Are you looking for an easy, make-ahead lasagna?
Do you have time to cook dinner? Or are you rummaging through your freezer at 5:15 pm, trying to make something magical appear? Lasagna may not seem like an easy answer, but it can be.
My time is often uneven – tons of time in the kitchen on Saturday at 10 am, and almost none on Tuesday at 6 pm. On the weekends, I often have hours at home, while my son has a therapist work with him. During the week, our schedule usually feels more frantic, with driving to occupational therapy and other activities. Make-ahead meals have become part of my dinner solution for this rhythm of life.
On the weekends I assemble and freeze these dinner building blocks (all of which I make lower in lactose using this.) On a weekend, all it takes is a few minutes of hands-on time to have an unprocessed dinner on the table. This one does take a little more weekend time, but it’s worth it- and you can easily make a pair of them!
A Flexible Lasagna
This lasagna recipe is one that my Italian-American husband says rivals his grandma’s (who, may she rest in peace, will never know that I DO use a jar of marinara sauce to jump start it!). This recipe is very forgiving – only have 6 noodles left in your box? Make the layers thicker. Don’t like chicken sausage? Use ground beef or pork. Sometimes I vary the cheese, based on what I have left – throw in part gruyere, or Monterey Jack, or throw some mushrooms in with the sausage…
Lara’s Loaf Pan Lasagna
- 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage casings removed (I use the ones from Trader Joe’s)
- 3 cups marinara sauce I use the organic one from Trader Joe’s, with basil
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (I do take some time to make mine with milk/cream treated with lactase – https://smittenkitchen.com/2011/06/rich-homemade-ricotta/)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated, divided use
- 8 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 2 cups mozzarella shredded
- Brown the sausage in a large skillet; drain and add marinara sauce.
- With a fork, beat the eggs in medium bowl, then add ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Lightly grease two loaf pans with non-stick spray.
- Layer the ingredients in each pan, beginning with sauce, then a noodle, the ricotta mixture, and then the mozzarella.
- Reserve about 1 cup of the sauce mixture to spread on top, followed by additional mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil.
- To bake immediately – bake, covered in foil for 45-55 minutes, at 350 degrees; remove foil and broil for ~ 5 minutes.
- To store – wrap foil in plastic wrap and seal tightly. Freeze. To bake, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap, and then bake as directed above.
Are you looking to replace take out with a homemade meal? A
Meatballs: Easy Make Ahead Meals
The Taco Bar with 2 Types of Homemade Tortillas: Easy Entertaining