What’s not to love about lasagna? It never disappoints…saucy, cheesy (in my case, spicy) deliciousness. I have discovered a secret ingredient for my lasagna recipe, too. I substitute one of the middle meat sauce layers with Alfredo or Vodka pasta sauce. It just seems to elevate the dish. You should try it.
A quick explanation on the difference between regular lasagna & “oven-ready” lasagna. Basically, oven-ready means you don’t have to cook the pasta before layering & baking it. That’s why it is sometimes called no-boil lasagna. It is also usually a bit thinner so it doesn’t have to be cooked before baking. You can turn any recipe into a “no-boil” recipe though. Simply add an extra cup or so of sauce and lengthen the cook time by 10 or 15 min. This will give the pasta enough time to cook in the oven.
Most people use ricotta cheese in their lasagna recipes. It overwhelms the dish in my opinion, so I use cottage cheese. I mix grated parmesan with the cottage cheese together, and that’s the only cheese layered in the dish. Until the provolone topping, that is, another requirement. With a few minutes of baking remaining, I layer slices of provolone on top & cook until bubbly.
As you will learn, I usually cook with ground turkey and not ground beef. It may take a meal or 2 to get used to the texture, but it doesn’t matter in most dishes, including lasagna (in my opinion). I always cook an onion with the meat, and sometimes I layer in some extra vegetables (such as fresh spinach or cooked red pepper).
This one takes awhile but it will be worth the effort! Or try my short-cut Skillet Lasagna.
1 LB ground turkey (or beef)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar pasta sauce + 1 cup water
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano to taste
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Alfredo or Vodka pasta sauce
Provolone cheese, sliced or shredded
- In a large skillet, cook meat & onion until meat is brown. Add garlic, pasta sauce, water & seasonings to taste; stir & heat through.
- Meanwhile, combine eggs, cottage cheese & Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Mix well.
- Evenly spread 1/3 of the meat sauce along the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Top with lasagna noodles, half the cottage cheese mixture and 1/3 of the meat sauce.
- Layer lasagna noodles, Alfredo or Vodka sauce & then remaining cottage cheese mixture.
- Top with one more layer of noodles & remaining sauce; cover tightly with foil.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 60 min. Remove foil, top with provolone cheese and cook for an additional 5 – 10 min, or until cheese is bubbly. Let stand 10 min & serve.
Because it’s just the two of us, I sometimes make this in a smaller dish and reduce ingredients accordingly (hence the picture).
Enjoy! Printer-friendly recipe here Oven-Ready Lasagna