Monday, June 11, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Easy Spinach Lasagna

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All the spinach from my garden was ready at the same time and my family will only eat so many spinach salads.  To help me decide what to make, I went directly to and searched for a recipe to use up my spinach.  My favorite thing about is the index search by ingredient.  I typed in spinach into the search engine and got hundreds of ideas.  Each recipe is also ranked and has reviews, so a great tasting meal is almost guaranteed.  

I decided on Easy Spinach Lasagna and it truly was the easiest dinner to put together.  There is no need to boil the noodles, just layer everything into the pan and cook!  That is my kind of dinner!!

Start off by mixing the ingredients in a bowl..
 The original recipe called for frozen spinach but I just tore up some of my fresh spinach and it worked great!  I also substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta cheese because that is what I had on hand.  (remember THIS trick)

Then I started layering the lasagna.
Start by pouring pasta sauce into the bottom of the pan, layer the lasagna noodles and then add the cottage cheese mixture.  I noticed there was a big space at the end of the pan, so I broke one of the noodles and placed it along the short side of the pan to fill up the void.
This was soooo much easier than cooking the noodles and then trying to lay them in the pan while burning my fingers on hot, slippery noodles.  
This is the trick to cooking the noodles, pour 1/4 C hot water around the edges of the pan.  This will give the dry pasta noodles enough liquid to cook.  Every noodle was cooked through and delicious!

Easy Spinach Lasagna
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
1 10-oz frozen spinach (thawed and well drained) I used about 1 C chopped fresh spinach (canned would probably work too)
2 C mozzarella (or freeze dried mozzarella)
1 jar pasta sauce
8 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/4 C water

Mix together the ricotta/cottage cheese, spinach, and 1 C cheese.  Spread 1 C pasta sauce into the bottom of a 13x9 pan.  Layer 3 noodles across and break another noodle to fit across the short end of the pan.  Layer about 1/2 of the spinach mixture on top of the noodles, then repeat layers.  Slowly pour the water around the edges of the pan. Cover and bake at 400° for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sorry for the bad photo.  I forgot the take a picture and my daughter was about to eat the last piece and I hurried and snapped this shot.

There are many different ways to add in more veggies and spices to this basic recipe.  I added a sprinkling of onion powder and Parmesan cheese, but you could add mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, meat, tvp meat, etc.  Or use all freeze dried and dehydrated ingredients.  It would be possible with freeze dried mozzarella cheese!  I may even double the cottage cheese mixture next time and make more layers, it was kind of a shallow lasagna, but your imagination and pantry items are your limits.  I also can't wait to try this recipe in my Sun Oven. 

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