Lasagna recipes with ricotta cheese and meat can be as creative and diverse as the kitchens in which they are created. Lasagna can become quite versatile when the traditional Italian flavors are substituted with Mexican or Indian spices and ingredients instead. Traditional Italian lasagna recipes can range from easy to extremely complex depending on the amount of time one has to spend on the meal. Simple lasagna recipes with ricotta cheese and meat can pack a lot of flavor without requiring hours in the kitchen.
To make lasagna with ricotta cheese and meat sauce, you will need:
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
- A 25-ounce jar of prepared pasta sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 9 lasagna noodles, oven-ready or cooked and drained
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are using oven-ready, uncooked lasagna noodles, check the package directions for recommended baking temperatures and times and adjust accordingly.
- Prepare the meat sauce. Begin by adding the meat, onion and garlic to a large skillet. Cook until the meat is cooked through and the onions are tender. Add the mushrooms and the salt to the skillet and cook for an additional three to five minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Drain any fat from the meat mixture and transfer the meat to a large saucepan. Add the pasta sauce and the Italian seasoning to the meat mixture, stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Prepare the cheese mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine half of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta, the Parmesan cheese and the beaten egg. Mix the cheese mixture with a fork until all of the cheeses are well combined.
- Layer the lasagna. Spray a nine-by-thirteen-inch baking dish with olive oil flavored, non-stick cooking spray. Add a cup of the meat sauce and spread it to cover the bottom of the dish. Place three lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish on the bit of meat sauce. Next, layer 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1/2 the cheese mixture and another layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat with another 1/3 of the meat sauce, the remaining cheese mixture and the remaining lasagna noodles. Top the last layer of lasagna noodles with the remaining meat sauce, and sprinkle with the reserved mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and bake the lasagna. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 40 minutes. If you are using oven-ready lasagna noodles, check the baking time recommended on the package to ensure that they cook thoroughly. Uncover during the last ten minutes of cooking time, if desired.
- Cut and serve the lasagna. Cut the lasagna into serving-sized squares, being sure to cut through all layers and remove them neatly with a spatula. Serve the lasagna warm with salad and garlic bread.