Kitchen Sink Cooking: Freezer Meal Lasagna

IMG_5654Lasagna is a very versatile dish and also very simple to make and cook. You can make mini ones in a loaf pan as pictured above or use a large pan to serve a dinner party. No matter what your plan, the prep and assembly are all the same.

I recently asked my Facebook friends for some suggestions to create some new freezer meal recipes. A friend of mine from work in California is vegetarian and requested some new veggie meals to make. I too love my veggies and took on the challenge. Since Hubby and Grumpy are not huge veggie-meal fans, I decided to make two smaller lasagnas – one meat and one veggie. Each list of ingrients will make two loaf pans – note if making all 4 pans don’t double the pasta sauce, just add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes – unless you want leftover sauce for another meal (see below).

The Tools
Foil
2 to 4 Disposable or not loaf pans (if using not, keep in mind the meal needs to freeze in the pan so you will lose your loaf pan for a bit until it’s frozen).
Marker pen (to write cook instructions and to label the meal)
Knives/Cutting Board/etc

IMG_5641The Ingredients – Veggie Version
Uncooked lasagna noodles
3 cups frozen spinach (not thawed)
1 24oz can of pasta sauce (or a homemade version)
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 leak (sliced into rounds)
1 Zucchini (sliced into rounds)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 8oz container of Cottage Cheese (do not drain)
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

The Ingredients – Meat Version
Uncooked lasagna noodles
3 cups frozen spinach (not thawed)
1 24oz can of pasta sauce (or a homemade version)
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1lb of ground beef
1 leak (sliced into rounds)
1 8oz container of Cottage Cheese (optional)
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Italian Seasoning to taste

IMG_5643Combine the spinach, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and leak in a large pot and heat through. Once heated add salt and pepper to taste. If your pasta sauce or diced tomatoes are not already seasoned, add Italian Seasoning to taste as well. You can either blend the sauce or leave it chunky. Completely a personal preference! You may have extra sauce, save and serve over pasta and Turkey Pork Meatballs.

Lay everything out to make things easier when assembling.

Lay everything out to make things easier when assembling.

For the Veggie Version:
Place the uncooked lasagna noodles on the bottom of the loaf pan (you will need to break off the top inch or two to make it fit, but keep the broken parts for another layer!), then a layer of zucchini, a layer of mushrooms, a layer of sauce, a layer of cottage cheese, and a sprinkle of Mozzarella and Parmesan – then repeat! Use the broken parts to make a full layer, you will not notice the difference once cooked. After two layers the loaf pan will likely be full. One last layer of noodles, sauce, and Mozzarella and Parmesan to finish it off. Do not drain the cottage cheese as the noodles want the liquid to cook during baking.

For the Meat Version:
Brown the ground beef in a fry pan, drain off the fat, then pour in one can of tomato sauce, and season with Italian Seasoning. The assembly is basically the same as above – just substitute meat for veggies. Layer noddle, meat, sauce, cheese and then again. Since there are less ingredients you will likely be able to do another full layer or just increase how much meat you use in the two layers. You can add veggies to this as well. As I said very customizable.

Cover with foil and label! Make sure to write the cooking information on the foil to help remind you what to do. If making a veggie and a meat version, make sure to label this as well. Take out the night before and either leave out on your counter over night to defrost or leave in the fridge to defrost. Preheat your oven to 350F and bake for about 50mins and then uncover for 15mins and brown until the cheese is browned. No need to have a side dish as everything is in one dish, but if you want something else try adding a quick salad or some garlic toast (toast in a fry pan on the stove stop while the cheese is browning from frozen!).

All ready to wrap and freeze!

All ready to wrap and freeze!

I really loved the flavor the leak brings to this meal. I tried both the meat version and the veggie version (twice) and really enjoyed it. Hubby complained there was too much cheese and Grumpy complained that the leak was whole – there is no pleasing some! Oh well, next time I will likely puree the sauce to get rid of the leak texture (although I really liked it), but I don’t plan on decreasing the cheese amount 😉

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About Emma BL

In the begining, there was just the two of us, then there were furbabies, and then a baby! We started trying to conceive in Nov 2010, but experienced complications and a miscarriage. Finally in April 2012 we welcomed Monkey and Bear joined in 2015. While preggo and trying to become preggo with Monkey, I often hit the web search for information about what is happening to me and I hope that through sharing my experiences, others gain some knowledge. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. So take all my experiences and advice with a grain of salt! Now that Monkey and Bear are around and we have made the transition to parents... we try to answer the question "is there life after the baby bump?"
This entry was posted in Cooking, Freezer Meals, Kitchen Sink Cooking, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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