Easy Lasagna Recipe | A Holiday TraditionWednesday, December 09, 2015
As I have added recipes and holiday suggestions here on the blog over the past few weeks, I have mentioned that we usually forgo the traditional southern holiday dishes with my immediate family and opt for a lasagna at our Christmas celebration together. We have lots of family get-togethers and dinners where we get to have ham and casseroles galore. So, when our time to gather with my mom, dad, sisters and their families, we let my mom make her famous lasagna. She will undoubtedly laugh that I called it famous because there's no secret recipe that gets her the rave reviews. When we were kids, she took a short cut and used Ragu and we never let her go back to homemade sauce.
As an adult, I have to admit that I have always found Lasagna to be an intimidating dish. It seems like it's such a big deal and maybe a lot of work to make, but in reality, especially with this recipe it's not. You do need a few pans and bowls but the end product is an entire meal or two or three. The best part is you can put it together the night before and pop it in the oven if you are expecting guests or right when you get home from work. It's enough to eat by itself but also goes great with a salad, some Italian bread, or an antipasto appetizer. It also freezes beautifully after it's cooked. So, If you have a smaller family like mine, make this recipe and put half in a storage container for next week's easy meal.
For our Christmas Lasagna, we discussed last year that we might have to double the recipe because my poor little Mama (who I made come over and help me make this one - you can see her hands throughout the post) has to make it for this crew. Also, see the last photo for proof that it's enjoyed right down to the littlest one. ;)
Hopefully at Christmas, we can get ALL of us in one photo (plus those other Kellums that are missing). Anyway, I digress. Here's what you'll need to make it:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 LARGE jar of Ragu or two regular sized jars
- For this recipe we used Ragu Chunky Sautéed Onion and Garlic and did not use fresh onion or garlic. If I hadn't the next ingredient would be one medium sized onion and a tbsp of minced garlic.
- 1 package of No-Boil or Oven-Ready Lasagna Noodles
- 1 15-16 ounce Ricotta (or Cottage Cheese*)
- 1 cup Italian Cheese Blend
- Mozzarella , Parmesan, Romano, Provolone, Asiago - any or all. Walmart sometimes sells a blend.
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Parsley
- 1/4 cup Basil
- 1 tablespoon Oregano
- Olive Oil
1. Brown beef on stove top, drain
2. Add Ragu and let simmer
3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (F)
4. Chop herbs if you are using fresh. We picked from mama's herb garden but this isn't necessary dried herbs are fine too.
5. Whisk cheese and eggs in a bowl
6. Add herbs to cheese mixture
7. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a 9x13 pan and begin layering. Noodles, Cheese, Sauces, Noodles Cheese Sauce.
Tip: Be sure the sauce covers the noodles thoroughly as they need moisture to cook well in the oven.
8. After the last layer of sauce, add a bit more blended cheeses for a crispy cheesy top!
9. Cover and bake for 30 minutes
Tip: Use a piece of parchment paper sprayed with cooking oil so it won't stick to the cheese, then cover with foil.
10. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese starts to look crisp.
Enjoy it! Ezra certainly did...
Just remember making this recipe can be as easy or as complicated as you want! Add all the fresh ingredients you want or don't, it's up to you. Pick your cheeses and pick your Ragu flavor. The options are nearly limitless!
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Share with us your favorite easy recipe you like to make for the holidays or head over to Ragu's website for inspiration.