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Traditional Lasagna: Two Ways (Freezer Friendly)

What’s better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that’s freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!

What's better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that's freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!I’ve been wanting to share this recipe since I first made it back in January, but alas that first trimester of my pregnancy majorly kicked my rear in ways that made me barely able to get out of bed some days. I was just so tired and nauseous!

But, I’m in that good ol’ second trimester for a few more weeks still and my energy is back and while most foods don’t sound particularly good to me, they don’t make me sick either. Even though we’re in the spring swing of things, at least for us, most days we’re still seeing a lot of rain, grey clouds and some colder temps. Except for today. Today, it’s in the 70’s and beautiful. But come Thursday, I hear that’s going to change.What's better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that's freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!

Back to the recipe – so, I made this lasagna back in January when Josh was ripping up the carpets to install the laminate flooring and it was amazing! I knew there were going to be a few days when my kitchen was going to be hard to cook in and I wanted something that I could prep a few days in advance and then throw in the oven when we were ready for dinner!

This lasagna delivered! Definitely an evening time saver that also tasted really delicious (even to me) and the leftovers reheated really well.

But there was something missing. One traditional lasagna like this isn’t hard to make, it’s just time consuming, but making two lasagnas in the same amount of time at the same time…now that’s what I’m talking about.What's better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that's freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!

The idea behind this recipe is that it is really easy to double and I strongly suggest that you do that, though you don’t have to. The recipe card below DOES NOT reflect the doubled amounts, but I do share how you can make this lasagna two ways.

One way is going the route of making your own red sauce and using ricotta for the white mixture. The other way is a faster version, that may also be a bit less expensive for you based on what you have on hand or what’s on sale at the store, because it uses cottage cheese and jarred pasta sauce. I will say though that both versions can be frozen and reheated later on. It just depends on the route you want to go. Both versions are delicious!What's better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that's freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!

Like I said, if you’re going to go the route of making a traditional lasagna, go ahead and save yourself some work later on and just make two of them. Grace had one of her friends over for a sleepover back in March and lasagna is her favorite dinner, so I made the two then! One we ate with Grace’s friend and I froze the other. It came in real handy when we got back from Texas and hadn’t gone grocery shopping and we were needing some dinners to fill in the weekday gaps until I could make it to the store! I just took the one lasagna out of the freezer, let it thaw, baked it at its usual temperature – it was good and made my life easier!What's better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that's freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!

And speaking as one pregnant woman to others, it’s not a bad idea to have a few freezer meals on hand for backup. I’m not saying you need a ton, but a few will make your lives a little easier once that new baby enters the house! I know I’ll have one of these lasagnas on standby for when our little one gets here!

Traditional Lasagna: Two Ways (Freezer Friendly)

Traditional Lasagna: Two Ways (Freezer Friendly)

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

What's better than a tasty recipe for traditional lasagna? One that's freezer friendly with two different ways to make it (quick or from scratch)!

Ingredients

"From Scratch" Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained (stewed tomatoes work well too)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 dried lasagna noodles
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 16 oz loaf or ball Mozzarella cheese, sliced into 18 rounds
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for topping - optional
  • 2 tbsp Fresh chopped Italian parsley for topping

Quick Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 (26 oz) jar really good marinara sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (8 oz) package shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for topping, optional
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. To make the homemade sauce, in a large saucepan brown beef and Italian sausage, onion, and garlic until meat is cooked through. Drain, any grease.
  3. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and pepper into meat mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to the box's directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  5. To make the filling, combine egg, ricotta cheese, and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  6. In a 9x13 baking dish, spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Layer half of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the dish. Spread with half of the ricotta mixture, half of the red sauce, and layer 9 of the sliced mozzarella rounds over each strip of noodles. Repeat layers. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  7. Place baking dish on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the broil setting on for the last 3-5 minutes to brown and bubble the sliced mozzarella cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. ***If you're making the quick lasagna version, sauté the onion and garlic until softened and pour in the pasta sauce and heat for 15 minutes. Instead of using the ricotta cheese, combine the filling using cottage cheese instead. Layer the ingredients as you would in the above directions, using shredded mozzarella cheese instead of sliced mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the broiler on the last 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese a little. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Notes

If you want to prepare this in advance without freezing, it can be assembled prior to baking for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed in the above directions.

If you want to freeze this, assemble lasagna as directed above and cover baking dish tightly with foil (label the foil so you know what it is) and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, place in fridge for 5-6 hours and then set out at room temperature 20-30 minutes before you want to bake it. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Turn the broiler on the last 5 minutes to bubble and brown the mozzarella cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 27g

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