28 July 2009

make-ahead lasagna

yesterday my friend sarah invited ambrose to come play with her son elijah for the morning... i seized the moment! i put on one of my trusty aprons, that's how you know i was serious. asher stayed half awake, half asleep so i could get work done, that's how you know he was serious.

then, i consulted my awesome friend angie's trusty directions on the delicious lasagna recipe i begged her for last week:
For the Sauce I just kinda add things to taste, I never measure anything so Hopefully this will make some sense:

1/2-1 onion
1 tbs (ish) of butter
Minced Garlic
Tomato Sauce
Tomato Paste
Dried Parsley
parmaesan cheese
brown sugar

I start by melting butter with oil. Then add some finely chopped onion. I usually let that go until the onions are translucent, when they are about halfway there I'll add some garlic. You don't want to add it too soon cause it tends to burn quickly if there aren't any other ingredients, Next I add the hamburger. I find that doing it after the onions give it some good flavor while it's cooking. Just make sure to keep moving it around so the onions don't burn. and add a little bit of salt and pepper. NEXT add 1-2 cans of regular tomato sauce, 1 can of tomato paste, dry parsley, grated parmaesan cheese, and more minced garlic to taste. Then I like to add about a handful (Or so) of brown sugar to cut the acidity. just keep tasting it, and when it is pleasing to the palate it is DONE!

Cook Lasagna Noodles

Prepare Cheese mixture: This is the part from the box that I used. But I used Cottage cheese because it's MUCH cheaper!! (and at costco you can get A HUGE tub that will make you lots)

I think basically you add 1 egg, and some parsley and some spinach and salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic powder and sometimes I add grated carrots. It's a good way to sneak in veggies if your kids aren't veggie eaters. Luckily mine are. But it's still a good place to add carrots.

Now start with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom, then Noodles, then pretty much whatever you want. Noodles, C.Cheese, Sauce , grated mozzarella noodles OR Noodles sauce, mozzarella, c. cheese, Noodles. I'm not sure if it really matters. I'm pretty sure anything goes! Just do what you want. You are the one eating it! When you get to the top put a little more sauce on and then load on the Mozzarella. Usually you bake it covered in the oven for 25 minutes basically until it's warm throughout then, I like to uncover and bake until the cheese on the top is nice and bubbly and brown.

*and to make it a make-ahead meal: freeze it before baking it. take it out when you know you're gonna have a busy day and throw it in the fridge to defrost. pull it out about an hour before dinner time and throw it in the oven!*

and then i got to work!

and i remembered to make three smaller ones since our family doesnt eat a monster pan of lasagna in one sitting yet (thanks for that tip too ang):
and then i foiled 'em up

and now they are sitting in my freezer, ready for me whenever i need them. whew. that was fun. three meals DONE in a hour flat. next up: enchiladas. stay tuned.


  1. cool! i think i will have to try it with a white sauce

  2. I'm so proud of you Steph! Oh, and a white sauce sounds really good too.

  3. way yo go! do you guys have one of those huge freezers? that would be perfect for your said project!

  4. Yay, Stephanie! If you want another awesome lasagna recipe, go here:


    Use the oven ready lasagna noodles, only use about half as much meat as she says (trust me), and add a bunch of sauteed veggies like grated carrots, onions, spinach, squash/zucchini, etc. Sooooooo good!

    By the way, Asher is darling. I love his chubby belly and cute little baby fingers!

  5. yay!!! and thanks for sharing the recipe, angie and stephanie. :-) i love lasagna. and make-ahead meals are something i wanna start doing for busy days!
    and i love the brown sugar idea. growing up, sometimes i would sprinkle sugar on my spaghetti sauce because i didn't like how sour it was sometimes. nice to know me and some of my sisters aren't weird for doing that...

  6. I'm so impressed! If only my freezer was bigger than the size of my thumb...

  7. Very impressive with a brand new baby!! Kudoos to you. Just wanted to let you know a little trick I have learned...I NEVER cook my lasagne noodles anymore, just cook with aluminum foil and it turns out great. (I have to admit I have never Frozen it I usualy whip it up before church) I am a mother of almost 5 children and time is of the essence.
    Good eatin'
    (Starlyn's adoring sister in-law)


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