With five children, four of them teenagers (3 big boys), feeding this crew dinner, and actually filling their bellies so they aren’t reaching for a cereal bowl at 10pm, is a full time job.
Rarely does it work (the not reaching for cereal part), so I have kind of given up on that, but one thing that always reigns true is that Homemade Lasagna is a family favorite.
The wonderful thing about making Italian style dishes is that once you learn the basic spices, you can’t go wrong. Lasagna is one of those recipes you won’t mess up. Take the ingredients that you have on hand, mix them together, swap something out from the original recipe if you don’t have it in your pantry , add a dash of this and that, and see what happens.
For example, if you love parsley, throw 2 tablespoons into the mix, if you don’t enjoy that flavor, omit it and it won’t make a difference.
I KNOW this philosophy makes many of you nervous, but it’s the essence of learning to cook, and the more you learn to improvise, the easier it will be to create 10 Minute Dinners on your own.
One of the reasons that Homemade Lasagna is on my list of three main dishes our children need to learn before they leave the nest is that if they can learn to make and layer Lasagna, then they can whip together a multitude of baked casserole dishes.
Now, as much as I love taking the time to make Homemade Lasagna 100% from scratch, including homemade sauce and everything, the reality of our schedule hits too often for me to take those extra steps, so I have stream lined my Lasagna prep into less than ten minutes.
Yes, it’s true. Learn how to make easy homemade lasagna in less than ten minutes. That should be a book.
Not only is this the perfect meal for feeding large groups, but you’ll want to make two pans, yes double the recipe for another great C.O.S.T. (Cook Once, Serve Twice) cooking meal. It freezes wonderfully well and honestly, it’s better the next day when the flavors have had more time to get to know each other.
While this recipe whips up quickly even if you have to fry up the ground beef the day of, my 10 Minute Dinner philosophy relies on the premise that you already have some ground beef previously cooked up and ready to go.
Since one of my Freezer Meal Ready packets consists of ground beef, garlic, diced onions and typically peppers, I pull this out to thaw and I’m ready to go for this yummy, comfort food meal in minutes.
So if learning how to make homemade lasagna intimidates you, go no further. This is your recipe, and why not teach your children right along with you? We need to be raising up a new generation of adults that can cook.
*Ten Minute Dinner Life Changing Cooking Tip:
While I note “no-boil” noodles in the recipe, you really don’t need them. I think it’s a big marketing gig and I’ve learned through experience that you may use regular lasagna noodles, and with just this tad bit of extra sauce, they cook up perfectly every time with OUT pre-boiling them.
It’s a TIME SAVER for ever more.
That’s why my One Dish Easy Baked Ziti is so quick as well.
Recipe: How to Make Easy Homemade Lasagna
Summary: This super quick and easy homemade lasagna recipe blends all the best flavors for a comfort food meal every time.
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 cup frozen, diced onions
- 3-4 cloves garlic (or store bought minced)
- 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey or even sausage)
- 2 tablespoons dried basil, oregano,or Pre mixed Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 2 cans/jars of favorite Spaghetti Sauce (approximately 48 ounces.)
- 2 (15 ounce) containers ricotta or cottage cheese – you may mix/match them
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 8 ounce package grated mozzarella cheese (or favorite)
- 12 regular or no boil lasagna noodles* (see note about “no boil”)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- *Heat oil and saute garlic briefly, then add the onion and ground beef and brown.
- *Drain and set aside.
- (Omit these steps if you have the freezer packet ready.)
- Mix the Ricotta, seasonings and eggs together in separate bowl.
- Spread thin layer of the sauce in a baking dish, followed by layers of lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, meat, sprinkling of mozzarella and then more sauce.
- Repeat the layerings twice, ending with the noodles and sauce. You must end with the sauce so that noodles cook fully.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil, add the remaining mozzarella and Parm, then bake approximately 10-15 minute more or until the cheese has fully melted.
- Remove from oven and let sit for at least ten minutes before serving.
- (If it’s so good and you can’t wait, just know it will fall apart on the plate, but taste delicious.)
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Please note: Remember, this is such a flexible recipe. I’ve omitted the eggs before and only used cottage cheese for that layer and it still worked well. You may leave ALL seasonings out if your children lean towards a more bland palette and just let the seasonings from the sauce work their magic or you can kick up the seasonings quite a bit like I do sometimes with red pepper flakes, onion salt, and parsley. I add more than this recipe states only because we enjoy a really full flavored sauce but I always recommend making the basic recipe first, learning it well and then playing with the spice level until it becomes what your family loves.