Sausage and Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole
If you like sausage and peppers and the cheesy goodness of lasagna, you’ll love this Sausage and Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole! This delicious casserole does have some carbs, but I’ll give you tips for reducing the carbs if you prefer.
This Sausage and Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole was one of those 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 (affiliate link) it was a huge hit. That got me thinking about a lower-carb mock lasagna casserole with those same lasagna flavors but using a different 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 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! And although this Sausage and Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole does have some carbs, it’s much lower in carbs than traditional lasagna and also gluten-free! (Check out Ten Amazing Low-Carb Lasagna Recipes to find a lasagna recipe with even less carbs!)
What ingredients do you need for this recipe:
- red bell peppers or Roasted Red Peppers in a jar (affiliate link)
- hot or mild Italian sausage, turkey or pork
- olive oil
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- canned crushed tomatoes
- canned diced tomatoes
- Dijon mustard, probably optional but highly recommended
- Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link)
- chopped fresh basil
- grated Mozzarella
- cottage cheese
- Ricotta cheese (see notes)
- grated Parmesan cheese
Roasting the Peppers:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)
- Cut 5 red peppers into quarters lengthwise, removing the stem end and seeds. (You can get away with only four peppers if you’d like less carbs.)
- 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.
- If you’re not up to the extra work of roasting peppers, just use two 12 oz. jars of Roasted Red Peppers in a jar (affiliate link). Using peppers from a jar will slightly increase the carbs.
Assembling and Baking the 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 (affiliate link)and cook a few minutes more.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, Dijon mustard (Lydia’s secret ingredient), Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), and a few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, pesto, or basil from a tube. (You could skip the diced tomatoes if you want even less carbs.)
- Simmer over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
- While the sauce simmers, mix together the 2/3 cup grated Mozzarella, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, 2-3 tablespoons basil, and freshly grated Parmesan to make the cheese mixture. (You can use less Ricotta or skip it completely and use a bit more cottage cheese if you want less carbs.)
- Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray and make layers of half the roasted peppers, half the sausage sauce, and 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 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.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
I’d love this with Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad served on the side.
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
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 5 fresh red bell peppers (see notes)
- 1 19.5 oz. package hot or mild Italian sausage (see notes)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 2 tsp. minced garlic (or more)
- 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice (see notes)
- 1 T Dijon mustard (probably optional but highly recommended)
- 1 tsp. Italian Herb Seasoning
- 6 T chopped fresh basil, divided (see notes)
- 1 1/3 C grated Mozzarella, divided
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 15 oz. Ricotta cheese (see notes)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 C grated Parmesan, divided
- 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.)
- While the peppers steam, 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 (affiliate link) 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, Dijon mustard, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), and 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 3 T chopped basil to make the cheese mixture.
- 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 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.
I used Jenni-O Hot turkey sausage for this recipe. 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. If you're not up for roasting peppers, use 2 12 oz. jars of Roasted Red Peppers (affiliate link), drain them well and pat dry.
To make a version of this recipe that's still tasty but a bit lower in carbs use 4 peppers instead of five, skip the can of diced tomatoes in the sauce, and use less ricotta (or skip it completely and use a bit more cottage cheese).
This recipe inspired by Slow Cooker Sausage and Four Cheese Lasagna from The Perfect Pantry and perfected with recipe testing help from Jake and Kara.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 766mgCarbohydrates: 17.2gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 20g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe isn’t ultra low in carbs because the peppers and tomatoes add some carbs, but it’s much lower in carbs than traditional lasagna recipes. See my tips throughout the recipe if you want to make a lower-carb version. If you’re making this for the South Beach Diet they would recommend low-fat sausage, cottage cheese, Ricotta, and Mozzarella; other low-carb diet plans would prefer full-fat ingredients.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Casserole Recipes to 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.