Beef, Spinach & Cheese Lasagna

It’s only recently come to my attention that not everyone makes lasagna the same way… I know… Shocker, right? 

For whatever reason, I just thought that the way I made it was THE recipe for lasagna.  Like there were no alternative ways…

So, since I stayed up late the other night making 4 lasagna’s for the freezer, I thought maybe I’d give you a run down of how I make my version of lasagna… Just in case you’re one of those weird people who makes it differently than I do.  šŸ˜‰

Before Zeek was born, I started making big batches of lasagna.  I had 3 or 4 in the freezer when he was born.  Once we started using them for dinners (after he was born), I really began to appreciate “freezer meals”.  (Read: home-cooked freezer meals).  So, I kept making them in batches of 3 or 4 so that I would always have some in the freezer for the days that I didn’t feel like making dinner, or if we were having some last minute guests over to eat. 

Start out with this:

Brown ground beef (amount used with vary.  I plan on 1lb per 9×11 pan).

Once brown, add chopped onions, chopped mushrooms and minced garlic.  (Or don’t.  Add whatever you want. :))

Turn on low heat and let it all simmer together for a bit.

Fill a pot with water to boil your noodles.  I boil my noodles, even if it says on the box that you don’t have to – even if it’s “oven ready”.  I made this once without boiling my noodles (and without freezing) and I had crunchy noodles in places.  Ruined the experience for me!

Tip:  Add a little bit of olive oil to your pan.  It helps keep your noodles from sticking together!

While your noodles are boiling, mix together your cheeses and spinach.
I used two 16 oz tubs of Ricotta cheese for two 9×11 pans, one 8×8 pan, and one large bread pan (maybe 8×3 or 4?).   Mix one tub of Ricotta with one package of pre-frozen spinach (thawed and drained, prior to mixing), 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 package of shredded cheddar cheese.

Spread enough tomato sauce in the bottom of each pan, enough to cover the bottom.  (This helps keep noodles from sticking to the pan after baking!).

Once your noodles are cooked, line the pan with them.

Add a layer of the beef mixture.  Then cover it with more tomato sauce.

Line with another layer of noodles.  Add a layer of the cheese mixture.

Add another layer of more sauce, more noodles, and then top with mozzarella shredded cheese.

This is about all the cheese I do on top when freezing.  When I pull out a frozen lasagna and have baked it for about an hour (at 350), I top with more cheese and then make a tin foil tent to cover the lasagna to prevent the edges from crisping too much or cheese from burning.

Once the cheese is on it – cover and freeze!!  I seriously love doing it this way.  I like having a couple big ones and a couple small ones.  Then I have small for if it’s just Skyler and I at home, or bigger for when we have visitors.  (Or bigger for if we feel like having leftovers!).

The lasagna noodles come from Trader Joe’s and they are my favorite.  They are just the perfect size for all of my pans that I use.  I hate the longer noodles because I always end up having to “cut and paste” noodle chunks to make them fit in my pans.

See, they even fit perfect in my bread pan that I like to use!

And there you have it.  My favorite lasagna.  Well, let’s face it.  Lasagna is my favorite, no matter what or how.  It’s always good.  šŸ™‚  This is just the way I make it!

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Do you make it “weird”?  Got any good lasagna recipe’s you want to share with me?!

Love, K

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