I will never forget the feeling of digging up our first crop of sweet potatoes at our first home when we were finally able to have a good size garden. I had ordered 100 slips (baby sweet potato plants) to plant that year, but didn’t really know what I was doing and didn’t have high hopes for the outcome.
I watched as the little plants grew into huge crawling vines and I hoped there were at least a few sweet potatoes to show for it, since they are one of our family’s favorite foods. Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. As I started harvesting the potatoes, I soon realized that my little basket I’d brought to carry the potatoes in was not going to be even close to big enough.
Other Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes
Five hours and 10 huge boxes later, we were finally done collecting sweet potatoes and it was a great winter that year! My kids eat sweet potatoes like candy and we had a constant supply of:
I also discovered this lasagna recipe that winter when my kids asked for lasagna and I didn’t have any zucchini on hand for my usual zucchini lasagna recipe. I had canned some of our homemade pasta sauce that year as well and dried herbs from our garden, so even in the winter, we had a garden to table lasagna.
Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
This recipe tastes very similar to regular lasagna but substitutes thinly sliced sweet potatoes for the noodles in regular lasagna recipes. You can actually adapt most lasagna recipes by roasting sweet potato slices and using in place of noodles, but this is the best combination we’ve found.
Sweet Potato Lasagna Recipe
- 6 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 6 cups pasta sauce
- 1 TBSP garlic powder (divided)
- 1 TBSP basil (divided)
- 1 TBSP oregano
- 1 TBSP thyme
- 1 TBSP marjoram
- 1 TBSP rosemary
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 15 oz cottage cheese
- 8 eggs
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded, divided)
- Thinly slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into ¼ inch slices or smaller. It isn't necessary to peel them.
- Place on well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 400°F degrees until just starting to brown and get tender.
- While sweet potatoes are cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet.
- If there is room, add the pasta sauce and half of the garlic powder and basil, and all of the remaining spices to the skillet to warm. If not, combine the meat, pasta sauce, and spices in a large pot and heat to a simmer.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, and half of grated mozzarella cheese, and the remaining garlic powder and basil. Set aside.
- In 9x13 glass baking dish start layering: meat/sauce on bottom, followed by sweet potato slices, then ricotta mixture. This made 2 thick layers for me, but could be spread out into three layers if your dish is deep enough. Make sure there is a meat/sauce layer on the top when done.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the egg/ricotta mixture is set and the middle is not jiggly. It will firm up a little more as it cools too.
- About 15 minutes before done, add the remaining mozzarella cheese to top and put back in the oven.
- Serve immediately. I recommend a side of Italian music and a salad!
- A mandolin works well for slicing the sweet potatoes.
- You can also use some Italian sausage in place of part of the ground beef
- We like a lot of spice in our dishes, so the spice amounts listed might be a bit much for you. Spice to your own preference!
What’s your favorite lasagna variation?