Make Ahead Beefy Lasagna

I love trying new recipes.  One of my biggest sources for new recipes is Southern Living.  I recently tried a lasagna recipe from the September 2010 issue.  Did this recipe catch your eye this month?


Vanessa’s Make-Ahead Beefy Lasagna

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (24-oz.) container 4% small-curd smooth-and-creamy cottage cheese
1 (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup refrigerated pesto
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (10 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 (24-oz.) jars tomato-and-basil pasta sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare noodles according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, stir together cottage cheese and next 4 ingredients. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

3. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in pasta sauce.

4. Layer 1 cup beef mixture, 3 noodles, and 2 1/2 cups cottage cheese mixture in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, 2 cups beef mixture, and 3 more noodles. Top with remaining cottage cheese mixture, 3 noodles, and beef mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake, covered, at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes or until cheese is browned. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Note: Freeze unbaked lasagna up to 3 months. To bake, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Let stand 30 minutes; bake as directed. We tested with Classico Di Napoli Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce and both LeGrand Garden Pesto and Buitoni Reduced Fat Pesto with Basil.

Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2010

Make Ahead Beefy Lasagna

Now for the review.  I liked this, but I have lasagna recipes that are better.  This dish was super easy to make and it makes a huge pan.  If I made this again, I’d add some herbs to the spaghetti sauce and add some fresh basil to the cheese mixture.

If you need something quick and easy, this is your recipe.  I’ll probably not make this again, but we are enjoying the dish for dinner this week.  When I say this week, I mean every night this week.  A huge pan of lasagna goes a long way for a household of two people!


  1. Great minds think alike Paula. I just thawed out some spaghetti sauce last night so that I can make a big pan of lasagna for coaches dinner on Friday. Thanks for the new recipe.

  2. Oh Paula Sweetie…
    This looks and just smells heavenly even at 4 am. I can’t wait to give it a try on the grands. They will be coming over this weekend and I am adding the ingredients to my grocery list. Many thanks for the wonderful share.

    Have a gorgeous day sweetie. Country hugs and much love, Sherry

  3. I have a lasagna recipe that I love — so I never try anything else — I’ve always been afraid not to pre-cook the noodles — does that really work well? I’m sure it must be easier to put together.

  4. How good that you can eat the same thing for dinner several nights in a row! I’d be perfectly content doing that. . . I love leftovers. . . but my family says, “We just had that!”

    So if you have lasagne recipes you like better than this one, do you have one you’d be willing to share?

  5. I always try to make a lasagna at the beginning of a busy week because of the leftovers. Thanks for trying that recipe. I always like to hear from someone else how a recipe works out before I try it. Carla

  6. My mom and my grandma (the Italian one!) always put the lasagne noodles in without cooking them, and it works just fine! You just have to add a glass of water and cover it with foil and bake it a bit longer. Soooo much easier than cooking them first.

    Paula, thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m curious about how the pesto was in it.

  7. That’s the problem with lasagna and a small household…takes forever to eat! 😉 T won’t eat lasagna (cheese-good grief), but I like it. Not enough to eat it for a week though. Definitely a company recipe!

  8. Paula, that looks delicious. I’ve never had pesto in lasagna before. I love pesto!! I might have to give that a try.

  9. We love pesto! Had it last night as a matter of fact. I’ll have to try adding some of that to the cheese mixture next time I make lasagna!


  10. It LOOKS delish. I love Southern Magazine’s Country Fried Steak recipe. It takes FOREVER – but is so worth it!

    I tagged you on my blog!

  11. I know what you mean Paula. Leftovers go a long way for two.
    It looks delicious. Lasagne is one of my all time favorite foods. I like it spicy too.

    Have a good day!
    ~Melissa 🙂

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