Italian Sausage Lasagna

sausage lasagnaI’ve made this lasagna two weeks in a row! So that alone should tell you it’s good. But here’s a few more reasons why you should make this:

  1. This is homemade! After you make it and eat it, you’ll be proud of yourself.
  2. It’s not too cheesy but just cheesy enough.
  3. It’s easy to make.
  4. This is better than restaurant lasagna. Yes, true statement.

I have to tell you that the last time we had this, we almost went out to eat instead. My husband had broken his glasses and he needed new ones ASAP so we figured it would be easiest to grab dinner while we waited for his new glasses. He told me to pick a restaurant. I really couldn’t think of anywhere I was dying to go so in the end, I just suggested I go with my original plan of making lasagna. And it couldn’t have been a better decision! We saved money (especially after spending an arm and a leg on new glasses) and our meal of lasagna, garlic bread and salad was delicious and filling.

So make the same decision as me and get your butt in the kitchen. You know you want to try out a new lasagna recipe!

Italian Sausage Lasagna

  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 15 ounce can each of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce *see note below
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 cup water
  • Dash of salt & pepper
  • 1, 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of water
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese or mozzarella
  • 6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

*The canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce can be substituted with a large 26 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.

Cook the Italian sausage in a skillet until cooked through and brown. Set aside.

To make the marinara sauce: In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds. Then add in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes), water, basil and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then let simmer. I only let mine simmer about 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.

While the sauce is simmering, mix the ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese, spinach, Italian seasoning, and a dash of pepper in a bowl until combined.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a lasagna pan (or large, deep rectangular dish) pour in just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Then lay 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Use half of the ricotta mixture and spread over the noodles. Add half of the Italian sausage and spread over the ricotta mixture. Then add half of the shredded Italian blend or mozzarella cheese. Add half the remaining marinara sauce over the top. Then go in this order for the remaining layers:

  1. lasagna noodles
  2. ricotta mixture
  3. Italian sausage
  4. marinara sauce
  5. Italian cheese or mozzarella blend

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour, covered. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Cut and serve!

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Meatless Monday

lasagnaCutting out meat for one dinner a week actually adds up to quite a bit of savings in the long run. Carnivores live in my house so we don’t always do this, but we try.

This recipe is a great meatless Monday entrée and is quite filling. Plus, my dad gave the thumbs up on this one, and he literally cannot have a meal WITHOUT meat. He was so surprised that he didn’t even miss it with this dish!

P.S. This dish was a real time saver for me. I put it together and baked it in the morning, let it cool for quite some time and then put it in the fridge. We had a super busy night ahead of us and all I did was cut out some portions, heat them up in the microwave and served with a salad. Saved me lots of time in the evening.

Spinach Lasagna

My mom turned me onto this stuff. Perfect in this recipe.

My mom turned me onto this stuff. Perfect in this recipe.

  • 2 cans (15 ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1 tbsp. olive oil
  •  1/4 c. white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  •  2 basil cubes (fresh or dried basil will work too)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 container (15 ounce) ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (10 ounce or half of a family sized bag), thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
The frozen basil I'm always using

The frozen basil I’m always using

First, start off by making the marinara sauce. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes, then add chopped garlic. Pour wine into the pan and let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, for approximately 20 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

marinaraPreheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, 1 cup of the mozzarella, spinach, egg, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Set aside.

lasagna 4In a lasagna pan (the disposable ones are perfect) pour about a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay three noodles side by side. Top with half of the cheese mixture and then a little less than half of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with approximately 3/4 c. of the mozzarella. Add 3 more noodles, the remaining cheese mixture and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. (It will look like a lot of sauce) Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

lasagna 3Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and let cook for an additional 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let sit for about 20 minutes before cutting into it and serving.

lasagna 2

Best part of this is that if you’re using the disposable lasagna pan which I highly recommend, you can throw away the pan when it’s all gone. Who likes scrubbing a lasagna dish anyways?