Five layer elk lasagna with roasted chilies

Elk Lasagna
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I found this amazing recipe for Lasagna using diced chili’s to spice things up a bit… so I thought why not take the offbeat approach to a classic dish and seriously take it to the next level.

I roasted my own green chilies over the burner in the kitchen and I used all fresh ingredients from local growers. I also decided not to use any salt since we were using sausage… and all low fat or non fat cheeses. The end product was more than mouth watering with a minor kick per every bite.


  • 2lbs Italian elk sausage or elk burger
  • 16 oz lasagna noodles (cooked)
  • 3 large roasted chilies (diced)
  • 1 large shallot (diced)
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1-14.5 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
  • ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-15oz fat free ricotta
  • ½ cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups low fat mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil


Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Heat heavy stock pot on medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, chopped shallots, garlic and onion. Cook until onions become soft and translucent. Add elk sausage and continue to cook until brown.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil and ¼ cup of cilantro to meat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat. Simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes being sure to stir occasionally. If sauce begins to thicken, add a ¼ cup of water.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 ¾ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup parmesan. Add 2 lightly beaten eggs to the cheese mixture and stir.
  4. In a 9×13 pan, spread a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place 3-4 noodles over sauce. Add 1 cup of meat sauce over noodles along with a few spoonfuls of the cheese mixture and a few diced chili’s. Top with another layer of noodles and repeat the process until you are out of ingredients. You will need to judge the amount equally to achieve 5 layers.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Continue to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Easy and Quick Tip for Roasting a Chili Pepper
1) Turn your gas burner on to high. Place the chili pepper directly on the gas burner. Let the chili pepper sit on the burner as its skin begins to bubble and turn black (about a minute).

2) Once one side gets pretty well blistered, use tongs to turn the chili to another side. Repeat until the chile gets blistered or charred on all sides. Obviously you need to pay close attention to the chili. It should just blister and char a bit, not catch fire.

3) Place the chili in a brown paper bag or plastic ziploc bag. Close the bag and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes.

Remove the chili from the bag. Use your fingers or a damp towel to rub off the skin. Remove and discard the stem, seeds, and veins.


  • Reply November 18, 2011


    Another tip for roasting the chilis is to do a bunch of them all at once on the gas grill. Same method as above, but you can do more than one at a time.

    • Reply November 18, 2011


      Completely agree… After roasting them over the open flame – I realized how long that took! Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply August 13, 2010


    Hi Kristi,

    I just want you to know that I went to your website for the recipes for last night’s dinner and got hooked with the first recipe to pop up. I’m going to be watching your website more closely. You may really be on to something to use all of your talents here.

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