How To Replace Fat, Not Compromise Flavor

I admit, low-fat foods aren’t always as tasty as their high-fat counterparts.  But, there are a few tricks that will help you cut the fat and calories in half and will not compromise flavor.  Reduced-fat ingredients will go unnoticed in a dish with various levels of flavor.  In this recipe, I used 1/2 a pound of very lean ground beef, adding more marinara to make up for the volume.  Using a mixture of chunky and pureed tomato sauce adds bulk and texture.  Cheese made with part-skim milk and low-fat sour cream cut additional calories and fat and will not compromise flavor!

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If you remember ‘It’s Time To Consider the Brown Bag,” fat adds flavor.  If removed, flavor must be replaced with herbs and spices.  Add olive oil and avocado to re-create mouth-feel sans artery-clogging fats.

The Recipe

I combined a recipe from Rachel Ray and Pati Jinich.  Then I added a bit of my own tastes.  Here you go!

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Low-Fat Mexican Lasagna
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
45 mins

This is a delicious Mexican lasagna that is loaded with flavor but not fat!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 1 kcal
Kelly Maggiore: Kelly, RD
  • 1 pkg oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 lb very lean ground beef
  • 6 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 each eggs
  • 2 cups shredded low-fat montery jack or colby cheese
  • 1 24 ounce jar good quality tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes spicy optional
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained substitute with pinto or vegetarian refried beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis heat level optional
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 2 each green onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp homemade taco seasoning substitute storebought seasoning with no msg
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onion to skillet and cook just until transulent. Add ground beef and season with chili powder and 1/2 of the cumin. Brown the meat until no longer pink in the center. Add additional taco seasoning, as desired. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and green chilis. Mix well. Add black beans and corn. Heat mixture for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.

  3. Combine ricotta, eggs, remaining cumin, and 2 tbsp cilantro with a whisk.

  4. Spread a thin layer of meat sauce into a 9x9 casserole dish. Top with lasagna noodles. Top noodles with 1/3 of ricotta mixture.

    Top ricotta mixture with 1/3 of beans. Layer beans with 1/3 shredded cheese.

    Repeat, ending with a topping of shredded cheese.

  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until top layer is browned and bubbly. Serve hot with additional toppings.

  6. Top lasagna with low-fat sour cream, diced green onions, sliced avocado, sliced black olives, diced fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped cilantro

Links To More Taco Tuesday Ideas!


Taco Tarts! 

Taco Soup.  

Beaches, Beers, and Tacos

You will LOVE all of these!!!

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  1. I’m sure this is really wonderful, although I prefer whole-fat products. But have you ever used soy flakes? Whole grain soybeans, flaked, not processed beyond that, so you have to store the bag in the fridge. I add them whenever i use a ground meat dish. It adds nutrition, but also fiber, which meat doesn’t have. Just a trick from the old days!

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