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Have you ever realized that your very favorite foods are the ones that you grew up eating? Many people have certain cuisines that their taste buds favor because they have eaten these foods since they were youngsters. My favorite recipes are those that my grandmother and my mom have continuously made throughout the years. Sean constantly holds the high standard of fried okra to his mom’s.
One recipe that is absolutely fantastic for a weeknight treat is Poor Man’s Lasagna. I am not a fan of sausage in my lasagna, and I prefer a very simple rendition. My mom and grandmother have been making this lasagna for years. It suits my taste buds quite well. A great aspect of this recipe is its versatility. You can prep the lasagna and pop it in the oven, freeze it, or you can make a few trays on Sunday and eat them throughout the week.
A few years ago, I heard that lasagna made without sausage is called poor man’s lasagna. That verbiage stuck with our family. We don’t need food to be fancy to be delicious! I actually am very strict on using non-fancy ingredients when baking the lasagna because the ingredient combination is perfect. I would love to introduce you to our version of the perfect lasagna, which is as simple as can be.
Today, I will be making two pans of lasagna, one to eat now and one to freeze. For larger families, two pans are recommended. The following ingredient list reflects enough for the two pans.
Poor Man’s Lasagna
1- 12 ounce box of oven-ready noodles
66 ounces of Ragu Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
3.5 pounds of ground beef, 80% lean
7 ounces of Ricotta Cheese
8 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix 8 ounces of ricotta cheese (or more if you love ricotta) with the egg and set aside.
Brown your ground beef on the stovetop and drain the grease. Add in the jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce and let the ingredients simmer.
While simmering, place a layer of oven-ready (no-boil) noodles in your pans.
Cover the noodles completely with your meat sauce.
With a spoon, drop a few dollops of the ricotta mixture onto your meat sauce layer. Mix the ricotta with the meat sauce.
Spread a layer of your shredded mozzarella on top of the sauce.
In the same pan, repeat the process by placing another layer of no-boil noodles on the cheese. Follow with a layer of meat sauce. Finally, dollop your ricotta mixture and spread it within the meat sauce.
Cover the top layer nicely with mozzarella.
Place the layered pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. It is good to eat the lasagna hot, so while the lasagna is cooking, prepare your bread, salad, or other sides that you may want to accompany the dish.
When the cheese has browned on top of the lasagna, remove it from the oven and serve. We hope that you love our quick and easy version of such a classic dish!
Poor Man’s Lasagna is easy to prep and freeze. We use 9 x 13-inch aluminum pans (check them out on Amazon) for baking the lasagna. Layer all of your ingredients, and then wrap the pan with a layer of plastic wrap. Cover with an aluminum lid or tin foil (placed shiny side up). Freeze without baking. When you are in a hurry, set the frozen lasagna in the fridge the morning you plan to bake it. At dinnertime, preheat your oven, remove the plastic wrap and lid, and bake the lasagna as normal. Bon Appetit!
Do you have a favorite dish that you love from your childhood? We would love to hear from you! Please drop a line in the comment section below.