Lasagna holds a special place in my heart. However, I don’t think a good lasagna should have to take up all of your time or money! My mom would spend HOURS in the kitchen making her lasagna. She often made two different batches because, well, because I was a picky eater. *gasp* I know, I know. I now suffer with my own picky eater that comes in the form of “the boy”. My wonderful son that often tells me that my dinner smells disgusting. (My mom is laughing at this, I know she is)
Back to lasagna. A good lasagna is often labor intensive and requires a plethora of ingredients that mighty expensive. This is my quick, inexpensive, but delicious version, that I like to call Poor Man’s Lasagna.
Here are the ingredients:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put on a pot of water. I use a big 6 quart soup kettle about 2/3 full. Bring that to a boil. While you are waiting for your pot to boil. (Don’t watch it! haha) Grab a skillet and start browning your meat over medium heat.
Season your ground beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Once the meat is browned, add the jar of spaghetti sauce.Now that your water is boiling, add salt and a healthy glug of olive oil to it. Add your pasta, set a timer for 8 minutes.
Stir your sauce to combine then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer. Stir it occasionally. While your sauce simmers, make your cheese layer. Put cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl. Stir until combined. Gently stir your pasta. We don’t want it to stick.
Is your timer going off? Good! Turn off the heat under your pasta and your sauce. Drain your pasta and lay it out on a baking sheet. I like to put a tea towel under mine.
Assembly time! Grab your 9×9 baking dish and grease it. I use a non stick cooking spray. I start my layers with a small amount of sauce in the dish. Just enough to cover the bottom.
Then, I lay three noodles going lengthwise from left to right.
That is followed up by 1/3 of your cheese mixture.
1/4 of your sauce goes on to finish the layer.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Ok, not really but I wanted to feel like I had done something impressive. Fold over the edges of your noodles and then start your next layer.
Oh, did you see what I did there? I switch the lay of the noodles. The second layer goes lengthwise from top to bottom. Alternate this way until the end.
Once you lay the final layer of noodles, cover it evenly with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle your cheeses over the top. After this, I use a spoon to gently tuck the top noodle ends down into the pan.
Place into your 375 degree over for 20 minutes. While your lasagna is baking, let’s make garlic toast!
Here’s what you need:
Place your butter and seasonings into a small bowl.
Mix them thoroughly, making sure all of the seasonings are evenly distributed.
Place your bread on a cookie sheet and spread the butter liberally on each slice.
Once your lasagna has finished baking, pull it out and just let it sit. It needs to set up. Switch your oven to broil.
Put your toast in the oven but leave the door open a crack. You HAVE to watch this toast. It can burn in the blink of an eye. After about a minute, turn the pan completely around. This promotes even toasting. About 45 seconds later, your toast will be ready to come out.
Slice your lasagna.(I usually slice it into 9 servings) Slice your pieces of toast in half. Plate your delicious dinner!
As you can see, I like to serve mine with a nice little salad but other veggies would be good with this as well.
I hope you and whoever you cook this recipe for will enjoy it. I know my family does!
Poor Man’s Lasagna
Poor Man's Lasagna
- 12 Lasagna Noodles
- 3 quarts water
- olive oil Healthy glug
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb ground beef could also use ground turkey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 24 oz spaghetti sauce I used a meat sauce
- 1 1/3 cups cottage cheese I used fat free
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese I used finely shredded
- 1/4 cup cheese of your choice I used a pizza blend
Preheat your over to 375 degrees.
Bring your water to a rapid boil.
Season and brown your meat in a skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add your jar of sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Stir occasionally.
Salt and oil your water, add the pasta. Boil for 8 minutes, stir gently on occasion to avoid sticking.
Make your cheese mix.
Remove sauce and pasta from heat.
Drain your pasta and lay on a baking sheet.
Grease a 9x9 baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray.
Layer your lasagna: sauce, noodles, cheese mix, sauce three times. (remember to alternate your noodle placement. On the last layer (#4) just the remainder of your sauce.
Top with your cheeses and tuck the noodle ends into the pan.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
2 tbls butter (I use unsalted so I can control the salt)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
4 slices of bread
Mix the butter and seasoning thoroughly.
Spread liberally and evenly onto the bread slices.
Place under the broiler with the oven door slightly ajar.
Watch closely, after about a minute, rotate the pan.
About 45 seconds later, remove the toast.
Should be crispy and golden brown.