Hello and welcome to The Old Summers Home, Today I’m teaching you all about my Simple Lasagna Recipe! This recipe is a hit at our house every single time. Another great perk to this recipe is that it is completely adjustable, this is one of those recipes I never seem to make the same size. I once got a little carried away and made this lasagna weigh over 10lbs!!! Oops, did I mention I love lasagna?
This recipe is perfect for meal planning, simply make extra and freeze a lasagna or two. For this making of lasagna, I made three 9×9 lasagnas and froze two. A 9×9 pan doesn’t leave us any leftovers but it is still a great size for our family.
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Our Lasagna Ingredients
- bell pepper
- pasta sauce
- Italian seasoning
- parmesan cheese
- cottage cheese
- lasagna noodles
- mozzarella cheese
Our Lasagna Recipe Supplies
- 2 large pots
- cutting board
- chef knife
- paring knife
- fine grater
- cheese grater
- mixing spoon
- can opener
- pyrex cooking pans
- cookie sheet
Our Lasagna Recipe Meat Sauce
In a medium-sized bowl place a package of frozen spinach to thaw. You will need this for the cottage cheese layer later on.
This recipe is perfect for using frozen hamburger or fresh hamburger whichever you have on hand. Place hamburger in a large pot. I used 2 frozen packs equaling approximately 3 lbs of hamburger. Simply add some water to your frozen hamburger and cook at medium heat. Break down into small bits while browning.
Add some healthy vegetables
Chop up bell pepper and onion into small pieces. Finely chop half a clove of garlic. Grate a few carrots into fine shreds.
*Picky Kid Tip Alert*- Adding shredded, grated and finely chopped vegetables into meat sauce for lasagna, spaghetti or chilli is a great way to disguise that healthy ingredient if you have a picky eater on your hands.
Really you can add any vegetables you would like at this stage they will absorb full flavour during the simmering process and most vegetables become completely transparent.
Once the hamburger is fully browned drain excess fluid and add in the vegetables. Allow mixture to simmer until onion becomes transparent.
Add one or two cans of pasta sauce depending on the size of the batch you are making. Season with a bit of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, then add in a good dashing of parmesan cheese. I usually cover the top of the mixture with parmesan then mix in and allow to continue simmering. I like to allow my lasagna meat sauce to simmer for a while to help it absorb all the flavours.
Prepare the cottage cheese layer
Take your bowl of spinach, which should be partially defrosted by now and mash with a fork. Add in one egg and one large container of cottage cheese. You can add a bit of salt and pepper if you like but not necessary. Mix well, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until ready.
Prepare the Lasagna Noodles
This is the most important step for making a lasagna quickly!
Heat a large pot of water and cook the lasagna noodles. Whether you are using oven-ready or regular noodles this will help speed up your oven time. Everything in this recipe is fully cooked prior to going in the oven beside the one egg in the spinach cottage cheese mixture. That egg does not require much cooking time.
The noodles I had on hand were oven ready. Once the noodles are thoroughly cooked strain and run cold water over them so they will be easier to handle for assembling your lasagna(s).
Our Lasagna Recipe Assembly
This time around I decided to make three 9×9 lasagnas to allow for some easy to serve meals in the future. However many you decide to make whether it be one two or three have your glass pyrex pans out on a counter directly in front of you.
Place pot of meat sauce beside, the pot of noodles on the other side and the cottage cheese layer behind your pyrex dishes.
Our Lasagna Recipe Layers
Firstly, ladle some meat sauce into the bottom of your pyrex pan. A thin layer is all it needs just to cover the bottom so that it will prevent the noodles from sticking or drying out.
Secondly, add a layer of noodles across the meat sauce. Because I am using 9×9 pans I will need to cut each layer of noodles. Simply allow to hang over the pyrex pan and cut off with a knife.
The third layer is the cottage cheese spinach mixture, simply spread on top of noodles.
The fourth layer consists of noodles, again cutting with a knife for the overhang.
The fifth layer is a nice thick layer of meat sauce which will be covered by the sixth and final layer of noodles.
We really love our cheese so I’m not sure we can ever have enough, for these three I used one large block of mozzarella and a bit of another. Simply grate your cheese and then add the desired amount to the top of each lasagna.
Once I was satisfied with the amount of mozzarella, I sprinkled with parmesan cheese and then Italian seasoning.
Cooking Our Lasagna
The best part about this lasagna is that it is already mostly cooked so the oven time is much less time-consuming.
Place pyrex pan on a cookie sheet to help prevent accidental spills and to ease cleanups.
I was baking a loaf of french bread at the same time which required 25 before being removed to butter and return to the oven, therefore, I allowed my lasagna to cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 400°F.
Our lasagna was sizzling hot therefore allow to stand and cool for a duration of 10-15 minutes to thicken (which is our remaining french bread baking time).
Freeze extra lasagnas for perfectly quick and easy meals!
To freeze any extra lasagnas simply cover with saran wrap and a layer of aluminum foil. Our pyrex dishes come with sealing lids that consequently work perfectly for stacking in the freezer and helping to prevent freezer burn.
Cooking Our Frozen Lasagna Recipe
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) this is vital when using glass pyrex pans to prevent breaking.
Once your oven is fully preheated place pyrex pan on a cookie sheet (to prevent any spills in the oven) on the middle rack. Allow to heat until cheese is melted and warm in the middle with an internal temperature of 329°F (165°C). In our oven, this takes approximately 40 minutes depending on the thickness and the size of the pan I use.
Depending on your oven you may want to cover your lasagna with aluminum foil for the first 25 minutes. Then remove to allow the cheese to brown for the duration of cooking time.
The Perfect Complimentary Dishes
Our Ultimate Caesar salad is a perfect side dish for our lasagna recipe because it is a light side dish that accents the flavours of our lasagna. This is not just an ordinary run of the mill Ceasar salad by any means. Our Caesar Salad has a homemade salad dressing, freshly made bacon bits and homemade croutons as well. If you love Caesar Salad then you will love our Ultimate Homemade Caesar Salad Recipe! It can also be made into a full meal by adding some chicken breast to it.
Homemade French Garlic Bread
Our homemade french garlic bread is a french loaf which bakes in the perfect amount of time with Our Lasagna recipe! Adding some homemade garlic butter perfects it to the best complimentary dish a lasagna could ever need! Stay tuned for this recipe coming soon! You will not be disappointed!
Our Nanaimo bars are not only a true Canadian delicacy but they are the perfect complement to finishing this delicious meal off with a rich and sweet treat. Like our lasagna recipe, this dessert also contains a few layers of perfection. Our Nanaimo Bar Recipe is absolutely the best!
My Favourite Kitchen Products For Making My Lasagna Recipe!
I have used T-Fal Non-Stick Pots for years, and they are truly amazing for preventing food from sticking. Pasta noodles and meat sauce wipe right off every time. One of the pots I have is from my grandmother many years ago and still by far my favourite.
Tip for Stove Top Cookware- stovetop cookware should not be overheated or inserted into water directly after cooking, allow cooling first. Try to aim for cooking at medium heat. Following these two useful tips will extend product life and prevent warping.
Pyrex Baking Pans
These Pyrex baking pans are absolutely incredible. The lids seal nice and tight and they stack great in the freezer too. When the lid is on you can still use the built-in handles. When cooking lasagna and you find yourself with leftovers, simply pop the lid on and place in the fridge!
Glass Cookware tip- When going from freezer to oven, always ensure to fully preheat the oven before placing your Glass Cookware inside.