This easy lasagna recipe is made with stacked layers of flat think pasta, a ragu meat sauce, cottage cheese, a blend of seasonings, and topped with mozzarella cheese. Baked this casserole in the oven.
Create this Italian recipe for a delcious dinner idea tonight.
How To Make An Easy Lasagna
When I make my lasagna I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese. I'm a huge cheese fan but ricotta cheese is not one of them, this is why I use cottage cheese instead.
The first thing I do is put my cottage cheese into a colander to drain the extra liquids the cottage cheese might have. I'll let this sit and drain while I brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic up.
Stirring the cottage cheese every now and again to get the liquid down from the top of the cottage cheese. I also scrap the bottom of the colander off.
By the time the ground beef is done, there should be enough liquid drained off the cottage cheese.
In a medium-sized bowl, I whisk up 1 egg. Then add the cottage cheese and fresh parmesan cheese with the egg.
Mix these three ingredients together. The egg helps bond the cheeses together. Set this aside.
While I have the cottage cheese draining and the ground beef browning, I'll start my sauce. For the sauce, I use this recipe Easy Marinara Sauce in the Instant Pot.
By the time the ground beef and cottage cheese is done this sauce is ready. Have I told you how much I love my Instant Pot?
If you don't have one I highly recommend the Instant Pot Duo, Amazon has a great price on it right now.
When the sauce and ground beef are done I mix the ground beef into the sauce.
You will also want to put a pot of water on to boil. I normally just fill my large pot up to a certain level. I'm thinking my large pot takes about 12 cups of water, this will depend on how big your pot is.
You will want enough water to cover the noodles. Once the water has come to a full boil add the lasagna noodles and cook until just about done.
They will finish cooking when you put the lasagna together.
How Many Layers
How many layers should lasagna have? For my lasagna, I normally have 9 layers to it. A layer of flat thin pasta, a layer of ragu meat sauce, a layer of cottage cheese, and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
To make the casserole start stacking the layer in a 9x13 baking dish. Before my laters I like to spray the baking dish with cooking spray. Layer one is the meat sauce, this also will help so the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the baking dish. Only put a thin layer of meat sauce for this layer.
Layer two is flat thin pasta. You will have two layers of noodles, I recommend that when you layer each layer go in different directions.
The first of the noodle layers I laid them going the long way of the baking dish. Overlapping the noodles helps to hold the lasagna together.
Top the noodle layer with that egg, cottage cheese, and parmesan cheese mixture. Only use half of this mixture you will need the rest for another layer.
For the next layer add more ragu meat sauce. Since I made my meat sauce from scratch I do have more than what would be in a jarred sauce. So I was able to be generous with the meat sauce on both of the layers.
Top the ragu meat sauce layer with shredded Mozzarella cheese.
Time for more noodles, this time go the width of the baking dish. Again making sure to overlap the noodles to help hold the lasagna together better.
Next add the rest of the egg, cottage cheese, and parmesan cheese mixture. Spreading it out as evenly as you can.
Add another layer of ragu meat sauce next. I like to make sure that I don't see any of the other ingredients when I spread the meat sauce out for this layer. Especially the noodles, they have a tendency to crisp up if not fully covered.
For the final layer add the rest of the mozzarella.
How Long To Bake For
I prefer to cover my lasagna casserole with foil at baking time. This helps the lasagna bake evenly and not dry out. I also like to place my prepared lasagna into the refrigerator for an hour before baking. I find this also helps hold the lasagna together better during baking time.
After the hour in the refrigerator, I set it out to come to room temperature before I place it into a 400 ℉ oven for 45-50 minutes. Of course, you don't have to place it in the refrigerator, this is my preference.
A little tip I have is using cookie sheets to go under casserole dishes. I find this help just in case of spills, no one likes to clean the bottom of their oven.
I also often use foil pans for dishes like this. It makes cleaning up so much easier.
Great Sunday Dinner
This meal is definitely not a quick dinner for the weeknight, I find it's a great meal to have on a Sunday when I have more time to cook.
This classic lasagna pairs well with my French Garlic Cheese Toast recipe.
It is a large meal so what I did is used half of it for our Sunday dinner. Then place the other half in a foil pan that I covered with foil and placed into the freezer for another night.
My Creative Manner is answering the question "what's there to eat" with simple recipe creations ~ Jen
Other My Creative Manner recipes you may enjoy are:
Classic Lasagna Recipe
A simple classic Lasagna recipe made with cottage cheese and ground beef.
- 1 ½ Pounds Ground Beef
- ½ Cup Onion Dice
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Parsley finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- Sauce I used Easy Marinara Sauce in the Instant Pot
- 24 Ounces Cottage Cheese Small Cured
- 1 Large Egg
- ⅓ Cup Parmesan Cheese Fresh
- 12 cups Water depending on the size of your pot, may take less.
- Pinch Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 16 Ounce Box Lasagna Noodles
- 8 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
In a large fry pan brown ground beef, onion, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
For the sauce, I used the recipe that is on the blog for Easy Marinara Sauce in the Instant Pot
Once ground beef is done drain any grease from it. Add the ground beef to the Marinara Sauce.
In a colander drain the liquid from the cottage cheese.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk the egg. Add the cottage cheese and parmesan cheese to the egg, mix well. Set aside.
In a large pot boil the water. Add a pinch of salt and olive oil. When water comes to a full boil add the lasagna noodles. Cook noodles until almost done.
Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Layer starting with sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and refrigerate for 1 hour. Then bring the baking dish to room temperature.
Place baking dish on a cookie sheet and place into a preheated 400℉ oven
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
When layering the noodles have one layer going in one direction and the next layer going in the other direction. This helps hold the Lasagna together better.
For the sauce, I used Easy Marinara Sauce in the Instant Pot