I absolutely love eating lasagna but what always held me back from making it (especially during the work week) was the time and effort it took to assemble. The thought of making a lasagna when I got home from work was not something that sounded appealing! But I recently took a cooking class at Harmon's (so fun by the way and I highly suggest) and learned a few methods on how to make lasagna a reasonable meal for a weeknight.
A few key points that can help make this dinner much easier and worth your time:
- Prep the veggies on Sunday
- You don't have to soak the noodles (what?!)
- Make enough for leftovers, so your lunches are ready for the next day, you can freeze the extra pieces for later in the month or you can have leftovers for dinner the next day.
- Use bottled pasta sauce - I love to make my own pasta sauce but some bottled sauces are pretty darn tasty and they save a bunch of time. My favorite brand is Rao's. It can be found at Fresh Market.
- If you do not eat gluten, Cappello's noodles is a great option. I find them in the freezer section of Whole Foods.
- Want a meatless lasagna? Sub the ground beef for extra veggies. Finely chopped cauliflower and carrots are great substitutions.
- Don't want veggies in your lasagna? You can add an extra 1/2 pound of meat instead of the vegetables. Ground turkey sausage is an excellent healthier alternative to beef and adds a great depth of flavor.
This is the perfect lasagna for those Italian food lovers who think that making a lasagna during the week sounds like too much work. Easy lasagnas are my jam and since sharing is caring, here's my recipe!
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 zucchini Diced or shredded
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper I use red and diced in small pieces
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 jar tomato sauce I use Rao's
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for some sprinkling on each layer Optional, I use Kraft
- 1 box lasagna noodles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saute pan, add oil and heat to medium. Add ground beef. Break up using wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink.
Add diced onion, zucchini, bell pepper, salt and pepper.
Cook until onion, zucchini, and bell pepper have softened, about 5 minutes.
Add spinach, tomato sauce, cottage cheese, 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, and 1 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and mix until combined.
In a 9x13 pan, laddle about 1/8 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. This will help prevent the noddles from sticking to the pan. It just needs to be a very light layer of sauce.
In this order: Add a layer of dried noodles, 1/3 of the sauce and cheese mixture, and a sprinkling of extra parmesan.
Then, add another layer of dried noodles, 1/3 of the remaining sauce and cheese mixture, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Finish with a final layer using the rest of the ingredients. Top with the rest of the mozzarella (1/2 cup) and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Bake the lasagna for about 30 minutes are until the cheese on top is bubbling and browned.
hi, I'm leslie
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