Lasagna Pasta Bake

posted by Andrea | 07/29/2014

lasagna pasta bake

Our family loves lasagna — however, I don’t always love making lasagna because it seems like I get SO many dishes dirty and make such a huge mess of the kitchen. Plus, a full pan of lasagna makes way too much food for our little family — which means we end up eating lasagna leftovers for the next week or more (unless I freeze it).

So in an effort to please the family and make life a little easier on myself, I came up with this “lasagna-like” recipe. It’s a simple, delicious recipe that tastes just like lasagna but without all the work!

If you like traditional lasagna I’m almost positive you’ll love this recipe too!

Recipe for Lasagna-Like Pasta Bake

Makes one 9″ x 13″ pan or 2 smaller pans.

{print recipe}

ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz. box of your favorite pasta (I would choose a bite-size noodle over the longer spaghetti noodles)
  • 16 oz. tub of cottage cheese
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (optional and not pictured above)
  • 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1.5 oz. package pasta sauce seasoning (usually in the aisle with spices, gravy mixes, etc)
  •  2 c. water
  • 8 oz. shredded Italian-style cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350*F
  • In a large pot, boil pasta until tender. Drain (but do not rinse).
  • Dump entire container of cottage cheese over hot noodles and stir until combined. Set aside.
  • While noodles boil, brown meat in a large frying pan. Drain grease and return pan to stove.
  • Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, pasta seasoning and water to the frying pan and simmer until thick and bubbly.
  • Add cooked meat into the tomato sauce and stir.

Assembly:

  • Dump noodles + cottage cheese mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan (or 2 smaller pans)
  • Pour sauce over noodles
  • Top with cheese
  • Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes – or until cheese is melted.
  • Eat and enjoy!

I can usually get this meal in the oven in about 20 minutes (even less time if I already have the meat cooked up in the freezer) so it’s definitely faster and easier than traditional lasagna recipes. Plus, I only have 2 pans and a spatula to wash!

I often make the meal in the morning and simply refrigerate it until dinner time — and yes, it freezes wonderfully. Oh, and I should mention that it definitely does NOT need to be made in a round pan — I was just running low on square pans so I used a 9″ in cake pan instead :)

yummy pasta

This is a real kid-pleasing recipe and is also great for pot-lucks or other group meals.

Of course, you may feel free to play with the ingredients to fit your tastes. Maybe use your favorite pasta sauce, add a few seasonings or spices, play with various cheeses — I really don’t think you can mess this one up!

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24 comments

  1. Julia

    07/29/2014

    We make something similar since lasagna always seems to be such a pain to make. I like to use Italian turkey sausage, and sometimes we just use half the package to make the meat go farther. I also like to put ricotta cheese in it and sprinkle a little crushed red pepper flakes on top. We call it “not lasagna,” haha. I’ve never mixed the cheese in with the noodles before adding the sauce. I’ll have to try that sometime. This looks yummy!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sounds yummy Julia! And I love the “not lasagna” name too. I should have thought of something more clever than “Lasagna Pasta Bake”. Oh well :)

    [Reply]

  2. Kristen

    07/29/2014

    Did you know today was National Lasagna Day?? What a timely post ;)
    Do you freeze the second casserole after it’s cooked and then just reheat in the oven?

    [Reply]

  3. Barbara

    07/29/2014

    This look great, but my family would move out if I used cottage cheese in anything. Do you think ricotta would work or would it be too dry? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I think Ricotta would definitely work just fine!

    [Reply]

    Kari Reply:

    Barbara,

    You could try mixing an egg in with your ricotta if you are worried about it being dry. I do that in a similar recipe with good results.

    [Reply]

    Barbara Reply:

    Thanks for the egg tip, great idea!

    [Reply]

  4. Kelly

    07/29/2014

    This is one of my favorite dishes to make. We also put sour cream in at the same time as the cottage cheese. I totally agree about it being way easier than lasagna!

    [Reply]

  5. Jaime

    07/29/2014

    We make something like this and call it lazy lasagna! I’ve always wondered how cottage cheese tastes in pasta recipes compared to ricotta, but have been too chicken to try it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I can assure you that unless you have an intense hatred of cottage cheese, you will never know the difference. Plus, cottage cheese is A LOT cheaper at our grocery store!

    Oh, and I love the “Lazy Lasagna” name. I might have to steal that!

    [Reply]

  6. Aa,

    07/29/2014

    I do something just like yours with tagliatelle and it works out beautifully, it creates a fake layer just as lasgna sheets do. And if you let it set before eating, it cuts easy and keep its structure.

    I sometimes add in one layer of grilled eggplant slices, they give such a great flavour to the dish (if you like eggplant) or mushrooms.

    Here in Europe we have lasagna sheets that do not need to be boiled, so it gets easier to make one, but I still prefer it with italian tagliatelle eventhough italians would have me killed for calling that lasagna, haha! The tastes is the only one that matter!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sounds yummy — although I’m not sure I could get Dave do to eggplant! I’ve put zucchini in before, but never eggplant :)

    [Reply]

  7. Jennifer

    07/29/2014

    I love your creamy cheesy chicken lasagna, so can’t wait to try this. Going to have to make the spaghetti sauce from scratch though because that’s why I grow tomatoes. I store it up in the freezer for pasta dishes and pizzas.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yum! Love homemade sauce from scratch! Our tomatoes didn’t grow this year (not sure why) so I will not be canning “from scratch” sauce this year :(

    [Reply]

  8. Lee Cockrum

    07/30/2014

    This recipe looks good, and I like the idea, something easy to serve with a spoon, great for pot lucks! You could make a 9 x 9 pan of regular lasagna with probably the same amount of dishes and time if you used the no cook noodles. They are smaller than the regular ones, perfect for a 9 x 9 pan! They do cost a bit more than the others, but they are worth it to me!

    [Reply]

  9. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    07/30/2014

    My favorite recipes are those that can easily be doubled – one for dinner and one for the freezer! Thanks so much – this one looks delish.

    [Reply]

  10. Nicole

    07/31/2014

    Just made this with summer veggies instead of meat! Spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers. Can’t wait for dinner and so excited to have one to freeze! Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yum — that sounds awesome!

    [Reply]

  11. Kris Gamertsfelder

    08/14/2014

    I made this for dinner last night. It was simple to make and tasted great! My husband and daughter loved it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for letting me know — glad you enjoyed it!

    [Reply]

  12. Kristin

    09/04/2014

    Looks amazing!! Wondering what is the best way to freeze the second batch?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kristin — and as for freezing, just wrap it up in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. No special or complicated instructions!

    [Reply]

  13. Michaela

    10/18/2014

    I made this about a month ago and my kids loved it so much they have brought it up asking me to make it again at least five times! so I had to search it on your site to make it this week.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing — glad you guys liked it!

    [Reply]