Cheater's Lasagna

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A few years ago, I came across a recipe for lasagna that was really easy and I was actually intimidated by the whole process of making the dish. Not anymore! I think the hubby and I have finally perfected our recipe. It's also gone through a few name changes. "Easy Lasagna", "10 Ton Lasagna" and finally, "Cheater's Lasagna" (because it's really not authentic, but still so very good!)

So without further ado - Cheater's Lasagna

10 lasagna noodles - uncooked
1 package Jimmy Dean Sausage Roll - "Hot"
1 can Hunt's Spaghetti sauce - preferably "Original"
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 16 oz container of small curd cottage cheese
1 egg - beaten
1 small bunch of spinach, chopped
1 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or more if you want)

Brown the sausage in a fry pan and drain if needed. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce into the pan and add the ketchup, brown sugar, garlic powder & Italian Seasoning. Stir it all up and taste to make sure it's the way you want it to taste. Then let it simmer while you get the rest together.

Spaghetti Sauce & Sausage - which is your lasagna sauce

Next, mix the cottage cheese, beaten egg and chopped spinach up together in a mixing bowl until well blended. Set aside.

The cottage cheese mixture - or middle layer.
Take the half cup of spaghetti sauce you set aside and spread it over the bottom of a lasagna pan.  Then lay five lasagna noodles down on the bottom, overlapping them kind of like shingles on a roof.  (Sorry, I missed getting a picture of this part.)  Once you're done, take the cottage cheese mixture and spread it evenly over the noodles.

Next, layer the mushrooms over the cottage cheese mixture and take at least a cup and a half of the mozzarella layering it over the top of the shrooms.  At this point you may have to press everything down with your hands to "smoosh" it all down.  It's pretty easy if you have enough cheese on it.  

Before the cheese layer
Take the spaghetti sauce mixture and spread a little less than half of it over the cheese. 

Repeat your lasagna noodle layer with the last five lasagna noodles.  Then spoon the rest of the spaghetti sauce over the noodles.  Add the rest of the mozzarella cheese - again, this is to taste, but we've found less is better.  Here's how we do it:

Seal it all up tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  When your time up, take it out and carefully remove the foil.  Turn your oven up to the broil setting.  Add the Parmesan cheese to the top of the lasagna.  After your oven is heated, broil the lasagna without the foil.  Keep a careful watch over it!  It can burn easily.  It usually takes us about 5 minutes.  And when you pull it out...Voila!

We like to serve it with garlic bread or Texas toast.

Now many people have asked why I don't use ricotta cheese.  We've tried to use it, but I just didn't like the consistency as much as the cottage cheese, plus I think the cottage cheese is a wee bit better for you.  The hubby swears by the leftovers this makes.  

How about you?  Got a cheater recipe?  You don't have to post it here of course, just curious as to what meals you have great shortcuts for.  


Michelle Suzanne said...

brown sugar and ketchup? sounds weird. also canned mushrooms... skeptical.
what i do for lasagna is i brown meat (most recently i used ground turkey instead of beef), throw in diced onion, garlic, mushrooms, (last time i also added zucchini and a little bell pepper), and a jar of sauce, whatever is on sale. i usually get a mushroom sauce or a spicy one.
i also get one of those disposable pans so i can do more layers.
i do sauce on bottom, noodles, cheese mix (i use ricotta, mozzarella, fresh parm, an egg, and lots of spices-basil, etc) more sauce, and repeat sometimes with a whole layer of fresh spinach between the cheese and sauce. i have been told it is the best lasagna ever. this most recent time i made it with gluten free noodles. i think the real hassle of lasagna is cooking the noodles. i always use the no cook kind.

One-Butt-Kitchen said...

Ah, Michelle - brown sugar and a bit of ketchup add the sweetness. This is my cheater's version. It takes so little time to put together.

I do believe yours would be the best one ever tho - :)

Laci said...

I want to know how that is a cheater recipe! Its fantastic and how I usually make my lasagne but I dont leave the noodles uncooked. I cook them first! Otherwise almost everything is the same as how I make it!

Anonymous said...

My "cheater enchilada's" is pretty have one of those?

One-Butt-Kitchen said...

If you consider the recipe on the back of a can of enchilada sauce, a "cheater" recipe, then yes - I definitely do! :D

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