Showing posts with label easy lasagna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy lasagna. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cheater Spinach Lasagna #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I've made plenty of stuffed shells in my day but never a lasagna. So with company coming and lots of work on my desk, I decided now was the time. This version is tweaked from the Mueller's pasta box, and I used spinach rather than meat sauce. The cheater part comes in because the noodles don't have to be pre-boiled. I did substitute fresh mozzarella for the packaged dried cheese, which is high in sodium. I had never tried this before and was not quite certain it would work…here goes...


24 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
24 ounce jar good marinara sauce (like Gia Russa Sicilian)
Two packages frozen spinach
Eight fresh basil leaves, if you have them
Fresh grated Parmesan
2 eggs
One package oven-ready lasagna noodles

Thaw the spinach and squeeze it dry. Shred the mozzarella. Grate the Parmesan. Snip the basil into shreds.

Mix the cheeses, the dried spinach, basil, and the eggs in a large bowl. 

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In the bottom of the pan, spread one third of the sauce. Cover the sauce with dried noodles (about 3 1/2.) 

Spread one half of the cheese spinach mixture on top of the noodles. 

Top the cheese mixture with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread one third of the sauce over those noodles. 

Add the remainder of the cheese mixture, top with more noodles, finish with the rest of the sauce and some grated Parmesan.

Cover with an oiled piece of aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let sit for 10 to minutes before serving with a green salad and fresh bread.

And the results were declared delicious by the guests--that's what counts, right? (And it didn't take all day...which is good, because I needed to be working on Food Critic Mystery #8!) And once again, while busy serving, I forgot to take a great photo of the finished dinner!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lasagna Cupcakes

After a very long year between books, The Diva Frosts a Cupcake comes out tomorrow. But I haven't been lazy. I'm now writing two series. Each June a Domestic Diva Mystery will be released, and starting this December, a Paws and Claws Mystery will come out every December. More on Paws and Claws in another post.

For the last year, I have been baking and eating cupcakes. Poor me! The photo to the right shows Coco Loco cupcakes on top, Lemon Meringue Cupcakes in the middle, and strawberry cupcakes on the lowest level. The recipes for all of those cupcakes and more are in the book.

In The Diva Frosts a Cupcake, Nina Reid Norwood arranges a gala banquet with an eight-course cupcake dinner. Accordingly, I had to come up with a few savory cupcakes. Originally, I thought I might make little cupcake shepherd's pies. That would be easy enough. And the potatoes on top would even look like frosting. But I kept hearing about lasagna cupcakes. I've made them several times now and I have to tell you -- they're a hit. All my tasters loved them.

They're actually simple to make. I may never bake a big pan of lasagna again! Don't tell Natasha, but I cheated by using canned sauce. You can certainly use homemade sauce if you prefer. I've made them with ground beef and ground bison. They're delicious with both. I would imagine that ground turkey would work well, too.

There really aren't too many tricks to this. The first time I made them, friends helped me with the laborious task of cutting rounds out of lasagna noodles so they would fit neatly into the pan. But we discovered that they were somewhat difficult to remove from the pan neatly and intact after baking. Please note that the photos are from that first attempt.

The next time, I tried using a lasagna noodle rectangle that was a little bit too long for the cupcake well as the base piece of pasta. That was exactly what they needed. Not only did the little corners that stood up act as handles for lifting them, but they slid out of the pan much better. The corners become hard and crunchy, of course. You can trim them before serving, or leave them on if your family likes crunchy things. Count on at least two per person for diners with average appetites.

Krista's Lasagna Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.

12 to 14 (a couple extra) pieces lasagna noodles
1-2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for pan
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound ground bison (or lean ground beef or ground turkey)
1 14.5 ounce can pasta (or tomato) sauce
8 ounces low-fat mozzarella, shredded
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated 

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package and drain. Heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat and add the minced garlic. After two minutes add the oregano. When it’s aromatic, add the meat and cook. When the meat is cooked, mix in the tomato sauce, salt to taste, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thoroughly grease the wells of a muffin tin with olive oil. Cut each noodle in half and line each cupcake well with one piece so that the ends extend slightly beyond the well. Add a layer of meat and sauce to each well. Add a layer of mozzarella to each well.

Needs more mozzarella!

Cut the remaining noodles roughly to cupcake width. Lay one across each cupcake well. Repeat the layering of the meat and sauce, and the mozzarella. Sprinkle a substantial layer of Parmesan on top of each.

Don't forget the Parmesan.

Bake 18 - 20 minutes. The cupcakes should be bubble a bit at the edges. Remove from oven and use a sharp knife to loosen the cupcakes around the sides. Allow to stand five minutes before removing cupcakes from the pan. If they do not should their shape, allow to stand a few minutes longer.

Lift the cupcakes out of the pan using the using the pasta that sticks out as little handles. The handles will be somewhat crunchy. You may wish to cut them off.