Easy Meat Sauce & Mini Lasagna Noodles #glutenfree

Mini Lasagna Noodles & Meat Sauce

This easy meat sauce recipe with mini lasagna noodles is one of our favorite quick and tasty dinners. The recipe makes enough meat sauce for two meals for us (two people) so we freeze half for another meal or the leftovers make great lunches.

Easy Meat Sauce

Since I can’t eat ricotta or mozzarella anymore wiping out one of our old favorites – lasagna – this “deconstructed” version fills that void. I do use a little Parmesan cheese because my body can tolerate it (not casein-free) and it is naturally gluten-free as well.

Serving Size: 4

Easy Meat Sauce & Mini Lasagna Noodles #glutenfree
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.25 – 1.5 lb lean ground turkey meat
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 oz jar of GF marinara sauce (or tomato sauce)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • 5 oz dry GF pasta


  1. Heat the olive oil in a 3.5-quart Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the ground turkey, salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off the fat (I usually tilt the Dutch oven and ladle out the excess fat).
  3. Add the marinara sauce (or tomato sauce), wine and spices. Fill the jar with the water and shake – add it to the pot, too. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook your favorite GF pasta according to directions. Drain and divide between 2 large bowls. Spoon the 1/2 of the meat sauce onto the pasta and garnish with fresh basil. The rest will be frozen for another meal (let the meat sauce you are saving cool before freezing).


I use different amounts of ground turkey depending on whether I buy Jennie-O turkey in the 1.25 lb container or 3 lb container (dividing it into 1.5 lb for the meat sauce and I freeze two 0.75 lb portions for other meals). We usually have an open bottle of pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon around so that is the wine we use. And if I've got a lot of fresh basil on hand, I'll chop some up and throw it in there, too.


Deana Larkin Evans

Hi! I’m Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I also create weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and dairy/casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan or goat cheese) in 2014. I’m kind of a science nerd, too. In the ’90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook ’em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course.

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1 Response

  1. March 15, 2015
    […] Thursday – Meat Sauce with Mini Lasagna Noodles […]