Archives for category: lasagna

I am officially obsessed with handmade pasta! You need only a few simple ingredients and the combinations of flavors, herbs, spices, and fillings you can add are endless. The kids love cranking out the pasta into sheets, and noodles, and cutting ravioli shapes. Here’s some ravioli we made with my favorite red sauce:

Cheese Stuffed Ravioli Recipe with Red Wine Marinara Sauce Recipe - pasta dough with just 2 ingredients!
WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus any additional needed for dusting/kneading
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: grated cheese for topping
  • Red Wine Marinara Sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

STEP 1. MAKE THE DOUGH

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold 4 eggs. Add 4 eggs (save 1 egg for the filling), and add any optional liquids or flavoring (for example chopped spinach, or ½ cup dry white wine, and/or herbs and spices such as basil or parsley). Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but the next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for an hour or so.

STEP 2. WHILE THE DOUGH RESTS, MAKE THE FILLING
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 lightly-beaten egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

STEP 3. After dough has rested, roll into sheets. I used a hand-crank pasta machine, but you could use a rolling pin and flour as well.

Place dough sheets on work surface and place dollops of ricotta cheese every few inches. Wet the dough with a few drops of water around each cheese, then place a second dough sheet on top, and seal with your fingers. I used a cutter to cut out square shapes (a roller tool or knife would work well too). If you want to get really gadget-y (ha) I have also seen molds/forms for homemade ravioli.

STEP 4. COOK

Bring 6-8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (fresh pasta only takes a few minutes). Drain and serve with red wine marinara sauce.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Italian Lasagna with Red Sauce Recipe – I took an Italian cooking class and learned how to make red sauce, and different types of lasagna. The instructor gave us recipes and some cooking tips and then we got to make some and bring them home. YUM.

This was my favorite:

Best lasagna recipe ever - includes freezer instructions - Not sure why but they always taste better the next day as leftovers!

I have since made a bunch of these, and froze some for later. Gotta love freezer meals!

If you want, you could use ground turkey instead; or even vegetables for a meatless option (just saute zucchini, broccoli, and carrots, and use them in place of the meat) and add a little pesto to the cheese mixture.

I used two 8×8″ pans, but if you want to make one batch just use a 9×13″ pan with the same recipe.

When I made the two 8×8 lasagnas, I baked one and froze the other for later.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (or Italian sausage; or a mixture of both)
  • Red sauce (see recipe below)
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (or more if you’re a cheese lover) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package (approximately 12 oz) oven ready “no cook” lasagna noodles
  • Fresh Italian parsley, to taste, chopped

WHAT YOU DO:

Brown meat in a skillet and drain grease. Stir in the red sauce and heat through.

Combine ricotta cheese, grated Pecorino Romano, eggs, and parsley in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Evenly spread the meat sauce in a the bottom of a 9×13″ pan OR two 8×8″ pans. Layer lasagna noodles on top, then spread on some of the cheese mixture and cover with meat sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella, and repeat for one or two more layers.

If preparing lasagna right away: Bake in preheated oven at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

If freezing for later: Wrap unbaked lasagna in foil/plastic wrap and label. Freeze. To prepare, thaw and bake at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

FOR THE RED SAUCE:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pinch of brown sugar (weird I know!)

Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent for 8 minutes or so. Add parsley and garlic and cook just enough to release fragrance (don’t let the garlic burn).

Add red wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt, and brown sugar.

Simmer briskly until reduced to a sauce-like consistency and stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Here’s a lasagna that I made in a cast iron skillet, that can go straight into the oven to bake. Gotta love one-pot meals! I used ground turkey since it’s a little healthier than beef, but any ground lean meat would work. It was cheesy and delicious.

Skillet Lasagna - from the stove to the oven in just minutes. So easy and so yummy

One-Skillet Lasagna

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 c. diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes containing garlic and onions, undrained
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 c. water
10 oz. wide egg noodles
4 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. shredded Italian Blend cheese
optional: fresh basil for garnish

WHAT YOU DO:

In a cast iron skillet (or oven-safe pan), brown turkey over med-low heat until thoroughly cooked.

Drain grease from turkey, and return to skillet.

Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins. Add garlic and oregano and cook for another minute or so.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and noodles.

Cook, stirring often, for approx 10 mins, or until noodles are al dente.

Stir in ricotta, then and add salt & pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese. Let sit for about 5 mins to allow cheese to melt.

Place skillet in oven and broil for 3-5 mins, or until cheese starts to get brown and bubbly.

Garnish with fresh basil (optional) then serve.

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recipe adapted from ihearteating.com

As you can tell from this blog, I looove me some freezer meals. Our basement freezer was almost empty (gasp!) so I made 10 freezer-friendly recipes to stash away for our weekend meals. It took A LOT of time, but I figured it was worth it since I could buy everything at once, make a big mess in the kitchen at once, and then not have to worry about weekend meals for a long time.

Don’t have a lot of room in your freezer? You could always give some of these to families with a new baby, someone who’s having surgery, or even invite some friends over for a prep party. Split up the ingredients so everyone buys what you need, then make a day of making all the recipes (optional: add some wine to your shopping list! 🙂 )

 

shop once make 10 freezer recipes: includes a giant list of all the supplies and ingredients you need. Makes 2 lasagnas, 2 fiesta chicken, 3 brats & kraut casseroles, buffalo ranch chicken, 15 individ burritos, cheesy ranch pork chops, 3 chicken taco soup, 5 loaded baked potato soup, 3 chili, and 2 meatloaves.

Here are the 10 recipes I made (and qty of batches I ended up with):

Creamy Onion Lasagna (2)

Fiesta Chicken (2)

Turkey Bratwurst & Sauerkraut Casserole (3)

Buffalo Ranch Chicken (1)

Individual Cheesy Bean & Turkey Burritos (15)

Cheesy Ranch Pork Chops (1)

Chicken Taco Soup (3)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (5)

Best Ever “No Recipe” Recipe Chili (3)

Mother-in-Law’s Famous Meatloaf (2)

And here’s the ginormous list of ingredients and supplies I needed.

First I stopped at the dollar store and stocked up on freezer bags, foil pans for the casseroles, spices like chili powder, and a few canned veggies like corn, beans, and tomatoes. Then I went to the grocery store to finish up the rest of my shopping list.

10 Freezer Meal Shopping List

  • Servings: -
  • Difficulty: -
  • Print

DAIRY
16 oz cottage cheese
16 oz French onion dip
3 packages of cream cheese
6 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/3 c. milk
1 1/2 c. cream
2 sticks butter
6 eggs
SPICES/SEASONING
Kosher salt
chili powder
garlic powder
1 packet taco seasoning
2 envelopes dry Ranch dressing mix
cornstarch, if needed, to thicken soup

 

PRODUCE
minced garlic in a jar
4 cloves garlic (or just used minced jar)
2 onions
1 bunch green onions
7 large potatoes

 

MEATS
1 lb. ground turkey
2 lbs ground beef
5 turkey bratwursts
4-6 pork chops
approx 4-6 lbs. chicken breasts

 

BOXED PASTA
4 c. uncooked penne pasta
2 pkg no-boil lasagna noodles

 

CANNED GOODS
2 large jars (45 oz each) pasta sauce
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
4 or 5 cans of tomatoes for chili (various types: stewed, diced, chopped, Italian-style, etc)
2 cans black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can refried beans
3 or 4 cans of beans for chili (variety of black beans, kidney beans, chili beans, red beans, etc)
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can green enchilada sauce
16 oz sauerkraut, drained
1 can (10-12 oz) chicken breast
2 jars (approx 16 oz ea) of salsa

 

SOUPS
2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
4 cans Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
11 c. chicken broth (or bouillon cubes to make broth)
2 envelopes onion soup mix

 

FOR STORING/FREEZING/LABELING
permanent marker
two 9×13 foil pans
three 8-in square foil pans
freezer-safe soup containers (I used 11 alltogether)
paper towels (I used 15 individual paper towels to wrap burritos),
roll of heavy duty foil
pop-up foil wrappers (for individual burritos) OR just use roll of heavy duty foil
gallon freezer bags (I used 20 alltogether)
jumbo 2.5 gal storage bags (I used 3 alltogether)

 

CONDIMENTS
2 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
2 Tbs. yellow mustard
12 oz bottle Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce
1/2 c. ketchup

 

MISC
16 crushed saltines
15-20 flour tortillas (8-inch)
slow cooker liners

 

OPTIONAL IDEAS… for when you eat the recipes, so I wait to buy these (or get the non-perishables now and the fresh items later):
Individual burrito toppings: black olives, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes
For chili: bread bowls, toppings such as sour cream, crackers, shredded cheese, Fritos/corn chips
For loaded baked potato soup: bread bowls, toppings such as bacon bits, sour cream, crackers, shredded cheese, chives
For buffalo chicken sandwiches: buns, toppings such as provolone cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, Ranch dressing, feta, blue cheese. For buffalo chicken salads: shredded lettuce, Ranch dressing, onions, tomatoes, feta, blue cheese.
Toppings for chicken taco soup: shredded cheese, tortilla chips, hot sauce, sour cream, avocado

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I split the preparations into two groups. The first day I made:

The second day I made:

 

Shop once, make tons of awesome freezer meals. Great variety of lasagna, soups, individual burritos, casseroles, chicken, pork chops, and more.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Feel free to let me know! This was a big project and I’m sure I left out something or need to tweak some instructions, etc! 🙂

Want more freezer inspiration? Here are some other make-ahead recipes:

Individual Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

Braided Pepperoni Pizza

Cilantro-Lime Rice

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Greek Marinated Chicken

Ceddar Ranch Chicken

Ranch Parmesan Chicken

Crock Pot Garlic Ranch Chicken

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

Kickin’ Buffalo Lime Chicken

Crock Pot Citrus Chicken

Crock Pot Garlicky Goodness Honey Mustard Chicken

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

French Onion Crusted Pork Chops

Cheesy Pork Chops and Potatoes

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops

3-Ingredient Cheesy Ranch Pork Chops

Part of my SHOP ONCE, MAKE 10 FREEZER RECIPES project.

I made two lasagnas and froze them, though you could always prepare one right away, and freeze the extra.

Creamy Onion Lasagna - makes 2 batches. FYI 1 sauce in the photo but need 2. Part of shop once make 10 freezer recipes.

Creamy Onion Lasagna

MAKES Two 9×13″ pans of lasagna — 12 servings each

Adapted from Taste of Home Ultimate Meals from the Freezer Magazine (page 49)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 16 oz French onion dip
  • 2 large jars (45 oz each) pasta sauce – FYI I accidentally used just 1 in the photo, but you need 2 😉
  • 24 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Two 9×13 baking pans (I used the foil type)
  • If freezing: heavy duty foil, permanent marker, plastic wrap, jumbo storage bags (a 9×13 pans fit into a 2.5 gallon bag perfectly)

WHAT YOU DO:

Cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl then add 1 jar pasta sauce, eggs, cottage cheese, and dip.

Spread a layer of sauce from the unopened jar in each of the 9×13 pans. Add a layer of noodles on each, then the meat mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers, alternating the noodles, meat mixture, and cheese until pans are full.

If preparing right away: Bake 50-60 mins at 375F or until cheese is melted. Let stand 15 mins before cutting.

If freezing:  Wrap in foil and plastic wrap/jumbo storage bag. Label with a permanent marker as pictured, and store in freezer. To use, thaw in fridge overnight. 30 mins before baking, set out. Preheat oven to 375F and bake 50-60 mins (or until internal temperature is at least 165F), until golden brown and bubbly.

Creamy Onion Lasagna - makes 2 batches - freezer friendly

Creamy Onion Lasagna - my little helpers

Creamy Onion Lasagna - freezer friendly - just mix up and freeze unbaked - then bake in the oven when ready

Creamy Onion Lasagna - freezer friendly - just mix up and freeze unbaked - then bake in the oven when ready

Best Lasagna EVER - secret ingredient is French onion dip. Includes freezer instructions - make 2 and freeze the extra. Throw all of your other lasagna recipes away! :)

Have a little more time to make an awesome lasagna with a homemade red wine sauce? Try this…

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

Best lasagna recipe ever - includes freezer instructions - Not sure why but they always taste better the next day as leftovers!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Recipe — Verdict: Delicious!!! It was slightly spicy but not too overpowering, and the feta crumbles added just the right touch. Gotta love Crock Pot recipes!

In my recent books-to-movies kick, I am spending lots of time getting books from our library that I haven’t been able to check out as eBooks. I happened upon the cookbook section and found “Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking” by Stephanie O’Dea. Gotta love CrockPot recipes! Here’s one recipe that I adapted, Buffalo Chicken Lasagna.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked (I baked them @ 400F for 20 mins) and chopped
  • 1 (24-oz) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 c. Franks buffalo wing sauce
  • 8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 3 c. shredded cheese
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c. water

WHAT YOU DO:

In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, pasta sauce, and wing sauce. Coat  the inside of a 6-qt slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle a spoonful into the bottom of the slow cooker.  Cover with a layer of uncooked noodles (you might have to break them so they fit the shape of the slow cooker). Add a layer of ricotta cheese on top of the noodles. Add a layer of shredded cheese, and then repeat layering until the ingredients are used up. Add the feta for the final topping, then put the water in the empty sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid on top of the entire lasagna. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours *or* LOW for 6-7 hours. After cooking, unplug and remove the lid. Let sit for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

buffalo chicken lasagna - awesome crock pot recipe

Slow Cooker

If you’re a fan of buffalo wing sauce, check out my other buffalo-y recipes:

Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Crock Pot Buffalo Ranch Chicken

On The Lighter Side: Buffalo Cream Cheese Feta Dip

I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need.

Here’s a healthy-ish one: Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups.

spinach lasagna roll-ups

WHAT YOU NEED:

9 lasagna noodles, cooked and excess water removed
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 jar of pasta sauce
3 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

In a bowl, mix together the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt & pepper. Lay out a piece of waxed paper and lay the lasagna noodles out flat on top of the waxed paper. Divide the spinach mixture evenly on each noodle (approximately 1/3 of a cup each). Roll the noodles then place seam-side down. After you have finished all of the rolls, flash freeze them on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, then transfer to a gallon freezer bag. Label with a Sharpie and freeze.

To prepare: Preheat oven to 350F. Place a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom of a foil-lined baking dish. Put a roll-up on top, then top with more sauce. Add mozzarella cheese and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 30-60 minutes (depending on the amount of rolls, and until cheese melts).

recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com

lasagna roll-ups I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups: I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups: I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups: I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. spinach lasagna-roll ups spinach lasagna roll-ups