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Make-Ahead Lasagna

Make-Ahead Lasagna

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Today was one of those days. It was rainy and gloomy and I felt it all day.  On most mornings during the week, Noah and I walk to the bus stop that’s around the corner from our house.

When it’s sunny out, the sidewalk on our side of the street is in the sun and the sidewalk on the other side of the street is in the shade.

We walk on the sunny side – I always tell Noah that I prefer the sunny side of life.

Make-Ahead Lasagna

This morning, Noah wanted to know where the sunny side of life was. It was nowhere to be found.

Since it was still rainy and drizzly this afternoon, I drove to the bus stop to wait for Noah’s bus so that he wouldn’t have to walk in the rain. (I did the same for Emily, but she gets home about an hour earlier than Noah.)

When we pulled into the garage, Noah asked me if there was anything he could help me with. Even though it was a gloomy day, he still wanted to help.

So, Noah helped me make a lasagna after school this afternoon.

Noah helping Make Lasagna

This lasagna recipe is super easy to put together. It uses no-bake lasagna noodles, jarred spaghetti sauce, and ricotta.

Lasagna Ready to Bake

I thought Noah did a great job helping. We made quite a bit of a mess but it was worth it to spend some time with Noah and learn some valuable life lessons.

Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.

Make-Ahead Lasagna

Key to Success #1 – Use Creamy Ricotta

I’m a big fan of ricotta cheese in lasagna. I know that some people like to use cottage cheese, but I’m firmly in the ricotta camp.

The ricotta layer in this make-ahead lasagna is ricotta cheese, two eggs, some Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. That’s it.

Lightly beat the eggs with the black pepper then stir in the ricotta cheese. Finally, add in the Parmesan cheese and stir well.

Make-Ahead Lasagna

Key to Success #2 – Add Extra Spice

Want to know my secret to getting a homemade taste from a jarred spaghetti sauce? Add extra spices!

Have you ever heard of McCormick Perfect Pinch seasoning? It’s a combination of classic Italian herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil.

You can find it at any grocery store. I add a little to the sauce then shake a bit more over the top.

Add the McCormick Perfect Pinch seasoning to the spaghetti sauce and ground beef mixture.

Make-Ahead Lasagna

Key to Success #3 – Layer it All Up

First, I should mention that you’re going to need a deep lasagna dish for this recipe. I have several colors of the Fiesta Lasagna Baker and they work perfectly. This blue one is one of my favorites.

The first layer to go into the lasagna baker is about a cup of tomato sauce mixture. This layer is important because it gives some moisture on the bottom of your lasagna and prevents your noodles from ending up crunchy.

Lasagna Layers – Starting from the bottom

  1. Tomato sauce/meat
  2. Lasagna Noodles
  3. Ricotta mixture
  4. Tomato sauce/meat
  5. Mozzarella
  6. Lasagna Noodles
  7. Ricotta mixture
  8. Tomato sauce/meat
  9. Mozzarella
  10. Lasagna Noodles
  11. Tomato sauce/meat
  12. Mozzarella

Count them up. That’s 12 layers of delicious flavor.

Make-Ahead Lasagna

Key to Success #4 – Bake Covered

Because this Make-Ahead Lasagna uses the dry no-bake lasagna noodles, it’s going to need a long bake time in the oven.

To keep your lasagna from drying out, it’s important to cover the lasagna with foil before baking it. Bake the lasagna covered for about an hour then remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted.

You can also use regular lasagna noodles that are precooked. The cook time does not change. You would just layer the precooked noodles in place of the no-cook lasagna noodles.

I thought Noah’s lasagna turned out just wonderfully.

I think he was even impressed with himself. Look at how handsome and proud he is!

Noah Lasagna

He likes his lasagna with a slice of cheese toast.

Noah Ready to Eat Lasagna

Here’s Noah’s recipe. If you try it, Noah wants you to let us know how it turns out for you.

Save this Make-Ahead Lasagna Recipe to your favorite Pasta Recipes board or your Kid-Approved Recipes board.

Make-Ahead Lasagna
Make-Ahead Lasagna

Make-Ahead Lasagna

Yield: 12 pieces
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Having guests over for dinner? You can make this recipe in advance and just pop it in the oven before your guests arrive. It's delicious and hearty and a sure crowd-pleaser. Serve with breadsticks and a side salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 20 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 12-15 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 6 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until browned; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce. In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, and pepper.
  2. Spread 1 cup meat sauce into a greased 13X9 inch baking dish. Layer with 4-5 noodles, half the ricotta mixture, 1 cup meat sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles, meat sauce, and mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Notes

Lasagna can be baked immediately

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 593Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 18gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 1110mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 38g

Did you make this?

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Check out these other fantastic recipes from GraceLikeRainBlog.com.

Do you prefer lasagna with ricotta or cottage cheese? Clearly, I’m in the ricotta camp.

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Make-Ahead Lasagna

Mitzi

Saturday 9th of November 2019

Can you freeze for 1 week? Also freeze before baking?

Jennifer

Saturday 9th of November 2019

Yes, you can freeze for 1 week. I would recommend freezing before you bake and letting it thaw in the refrigerator overnight or longer before baking.

Emily

Wednesday 28th of February 2018

Yum I want to eat it.

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