This meal is perfect for the busy holiday nights coming up.
Becky Low shares how to make ahead lasagna for when you just can’t bring yourself to make dinner.
Make Ahead Lazy Lasagna
1 pound ground beef or sausage
½ small onion, chopped
1-3 cloves minced garlic
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 can (8-oz) sliced mushrooms, optional
1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
1 can (15-oz) peeled whole tomatoes
1-3 tablespoons dried basil or Italian seasoning
8 ounces dry pasta (spaghetti, wide egg noodles, etc)
1 cup whole milk ricotta or cottage cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
Fresh snipped basil, optional garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare two 9×9 baking pans or one 9×13 pan. If preparing lasagna for freezing, snugly line the bottom and sides of pan with foil leaving foil loosely hanging over the sides of pan. (NOTE: Lining the pan is not necessary if baking lasagna immediately.)
Brown ground beef with onion and garlic until cooked through. Drain excess fat as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, optional drained mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes and dried basil. Using a fork or potato masher, crush whole tomatoes and mix meat and tomatoes. Cover and simmer sauce on low heat while pasta cooks.
Combine ricotta (or cottage cheese) with sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup Mozzarella cheese; set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente stage; drain. Place pasta back into cooking pot and add half the sauce; gently toss to combine sauce and pasta. Place half the tossed pasta in bottom of pan(s). Spread with Ricotta cheese mix. Top with remaining pasta. Spread remaining sauce over top of pasta. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
To bake immediately:
cover lasagna with foil and bake 20-25 minutes, remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly and just beginning to brown.
Place lasagna in foil lined baking pan. Fold foil up over top of the lasagna. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. For long term storage, remove frozen lasagna from baking dish and place in a freezer bag, remove air and place back in freezer. To bake, remove lasagna from freezer bag, cover top with foil and place in 350 degree. Bake 60 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly through. Alternate method, thaw lasagna in refrigerator; remove from freezer bag, cover top with boil, bake 50-70 minutes or until hot and bubbly throughout (remove foil last 15-20 minutes for a browned top).
Allow baked lasagna to stand 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with optional fresh snipped basil.
Great way to prepare a fast and comforting homemade dish for use during hectic and busy days. Makes two 9×9 pans or one 9×13 pan. Prepare one pan for dinner tonight, freeze the second pan for later. Each 9×9 pan serves 6.
Becky Low represents The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada. For delicious dairy recipes and nutrition information go to
www.dairycouncilutnv.com or Facebook www.facebook.com/DairyUTNV.
For nutrition research go to www.nationaldairycouncil.org.