Lamb Lasagna Crostini
***This post is in partnership with the American Lamb Board. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.*** These Lamb Lasagna Crostini are meaty and cheesy Italian appetizers that are perfect for parties, picnics, and potlucks! They are made of crispy toasted bread slices topped with scrumptiously spiced and saucy ground lamb and three kinds of cheese. You’ll have these savory baked bites done in just 30 minutes!
Crostini are one of my go-to’s when I need to whip up a light weeknight dinner or yummy appetizers for last-minute parties. They are easy to make and so versatile- you can use different toppings depending on what you like, or what you have. You can make it as light as my Salmon Crostini with Fava Bean Ragout, sweet like my Apple and Onion Confit Crostini, or load it up with savory lamb lasagna oozing with melty cheese- just like these!
American Lamb Lamb Lasagna Crostini
I used American Lamb in this recipe. Their lean, nutrient-rich ground lamb is ideal for making a lot of dishes, but they are truly magnificent and used as a topping for this popular Italian dish! Aside from the fact that they are one of the most delicious types of protein out there, they are also packed with an array of essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Plus- did you know that a 3-ounce serving of American Lamb has approximately 160 calories and 40% of the fat in them is monounsaturated fat, a good fat also found in avocados and olive oil? So you get a nice amount of carbs from the baguette and hunger-curbing, yet low-calorie protein from the lamb topping to make an amazingly balanced dish that is undeniably delicious to boot!
This easy recipe calls for simple ingredients but packs quite a punch flavor-wise! This lasagna-topped crostini recipe is quite versatile too, you can easily swap the bread, herb, sauce, and cheese with what you have in your pantry. I included possible alternatives below.
- Large baguette- cut into 12, ¼-inch slices. Or you can use other types of French or Italian crusty loaf bread that you like. Dry, day-old bread is ideal for this recipe because they turn crispier easily.
- Ground lamb – American lamb is available to meet a range of preferences—from natural or organic lamb to lamb that has been exclusively grass-fed or grain-finished. You can find local ground lamb using their Lamb locator on their website.
- Dried oregano- if you love cooking lamb, you know that robustly earthy and mildly minty oregano is a perfect spice for it. If you do not have one, you can also use basil, rosemary, or thyme too.
- Marinara sauce- I prefer using pre-made sauce for quicker preparation. However, feel free to make it from scratch if you have time. Use your favorite brand for this recipe.
- Cheese- I used whole milk ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella to give the lamb lasagna a rich texture and taste. You can use mascarpone, cottage, Provolone, and Romano as well.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground-to taste.
- Fresh basil- for garnishing.
How to Make Lamb Lasagna Crostini
Toast the bread, make the lasagna, layer with cheese, and bake! In less than 30 minutes, you should have 12 pieces of deliciously baked crostini brimming with saucy meat and gooey cheese. You can also make each element of the dish ahead of time and just assemble and bake when you need them.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Toast the sliced bread. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and cook until slightly golden, about 8 minutes. Set the sheet pan aside.
- Make the Lamb Lasagna. In a large skillet preheat to medium-high heat, and add the ground lamb. Using a wooden spoon, break up the lamb and cook until the internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. Next, add the dried oregano, kosher salt, pepper, and marinara sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes
- Make the Cheese mixture. In a medium bowl combine ½ cup Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese
- Assemble. Spread the cheese mixture on top of each crostini. Next, top the cheese mixture with some of the lamb sauce followed by the remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella.
- Bake and Serve! Return the crostini to the oven and let the cheese melt for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Garnish with fresh basil!
- Slice the baguette thinly and evenly. If you prefer them a bit chunkier, you’d have to leave them in the oven longer.
- USDA recommends that ground lamb be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use a food thermometer to make sure that you are cooking the meat right.
- To have perfectly browned ground meat, make sure that it is at room temperature before cooking. You also have to break them down into pieces in the pan on an even layer. Let the meat cook undisturbed for a few minutes until the edges turn crisp and golden before stirring.
- If you are using a richly-spiced Marina brand, make sure to adjust the amount of herb and seasonings in the recipe so it does not become overly seasoned.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is crostini the same as bruschetta? No, these are two different Italian antipasti. While they are both made with toasted bread topped with meat, sauces, and veggies, the bread used in making them is different. Crostini are made by toasting thinly sliced baguette bread, thus the name, which translates to “little toasts” in English, while bruschetta uses bigger loaves and thicker slices.
- Can I use other types of proteins for this recipe? Yes, you can also use ground beef or chicken. Take note though that they would require different cooking times.
- Are these gluten-free? As long as you use gluten-free bread, yes it can be!
You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Take note though that the bread will not be as crunchy because of the sauce in the topping. However, you can toast the bread, make the lamb lasagna and the cheese mixture in advance and place them in separate containers for up to a week. You can just assemble it when you are ready to bake and serve.
Lamb Lasagna Crostini
- 1 large Baguette cut into 12, 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 lb American Ground lamb
- 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups Favorite marinara sauce
- 8 ounces Whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, dvided
- 1 cup Shredded mozzarella
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and cook until slightly golden, about 8 minutes. Set the sheet pan aside.
- In a large skillet preheat to medium-high heat, add the ground lamb. Using a wooden spoon, break up the lamb and cook until the internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. Next, add in the dried oregano, kosher salt, pepper, and marinara sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine ½ cup Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese. Take this mixture and spread it on top of each crostini. Next, top the cheese mixture with some of the lamb sauce followed by remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Return the crostini to the oven and let the cheese melt for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Garnish with fresh basil!