Most kids love pasta in some form. Some of my kids prefer to enjoy their pasta plain or with just a little bit of butter, salt, and pepper- and others in my family prefer pasta with a red sauce or meat sauce. And absolutely everybody loves pasta served as my homemade Mac & Cheese Casserole! But a cheer goes up in the household when my kids check out our menu board and see that tonight we’re serving baked lasagna! This recipe includes an amazing homemade meat sauce that slow cooks for hours before you bake it in the lasagna and the meat sauce alone is the reason to make this recipe! This lasagna does not use ricotta or parmesan cheese- which I find that picky eaters generally don’t care for. Here’s my Homemade Lasagna that Kids will Love:
Homemade Lasagna Meat Sauce2 tablespoons of olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves of crushed garlic 1/2 teaspoons of dried parsley 1 pound of ground beef (lean) 1/2 pound of ground pork 35 oz. can of crushed tomatoes 12 oz. can of tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves 2 teaspoons dried oregano 2 teaspoons of salt 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper 2 tablespoons of sugar
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large deep pot. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and dried parsley until the onion is tender and starting to caramelize, about 7-8 minutes.
(For chopping onions I really love to use my Pampered Chef chopper. It is so easy to peel the onion, cut it into a few large pieces, and then use the chopper to chop it up quickly. I find that if there are large onion chunks in my tomato sauce, my kids will turn up their noses.)
After the onion has been caramelized, add in the beef and pork, cooking until it is well browned and then drain off any excess grease.
Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cover and cook for 3 -4 hours.
Homemade Lasagna1 box of lasagna noodles (about 16- 18 pieces) 1 1/2 pounds of shredded mozzarella cheese homemade lasagna meat sauce (above)
Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare your lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain them under cool water so that they are easy to handle.
Prepare your lasagna pan (I prefer to use a 13 x 9″ baking pan) by adding a little bit of the meat sauce to the bottom of the pan so that the noodles will not stick.
Layer 3 noodles side-by-side in the 13 x 9″ pan, add a nice layer of the meat sauce on top of the noodles, and then sprinkle generously with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Repeat the steps- adding layers of noodles, meat sauce, and cheese until your lasagna reaches the top of the pan. As you get to the final layers it will likely be necessary to add four noodles side-by-side across the top, overlapping slightly in order to span the width of the pan.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes. I like to remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown the cheese on the top layer nicely. Allow the lasagna to stand for 10 -15 minutes before serving, and even once you have cut into it and placed it on the kids’ plates, be sure that it is not too hot for them to eat.
Menu Plan Monday!
This recipe is part of our new series Menu Plan Monday where I will be linking up Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday post.
Here’s what my family will be dining on this week:
Monday: Homemade Lasagna
Tuesday: Chicken Marsala
Wednesday: Mac and Cheese Casserole
Thursday: BBQ Chicken Taquitos
Friday: “Breakfast for dinner” featuring Homemade Belgian Waffles
Saturday: Best EVER Homemade Chili
Sunday: “Mom’s night off” (we’re going out to dinner after soccer games!)
What’s on your meal plan for the week? Please leave a comment below- and share links to your favorite recipes!