Nothing comes close to the flavors of homemade lasagna; portioning a recipe into smaller pans yields multiple meals and makes the laborious process worth every minute.
Homemade lasagna may be one of Z’s favorite dishes to come out of our kitchen. I don’t make it often, and he doesn’t request it often due to the all-day affair that goes into baking a batch. One of the great things about my lasagna recipe is that it can feed an army. We’re left with leftovers for days which is ideal for weeknight reheating, but can get boring towards the end of the pan.
If you follow us on Instagram, you know that I’m currently visiting New York City for the first time. Having been recently asked to make lasagna and knowing that I would be out of town for a few weeks this summer, I decided to find a way to split up my favorite recipe. My go-to recipe perfectly divided into three disposable 8×8-inch aluminum baking pans. We baked one pan a few weeks ago and threw two in the freezer for Z to enjoy while I’m away. I feel much less guilty knowing that Z still has home cooked meals to enjoy while I’m eating my way across the state of New York.
For the pans headed to the freezer, I tightly cover the top with foil and then place the clear plastic lid that comes with them on top. I like to write the reheating directions on the lid for easy reference. For best results, move the lasagna from the freezer to the fridge to thaw the night before you plan on baking. These are also perfect for delivering to families with newborns or anyone else who could use a break from cooking. Trust me, there’s plenty to share!
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 10 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 lb of Crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cans of 28oz San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- ½ pound grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
- 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 package of Barilla lasagna noodles
- Saute onion, garlic, carrots and bell pepper with olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat until all vegetables are soft. Transfer vegetables to a clean bowl and set aside.
- In the same saucepan, brown ground beef over medium high heat until fully cooked. Drain excess fat and transfer beef to another clean bowl and set aside.
- Saute mushrooms in the same saucepan over medium heat until cooked. Add half of the mushrooms to the vegetable mixture and the other half to the meat. Add half of the grated Mozzarella cheese to the meat mixture and set aside.
- Return vegetable mixture to the saucepan and add tomatoes, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium heat for 60-90 minutes until sauce thickens.
- In a clean bowl, mix Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and eggs until fully combined.
- Set out three 8x8 baking pans and your ingredients to prepare an assembly line. Break lasagna noodles to fit the width of your pans.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of each pan. Top with a single layer of noodles - three across works well in the 8x8 pans.
- Spread a thin layer of cheese mixture over the top of the noodles. Top with a layer of meat, a layer of vegetables and a layer of sauce.
- Repeat noodles, meat, vegetables and sauce a second time. Complete with a final layer of noodles, the remaining sauce and the remaining half of the Mozzarella cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-20 minutes until top is bubbly and browned.