Lasagna. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love layers and layers of tender broad noodles, delicious meaty sauce, and oodles of cheese? I haven’t found one yet.
When I first started making lasagna, the part I hated was boiling the big, slippery noodles and having another messy pot to wash. So I just didn’t make it much, how sad!
Then one day, I rebelliously declared, “to heck with boiling noodles!” I marched into my kitchen, came up with a new way to make it, and I never turned back. It turns out perfect every time and I’ve been making it this way for over 30 years!
People often tell me it’s one of their most-used recipes in my cookbook. I hope it’ll become your go-to way of making lasagna!
Make A Quick and Simple Sauce With Your Favorite Brand
Doesn’t every family has a favorite spaghetti sauce in a jar? Heaven knows there are lots to choose from. I often use Ragu spaghetti sauce flavored with meat. It’s great! We also love Cascone’s spaghetti sauce from right here in Nebraska. Both are good choices!
Brown one and a half pounds of hamburger and break it up in very small chunks. You can use sausage for all or part of the meat if you like. Be sure to drain any excess fat from the meat especially if using sausage.
Reserve about a 2 cups of sauce and pour the rest in with the meat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
How To Make Lasagna Cut Into Perfect Tall Servings
While that’s simmering, put together the cheese layer. It’s the secret for lasagna that stands up when you cut it. Why? Cottage cheese is blended with eggs and grated Parmesan cheese to make a thick mixture that stabilizes the layers as it bakes.
Then grate some mozzarella cheese, lots of it!
And Let The Layering Begin
Spray or grease the pan. I love making lasagna in my Pampered Chef stoneware pan but you can sure use a metal or glass pan if you like. Pour some of the reserved spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan and tilt it around until you get a thin even layer of sauce.
Next, put on the first layer of noodles. Break the noodles as needed so they fit. Now put about 1/3 of the meat sauce on top of the noodles. Next, add about 1/3 of the egg-cheese mixture and spread it out.
Then a nice layer of mozzarella, using about 1/3 of the cheese.
And add a second layer. Noodles, sauce, cheese mixture, mozzarella. On the top layer, noodles first, cheese mixture next, then sauce, then mozzarella. We want the meat sauce near the top then blanketed with the mozzarella! Read that again if you need to!
When you come to the top layer, use the remaining sauce you reserved to pour in any dry-ish gaps. Use the remaining Parmesan to sprinkle on top and add some parsley for color if you like.
Get Your Beautiful Lasagna Ready For The Oven
At this point, the lasagna can go to the refrigerator for a day or two until you’re ready to bake it. Put a layer of plastic film on the lasagna first. The acid in the spaghetti sauce can actually eat a hole in the foil if you don’t!
When you bake it, remove the foil and throw away the plastic wrap. Then, before you put the foil back on, spray it with cooking spray so the cheese doesn’t stick.
Bake in a 350-degree oven, covered, for about an hour. Then uncover and bake another 15-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and browned to your liking. Finally, let it sit 15 minutes or so before cutting into 12 beautiful servings!
OK, I bet you’re wondering, can’t I just bake it now? You can, I have and it works, but overnight is best.
If you just can’t wait to bake it, add about half a cup or so of water to the reserved spaghetti sauce that you use to fill in the gaps at the end of the layers. The extra liquid will help the noodles cook up nice and tender.
Easy Overnight Lasagna
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, can use part of all sausage if you prefer.
- 2 jars, 26 ounces each, of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Cheese and Cheese-Egg Mixture
- 1 tall carton small curd creamed cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 2 to 3 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 large box regular lasagna noodles
- Brown meat and drain excess fat.
- Reserve 2 cups spaghetti sauce and set aside.
- Add spaghetti sauce to meat and simmer about 15 minutes. Add seasoning to taste such as instant minced onion, garlic, seasoned salt, or pepper if desired.
- Grease or spray a deep 13" x 9" pan.
- Combine 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, 2 eggs, parsley, and cottage cheese in a bowl and mix well.
- Put a thin layer of reserved spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Place a layer of dry, uncooked noodles on the sauce layer.
- Pour 1/3 of sauce over noodles, add 1/3 of the cheese-egg mixture, and spread it out.
- Spread 1/3 of grated mozzarella cheese on top.
- Place another layer of noodles and repeat sauce, cheese-egg mixture, and mozzarella.
- Place the third layer of noodles, the cheese-egg mixture, then sauce, then mozzarella.
- Use remaining reserved sauce to pour around edges of noodles.
- Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over mozzarella and garnish with parsley if desired.
- Cover pan with plastic film, then foil.
- Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Remove foil, throw away the plastic film. Spray foil with cooking spray to keep the cheese from sticking and cover pan tightly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour then remove foil and continue baking 15-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and the desired brownness.
- Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 457Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 854mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 36g
I hope your family will love this lasagna as much as ours does. It’s always a special occasion when this is on the menu. What’s your family’s special favorite dish?
All six of our grandkids wolf it down so when it’s a big family dinner, I often make two pans so there are some leftovers to take home! It reheats beautifully! Enjoy!
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
Sending love. Betty Streff (GB)