So apparently my lasagna was a winner this week; my husband told me I need to write it down so I actually remember how I made it. So, this is probably about the most specific recipe you will get from me in a long time! However, I still didn’t measure anything, so….. 🙂
And if I were on top of things I would have taken pictures, However, it is now all devoured so…maybe next time!
Notes: This recipe was made in 2 small pans (9×11 and 10×10) as we never use up a full 11×13 before I throw it out. Hence only 12 noodles used creatively. You could do it with 18 noodles in 2 larger pans, or half it with 9 noodles in one 11×13. It’s nice and thick and yummy this way though. You could also add another pound of beef, another jar of sauce, and another 16oz of cheese or so and make a triple batch-eat one, freeze one, give one away. Just be aware if you are using the disposable foil pans that you have to get the really deep ones–I didn’t 😦
Also, the idea for the 4 (5) cheeses came from another recipe. However, I haven’t actually used the recipe for several years so unfortunately I don’t remember to whom credit is due 😦
- 2 lb/4 C ground beef, cooked with garlic salt and pepper
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 2 24 oz jars pasta sauce–I used Prego “Flavored with Meat” and “Italian Sausage”
- Italian seasoning, basil, parsley, oregano, etc.
- 8 oz cream creese
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz Italian 5 cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella, divided
- 8 oz shredded parmesan, divided
- Opt: 2 eggs
- If you have not already cooked your beef, get it going in a large skillet. (This is always the part that takes me forever, because I forget to thaw it, so I like to cook mine in bulk, seasoned with garlic salt and black pepper, then just pull it out when I want it and add Italian seasoning or Mexican. If you’re doing that, save out approx. 4 cups for this recipe.)
- Start your water for your lasagna noodles, to cook according to package directions.
- Soften your cream cheese and put it in a nice large bowl with plenty of room for lots more cheese and mixing it up!
- Once your beef is cooked and drained, return to skillet and season with Italian seasonings of your choice. Add your sauces and simmer.
- While beef and noodles are finishing, add the rest of the cheeses to your bowl and mix. (Don’t forget to keep aside half the parmesan and half the mozzarella for later!) I like to do the whole thing in a big microwave-safe bowl so I can soften everything which makes the mixing easier. Note: If you like a firm-baked lasagna, you can add your two eggs here and mix them in well; they will bind and stiffen everything. I prefer it without.
- Set up your assembly line in a way that it works for you. I like to put my pans in the middle, noodles on one side, sauce on one side, and cheese within reach. You may also want a cutting space since with these pan sizes we’re going to have to get a bit creative with our noodles.
- Drain noodles. There is probably an official “right” way to do this, but I almost always make a mess of my noodles. This time worked a bit better–I drained, then rinsed with cold water and left a little water in. Not too hot, not too starchy to work with.
- Now start layering!
- A little sauce on the bottom
- Noodles–approximately 2 per layer, cut as needed to fit your pan. Or 3 normal per layer if you’re using normal pans.
- Big glop of cheese mixture, spread relatively evenly. If you are doing two pans, you should use about 1/4 of your mixture in each pan in this layer.
- A couple big scoops of sauce (2 more rounds to come though, so not too much)
- Remaining cheese mixture
- More sauce–round 3 of 4
- Remaining noodles
- Remaining sauce
- NOW top with the parmesan and mozz you set aside. Yummy!!! Add a little herbs or seasonings on top if you like!
Bake from fresh 1 hr, at 350 covered with foil, then uncovered for 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese. If baking form frozen, add at least 1/2 hr to the bake time.