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  • Writer's picturehillarycarter

The Best Dinner + Dessert

I am so excited to share this whole meal with you all. As I’ve said several times on this blog and on Instagram, I am not a recipe pro. I am not a master chef or expert baker, especially with all these food allergies involved. But every now and then, I get something just right – and that happened this week. Hence, The Best Dinner + Dessert, here for you now.

DINNER: Top 8 Free Lasagna (with Hidden Zucchini!)

My boys are big meat-eaters. They love <gluten free rice> pasta. I’ve finally gotten them both to eat pasta sauce. So, I felt like it was time to try lasagna with them. (My older son has had lasagna at school, but my younger son, who is allergic to wheat/gluten and dairy, has not…)

I made a version with gluten-free rice lasagna noodles, ground turkey and beef, marinara sauce, a cup or so of grated zucchini, and lots of herbs. It was DELICIOUS. Here is the rundown.


2 packages gluten-free rice lasagna noodles

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground turkey

1 24 oz jar of marina sauce

1-2 cups grated zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian herbs to taste

A few notes:

  • We use Tinkyada lasagna noodles and Rao’s marinara sauce. Use whatever brand you love and trust!

  • I probably could have just used one box of lasagna noodles, but I wanted extra in case. I don’t use cheese in this, so I wanted to really play up the pasta and meat.

  • The zucchini works perfectly here, but you could hide any veggie you wanted in there. Spinach or grated carrot would work well, too.

  • I don’t measure herbs -- so sorry! -- toss in what looks good to you.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook lasagna noodles per instructions on the box but note that you want them to be al dente, so consider taking them out a few minutes earlier than instructions indicate. Drain and cool. Mine stuck together a little bit, so I put a little olive oil on them.

Brown turkey and beef in olive oil. Once the meat is almost cooked, add in grated zucchini and warm through. Add your herbs to taste – I went light on salt and pepper and heavy on garlic salt and Italian herbs.

Important: drain off the excess grease and water from the meat and zucchini before you move on to the next step.

Next, add the entire jar of marinara into the meat and veggie mixture.

Pour a little of the sauce in a lasagna pan as your base. Then layer the noodles so you cover the whole bottom of the pan. Layer the sauce and noodles until you use everything up. I made three full layers with a lot of sauce on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until warmed through and a little crispy on top.

I served it with roasted broccoli and cauliflower for my little guy and with raspberries for my older guy. I also topped his with parmesan since he is not allergic to dairy.

My boys loved it! My little guy ate three whole pieces!

DESSERT: Brownies and Ice Cream

After that delicious dinner, we needed a treat. I recently ordered Fun for All Foods chocolate cake mix from Amazon and couldn’t wait to try it. This mix is Top 8 Allergen Free and DELICIOUS. Here’s what I love about it – you can make a cake, you can make cupcakes, or you can make an individual brownie-like situation in a coffee mug – IN THE MICROWAVE. It was so easy – add oil and water – and microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. My big guy topped his with A La Mode ice cream and I topped mine with Oatly ice cream. (My little guy was too stuffed from all the lasagna to want dessert…!)


It was basically the best dinner + dessert, ever, because it was SAFE and EASY! (And I even got some veggies in there!) I hope this is helpful for you all out there. Enjoy!

Note: none of the brands listed are paid endorsements, just my faves. Please always read ingredients and pick products that work best for your family!

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May 27, 2020

This was amazing! Huge hit in my house!

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