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This homemade lasagna recipe is absolute comfort food in a casserole dish.
At some point, we all need some comfort food. Like it or not, food can feel reassuring and relaxing when life goes sideways. If life is throwing you a curveball right now, a good, cheesy, homemade lasagna can be just the thing to help out in that department.
INGREDIENTS TO LASAGNA
Homemade lasagna is pretty versatile stuff. You can pick so many different veggies and sauces to use! Everything from butternut squash with white sauce (like this butternut squash lasagna) to mixed veggies and red sauce (like this vegetarian lasagna). This recipe leans more towards the traditional meat with veggies and red sauce.
You can substitute beef here if you prefer it. I just personally don’t care for it much, so I don’t use it often. But it’s an easy substitution here in a 1:1 ratio.
The sauce you use should be one you really like. Mini Chef has a favorite marinara sauce, so I usually use that. But any tomato-based sauce will work here. So use what tastes best to you.
The vegetables are interchangeable. I wanted to use mushrooms here, but didn’t have any. No big deal! Have carrots and yellow squash? Switch them out with the zucchini and spinach! No big deal! Almost any veggies you want to add here will be tasty. So use what you have, even if they are canned.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE LASAGNA
The trick to making lasagna easy is to look at your lasagna as having three sections. The pasta, the filling and the cheese. Make your cheese blend first and set it aside. The make the filling while the pasta cooks. This order will make things more efficient and keep everything organized. Once your three sections are ready, you’ll be ready to assemble the lasagna.
TIPS FOR THE FINAL LAYER
I always oil my casserole dish and put a layer of noodles down first. This is pretty traditional and keeps your lasagna together from the bottom. But the top layer has some wiggle room.
Always finish things off with a layer of noodles and top that with cheese. That’s a given. But at this point, you have two options…
You can cover the casserole dish with foil that you remove in the last ten minutes of baking for a soft top, or you can leave the foil off for until the last 20 minutes of cooking and then put the foil on at the end just to keep things from getting too brown. This will give you crunchy noodles on top.
I’ve made it both ways and kids usually like the crunch factor. Adults, not so much. The choice is yours.
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HOMEMADE LASAGNA RECIPE:
Homemade Lasagna Recipe
- Casserole dish (should fit your noodles)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1 cup grated mild cheddar (or mozzarella)
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 9 oz. box lasagna noodles
- 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
- 1 cup chopped red onions
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tbsp. dried chives
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 tbsp. ground rosemary
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 ½ cups marinara (or other tomato based sauce)
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
- Mix the three cheese together and set aside.
- Set to cook to package directions.
- Brown the meat in the oil with the onions.
- Once browned, stir in all the spices and salt.
- Lastly, stir in the marinara, zucchini and spinach.
- Cook briefly until the spinach is just wilted. Don't overcook the spinach. It's okay if the veggies are not fully cooked at this point. They will finish in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Set yourself up so you have all three portions of your lasagna set up assembly style with your casserole dish at the end.
- Spray the casserole dish and lay down your first layer of noodles.
- Layer on half of the meat filling and top that with a light coat of the cheese. (slightly less than 1/3)
- Top with noodles and repeat the last of the meat filling and cheese, again using slightly less than a 1/3 of the cheese blend.
- Finish with noodles on top and the rest of the cheese on top.
- *See notes above on using foil now or later.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- *Again, see notes above on foil for properly finishing off your lasagna.
- Remove lasagna from oven and allow to cool a bit before cutting into it.
- Serve with a green salad on the side for a complete meal.