My Homemade Easy Lasagna Recipe {Because store-bought is YUCK!}

Easy Lasagna Recipe

A week ago I caught a nasty virus for the second time in a month.  My husband came home every night and without a complaint he let me stay in bed resting while he handled the kids, cleaning and even pulled out some of my freezer meals for dinner.  He was a real trooper. I was very touched…and grateful for him letting me rest!  

While I was in bed I was thinking about when I met my husband and how one night I made my easy Lasagna recipe for him and his roommates. I think this Lasagna might have helped him fall in love with me…yes people it’s that good! 🙂

My Easy Lasagna recipe is my ultimate favorite, and I am one of the pickiest people on the planet (my poor mom).  So if you have picky kids they might just eat this one too. Well, maybe.

EASY LASAGNA RECIPE

First thing you want to do is boil your lasagna noodles till they are al dente. I have tried some of these no-boil noodle recipes and they just don’t work well for me – ever. So we do this the old fashioned way..boil them noodles.

While your noodles are boiling, its time to brown your ground beef. Add the lb. of ground beef, the onion, salt and garlic powder in a large skillet and cook until browned and tender. Drain. Put the ground beef back into the skillet. Add your jar of spaghetti sauce then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl mix together the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Mix it up well.

cheeselayer

When the noodles are done boiling, I just bring the pot over to the sink, pour out as much hot water as I can and let it fill back up with cold water for awhile to cool the noodles. I don’t want to burn myself when I am layering, so I make sure the noodles are all cold and sitting in the cold water pot before I begin.

Usually if I am going to the trouble of making a lasagna, I figure I might as well make 3-4 of them as freezer meals for later. So you can see how it all look.:  I like to get everything out and ready to go. I have my spaghetti sauce, my cottage cheese mix, mozzarella cheese and the noodles all nicely laid on the table with my foil pans.

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And then its GO TIME. The FUN part. Here is how I layer my Lasagna:

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First I always add a layer of sauce to the bottom to prevent the noodles from sticking.  So SAUCE first. 🙂

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Then carefully take the cooled noodles out and layer them over the sauce.

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Add a layer of spaghetti sauce over the noodles.

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Then 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over that spaghetti sauce.

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Then I dab or sprinkle some of the cottage cheese mixture over that cheese layer.

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Then we start over – another layer of noodles followed by a layer of sauce, then cheese, then cottage mixture.

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Repeat again with noodles, sauce, cheese and cottage. At the end I like to make sure and top it all with extra mozzarella cheese so it bakes nicely.

lasagna10

And that is it.  With these foil pans this Lasagna can be quite heavy so make sure and put a cookie sheet underneath of it before you bake. You can bake at 350 degrees oven for 40-45 minutes right away thawed. Or if you pull one out of the freezer un-thawed you can cook it at 350 degrees for around 1.5-2 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into it. Enjoy!

lasagna-home

4.91 from 10 votes
Easy Lasagna Recipe
Print
Easy Homemade Lasagna Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 lb . Ground beef
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • tsp ½ . Salt
  • 1/8 tsp . Garlic powder
  • 1 oz Jar 15 ½ . Spaghetti Sauce I use traditional Ragu
  • 1 pint Cottage Cheese
  • cup ¼ grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp . dried Parsley
  • 4 oz . Lasagna Noodles cooked to al dente and cooled in cold water
  • 12 oz . shredded Mozzarella Cheese about 1 ½ cups
Instructions
  1. Combine ground beef, onion, salt and garlic powder. Cook under med-high until browned and tener. Drain and put back into skillet. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a separate bowl combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Mix well.
*Layering Lasagna*
  1. First add a small amount of spaghetti sauce mix to the bottom of your 9x13 pan.
  2. Layer a single row of noodles
  3. Layer 1/3 sauce
  4. Layer 1/3 Mozzarella Cheese
  5. Layer 1/3 Cottage cheese mixture (dotting it all over)
  6. Layer single row of noodles
  7. Layer 1/3 sauce
  8. Layer 1/3 Mozzarella Cheese
  9. Layer 1/3 Cottage cheese mixture (dotting it all over)
  10. Layer single row of noodles
  11. Layer 1/3 sauce
  12. Layer 1/3 Cottage cheese mixture (dotting it all over)
  13. Layer 1/3 Mozzarella Cheese last so it bakes really nicely
  14. Cover and bake in 350 degrees oven for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly all over. Let stand 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

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127 Comments

My Homemade Easy Lasagna Recipe {Because store-bought is YUCK!} was last modified: November 2nd, 2016 by Karrie

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Comments

  1. I HATE store bought lasagna! I’ve never made lasagna and froze it so I’m excited to try this! I have one question though, does it get dry from freezing and cooking it? I like a saucy lasagna 😀

  2. I haven’t had any trouble with my lasagna getting dry, its really really yummy! Hope you try it.

    • I can’t wait to try it. How long does it last in the freezer?

      • I usually go through my freezer meals within 2-3 months, but I think it would last at least 6 months, maybe even longer.

        • I have been using this recipe for months I make it once a month and its a success so easy I haven’t froze it yet because when I make it everyone wants some. I just made 2 batches and I am taking one to my cousin who just had her 3rd baby so she can enjoy with her family and I am taking one to a family friend who lets us do laundry today at his house. Thanks so much for making it easier for me. Oh we also make our butter now! Next I will try to make your chocolate chip cookies.

  3. Danielle says:

    I use to do this all the time. I don’t know why I quite. Life has gotten busy again. Time to get back at it!

  4. Hi – just wondering what kinds of lids you use to freeze these so they don’t get freezer burn?

    • I usually will just cover it with heavy duty foil and take a permanent marker to label it on the foil. Then off to the freezer it goes.

      • Madeleine Goodner says:

        my only question.. is the recipe as listed above to make one pan or the 3 tha you show int he picture. i have a family of 6 and I try to double every batch.. 2 of those 6 are twentysomethings still at home.. and major muncher eaters.

  5. Is the recipe enough to do all three pans or do you triple the recipe?

  6. Jennifer says:

    Have you tried the no boil noodles? You layer them in raw and they cook in the oven, when you bake your lasagna. This just makes it that much easier. It’s all we buy for lasagna pasta, now.

    • I don’t personally have much luck with the no-boil style, they always are undercooked for me, even with adding in more sauce/water.

      • I use Barilla no boil noodles they are the only ones that cook all the way through and they taste better than any other brand too. I make lasagna at least 3 times a month it’s a family favorite. I’m going to try to make a huge batch a freeze it now though see how it turns out .

        • Janel,
          Just wanted to find out if the no boil noodles worked with this as a freezer meal? I’m doing my freezer meals in a few days and prefer the no boil (unless they don’t turn out well of course lol)
          Thanks!

  7. Thanks for sharing Karrie! Fantastic, quick and easy. I made this for dinner last night after seeing your post. Had leftovers tonight for dinner. I will certainly make this again. :0)

  8. Kim Jacobsen says:

    Karrie,
    I just made this for the first time for couple of families in my church. Do you thaw the frozen lasagna before you cook it?
    So excited to see how they like it!

  9. Pat Martin says:

    I have just started cooking frozen meals for my mother. Can I cook this, divide it up, freeze it so she can just reheat?

  10. I just assembled 3 lasagnas, with no bake noodles. I dislike how noodles fall apart after boiling. One tip that has worked for me is to add about 1/4 cup of water to the jar of sauce and shake, so none goes to waste. After all is assembled, slowly pour the thin sauce around the perimeter of the pan to prevent those no boil noodle’s hard and crusty edges. Going to bake one up tomorrow, I can’t wait to see how frozen ones come out. Thanks!

  11. Katrina says:

    I am part of a program called Celebrate Recovery…we serve a meal befor the meetings start…Just a qustion for you…about how long from th frozen state does it take to cook…I’ll first try it at home befor I do for the meetings. Time scheduling is essential…Thanks for all you info…

  12. You blog is great and I appreciate you sharing all of your recipes! I did have a few problems with this one that I just wanted to point out. I doubled the recipe, so I bought an 8 oz box of noodles. There were only 10 noodles! I really needed 9 per lasagna, so I had to reduce the number of layers. These were whole wheat noodles, so maybe that’s different?

    Also, you say 12 oz of mozzarella or 1 1/2 C. I wrote down 3 C on my list since I was doubling the recipe. I bought two 8 oz bags of shredded mozzarella because it says that it’s “about 2 cups” on one bag. I expected to have more than enough, but it was just enough – and I was only doing 2 layers.

    I hope that helps somebody with those little kinks, because this really is a great recipe! Thanks!

    • I had the same problem! Not nearly enough of any of the ingredients when I doubled the recipe. I had to go back and cook more noodles, I added in an extra jar of sauce, I used almost 6 cups of cheese, and I would have like to have had more cottage cheese (all that only made two, two-layer lasagnas).

      • Really? Hmmmm… I will check my ingredients the next time I make this… which will hopefully be in the next few weeks. I will update if there are any changes needed, but in the meantime if you need more cheese – add more cheese. If you want more of anything actually feel free to add it.

    • shredded cheese can be measured by volume OR weight, but they are not the same or equal amounts. your measuring cup measures volume and lots of recipes state the amount of cheese in cups, but the package of cheese you buy at the store is always measured by weight. when measuring out shredded cheese, just remember that the volume is only about half that of the weight. so one cup of shredded cheese (8 ounces volume) is actually only about 4 ounces in weight.

      if the recipe calls for 12 ounces of mozza, then it should need 3 cups. if you are doubling the recipe, 6 cups. etc etc.

  13. Deanne says:

    I’m really enjoying your website and all your freezer recipes. I just wanted to add a comment to your lasagna recipe. I use 1/2 cottage cheese and 1/2 french onion sour cream dip. Someone shared this secret with me in the grocery store and it is absolutely delicious.

  14. Deanne says:

    Just clarify the last message. If it calls for 3 cups cottage cheese, I would use 1 1/2 cups and 11/2 cups french onion dip

  15. Linda Walsh says:

    What are the size of foil trays you use?

  16. Mallory Huntley says:

    Hi, I love the recipe and since I am about to have baby number 1 I am trying to get some freezer meals made and saved. I am kinda slow though and want to make sure I do it right. DO you put the lasagna in the freezer before cooking it, or do you cook the meal and then freeze it?

    thank you!

  17. I add Italian sausage, and use the Olivieri fresh lasagna pasta. |I think Ricotta cheese tastes better than cottage cheese. the four cheese italiana also adds a bit more flavour than mozzarella, and you can buy it already shredded

  18. Feeling so thankful and blessed to have found your website!! I start nursing school in the fall and am trying to get prepared for my teenage daughters to be able to help out with the cooking. Having freezer meals ready for them to heat up will be such a huge help and your recipes look delicious!!

  19. You forgot to add Italian sausage. Lots of it…….

  20. Hi there,
    Made this lasagne tonight except I make my own sauce, I usually make my lasagne with bechamel but tried it your way with ricotta cheese mixture instead. YUM!!! Oh, I also made it gluten free, tasted amazing. I ended up making 7 lasagnes with 4 serves each. As a single working mum with 2 boys under 5, this way of cooking is definitely gonna free up some time to spend with my beautiful crazy active boys. So BIG thank you, for the time you’ve put into your blog and sharing your money and time saving tips with the world.

  21. Love this…I have also done this with stuffed shells and manicotti. My family loves Italian foods!! Thank you for all your great posts!!!!

  22. I add pesto to my cottage cheese, gives it a great flavor!


  23. I found this recipe about a month a month ago and made it and stuck it in the freezer. We had it this evening for dinner and I was expecting to have it again later this week for leftovers and / or lunch but there was none left! Everyone loved it. I followed the recipe exactly (except I did use no boil noodles and Classico brand pasta sauce] and will make again for sure. A great meal to have in the freezer! Thanks so much for an awesome recipe.


  24. I just made this Saturday. Baked one and froze one. I never used cottage cheese before but I love how this tasted. It really is yummy! Also wanted a vegetarian version so I left out the meat and used a frozen Italian veggie mix, cooked and pulsed in blender w/a little pasta water and drained off excess water. I layered this after the sauce layer. It was so easy to make too. I will definitely make it again. Thanks!

  25. I would love to freeze a few of these, but I know we would not eat the entire thing in one sitting. After freezing and then cooking in the oven, can you put leftovers in refrigerator and reheat the following day or is that against food safety regulations?

    • It actually tastes better when it sits in the fridge for a day. The sauce has a chance to meld together. Actually, I make my own sauce, let it sit in the fridge for a day and then make my lasagna. I have been doing this for over 30 years. My sis has my old recipe. That got passed along throughout the family. Store bought lasagna is horrible and expensive. I can make a huge pot of sauce for less than the store bought stuff. The only problem I have is that I live alone and that is a lot of pasta.


  26. A tip for the cottage cheese…After draining the liquid, I put it in a blender or use a hand blender. It makes the texture more like ricotta. Then put it in a ziploc and snip the corner so you can pipe it onto the noodles. Easier & faster than spooning it on 🙂

  27. Can you freeze any lasagna recipe? I do a different one and I would love to make enough for several meals and freeze them.

  28. Just wondering if i can microwave these of i out them in tupperware. I am making frozen dinners for my husband for work.

  29. Hi!

    Thanks for posting this!

    Maybe you said this and I missed it, but:
    When you bake the lasagna (particularly if you put in the oven frozen), do you leave aluminum foil on top? Or do you leave it on halfway through baking, or not at all?

  30. Where is the bay leaf and the basil? Try using sausage. Let me tell you it gives this noodly mess and real kick. Go for the hot though. It will lose some steam in the freezer. I don’t put mottz on top of my lasagna. For some reason, it gets real brown and although it may taste fab it doesn’t look too appealing. I made a huge pan for the daycare once and not one person tried it until some lucky soul thought, what the heck, It was gone in 10 minutes. That was over 30 years ago.


  31. My Mom has a version like yours. She makes the sauce and then her cheese mixture is Mozzarella , parmesan, cottage cheese and an egg. Hers is the best I have ever tasted.

  32. Louise Gagne says:

    Hi Karrie:
    Thank you so much for your recipe. I’ll consider it for my next lasagna. Just so you know, I always use dry lasagna in my recipes and just make sure that I include a cup of water for each jar of sauce. That way the noodles “soak up” the sauce either while sitting before baking, or while cooking. My lasagna’s are very well received by all my friends. I haven’t had a problem with it as long as I add the extra cup of water. (This one sounds a lot like mine, so will try it)
    I’m about to have hip replacement surgery in July and was thinking it would be a good idea to make meals ahead of time (so my hubby doesn’t have to do any cooking) and lasagna will definitely be one of them. I’ll try yours, but I won’t be pre-cooking the noodles!! I hate that aspect of making it. Will let you know how it turns out.
    Best regards, Louise

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Good luck on your surgery, Louise, and definitely check out those freezer meals! They have saved me in a pinch!

  33. Do you cook it before freezing?? Looks yummy! I can’t wait to try it.

    Thanks

  34. Hey, I’m considering cooking this and freezing it so I have meals for the entire week(household of 1 aka just me). Would it be best to portion this into several ziplock bags that way if I want to have a meal I just take one and bake it? Because once you bake it , you can’t refreeze, correct? I’m new to this freezer meal thing(college student).

    Thanks!

  35. I know you freeze yours before putting it in the oven but could you bake it and just freeze the leftovers? And if you can, do you just thaw it overnight then microwave it since it’s already cooked?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I haven’t personally done it but I have had a couple emails from friends who have done that. It stays together pretty well as long as you wrap it in plastic wrap and foil for each serving. Also sometimes you lose part of the texture of the lasagna. I say try it out! See if you like it!


  36. I just made it and it is AMAZING .. Really thank you … i just made a little modification that I added pink sauce to the top 2 layers … I couldnt make cottage cheese so replaced it with frozen yogurt with a pinch of water .. Can’t thank you enough :))

  37. Thanks for the recipe. I used it over the weekend to prepare 6 containers of lasagna (each the size of an A5 sheet approximately). They should turn out yummy as they smelled fantastic when I was cooking!

  38. Veronica Boykin says:

    I just came across your website and love it! i had a question, when you pull the lasagna out of the freezer how does it need to cook (being frozen) or do i need to let it thaw out before cooking?
    Thank you!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I usually let it thaw during the day and then cook it. You can cook it from frozen but it will take a longer to cook!

  39. what do you cover the foil pans with before freezing? and do you have to let the meat mixture cool fully before assembling? so excited to make this

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I cover them to protect against freezer burn. Depending on how hot my meat mixture is I will let it cool down a couple minutes. Usually though by the time I am ready to assemble it, it is cool enough! Can’t wait for you to try it!

  40. Yolanda Gubish says:

    Thank you for your website. I am going to try freezer meals for my children in college. It will keep my cost down for their meals, plus they will eat healthy. I have reviewed many websites and I think yours is the best. Keep posting.

  41. I’m confused. I read your blog post on freezer meal tips for beginners. You mentioned avoiding meals with dairy…. but Lasagna was listed as a freezer meal. What’s the deal?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Some cheeses, milk and cream products don’t freeze well or they break after freezing so it’s important to try it out before making multiple meals to freeze. Any recipe that I have listed as a freezer meal with some dairy has been tested and approved! 🙂

  42. hi, I’m pregnant with baby #1 and tried this recipe. the boiled lasagna was a disaster all stuck together…20 min to tear them off..will now try to assemble it ..not a success for me so far..hope it’ll be edible. Probably should have gone with the no-boil pasta..Any advice welcome..

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      When I boil my noodles I sometimes add in a little bit of olive oil. It helps with the sticking noodles!

  43. Hello, I just wanted to double check before making this next week, and I don’t think I seen anybody ask this question prior. But when I make the amount listed in the recipe, does all of that fit in 1 9×13 dish, or are you spreading that over all 3 disposable pans you’ve pictured above? I am sure I am over-complicating it, but I just need to make sure lol. I am not good looking at pictures and judging the size of the pans either, but I do love your page, and will be trying your recipes. I didn’t even think to microwave an egg like you suggested for your biscuits. AWESOME!!

  44. Can I use the ready to bake lasagna sheets for this recipe? They seem a little thinner than regular lasagna sheets and I’m not sure that they will freeze as well. Thanks!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You know, I haven’t had much success with them. But I think it’s always worth a try to see if you like them!

      • Have you ever tried to freeze them and didn’t like it when defrosted, or you just don’t like cooking with them? Thanks.

        • Happy.MoneySaver says:

          I didn’t like the quality of them after freezing them and heating them up. They weren’t as good as the other noodles for me. 🙂


  45. DANG GOOD STUFF!!
    I made one big pan tonight. I was hoping to freeze half for lunch during the week, but it’s all gone! I even baked an Italian herb loaf of bread, just to make sure there were leftovers.
    Next time I’ll make two for sure. Thanks for posting 🙂

  46. Hey there! I’m trying freezer meals for the first time and I’m excited to find an easy lasagna recipe as my family LOVES lasagna! Anyway, I had to quadruple the recipe and so I figured 16 oz of lasagna noodles would do it…nope 🙁 16 oz only made two lasagnas (layered as noted above.) I had to go back to the store and get another 16 oz box of noodles. Anyway, just thought I’d put that out there in case anyone else has the same mishap 🙂

  47. Sarah B. says:

    Hello! I’m JUST starting to make freezer meals, and your lasagna recipe (among many more) looks amazing! I’ve just made it, and can’t wait to taste it. I missed your note about the no-boil noodles, and that’s what I got, so fingers-crossed that it turns out. Question – Why do you use cottage cheese, rather than the traditional ricotta? Thanks.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Just personal preference. Both are amazing but I use cottage cheese more often and have it on hand.

  48. This looks so delicious, and YUMMY!!!

  49. Bonnie E says:

    Can I bake it first, freeze, thaw then cut in pieces to microwave? For a family that has different time schedules.

  50. Mary Barnes says:

    Do you have to bake it before you freeze it or do you layer and then freeze

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You do it either way but I prefer to only cook it once! So I layer then freeze! It is so good!

  51. Shelli Hurt says:

    Lasagna is my favorite food and honestly it is one of the only dishes I can cook! lol (granted, I’m only 20), but I have a few questions about your recipe – it looks delicious and I really want to try it. I’m in college and classes are starting soon so I am also interested in making some to freeze, too.

    Okay, I know the ingredients you listed were just for one lasagna. So, if I want to make two, I would just double everything, right? How are you precise enough to make sure each layer is the right amount and that you are leaving enough for the other layers? Do you just kinda have to eyeball it?

    Also, your 9×13 pan looks deep.. is it like a special deep pan? So all in all you do 3 layers?

    • You can use any 9×13 – and yep, just double your ingredients to make two batches. Another idea is to get some smaller pans and make lots of smaller ones since you are in college. I just eyeball it usually when I am making a lot of big batches..its gonna turn out delicious no matter what!


  52. i love your idea of freeze ahead meals. i have a question about the lasagna. after cooking it, do you let it sit a while before freezing? to cool. would the mozz cheese stick to the tinfoil? would it be best to freeze uncovered at first and then cover it well after the cheese is frozen so as to prevent it from sticking to the top foil cover?

  53. Virginia S says:

    If I cook this frozen for 1 1/2 – 2hrs, do I cook it at 350 degrees F, or 400-450 degrees F?

  54. Can I use ricotta cheese instead of cottage?


  55. Thank you thank you! I love this recipe. You have converted me from store bought. I found this while pregnant with my 5th child and in fill the freezer mode! I am so glad I made this

  56. Wow this actually looks to die for. Thanks so much for this recipe. Will be making this on the weekend..

    Simon

  57. Any suggestions for making this recipe vegetarian? 🙂

  58. Dena Westmoreland says:

    Hi there! I am wondering how to adjust the baking time/temp if I use the 8×8 tins from a frozen state. I am preparing this to send with my son to college so I need specific instructions for him! Also, what other recipes are great in the 8×8 size for college boys? Thanks!

    • Hi Dena,

      It would probably take close to 45 minutes if thawed or an hour or longer if added to oven in frozen state. There are lots of great ideas for college meals – enchiladas, fried rice, honey lime chicken (just place in smaller bags) – basically any of my regular freezer meals – just maybe not the slow cooker ones. Thanks for the question!

  59. Alice Hewkin says:

    No eggs?

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