This Sweet Potato Lasagna has all the things we love about lasagna – tender layers, flavorful ground beef, a little sauteed spinach, and a savory sauce – without the gut-irritating wheat pasta or dairy. This AIP lasagna is so flavorful and easy to make. It will be your go-to comfort food dinner!
Sweet potato lasagna noodles
The first thing you’ll notice about this lasagna is that I replaced lasagna noodles with thinly sliced sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are the perfect substitute to make a gluten-free lasagna because they hold their shape well when baked and give the lasagna that soft, perfect, layered texture we all love.
Sweet potatoes are a very healthy and hearty ingredient. They are full of fiber, which helps keep us full, promotes healthy digestion, and benefits the good bacteria in our gut. They are also loaded with beta-carotene, which gives them their rich orange color. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body, which helps support bone and immune health, protect our eyes, and reduces acne.
Sweet potatoes also contain manganese, which is essential for bone and immune health, and potassium, which can support blood pressure levels, help regulate muscle and heart contractions, and help maintain healthy nerve function.
Not bad for a delicious pasta substitute!
Ground beef and spinach lasagna filling
As much as I love using sweet potatoes for a gluten-free lasagna, the savory ground beef layer in between the sweet potatoes is really what makes this lasagna!
I season the ground beef with lots of garlic and dried oregano, giving it a delicious flavor in no time. The beef adds healthy proteins to this dish, which help build and repair muscle. Beef is also high in iron, which helps prevent anemia, as well as zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium, all of which are important nutrients for regulating hormones, keeping our immune systems and thyroid healthy, and protecting against heart disease. Finally, beef contains vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy DNA and red blood cell production, as well as healthy brain function.
I add sauteed spinach to this lasagna, to give it an extra layer and extra nutrients. Spinach is low in calories but high in vitamin A, C, and K, supporting our immune system and healthy blood clotting. Spinach is also high in folic acid, which is important for normal cell function and tissue growth and a key nutrient for pregnant women. The great part about cooking with spinach is that it cooks down so much and it’s easy to add spinach to almost any meal! This recipe uses 6 cups of fresh spinach, which cooks down to a much smaller amount, making it perfect for adding a layer to the lasagna.
Dairy-free lasagna sauce
For this lasagna, I made a quick dairy-free sauce from coconut milk, and seasoned it with garlic, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and oregano to give it lots of flavor and a boost of nutrients. Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins and folic acid, which is important for DNA and red blood cell health, while turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent cancer.
Game plan for making lasagna
This lasagna recipe has a few simple steps to put it together:
Start by sauteing the ground beef with garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano, until it is fully cooked. Set it aside and saute the spinach in the same pan for a few minutes, just until it is wilted.
While the ground beef is cooking, thinly slice your sweet potatoes. Use a mandoline slicer to get thin, even pieces. Please always wear cut-proof safety gloves when using a mandoline slicer to prevent any accidents!
Prepare the sauce by simmering all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan for just a few minutes, until it thickens.
Now assemble the lasagna: Add a quarter cup of sauce to the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish. Add a layer of sweet potatoes, the ground beef, and another layer of sweet potatoes. Pour half the sauce over the sweet potatoes, then add a layer of spinach, another layer of sweet potatoes, and finally, pour the rest of the sauce on top.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork.
Carefully remove the foil – watch out for steam! Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Enjoy this lasagna with a side salad, such as my Italian Chopped Salad, Spring Greens and Cabbage Salad, or Zucchini Noodle Salad.
Sweet Potato Lasagna
- 3 sweet potato approximately 1.5 lbs
- 1 3/4 lb 794.50 g ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 Tbsp 7.39 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp 22.18 ml dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp 7.39 ml sea salt divided
- 1/2 tsp 2.46 ml ground black pepper
- 6 cups 1440.00 ml baby spinach tightly packed
- 1 cup 240.00 ml coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp 29.57 ml tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp 14.79 ml Nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp 2.46 ml ground turmeric optional
- 1/4 cup 60.00 ml parsley
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a mandolin to thinly slice the sweet potatoes. Wear cut-proof gloves to prevent injuries!
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and add the ground beef, half the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until the ground beef is fully cooked and browned, stirring to break up the beef. Set aside.
- Add the baby spinach and half of the remaining garlic to the same skillet and saute until the spinach is wilted. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, ground turmeric, and ½ teaspoon salt. Turn the heat on to medium, bring to a gentle boil, and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in ½ tablespoon oregano.
- Spoon ¼ cup of the sauce into an 8x8 inch casserole pan and spread it around with a spoon. Add a layer of sliced sweet potato, covering most of the bottom. It’s OK if there are a few small gaps or some pieces overlapping. Season with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
- Top with ground beef and another layer of sweet potatoes. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the sweet potatoes.
- Layer the cooked spinach, sweet potatoes, then pour the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork. Let stand 10 minutes, then slice into 4-6 pieces and serve, garnishing with fresh herbs.