Please Your Family With a Timeless, Classic Lasagna
For the relaxed weekend when you want to give your family a hearty, homemade meal, lasagna fits the bill. Don't worry about making too big a dish for your family's needs. Lasagna leftovers keep it in the fridge for three to four days to serve on a weeknight evening when you need to keep food prep time to a minimum.
This lasagna recipe cuts back on the meat compared to some other recipes. The calorie count for each serving is lower than traditional recipes, but the dish still has plenty of protein, given the combination of meat and cheese.
Lasagna keeps in the freezer for two to three months, well-wrapped in aluminum foil or freezer-grade plastic, but be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before baking it.
Total Time: 65 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 6
- 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach
- 1/2 pound ground beef or turkey or sliced sausage
- 1 24-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 12 lasagna noodles, no-boil variety
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- Microwave the spinach for 6 minutes on high power. Open the package and set the container in a bowl to drain and cool.
- In a large skillet, cook the meat until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Pour the jar of spaghetti sauce and the crushed tomatoes and their liquid into the pan and stir to mix the ingredients.
- Using your hands or a clean dish towel, squeeze out as much of the spinach liquid as you can. In a medium mixing bowl, add the spinach, ricotta cheese and egg. Stir the mixture with a fork until the ingredients are well blended.
- In a 9-by-13-inch pan, spread a few tablespoons of spaghetti-meat sauce over the bottom of the pan to keep the noodles from sticking to the pan.
- In the pan, begin layering with 4 noodles, which may overlap. On top of the noodles, spread half of the ricotta spinach mixture. then half of the mozzarella cheese and then half of the meat sauce, saving out 1/2 cup of sauce.
- Add a second layer of ingredients on top of the first layer in the same order.
- Top the lasagna with the last 4 noodles, and spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce over the top. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the sauce.
- Bake the lasagna for 35 to 45 minutes, until it begins to bubble around the edges of the pan.
For a low-carb lasagna and to add more veggies to your family's diet, substitute zucchini, sliced 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick, for the noodles. To increase the nutrition in the classic dish, use whole wheat noodles instead of white ones, or add one cup of white Great Northern or cannellini beans to the meat sauce. For a vegetarian lasagna, use 2 cups of beans and omit the meat.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.