March 12, 2013

Dinner is Served: My Favorite Lasagna

Once upon a time, I had a little baby named Ella (of course, her name wasn't really Ella, but that's not the point of this story).

My fabulous friend Kristen offered to bring over dinner the day we got back from the hospital, and of course we accepted. And this was after she'd brought us the world's very best cupcakes in the hospital. She is an excellent friend.

When she showed up with dinner, though, Bart and I were both a bit dismayed to see that she'd made lasagna. Neither of us are huge fans of lasagna, particularly homemade lasagna.

Except this lasagna? Was incredible. Bart and I ate the entire pan by ourselves (and we're not talking a wimpy little pan, we're talking the full 9x13 pan) in just a couple of days.

Finally, I got the recipe from her this past year, and Bart and I have rejoiced to have lasagna that's actually worth eating.

And, better yet, it's a totally easy recipe. No fussy steps, no strange ingredients. 

(recipe from Kristen
Makes one 9x13 pan

1 lb. hamburger
garlic salt to taste
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 can tomato soup
1-2 cups water (depending on how thick/thin you like your sauce - I usually err on the side of thick)
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
pepper to taste
8 lasagna noodles
1 lb grated mozzarella cheese
1 pint cottage cheese (large or small curd)
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, season hamburger with garlic salt and cook over medium heat until browned. Drain excess fat from skillet. 

Add remaining sauce ingredients to the hamburger and simmer 10 minutes or so. 

In a large saucepan, boil noodles until almost cooked (under cook them a little because they will continue to cook in the oven when baked).

In your 9x13 pan, layer:
Sauce (just a very thin layer)
4 Noodles
1/2 of the sauce
Cottage Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
4 Noodles
Remaining sauce

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly.


  1. I never liked lasagna either until I had some that was made with cottage cheese. Yummy!

  2. I found some important keys to lasagne

    1. Really thick sauce. Otherwise the whole thing is a sloppy mess.
    2. If you can find them--homemade SHEETS of lasagne noodles that lay in the pan and cover everything. Look for them at a fancy grocery store maybe.
    3. Let it sit for a good 20 minutes, covered, after baking before you try to cut into it.

  3. This is almost identical to my mother-in-law's recipe, and it's my favorite lasanga ever. The cottag cheese is soooo good! We never pre-cook our noodles, though. We just slap them in the pan un-cooked, and after about an hour in the oven, they're cooked through. We also like to take off the foil and broil it for the last few minutes of cook time to get the chees on top nicely browned. Yum!

  4. Yum. So glad my lasagna was blog-worthy! Totally forgot about those hospital baby cakes. Thanks for being an excellent friend yourself!

  5. I'm...sort of shocked you don't like lasagna. So glad you were able to make amends. My favorite lasagna actually doesn't even use red sauce - it has a ricotta sauce and an artichoke heart filling. Delish.

  6. I only love homemade lasagna and only if I make it. That's because I use hamburger AND Italian sausage. Yum. Glad you've come over to the dark side.

  7. What is it that you normally don't like about lasagna? My favorite is my mom's recipe, which sounds a lot like this one. (I never order lasagna when we go out.)

  8. It's the cottage cheese! I hated lasagna till I had the cottage cheese kind (my MIL makes it) and then it's my favorite.

  9. I am not a fan of lasagna either. I'd prefer straight cheese, no red sauce. Haha. But my husband loves it so maybe I should give this one a try.

  10. Wonder what weird stuff you've had in lasagne, because this is almost the same recipe my Italian aunt (and therefore my mother) made when I was growing up and the basic recipe I still use. One in a great while, I've mixed a bit of mild Italian sausage with the hamburger or added mushrooms but that is all. It is good meatless, too.

  11. I think the cheese is definitely key. My aunts is my favorite and she uses goat cheese.

  12. My mom always made lasagna with cottage cheese. It's good.

  13. Came back, pest that I am. Wonder if you had veggie lasagne. It can get soggy, or sometimes people add too much spinach and/or zucchini which can make it bitter. I forgot that I sometimes put spinach in my lasagne. The trick if you use frozen spinach, is to thaw it and drain it really well.

  14. Just put this in the fridge for tomorrow night. Turns out I can't read a recipe, cause I didn't have enough tomato sauce, and half the mozz I was supposed to have. Fortunately I had a package of 5 cheese italian blend, so I went with that for the missing mozz. There is a LOT of cheese in this!


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