Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Easy Lasagna Freezer Meal

A simple Lasagna made in freezer friendly disposable pans! Cook once, eat twice.
Freezer meals are wonderful to have on hand, especially if unexpected guests drop by or when you're just too busy to cook. My family loves easy freezer meals, but of course I love them the most. I mean, who doesn't love having dinner in arms reach. Sure, they take a bit of time to prepare, but in the end it's so worth it. 

What I normally do so I'm not stuck in the kitchen prepping freezer meals, all afternoon is just double up on my family's favorite dishes that freeze well as I make them. So really I just cook once and we're eating twice. It doesn't take too much longer to assemble and prep two casseroles or meals instead of just one for dinner. Take this easy Freezer Lasagna instead of just making one large 13 x 9 inch pan, I will make two - 8 x 8 inch pans. 

If you have a large family you can double the recipe and make two large pans. My kids are older now so they're not always home for dinner and some days it's just my husband and I, so a smaller pan is perfect.  Make ahead lasagna is one of the easiest and best freezer meals to make. For the meat sauce I like to use a combination of ground beef and sweet Italian sausage. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. 

How to make homemade lasagna for the freezer:
In  a large sauce pan or dutch oven, combine, all ground beef or half italian sausage, onion and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat until meat is browned and cooked through (break the meat up as it cooks). Drain off any grease.

Add the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, spices and bay leaf. mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper, to taste and discard the bay leaf. Remove the pan from heat and allow mixture to cool. In a medium size bowl combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley; mix to combine. Spray two 8 x 8 inch disposable aluminum pans or (small roaster pans which are deeper) with not stick spray and set aside. 

For each pan of lasagna, spread a little sauce on the bottom of the pan. 

Top with 3 -4 lasagna noodles. If you don't like the no boil noodles, regular uncooked lasagna noodles work just as well. 

Spoon additional sauce over the noodles. 

Top with cottage cheese and evenly spread.

 Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. 

Repeat each layer. 

Ending with mozzarella cheese. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non stick spray and cover the lasagna. Place the whole tray on a baking sheet and bake the thawed lasagna in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes (start checking the lasagna around 35 minutes). Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. 

Freezer Meal Preparation: To prepare the lasagna for freezer storage, cool the lasagna completely. Wrap each pan with a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper and then cover with 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. 

Label and date the dish along with the cooking instructions (thaw lasagna completely in the refrigerator. Remove parchment paper and bake (covered with foil) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove foil and cook and additional 15 minutes). 

Let cool and serve. 

Yield: 2 - 8 x 8 inch pans
Author: Tina Butler | Mommy's Kitchen
Easy Freezer Lasagna

Easy Freezer Lasagna

A simple Lasagna made in freezer friendly disposable pans! Cook once, eat twice.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 H & 15 M

Ingredients

  • 2 - pounds ground lean ground beef or half sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 - small onion, chopped
  • 1 - garlic clove, minced
  • 1 - 14 ounce can low sodium vegetable or beef broth
  • 2 - 14.5 ounce cans red gold diced tomatoes (basil, garlic and oregano flavor), separated
  • 1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 - teaspoon sugar
  • 1 - teaspoon dried fresh oregano
  • 1/2 - teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 - teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 - teaspoon dried fresh basil or use fresh chopped basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 - large or 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 - packages no boil or regular (uncooked) lasagna noodles
  • 2 - 8 x 8 inch aluminum pans or use roaster pan in similar size
Filling:
  • 1 - 32 ounce container cottage cheese or full fat Ricotta cheese
  • 1 - cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 - teaspoon dried parsley
  • 6 - cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, combine, ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat until meat is browned and cooked through (break the meat up as it cooks). Drain off any grease.
  2. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, spices and bay leaf. mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper, to taste and remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan and parsley; mix to combine. Spray two 8 x 8 inch aluminum pans with not stick spray and set aside.
  4. For each pan of lasagna, spread a little sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top with 3 -4 lasagna noodles, Spoon additional sauce over the noodles. Top with cottage cheese and evenly spread, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and repeat layers ending with mozzarella.
  5. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non stick spray and cover the lasagna. Place the whole aluminum pan onto a baking tray and bake the thawed lasagna in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes (start checking the lasagna around 35 minutes). Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Freezer Meal Preparation: To prepare the lasagna for freezer storage, cool the lasagna completely. Cover each pan with a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper and then cover with 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil that have been sprayed with non stick spray. Label and date the dish along with the cooking instructions (thaw lasagna completely in the refrigerator. Remove parchment paper and bake (covered with foil) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove foil and cook and additional 15 minutes. Let cool and serve).

Notes:

Time saver tip:  2 - 24 ounce jars of store bought spaghetti sauce can be substituted for homemade sauce. This recipe can easily be doubled to make 2 - 13 x 9 inch size pans. 

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If  you like Freezer Meals, I have included a few recipes that can easily be doubled and froze. I am also sharing a few freezer meals that I have made in the past. Remember with freezer meals they always need to be frozen un baked


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2 comments:

Unknown said... #

How would you use regular noodles, do they need to be cooked 1st?

Tina Butler said... #

If using regular lasagna noodles the do not need to be cooked first. Layer them uncooked. There is plenty of sauce so the noodles will soft by the time everything is cooked through.