Every cook needs a basic lasagna with meat sauce under their belt. My version is simple and safe to adjust with whatever you want to put in yours. It tastes great, makes ahead like a dream, and reheats great for smashing between two pieces of garlic bread as a sandwich. That’s good eatin’.
There are days, when you need dinner done yesterday. Oh that’s every day for you? Yeah. I know.
That’s why you need those make-ahead dishes that can hold out in the fridge for a day or so before you bake them and still come out better than what you’d get in the closest drive though.
And while I’m no big-chested soft and squishy Italian grandma, I think my recipe will be just fine for those nights when you crave hot, bubbly cheese, layers of meat, and garlic bread–oh the garlic bread. My favorite part.
I’m using no-boil noodles here to make things easier and because I’ve just about burned all the nerve endings in my fingers totally out handling hot stuff. I was trying to save myself the struggle.
If you want to use regular noodles that’s fine. I also used gluten free ones in this particular recipe. You can go there if it’s your thing. It has been mine lately.
If you hate cottage cheese please use ricotta. I happen to hate ricotta so there’s that. This is my happy compromise. Serve yours with a big green salad and some Texas garlic toast. Refrigerate any leftovers and make it in to a sandwich the next day. Yes,that’s actually a thing.
I said to use a 9×13 pan here but mine was actually just a little smaller. Keep in mind that the bigger your dish, the thinner your lasagna will be. If you want it thicker or spilling out the top of your 9×13, double the recipe.
Lasagna with meat sauce
Every cook needs a basic lasagna with meat sauce recipe under their belt. This one's not too fancy and never fussy.
- 1 9-ounce box no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1/2 pound breakfast sausage I used Tennessee Pride
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce of your choice
- 1 egg
- 1 cup lowfat cottage cheese ricotta will work here
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning divided
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9x13 or just slightly smaller pan and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage and ground beef until no pink remains. Drain away any fat from the bottom of the pan and return the meat to the skillet.
Over low heat, add the marinara sauce and stir to combine. Simmer 5-7 minutes and turn off the heat.
NOTE: If your no boil noodles ask you to add a cup of water to your sauce, you can do that here. Follow the directions on your favorite brand for that.
In a small bowl, mix the cottage cheese OR ricotta, the egg, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.
Begin the layers: In the bottom of the pan, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce. Place a layer of noodles on top, followed by 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture. Spread it as evenly as you can. Add another 1/2 cup of sauce, then 1/3 of the cheese, and a sprinkling of parmesan.
Repeat the layers two more times for a total of three and end with pasta sauce. Add mozzarella and parmesan on top. Sprinkle on the last teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
Spray a large sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna. Bake 20 minutes covered, then remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more until it's hot all the way through and bubbling on the edges.
Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.