Updated: Oct 22, 2021
I know, I know. We don't know each other. Our taste buds are different! So, for this recipe, feel free to add what you like! For example, ill be adding onions, garlic, and pepper to my beef sauce and Italian seasoning to the top for garnish. Make it your own by tweaking it any way you like. This is just a basic, quick, and easy lasagna that the picky eaters will enjoy just as much as the food snobs like me will.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 60 minutes
Cool time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1hr 50 min
What you'll need:
Don't let that 2 hour cook time scare you! With only 30 minutes of prep time you could literally prep it in the morning and pop that sucker in the fridge until your ready to bake it, then just stick it in the oven and fold your laundry or watch some tv. I wrote this blog post in the time it took to bake. Multitasking is key here, but it is worth it for a homecooked meal.
Cost: around $25.00
I cut this dish into 12 squares and it served 3 kids, a teenage boy, and 2 adults. I have half left that I'm freezing for later on in the month. As for the cost, this will vary depending on what brands of ingredients you use and where you shop. All of my ingredients were from Wal-Mart and are Great Value brand with the exception of the pasta and the ground beef.
1&1/2 pks Barilla Classic Oven-Ready Pasta Lasagna 9oz
1 lb ground beef (80/20 or whatever you prefer)
1 24oz Jar pasta sauce (again whatever you prefer)
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
1 1lb block mozzarella cheese
8 oz of cottage cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
In a medium sized pot brown the ground beef
Drain any fat then return to the pot
(if you want to add veggies or additional seasonings to your sauce do this now and cook until tender)
Add your pasta sauce and stir until its well combined
Let it simmer on low heat to get all them flavors combined.
Grate your Mozzarella in a medium sized bowl
Reserve half for your top layer
To your bowl of mozzarella add your ricotta, cottage cheese, and the eggs.
mix until it's well combined
Time to layer! If you have kiddos that like to help cook this will be a good time to let them join in!
Using a ladle, put one scoop of your meat sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. This will keep your pasta from sticking to the bottom.
Make a single layer with your oven ready sheets of pasta on top of the sauce layer until you have completely covered the bottom of the dish. I can fit 4 whole sheets and I broke off like an inch of one to fill the gap at the top.
Using a spatula take half of your cheese mixture and spread it out evenly over the pasta layer..
Place another single layer of pasta on top of that.
Next, Add half of your meat sauce and spread it out evenly over the cheese layer.
Another layer of pasta
Add remaining cheese mixture and spread evenly
Another layer of pasta
Add remaining meat sauce and spread evenly
Sprinkle remaining shredded mozzarella evenly on top of the dish.
Cover the top with foil and place on a baking sheet.
Bake at 375 for 50 minutes
Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is slightly golden
LET IT COOL for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it cuz it's HOT!
And there you go! Using the Oven ready pasta really helps with the prep time and takes out a lot of frustration for me. My pasta always stuck together and would often break when I boiled it. This is also a fun recipe to prep and let the kiddos help you with the layering.
I hope you find this easy and affordable, but most of all delicious! Don't forget to make it your own. Add those mushrooms if that's what makes you happy.