Do you ever feel intimidated by lasagna? The first time I attempted to make a homemade lasagna, I went all in – made a sauce from scratch in one saucepan, cooked my noodles in another saucepan, and browned my meat in a third saucepan. By the time I was done “prepping” the lasagna to go into the oven, I already had a sink full of dirty dishes!
Do you need to cook your noodles first?
One thing about this lasagna that is different than most lasagnas is that you do not have to cook your noodles before you bake it – just layer the uncooked noodles in your lasagna and they will soften while the lasagna bakes! This step alone will save you so much time. There are “oven-ready” lasagna noodles available at the grocery store, but they are not needed for this recipe – just regular ol’ lasagna noodles will do!
How long to cook lasagnA?
Because the noodles need time to soften, this lasagna does need to cook for 1 hour. If you know that you are going to have a busy day, you could easily prep this lasagna in the morning and keep it covered in your fridge until you are ready for it to bake. This lasagna also makes a great freezer meal!
Covering your lasagna
One question we frequently are asked is if it is really necessary to cover a lasagna with aluminum foil while it cooks and our answer is always YES – it’s very important! If you don’t cover it while it bakes, the top of the lasagna will dry out. We recommend that you cover the lasagna for the first 45 minutes of baking, but then remove the foil for the last 15 minutes so that the cheese on top can melt and slightly brown. Doing this simple step will give you a gooey, cheesy lasagna every time!
Ricotta cheese vs. cottage cheese
For this recipe, the ingredients call for both ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. However, if you are out of one, feel free to substitute it with the other. In lasagna, ricotta cheese and cottage cheese are perfectly interchangeable. Cottage cheese is sometimes viewed as a healthier option because it’s lower in fat and doesn’t affect the taste at all. Make sure that you use a small curd variety, just so you don’t have lumps in your lasagna.
If you are feeling super domestic, you can definitely make your sauce from scratch. However, in this recipe we take a can of store-bought spaghetti sauce and jazz it up by adding a few key ingredients: Italian sausage, onions, and mushrooms. If you wanted, you could also add a little bit of Italian seasoning for added flavor.
Once your sauce is made, mix together the cheeses and egg. The egg is going to help bind the ricotta cheese with everything else and it also adds in some moisture, which is needed for the uncooked noodles.
Now all that you have to do is layer everything in your pan, toss it in the oven, and let the delicious smell take over your kitchen!
Other Delicious Lasagna Recipes:
- Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
- Creamy White Turkey Lasagna
- Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
- 20 Minute Skillet Lasagna
- Ground Turkey Lasagna Stuffed Peppers