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Heidi’s No-Boil Lasagna

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My family loves lasagna.  Especially my husband!  But it’s such a chore to boil and drain noodles, make the cheese filling, make the meat sauce, then layer it all together only to have SO much more than we need for just our family of four…  Almost makes it not worth it.  But I’m going to share with you my tried-and-true secret methods for healthy no-boil lasagna and then it will be worth it, I promise.

My first tip is, of course, this: DO NOT boil the noodles first.  It’s not necessary.  All it does is make a mess, dirty at least one more dish (more like two or three), and frustrate you when they stick together.  (And you don’t even have to use the no-boil noodles.  Just regular ole lasagna noodles that you don’t boil first.)  Say what?

My second tip is this: freeze the leftovers in single-serve containers for easy grab-and-go lunches that you just toss in the microwave.  And I have a third and final tip but you’ll have to scroll all the way to the bottom to the recipe notes for that one.  (insert evil laugh here)

healthy no-boil lasagna
healthy no-boil lasagna

Heidi's No-Boil Lasagna

Author: Heidi Boortz
Servings : 12

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef 90% lean or leaner
  • 1 jar pasta sauce no sugar listed in ingredients
  • 9 each 100% whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups mozzarella grated
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated, divided
  • 2 egg
  • 1 tsp dried parsley or 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

To Cook Immediately: Oven

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Brown beef in large skillet, stirring frequently to break up chunks. Pour pasta sauce over beef. Fill empty pasta sauce jar with water, and add to beef mixture. Stir well. Spray 13 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1 cup beef mixture to the bottom of prepared pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1/3 cheese mixture to pan. Use a spatula to spread it out a little. (does not have to be perfectly even). Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
  • Add 1 cup sauce mixture to noodles, followed by 1/3 cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles. Add remaining sauce, remaining cheese mixture, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Your lasagna will be very watery at this stage. Pray underside of foil with cooking spray. Cover lasagna tightly with foil.
  • Bake, covered, at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover (lasagna will be soupy still), and bake an additional 30 minutes. (lasagna will still be soupy) Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before cutting.

To Freeze

  • Brown beef in large skillet, stirring frequently to break up chunks. Pour pasta sauce over beef. Fill empty pasta sauce jar with water, and add to beef mixture. Stir well. Spray 13 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1 cup beef mixture to the bottom of prepared pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1/3 cheese mixture to pan. Use a spatula to spread it out a little. (does not have to be perfectly even). Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
  • Add 1 cup sauce mixture to noodles, followed by 1/3 cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles. Add remaining sauce, remaining cheese mixture, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Spray underside of foil with cooking spray. Cover tightly with foil. Freeze.

To Cook after Freezing: oven

  • Thaw completely. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

To cook after freezing: Slow Cooker

  • You will need a special casserole-sized slow cooker for this method. Please see suggestions in notes. Prepare and freeze lasagna in a disposable foil pan (13 x 9 sized). To remove it from the pan, place a large cutting board over the pan, and carefully turn upside down. Remove the frozen lasagna like removing an ice cube from an ice cube tray. Place the crock from the casserole sized slow cooker upside down over the frozen lasagna. Holding both the casserole crock and the cutting board, flip everything right side up at the same time. Place the crock in the slow cooker. Cover with lid. Cook on low 4 hours or on high 3 hours. Uncover and turn off heat. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

To Cook Immediately: Slow Cooker

  • Brown beef in large skillet, stirring frequently to break up chunks. Pour pasta sauce over beef. Fill empty pasta sauce jar with water, and add to beef mixture. Stir well. Spray casserole sized crock baking with cooking spray. Add 1 cup beef mixture to the bottom of prepared pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1/3 cheese mixture to pan. Use a spatula to spread it out a little. (does not have to be perfectly even). Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
  • Add 1 cup sauce mixture to noodles, followed by 1/3 cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles. Add remaining sauce, remaining cheese mixture, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Place lid and cook on low 3 hours or on high 2 hours. Uncover and turn off heat. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Notes

My third and final tip is to use a casserole sized slow cooker.  If you have one of these, you don't need to remember to thaw the lasagna first, and you don't have to wait for hours in the evening while it cooks.  (And you don't have to try to figure out how to get rectangular noodles into an oval crock!) The slow cooker does all that for you!  HERE is a great version on Amazon.
For gluten free, look for brown rice lasagna noodles.  For vegetarian, use Field Roast Italian Sausage instead of ground beef.  Simply remove the casings and chop using a knife or a food processor.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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