I had a hankering for lasagna and figured I’d whip up a new one. White! Lasagna is actually one of my favorites to make at home. I don’t eat beef so I rarely can order it out. I love the pasta/meat/cheese/sauce combinations. It is so compact, almost efficient (though that’s a terrible way to describe food).
I’m cooking for 2 and we like leftovers for lunches, but this will make 1 very large (13×9) or 2 smaller (9×9) lasagnas. I always make 2. Note: no-cook lasagna noodles work best when using a square/rectangular pan. I learned that the hard way when I used an oval baking dish once. Result: jigsaw puzzle!
When I make two, we eat one now (with leftovers) and freeze one for a-“dinner’s ready!”-surprise some busy night. Lasagna seems like kind of a lot of work for only a few servings if you were to half the recipe.
1 pound lasagna noodles
1 pound ground chicken
¾ pound ground pork/sausage/ground beef/ground turkey
6 oz fresh baby spinach, chopped
12 oz ricotta
3 tbs Parmesan, grated or shredded
2 tbs Italian seasoning
2 tbs garlic, chopped
8 oz shredded mozzarella
8 oz shredded white cheddar
16 oz light alfredo sauce
1 cup milk
salt & pepper
Undercook lasagna noodles according to package (boil for 10 minutes if package says 12 minutes, or don’t cook if using bake-ready/no-cook pasta).
While water is boiling, cook pork and chicken until cooked through, draining any excess grease off. Cook separately to avoid over-cooking the chicken.
While meat is cooking, mix ricotta, Parmesan, egg, garlic, and Italian seasoning together.
Mix alfredo, milk, salt, and pepper together.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray baking dish(es) with non-stick spray.
Set up an assembly line of the lasagna layers: cooked pasta; meats mixed together; ricotta; spinach; and shredded cheeses; with everything in reach.
Assemble lasagna(s). Tip: if making 2 make both at the same time to gauge quantities of each ingredient. Ladle a tiny amount of white sauce onto the bottom then layer with noodles.
Top with meat mixture. Ladle on about ⅓ cup of white sauce on top of the meat, before topping with about ⅓ cup of mixed cheeses.
Layer on more noodles, then top with ricotta mixture.
Layer on more noodles, then top with spinach, then top with about ⅓ cup of white sauce.
Repeat until out of any of the layers.
Bake covered for 30 minutes.
If freezing one, remove that one from the oven, allow to cool, label & freeze.
If eating one immediately, uncover and bake another 20 minutes. Top with cheese for the last 5 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
I loved this one. It feels really different, but actually isn’t much different at all. It would be easy enough to make 2 at once, and use white sauce on 1 and red sauce on the other. The white sauce vs. red sauce also might be a good way to differentiate meat versus vegetarian lasagna.
Lasagna is a somewhat labor intensive dish but it is super easy to serve and generally crowd pleasing. It is a great one to prep in advance and only have to bake when serving. You can also “cheat” by skipping the pasta & ricotta layers and using ravioli instead.
Here are some of my lasagna tips and I thought of a new one: in addition to making 2 at once, I suggest using all the pasta. Sometimes I’m cutting it down to fit my pan and I’m left with scraps. Save ‘em! Getting to the last layer to discover you’re out of pasta is the worst. I save a few full length for the top and piece some of the under layers. What they can’t see, won’t hurt, right?