It’s still very cold up here in Michigan, so to help warm us all up I made a big batch of hot, bubbling, cheesy lasagna. This is my second lasagna recipe that I’ve shared on redheadcandecorate.com, but in all honesty, this one completely outshines the earlier version in my opinion (and my husbands). So, I’m going to share one simple secret that I should have thought of with my last recipe that really makes a huge difference when creating the perfect lasagna. The ingredients in this lasagna are also a little different, so be sure to check those out. Here’s the “secret” story on “How to make Redhead’s Lasagna Recipe”…
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This Lasagna is Easy to Share/Freeze, so Make a Big Batch
As some of you might know, our grown kiddos live down the hall from us in a new apartment complex we moved to in September ’22. If you haven’t seen our cute little apartment yet, you can find a page I dedicate to all the projects in our new smaller space here 👉🏻 “APARTMENT LIVING IDEAS” . I still love cooking big dishes for all of us to share, and this lasagna is absolutely perfect for that because it slices up so neatly. Just look how nicely it sliced up just after resting for 15 minutes. My favorite lasagna spatula helps, too. Using a big sharp stainless steel spatula to cut the pieces makes it so much easier to plop a piece in a container for someone you love.
One Simple Secret that Made the Difference in Redhead’s Lasagna Recipe
Okay, so let’s get to that simple secret that in my opinion made this lasagna so much better than the way I use to make it. Okay are you ready???
It’s all about the NOODLES. You see, I’ve been using “oven-ready” lasagna noodles for many years. I’m not sure what they do to those flat noodles 🙄, but it’s supposed to make assembling lasagna easier, which it does. However, the flat, ?pre-cooked?, oven ready noodles don’t give the same texture as old fashioned “curvy” lasagna noodles. We all noticed a huge difference not only in texture, but in flavor. I’m guessing the old fashion noodles soak up the flavors better.
So, if you really want your lasagna to be the best it can be, then buy the lasagna noodles that have the curvy edges and need to be boiled prior to baking. Yes, these old fashioned noodles are a pain, but there’s a reason why they are still around!👌🏻Happy lasagna baking!
STAY TUNED NEXT FRIDAY I’M FINALLY SHARING MY OFFICE IN THE APARTMENT. IT HAS A GORGEOUS NEW HANGING LIGHT FIXTURE!
Redhead’s Lasagna Recipe
- 1 box old fashioned boil lasagna noodles
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, chicken, or turkey (I use ground turkey from Costco and yes it says 1.5 lbs.)
- 5-6 cups of your favorite jar tomato sauce-or fresh is great! (I use Rao's Marinara most often & mix with homemade leftover sauce, too.)
- 15 ounce cottage cheese or ricotta (I use light cottage cheese)
- 1-2 cups whole milk thick shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup fresh parmigiana grated fine
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta in big pot of salted boiling water and mix and separate noodles as they cooking or they will stick. Be sure they are covered with water while cooking.
- Drain noodles 1 minute less (al dente) than the box says, and rest them all separately on a sprayed cookie sheet. Be sure to spray inbetween over lapping layers. This step is crucial while you prep and don't let the noodles stick. Cool and cover with clean towel or plastic wrap while you get the rest ready.
- Saute ground turkey (or whatever you prefer) until fully cooked to 145 degrees. Be sure to add a little salt and pepper and break up the big pieces as it cooks (I use a fork). Drain if there is leftover liquid at end of cook time.
- Add 3 cups of tomato sauce to meat, and set aside for when you assemble the lasgana.
- LAYER IN YOUR 13x9 SPRAYED PAN: 1 cup sauce
- Row of 5 noodles (over lap 4 noodles horizontally and cut that last noodle to fit vertically so you have one full layer of over lapped noodles).
- Spread 1/3 of sauce & meat mixture on noodles.
- Spread 1/3 of cottage cheese or ricotta on top of sauce & meat (it's not easy, but take your time it will spread).
- Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of ffresh grated parmigiana.
- repeat 8-11 for 2 more times.
- Add last row of noodles like you did in step 7.
- Top with sauce that's left (feel free to save some for serving, but I didn't.
- Sprinkle on a lillt more parmigiana and then all of the mozzarella. I used about 1 1/2 cups.
- Cover with tin foil, but spray the inside part of the tin foil with cooking spray to help it not to stick to the cheese.
- Bake 45 minutes covered. Take off tin foil after the 45 minutes are up, and let cook for another 15 minutes (watch it to make sure it doesn't get too brown).
- (Important) Let sit for 15 minutes, then slice.
- Serve with my homemade bread recipe!