We here at Plated love inventive dishes, food hacks, and workarounds in the kitchen. In “The Replacements,” we’re focused on swapping out traditional ingredients for new and inventive choices to rethink classic dishes. These creative, healthy substitutions can enhance entire recipes and help you experience your meals in a brand new way.
For today’s replacement, we tried to think outside the box… of pasta. Of course, when it comes to pasta, there are always plenty of options: whole wheat, gluten-free, and rice noodles are just a few substitutions for cooks (and eaters) with dietary restrictions who want to enjoy a pasta dish. But we wanted to find a way to forego the noodle altogether. And so, in our lasagna dish on the menu right now, we’ve gone with a whole new starch: the sweet potato.
Why? Nutritional value is one reason. When comes to a side-by-side comparison of sweet potatoes and egg noodles, which are what lasagna is usually made with, the difference is clear: Sweet potatoes have:
- fewer calories
- fewer carbs
- no fat
- no cholesterol
- no gluten
- no dairy
- more potassium
- more calcium
Plus, sweet potatoes bring tastes you simply can’t get from noodles. Plated Head Chef Elana explains, “Not only are sweet potatoes packed with vitamins and nutrients, but they also have a lot more flavor than lasagna noodles, and a great creamy texture. Just cut them into thin planks to mimic the shape of traditional lasagna.” Because they’re more absorbent, these slightly sweet yet very savory potatoes blend harmoniously with the other flavors of the dish.
For our Sweet Potato Lasagna, we blanched the sweet potatoes—a technique of quickly cooking an ingredient partway in boiling water before roasting or sautéing it. This second step of roasting sets the cooking process apart from simply boiling pasta noodles, because here you can add the other ingredients, so that they cook together with potatoes and fully infuse their flavors.
Bonus? There’s no pressure to eat this meal all in one sitting, because this is one of those dishes that only gets better the next day, after the sweet potatoes have had even more time to soak up the other ingredients’ flavors. Just as with other recipes that replace key ingredients with sweet potatoes, like Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Sweet Potato Pancakes, you can let your taste buds feast on the nuances of commingling flavors, all while making a healthier choice—it’s a win-win.
Ready to try the blend of marinara sauce, cheeses, and herbs in our Sweet Potato Skillet Lasagna with Turkey Sausage? Check out our menu and schedule your delivery!