Meaty, Saucy Lasagna

Pinit

I rarely encounter a lasagna I don’t like; I mean, how can you go wrong with any combination of pasta, meaty marinara sauce, and cheese? This particular lasagna recipe is not only a family favorite, but is the dish I make to take to friends’ houses when Southern Baptist protocol calls for a food visit (birth of a baby, death in the family, etc.). The best part about this lasagna is that it is easier than many other recipes because it calls for no-boil, oven-ready noodles and marinara sauce in the jar. It’s great to make-ahead and also freezes well.

 Meaty, Saucy Lasagna

Adapted from Kraft’s “Simply Lasagna” Recipe

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (8oz) no-boil, oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 2 24-oz jars marinara sauce
  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 and 1/4 cups Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Italian Seasonings and Tony Chachere cajun seasoning (optional)

Recipe Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 and brown the ground beef in either a large skillet or saucepan.

Once browned, drain grease from the eat and return to the skillet.  Season beef with Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning if you know what’s good for you!  My husband’s cajun Aunt Shari so generously shared this wonderful secret with me.  This stuff is good on everything:  pot roasts, chicken, steak, etc.

It just adds so much flavor!  I just sort of eyeball it…too much = too spicy.

Then, add the Italian seasoning of your choice.  I didn’t have a mix, so I generously sprinkled in some basil and oregano.

Lastly, I add a rather large tablespoon of minced garlic. You could mince a clove of garlic yourself, but I like to buy it in the jar.

Give everything a good stir, then add your sauce.

I like to add both jars of sauce.  As you can see, it filled my little skillet to the brim, so be careful!

While your sauce, seasonings, and meat get friendly with each other on low heat, prepare the rest of the lasagna.  In a small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg, and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Then, add about 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella.

You are now ready to assemble the lasagna!  Congratulations; you’ve come so far!

Ok, but really, assembling can be so fun.

Begin by spreading a little bit of sauce into a 9×13 pan or, preferably, a lasagna pan.  Make sure the sauce covers the bottom.

Then, add your first layer of noodles, leaving just a bit of room between noodles.

Then, spread about 1/3 of cheese mixture throughout pan.

Actually, this can be a little tricky, so I like to spread the cheese onto the noodles with a spoon BEFORE placing noodles in pan…like dees:

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter how the cheese gets on the noodles.  Just GET.THE.CHEESE.ON.THE.NOODLES.

Got it?

After your first layer of noodles and cheese is complete, spread more sauce across first layer.  Don’t hold back; the more sauce, the better!  Repeat this process two more times.  After the last layer of sauce has been spread throughout the pan, cover the top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, removing foil after 30 to let the top layer of cheese get all bubbly, like THIS:

How mouth-watering does that look?  It smells and tastes even better!  Allow to sit at least 15 minutes before serving.  I do warn you:  it is VERY saucy and cheesy, so the longer is has to set up, the better.  My family and I have decided that it is almost more delicious leftover (even up to a week after I make it!) than it is right out of the oven.

 

Pinit

 

Regardless of when you serve it, I believe you will understand why I give this lasagna 5/5 herbs!

Meaty, Saucy Lasagna
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg (8oz) no-boil, oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 2 24-oz jars marinara sauce
  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 and 1/4 cups Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Italian Seasonings and Tony Chachere cajun seasoning (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 and brown the ground beef in either a large skillet or saucepan.
  2. Once browned, drain grease from the eat and return to the skillet. Season beef with Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning.
  3. Then, add the Italian seasoning of your choice. I didn't have a mix, so I generously sprinkled in some basil and oregano.
  4. Lastly, add a tablespoon of minced garlic.
  5. Give everything a good stir, then add your sauce. I like to add both jars of sauce.
  6. While your sauce, seasonings, and meat get friendly with each other on low heat, prepare the rest of the lasagna.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg, and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
  8. Then, add about 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella.
  9. You are now ready to assemble the lasagna.
  10. Begin by spreading a little bit of sauce into a 9x13 pan or, preferably, a lasagna pan. Make sure the sauce covers the bottom.
  11. Then, add your first layer of noodles, leaving just a bit of room between noodles.
  12. Then, spread about 1/3 of cheese mixture throughout pan.
  13. After your first layer of noodles and cheese is complete, spread more sauce across first layer. Repeat this process two more times.
  14. After the last layer of sauce has been spread throughout the pan, cover the top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  15. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, removing foil after 30 to let the top layer of cheese get all bubbly.
  16. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

 


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One comment on “Meaty, Saucy Lasagna

  1. Mmmm, so glad Sister Spice has this in her repertoire! We get to reap the benefits!

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