need a can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and freshly minced garlic. If you’re not using double or triple concentrated tomato paste, it’s time to upgrade! The flavor is much more intense than the plain cans of tomato paste.
Side note: For a spicy kick, you could add a little bit of the Calabrian chili oil I mentioned as a dip for my garlic parmesan chicken tenders.
Be sure you give your meat sauce time to simmer with the tomatoes. You can get an idea of the thick meat sauce you’re looking for in the assembly photo below.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is a simplified meat sauce. If you have another go-to bolognese or Sunday sauce, you could use it for this lasagna dip.
The Cheese for Lasagna Dip
The Pioneer Woman’s version uses a unique combination of ricotta and cottage cheese, which lucky for us are both cheeses with readily available low fat counterparts.
You’ll mix the two together with grated parmesan, basil, and Italian parsley.
Assembling and Baking
The assembly of lasagna dip is not all that different from making traditional lasagna. Meat sauce goes in a baking dish first, followed by the ricotta mixture and mozzarella cheese, and then that’s repeated once more.
The ricotta and cottage cheese mixture is on the thicker side. So don’t worry about spreading it into an even layer. Just place dollops of it around the dip.
Top the baked lasagna dip with fresh parsley and/or basil and serve warm with baked pasta chips (more on that below), crostini, or your choice of dipping apparatus. If you’ve tried my whipped feta and roasted tomatoes dip, the grilled ciabatta would be a great option here.
The Baked Pasta Chips
If you’re unfamiliar with pasta chips, you’ll want to cook pasta al dente in boiling salted water. Then briefly cool, cut into chips, toss with olive oil and grated parmesan, and bake in an even layer for about 20 minutes at 375ºF. It’s important to make sure all the chips are evenly golden brown to avoid chewy chips.
This lasagna dip is great regardless of what it’s dipped with. While pasta chips are trendy and fit this dish perfectly, they’re a bit tedious to make. For a quicker option, the crostini I mentioned above is definitely worth a look.
You could also use other pasta shapes like farfalle to avoid cutting the lasagna sheets into chips. And using the air fryer for smaller batches (great for leftovers, too) or reheating chips works great. Check out my air fryer pasta fries for an example.
This also opens the door for using higher protein, lower carb pasta options. It’s tricky to find macro friendly lasagna sheets, but there are plenty of chickpea farfalle options.
More Healthy Copycat Recipes
- Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets (in the air fryer)
- Five Guys Cajun Fries
- Sausage McGriddle
- Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch
- Torchy’s Tacos Brushfire Tacos
- Animal Style Double Doubles (In-N-Out)
And that about covers it. I always appreciate recipe reviews and if you have a question about this lasagna dip I didn’t cover, drop it in the comments below. Enjoy!
For the Pasta Chips*
- 10 Lasagna Sheets, cooked
- 2 Tablespoons (32g) Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup (30g) Grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
For the Lasagna Dip
- 1 pound Ground Beef (96/4)
- 1 pound Ground Italian Sausage
- 15 oz can Diced Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup (68g) Tomato Paste
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 cup (225g) Fat Free Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup (240g) Low Fat Ricotta
- 2/3 cup (80g) Grated Parmesan
- 2 handfuls (20g) Basil, chopped
- 1 handful (10g) Parsley, chopped
- 6 oz Shredded Mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water and cook the lasagna for 10-12 minutes. Drain the water and transfer to a cutting board to cut the sheets into triangles. Toss with the olive oil before seasoning with parmesan and oregano. Add to two sheet pans and bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown.
- For the dip, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and sausage before breaking apart and fully cooking. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes and reduce to a simmer. Let the meat sauce simmer for about 15 minutes while the chips cook and you prepare the cheese mixture.
- Add the chopped basil and parsley to a bowl with the ricotta, cottage cheese, and parmesan.
- To assemble, add meat sauce to the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Top with half the ricotta mixture, followed by half the mozzarella. Repeat and top with optional black and red pepper flakes. Bake for 15 minutes at 425ºF until the cheese is melted and browning around the edges.
*Notes about healthy pasta chips alternatives in the post above.
Nutrition facts are for the lasagna dip only.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2/3 cup (140g)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 12gCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 24g