Growing up, my mom’s lasagna was always a real hit in our house.
Now, true Italians might not consider it proper Italian cuisine as it isn’t 3 inches high with 4 different kinds of cheeses, and–not even–if you can believe it–Italian sausage!!! I know, such a travesty!
However, I believe that’s why we liked it as kids. My children don’t like Italian sausage–“too spicy!”, and we didn’t either. It fit our very limited budget–even though it was still reserved for special occasions.
A couple of wonderful qualities of this lasagna is that it is cheaper to make (it has only ground beef and not two kinds of meat, and it uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese), and it is definitely easier to make. There is no boiling of noodles and trying to get them out of a pan without breaking–or sticking together–or lining them all up on wax paper. So frustrating! And you don’t even have to buy those special kind of no-boil noodles (if you know what I am talking about!) It just uses regular lasagna noodles that you can get just about anywhere–even Aldi has lasagna noodles now!
I decided to see if I could freeze this lasagna before baking it. I knew that you could bake lasagna and then freeze it. I wanted to prepare the lasagna, not bake it, and then cook it later. So two weeks ago, I made two lasagnas. I cooked one right away for dinner that night, and the other one I froze before cooking it. I just took it out last night and cooked it and it turned out great! In fact, my picture on the recipe card is from my freezer lasagna. So yay for another freezer meal!
- 1 or 1 1/2 pound ground beef browned (I usually add some chopped onions to the beef while it is browning, and then I do not have to add onion flakes below.)
- Add 1 can 16 oz. tomato sauce,
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes
- I just add this mixture to the meat sauce mixture--so I only have 4 mixtures when layering the lasagna.
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 8 ounces plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Alternate the mixtures 3 times with 1/2 pound (9 pieces) of lasagna noodles--not cooked. I put a tiny bit of the meat sauce on the bottom of the 9" x 13" casserole dish and then put on 3 noodles. Then I put on 1/3 of the meat mixture on top of the noodles, 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the meat mixture, 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese mixture on top of the cottage cheese mixture, and finally 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.
When layering is finished, add 1 cup water. Cover with foil.
**If you are freezing this to bake later, do not add the cup of water until right before you bake it.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour and ten minutes. Remove foil and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
**If frozen, defrost before baking, add 1 cup of water, and bake. It may take a few minutes longer depending on how cold it is when it is put in the oven.