Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole (Video)
Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna is so delicious, you won’t even miss the noodles, and this mock lasagna is also gluten-free!
PIN Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole to try it later!
For today’s Friday Favorite featured recipe I’m reminding you about this Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole that’s been such a favorite on my site. I love creating low-carb or carb-conscious recipe ideas that go beyond the usual grilled-meat-and-salad meals that many people rely on when they’re watching their weight.
I had comfort food in mind when I came up with the idea for Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin, and this mock lasagna is another comforting casserole that’s so loaded with flavor that you won’t even miss the lasagna noodles.
When I first made this I ate it for lunch and dinner two days in a row, and if I hadn’t put some in the freezer, I might have had it the next day as well! If you’re not a fan of kale yet, other sturdy greens like chard or collards would probably work, but I don’t think softer greens like spinach would hold up that well in this.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- salt (for water to cook kale)
- olive oil
- hot turkey or pork Italian Sausage
- Rao’s Pasta Sauce (affiliate link), or other low-sugar pasta sauce
- Dried Basil (affiliate link)
- Ground Fennel (affiliate link)
- grated Parmesan cheese
- grated Mozzarella cheese
Why is this recipe called a mock lasagna?
This recipe is called a mock lasagna casserole because the slightly-wilted kale is layered in a casserole dish like you would lasagna, and this recipe has some of the same flavors that people love in lasagna.
Want more tasty ideas for low-carb lasagna?
Check out Ten Amazing Low-Carb Lasagna Recipes for more low-carb casseroles with lasagna flavors!
How to Make Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole:
(This is just a summary of the steps shown in the photos; scroll down for complete recipe.)
- Cook the turkey Italian sausage until it’s cooked through and nicely browned.
- Then add low sugar pasta sauce (affiliate link), dried basil, and ground fennel and simmer until the sauce is thick and water in the sauce has mostly evaporated. (The photo above is only about half-way through that cooking down of the sauce.)
- While the sauce simmers, cut out ribs of the kale and cut it into ribbons about 1/2 inch thick.
- Cook kale for a few minutes in boiling, salted water (just until it wilts), then let drain for a few minutes and then gently spin off any extra water in a salad spinner (affiliate link) if you have one.
- Spray a 9″ x 12″ casserole dish with non-stick spray and make layers with half the kale, half the thickened sauce, half the Parmesan, and half the Mozzarella.
- Then make another layer each of kale, sauce, Parmesan and Mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake about 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until the casserole is bubbling and the top is nicely browned, about 20-25 minutes more.
- Let the mock lasagna sit for a few minutes before you serve it; then dig in and wait for compliments!
- This Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole freezes very well, but you might not have any left!
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
This Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole would be delicious served with Air Fryer Peppers and Onions, Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts, Air Fryer Roasted Mushrooms, Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan, or Green Beans with Tomatoes.
More Tasty Low-Carb Recipes with Kale:
- Kale, Bacon, and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
- Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Kale
- Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad
- Artichoke, Kale, and Ricotta Pie
- Instant Pot Sausage and Kale Soup
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole
This low-carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna is so delicious, you won't even miss the noodles!
- 2 medium-sized bunches of kale
- 1 tsp. salt (for water to cook kale)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 19.5 oz. package hot turkey or pork Italian Sausage
- 3 cups pasta sauce (see notes)
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. ground fennel
- 4 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 C grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray a 9″ x 12″ lasagna-type glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan, squeeze sausage out of the casings, and cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is cooked through and nicely browned, breaking it apart with the turner as it cooks.
- When the sausage is done, add the pasta sauce, dried basil, and ground fennel.
- Stir to combine and let the sauce simmer 20-25 minutes, or until it’s thickened and the liquid is reduced.
- While sauce simmers, add the salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Trim stems from the kale, then cut the kale into ribbons about 1/2 inch wide.
- When the water starts to boil add the kale, lower heat so the water is gently boiling, and cook kale 4-6 minutes or just until it barely starts to wilt. (Some kale is much coarser than others, start to check after a few minutes so it doesn’t get overdone.)
- Drain kale into a colander in the sink and let it continue to drain while you prepare other ingredients.
- After it drained, I used a salad spinner (affiliate link) to gently spin the water from the cooked kale.
- In the casserole dish, layer 1/2 the drained kale, 1/2 the sauce, 2 T grated Parmesan, and 1 cup mozzarella.
- Repeat with another layer of kale, sauce, Parmesan, and Mozzarella.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 20-25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and cheese is starting to brown.
- Let the mock lasagna sit for about 5 minutes before you cut it. Serve hot.
- This freezes well and can be easily reheated in the microwave.
Nutritional information is calculated using Rao's Pasta Sauce (affiliate link) which has only 20 carbs in the whole bottle, the amount used in this recipe.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 1089mgCarbohydrates: 4.9gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 30g
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:
If you’re making Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole for a low-carb diet or the original South Beach Diet, it’s important to use low-sugar pasta sauce. I used Rao’s Pasta Sauce (affiliate link), but look for the lowest-sugar sauce you can find. South Beach would recommend lower-fat turkey Italian sausage and reduced fat mozzarella and low-carb diets will prefer pork sausage and regular cheese.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Casserole Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This mock lasagna with sausage and kale was first posted in 2012! Through the year the photos were updated and it was featured for Friday Favorites in 2019. It was last updated in 2022.
114 Comments on “Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole (Video)”
I have curly and lacino kale…does any onw know if one would be better? I haven't cooked with the lacino yet, but it is in my garden.
Jen, I divide my leftover into individual servings to freeze, and I freeze in glass dishes so I can just microwave right in the dish. It can be thawed or not, although I thaw in the fridge when I remember to plan ahead. If you're freezing the entire casserole I would thaw in the fridge and then reheat in the oven. Maybe bake it slightly less time initially if you know you're going to freeze and reheat. Hope you enjoy!
How do you reheat this after it has been frozen? Oven, microwave? Do you defrost and then reheat? I have the ingredients on hand for this meal but we won't be able to eat it for about two weeks due to schedule conflicts. So in the freezer it will go!
Rebecca, it was great after being frozen! I gave a few of my frozen servings to my niece and her husband and they raved about it.
Any update on how the freezer portion worked when thawed? Need to do a bunch of plan ahead meals with my new work schedule and if this freezes/thaws well I'd love to add it to the list!
Kristy, so glad you liked it!
Made this tonight…FABULOUS! Thanks so much!!
Searched all over Pinterest for the perfect recipe to use up the half bag of kale I had. Found your recipe, made it and it is fabulous! Can't wait to make it for my bunco ladies! Thank you!
Robin, so glad to hear it was a hit.
Thanks for the great recipe! My family and I loved it tonight!
Karla, hope you enjoy it!
Yum. Yum. Yum. I had this for dinner tonight after buying a HUGE bag of Earthbound Farms Organic Baby Kale at Costco today and then wondering how in the world I was going to eat a pound and a half of kale by myself!. I'm vegetarian so I used Field Roast Italian "sausage" rather than real sausage. I loved it but I also found that it was quite salty. I'm guessing it was a combination of the sauce I used (Trader Joes organic marinara), the Pecorino cheese I used, and the sausage. I'll definitely make this again with a little less pecorino. Thanks for your wonderful wonderful recipes, Kalyn!! And for all of the suggestions as to what to do with all this kale. 🙂
Usually the salt in the cooking water doesn't make things taste salty unless you use really a lot of salt, but Parmesan is definitely salty, and some kinds are more salty than others so that may be it. Maybe try a bit less salt for the water (I would not skip it completely myself, but your call) and a bit less parmesan.
I made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful, but really salty. I just checked the comments to see if anyone else had the same result. I'm not sure if next time (and there will be a next time!) I would use half the parmesan or cut out the salt when cooking the kale. Does kale really need the salt? I've never cooked with kale before.
Amanda, so glad you have been enjoying it so much! I think mushrooms that were sauteed until all the water was released might be a great addition!
this is the second time I've made this and I LOVE it!!!! I don't miss "real" lasagna one bit!! The first time I made it, I salted the water (for cooking the kale) as I would for cooking pasta….ew! Way too salty- but entirely my fault for not reading the recipe!!! Last night, I followed the recipe and it was perfect!!! Even the first batch, while salty, was still delicious! This might be my favorite of Kalyn's recipes!!! I think you could add additional vegetables if you like, maybe mushrooms would be fabulous – but I wonder if it would be too soupy? I'll try it next time and let y'all know~
Glad you like it; I love this recipe too!
This is my new favorite recipe! I'm blogging about it and encouraging others to try it and comment on this post if they like it. Let's see what happens!
I honestly don't know how it would work to freeze this before it's baked, but since the kale is slightly pre-cooked it might work. Would love to know how it turns out if you try it.
I do know it freezes well after it's cooked.
How would you freeze this? I'd like to prepare it earlier on the week and cook it during a busy weekday… would that be possible?