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Easy, Delicious Meat and Vegetarian Lasagna Recipes

Updated on August 14, 2016
SusanDeppner profile image

Susan has been sharing recipes online since 2006. She specializes in simple, delicious, family-friendly recipes that everyone loves.


Joined: 2 years agoFollowers: 372Articles: 27
Delicious lasagna with meat sauce. The recipe is simple, but the results are amazing!
Delicious lasagna with meat sauce. The recipe is simple, but the results are amazing! | Source

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 up front, 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!

Meat or Veggie Lasagna? What's your choice?

POLL: How Do You Like Your Lasagna?

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A bite of delicious vegetable lasagna.
A bite of delicious vegetable 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. 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).
  4. Spread a small amount of spaghetti sauce (I use it right out of the can) over the bottom of the pan.
  5. Starting with three noodles, begin layering. Add eggplant slices, salt and pepper, spaghetti sauce, and cheese.
  6. Add the second layer: noodles, sauce, plenty of spinach, salt and pepper, and cheese.
  7. Third layer: noodles, the rest of the eggplant, more spinach, salt and pepper, and cheese.
  8. Final layer: noodles, the rest of the sauce, and the rest of the cheese.
  9. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. To keep foil from sticking to the cheese, spread a teaspoon or so of olive oil on the bottom of the foil.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes.

Lasagna with Eggplant and Spinach

Luscious layers of veggie lasagna.
Luscious layers of veggie lasagna. | Source

Looking for Some Creative Ideas?

Looking for a variety of meat and veggie lasagna recipes? Or something a little different? Here's a book with simple recipes made from easy-to-find ingredients and food your family eats on a regular basis. You'll also find a few surprises thrown in just for fun.

How about these examples: creamy chicken, eggplant ground beef, crab and shrimp, Mexican lasagna with flour tortillas, black bean lasagna, as well as classic beef lasagna, chicken alfredo lasagna, and more.

You'll find a total of 20 simple lasagna recipes, several sure to please, no matter what your family's tastes, and all very simple to prepare with recipes that are easy to follow and understand. Read it free with Kindle Unlimited (details on the book page).

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.

Ingredients

  • 9-12 lasagna noodles, depending upon the size of your pan
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, sweet or spicy
  • 1 can or jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, or make your own
  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use the shortcut method to soften the noodles.
  3. 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.
  4. Combine ricotta and Parmesan cheese, along with eggs and parsley. Stir well.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread about 1/2 cup of the meat sauce over the bottom of the pan.
  7. 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.
  8. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. To keep the foil from sticking to the cheese, spread olive oil on the foil.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until hot and bubbly. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Classic Lasagna Recipe

This 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

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    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 3 months ago from Arkansas USA

      I love the idea of using the eggplant in place of the noodles! I'd love to know how your idea turns out. I'm sure it will be fabulous! Thanks so much for commenting!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 months ago from Peru, South America

      My husband is on a low carb diet so I'd probably make a combination of these two lasagnas. I could substitute the eggplant for the noodles and add meat, tomato sauce and cheese. I've added it to my menu for next week. Your photos make my mouth water! I also think it's a great idea to make ahead and freeze leftovers. Thank you!

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 5 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Candy, just last night when we were enjoying my latest batch of lasagna I commented to my husband on how good the noodles were, cooked just right with the perfect amount of chewiness and flavor. I really do believe the shortcut method makes for a better lasagna. I'd love to know how yours turn out when you try this easy method.

    • Candy 5 months ago

      I like the shortcut for softening the noodles. I'm going to try that next time I make lasagna.

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 7 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Sounds good! Lasagna is a great way to celebrate just about any occasion. Hope you enjoy a wonderful dinner with your family!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 7 months ago from sunny Florida

      O yest, I have commented on this but just came back to say I am making one of these tonight for my family who has just returned from a trip to the northeast.

      Thank you for taking the work out of this for me...you had me at 'easy'.

      Hoping all is good with....

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 11 months ago from Arkansas USA

      I hope the method works as well for you as it does for me, MayberryHomemaker. Seriously, it's a life-changer when it comes to making lasagna. I'll never boil again! :) Thanks so much for commenting!

    • MayberryHomemaker profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 11 months ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Great tip on preparing lasagne noodles without cooking. Never heard that before. Gonna give it a try!

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 13 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Zucchini with the spinach sounds good, Favored. We love it around here, too. Hope you made some extra for you and your husband! Thanks for stopping by. Always good to see you!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 13 months ago from USA

      I just made Lasagna yesterday for a friend who was going to have tests in the hospital. Her favorite is spinach, but I never thought of using eggplant. Lorelei suggested zucchini and I think my husband would like that one.

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 15 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Appreciate the angels - and your visit! Breakfast is a good time to start thinking about tonight's lasagna. You'll be good and hungry when the time comes. Enjoy!

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 15 months ago from Arkansas USA

      It really is extra-easy, Rebecca. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 15 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Isn't that a great trick, Barb? I fix lasagna much more often since I learned it. Enjoy your next batch!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 15 months ago from sunny Florida

      Yes please...I have not had breakfast yet but this sounds like a great breakfast to me :D Lasagna made using your recipe will no doubt be a lovely experience.

      Looking forward to giving a try!!

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 15 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Both of these look so good. I am going to start with the meatless lasagna because it just sounds so easy. Thanks!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 15 months ago from Templeton, CA

      You make me hungry for lasagna again. I love that trick for cooking the noodles without boiling and draining them.

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 17 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Oh, I know, Dolores. The messed up noodles happened to me all the time, too, when I used the boiling water method. The pasta in the pan with hot water approach is so much simpler, quicker, and it's cooler, too. Glad you learned a helpful tip! Thank you so much for commenting - much appreciated!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 17 months ago from East Coast, United States

      The layering of the pasta in a pan instead of boiling sounds great. I need to try this. When I boil lasagna noodles, so many wind up messed up.

    • SusanDeppner profile image
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      Susan Deppner 18 months ago from Arkansas USA

      Thank you for the stars, Rachel. (Odd about the 4.9, but I'll take what I can get!) I think your granddaughter would like the veggie lasagna and, best of all, so would just about anyone. I agree with you about going meatless occasionally. This is a nice recipe to add a little variety to the menu. Thanks again for stopping by. Many blessings in return!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 18 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Susan, I have been making lasagna from decades, ever since my mother taught me when I was still single. Your recipes are really good. I have a granddaughter who is a vegetarian and I would like to make that one for her. I think it's good for us meat eaters to go without meat every once in a while too. Thanks for sharing. I voted up and gave this 4.9 starts. It would let me give it 5.

      Blessings to you.

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