Finally a homemade lasagna recipe for seafood lovers! This wild salmon lasagna is rich, delicious and totally crowd-pleasing.
Thanks to Alaska Seafood for sponsoring this recipe
Lasagna is probably one of my favourite dishes… but shamefully not one I make very often! I would hazard that very few families enjoy from-scratch homemade lasagna more than few times a year. There’s a very simple reason for that: lasagna is one of those recipes that takes a lot of time to get right.
There’s several elements involved: making the filling, the white sauce, layering everything and cooking it all together. Lasagna (or is it lasagne?) is not a quickie weekday meal but it’s definitely worth the effort.
I have given meaty lasagna a seafood twist that’s just as delicious and, dare I say, just that little bit quicker to prepare. Instead of spending hours preparing the rich meat sauce that is the building block of traditional lasagne alla Bolognese, I have used Prince’s Wild Pacific Red Canned Salmon.
Why use canned salmon in this recipe?
This is an easy one to answer! Prince’s Wild Pacific Red Canned Salmon is made with freshly caught wild Alaska Sockeye (red) salmon. The fish enjoy the clean fresh waters of the Alaska wilderness and are caught in a sustainable way to prevent overfishing.
Having a few tins of this product in the pantry is a good standby for adding protein and Omega 3s into your diet and it is more economical than buying fresh salmon, which is frequently farmed not wild.
Take advantage of Sainsbury’s promotion of Prince’s Wild Pacific Red Canned Salmon from 10 to 30 April 2019 – the product will be retailing for £3.00 instead of £3.50.
Salmon lasagna – let’s break it down!
Spinach and leek filling: This simply involves sautéing finely chopped leek and shredded spinach in butter until softened. You must drain the filling as the spinach can make it quite watery. Put the cooked filling in a fine sieve and leave to drain while you prepare the sauce.
Salmon filling: You will need three large tins of Prince’s Wild Pacific Red Canned Salmon. Drain the salmon and carefully pick out the larger bones. Flake the salmon and set aside.
Lasagne sheets: If you are wondering about the lasagne vs lasagne spelling, lasagne is the plural. You will need to use lasagne sheets which don’t require pre-cooking or soaking – my favourite brand is Barilla. You might need to break up the sheets so that they fit in your ovenproof dish.
Béchamel sauce: this is a white sauce made with flour and butter (the roux) and milk. Béchamel is a really useful sauce to have in your back pocket as it is used in many recipes such as moussaka, some gratin dishes and even macaroni and cheese. This white sauce is also enriched with cheese such as grated Parmesan. See below for a step-by-step guide on how to make it.
How to make salmon lasagna
Start by preparing the leek and spinach filling. Heat a little butter in a frying pan and cook the leek for 5-10 minutes over low heat until softened. Gradually add the shredded spinach and salt, stirring until it wilts. Transfer the filling into a fine sieve set over a bowl to allow any moisture to drain.
Make the Béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan until it is foaming. Whisk in the flour to make the roux and cook for two minutes so that the flour loses some of its raw floury flavour – don’t let it brown.
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until it is incorporated into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in mustard, dill, lemon zest, freshly grated nutmeg and half of the grated Parmesan. Taste and add more mustard or seasoning until you are happy.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Add a little of the sauce to an ovenproof dish measuring at least 30x19cm (10 cup capacity). Add a layer of lasagna sheets and another layer of the sauce. Spread the salmon over the sauce and top with half of the shredded mozzarella. I didn’t go too crazy with the mozzarella here, you can add more if you like.
Add a little more sauce – it acts as the cement of your lasagna! – and then top with more pasta sheets. Spread the leek and spinach filling over them and add a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella.
Top with the final layer of lasagne sheets and spread with a generous layer of Béchamel. Add the remaining grated Parmesan and bake for 25 minutes. If you wish to give the top a deep golden colour then finish off with five minutes under the grill (broiler), but keep a watchful eye as it can quickly go from golden to burned!
Leave the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes then slice and serve with a mixed green salad or steamed vegetables.
Tips for lasagna success
Even though lasagna is a multi-step recipe, it’s not actually hard to make. Here are some useful tips
• Make sure your fillings are not too wet. Drain the spinach filling and the salmon too.
• Leeks need to cook for at least 10 minutes until softened – only use the white and light green parts and discard the ends.
• Taste and season! Even though the Béchamel is loaded with cheese it is very mild tasting unless you season it with salt and pepper, always to your preferred taste. You might want to add more mustard to bring a bit of sharpness to the sauce.
• Don’t be tempted to cut into your lasagna straight out of the oven. Not only will you burn yourself if you attempt a bite – I speak from painful experience! – but your lasagna will be too soft to cut neatly. Let it cool down for a good 10 minutes before serving.
Can I freeze salmon lasagna?
You can freeze the lasagna in its dish (provided it is freezer proof). Cool completely and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a 180°C (350°F) oven, covered, for 25-30 minutes.
Have you made my salmon lasagna?
For the Béchamel sauce
- 75 g | 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 70 g | 1/2 cup plain flour
- 960 ml | 4 cups semi-skimmed milk
- 1 lemon zest only
- 1 tbsp Dijon or English mustard or more, to taste
- 1 tbsp dill chopped
- 75 g | 3/4 cup grated Parmesan divided
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper a few turns of the mill
- salt to taste
Spinach and leek filling
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 leeks white parts only finely chopped
- 250 g | 9 oz baby spinach sliced thinly
- 1 tsp salt
To assemble the salmon lasagna
- 600 g | 21 oz tinned wild red salmon drained and picked of bones
- 9-12 ready to use lasagna sheets or more, as needed
- 115 g | 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Prepare the leek and spinach filling
- Heat the butter in a large pan and cook the leek for 5-10 minutes, stirring, over low heat until softened.
- Gradually add the shredded spinach and salt, stirring until it wilts.
- Transfer the filling into a fine sieve set over a bowl to allow any moisture from the spinach to drain.
Make the Béchamel sauce
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan until it is foaming.
- Whisk in the flour to make the roux and cook for two minutes so that the flour looses some of its raw floury flavour – don’t let it brown.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until it is incorporated into the sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a low simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the mustard, dill, lemon zest, freshly grated nutmeg and half of the grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Assemble the lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Add a little of the sauce to an ovenproof dish measuring at least 30x19cm (10 cup capacity). Line the dish with lasagna sheets and another layer of the sauce.
- Spread the salmon over the sauce and top with half of the shredded mozzarella.
- Add a little more sauce – it acts as the cement of your lasagna! – and then top with more pasta sheets.
- Spread the leek and spinach filling over them and add the remaining shredded mozzarella.
- Top with the final layer of lasagna sheets and top with the remaining Béchamel. Sprinkle with rest of the Parmesan.
- Place on a heavy baking tray (in case of spills) and bake for 25 minutes. If you wish to give the top a deep golden colour then finish off with 5 minutes under the grill but keep a watchful eye as it can quickly go from golden to burned!
- Leave the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes then slice and serve with a mixed green salad or steamed vegetables.