Easy, Delicious Meat and Vegetarian Lasagna Recipes
In the mood for some delicious homemade lasagna? We have an easy lasagna with meat sauce and an awesome vegetable lasagna for you to try. Both are indescribably delicious, despite being easy recipes to prepare. We've even found a shortcut for preparing lasagna noodles that won't heat up your kitchen with big, boiling pots of water.
Lasagna is a dish that can be prepared in advance then put in the oven later. Or, go ahead and bake it then save or freeze the leftovers to reheat another time. Around my house, we believe lasagna tastes even better the second time around, so cooking what amounts to two meals (or more) at the same time is a smart move and a great time saver. In fact, planning leftovers by making two pans at the same time and heating the oven just once is smart cooking!
I love simple recipes and these definitely qualify. You may need to invest a little bit of time upfront, but it's time well-spent when you consider the delicious results. Don't let the long recipes discourage you. Putting together a pan of lasagna is fun and very fulfilling when your family or guests start oohing and aahing the delicious results.
Hungry yet? Let's get on with it. We'll start with the vegetable lasagna recipe (since my husband has decided that's his favorite) then move on to the meat sauce plus more creative lasagna ideas. Read on!
What's Your Choice?
Do you prefer meat or veggie lasagna?
Delicious Vegetable Lasagna
This is my version of the vegetarian lasagnain the video below. Instead of homemade tomato sauce, I use a can of my favorite spaghetti sauce. I've also never made lasagna with chili peppers, but you can add those if you like.
A note about the spinach: My husband says he can't taste the spinach in this and, frankly, I can barely taste it either, though it adds to the overall wonderful flavor. This could be a really good way to sneak some iron and good nutrition into someone who wouldn't eat it otherwise.
- 12 lasagna noodles
- olive oil
- 1 can or jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 1 large eggplant
- several handfuls (about half a bag) fresh baby spinach
- 3 cups shredded cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar mix
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare noodles. Here is a shortcut to the way you might be used to: Let noodles soak in a 9x13 pan of hot water as you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour a teaspoon or two of olive oil into a 9x13 baking pan. I use a glass cake pan. If you have one, use a nice, deep lasagne pan. Use your fingers or a paper towel to grease the bottom and sides of the pan (fingers work best).
- Spread a small amount of spaghetti sauce (I use it right out of the can) over the bottom of the pan.
- Starting with three noodles, begin layering. Add eggplant slices, salt and pepper, spaghetti sauce, and cheese.
- Add the second layer: noodles, sauce, plenty of spinach, salt and pepper, and cheese.
- Third layer: noodles, the rest of the eggplant, more spinach, salt and pepper, and cheese.
- Final layer: noodles, the rest of the sauce, and the rest of the cheese.
- Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. To keep the foil from sticking to the cheese, spread a teaspoon or so of olive oil on the bottom of the foil.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10–15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 15–20 minutes.
Preparing Lasagna Noodles Without Boiling
Using a 9 x 13-inch pan, simply count out the number of noodles you'll need (usually 9 or 12, depending on the width and depth of your pan) and layer them (dry) in the pan. Then pour over hot water (not boiling—hot tap water is fine) to cover. Let the noodles soften in the water while you're gathering and preparing the other ingredients. They'll be perfect when you're ready to layer them in the lasagna pan.
How to Make Vegetable Lasagna
Including homemade tomato sauce! Now, if you want to try it with store-bought tomato sauce that's perfectly fine, or use the sauce recipe from Chef Ali Hassan from the video.
Below, you can watch Hassan construct his lasagne. He starts in the usual way, with a bit of olive oil on the bottom of the pan and a bit of sauce. Then he lays down lasagna noodles, sauce, eggplant, cheese (a mixture of grated mozzarella and strong cheddar), and chiles. The next layer uses noodles, sauce, raw spinach leaves, cheese, and the ubiquitous chiles. For the third layer, Hassan uses half eggplant slices, half spinach then tops it all off with noodles, sauce, and cheese. It's an excellent recipe if, like me, you love eggplant and spinach.
Delicious Lasagna With Meat Sauce
This is the way I learned to make meat lasagna years ago. I use ricotta cheese, but many people substitute cottage cheese. It's up to you.
- 9–12 lasagna noodles, depending upon the size of your pan
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage, sweet or spicy
- 1 can or jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, or make your own
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2–3 tablespoons parsley flakes
- olive oil
- 2–3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use the shortcut method to soften the noodles.
- In a dutch oven, brown the beef and sausage. Drain excess fat. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat.
- Combine ricotta and Parmesan cheese, along with eggs and parsley. Stir well.
- Pour a teaspoon or two of olive oil into a 9x13 baking pan. Use your fingers or a paper towel to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the meat sauce over the bottom of the pan.
- To begin layering, lay three or four noodles on top of the sauce. Don't worry if there's a little space between. Spread half of the cheese mixture. Top with about 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat: noodles, cheese, sauce, mozzarella. Then one more time using the rest of the ingredients.
- Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. To keep the foil from sticking to the cheese, spread olive oil on the foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until hot and bubbly. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
Classic Lasagna Recipe
Below you will find a video that is almost exactly the recipe I use, and it's approved by Garfield the cat!
Molte Grazie for Stopping By!
We appreciate your visit and hope you found a lasagna recipe that your family will love, or a cookbook full of them that you'll enjoy!
© 2014 Susan Deppner