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i decided to post this because…i have heard more than one woman say “i have never made lasagna.”


they said it’s “too hard”….or “you can buy it frozen”
too much work?
it’s really not…you can make it in 20 minutes…probably.

and this is nothing gourmet by any means but you don’t look to me for that anyway do you? 

to make it
my way (probably the same as the box says) you will need these ingredients.
as you can see i have no problem using generic brand foods.

boil a big pot of water for your noodles.
begin browning the ground beef.
i add salt and pepper and minced onion to the ground beef.

and while those two are going…combine your cheeses and egg in a mixing bowl.
sometimes i throw in some minced garlic too.
you could add parsley to the cheese mixture but my kids would pick at it and say “eeeewwww” so i don’t.

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cook the noodles according to the box.
and drain them in a collendar when they are tender.
i run them under cold water because they are so hot to work with if i don’t.

add your sauce to your browned ground beef. (after you’ve drained the grease out of your pan)

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in a 9×13 pan put a spoonful of sauce on the bottom of the pan to keep anything from sticking.
then begin layering…first 4 noodles.

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then a layer of sauce….and then a layer of cheese mixture.

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and repeat those layers again.
then cover the whole dish with shredded cheese.
and bake it at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes.

yum yum yum.
everyone loves this at our house!

i almost always make two when i make this.
one for the freezer and one for that night.

and this is a great dish to bring to new mom or friends that need a night off from cooking dinner.




Jennifer - My family love this recipe and we make it on a regular basis!

Kirsten - Love Julie and Julia!!!! What a fabulous idea!

melissa mae - nothing like homemade lasagna! I’m making my moms recipe on Sunday. YUM! As for sugar…oh my, you and I are in the same boat. Oh, how I love sugar. I am also on a “no sugar” kick and I lost 5 pounds. Totally worth it.

Tasha roe - Looks delish! Have you ever put it jn the crockpot? No need to cook noodles or check on it

Meg - I have never heard of making lasagna with Cottage Cheese. Around these parts we make it with Ricotta Cheese. I’ll have to try it with the Cottage Cheese.

Heather K. - Julie & Julia is awesome!

Nikki - This looks yummy. And to offer you some encouragement, I gave up all refined sugar several months ago. I lost 45 pounds and feel better than I ever have. Eventually my taste buds did adjust and sugar really doesn’t taste that good any more (and I LOVED sugar!) and other flavors suddenly taste amazing. Keep at it!

tara pollard pakosta - there is a way easier way to make it right on the stove top too! I can’t remember , but I think it was a Kraft recipe YUMMY! your pix are GREAT! tara

Ashley Crenshaw - I made your lasagna last night and my husband LOVED it! Finally, I can get him off of the frozen kind. (Blah at frozen lasagna.) Thanks Meg!

Melanie - Meg, I have made the french toast many times. My family loves it. I even blogged about it and I told everyone that I got it from you. It is delish.

wakana - i’ve never tried cottage cheese so i will try yours next time i make “ba-zanya” (my little daughter calls that way!)

the wild raspberry - loved julie and julia….
i make lasagne without cooking the noodles….just cover with foil while baking….then you don’t have to wrestle sticky noodles.

Traci - looks yummy. i just made my first homemade lasagna last year. found a recipe to make the day before and you don’t even have to cook the noodles. it is so good and my family asks for it all the time now. what took me so long?

princess lasertron - I *just* watched julie and julia YESTERDAY and I don’t know if I’m just hormonal or WHAT but I cried through the whole thing. I am so moved by two women paving their own paths and living their best lives.

Janine - Easy sugar free recipe…
My grandmother used to make these and I will admit they do satisfy a sweet tooth. Core & peel a whole apple and put it in a deep baking pan. Pour diet black cherry soda (random generic is fine.)on the apple and inside the core to coat them. Let the apple sit in about an inch or so of the soda and bake till the apple is soft and the soda syrupy. It’s sweet and the only sugar in it is the natural sugar from the apple.
I have also made pumpkin pie using splenda and it came out great. (used the recipe off of the Libby can and followed the splenda subtituting rules)
Splenda brown sugar does have some sugar in it but it does make a great low sugar apple crisp.
Don’t forget about sugar free jello.
I need to give up sugar too. It’s so hard. Good luck.

Amanda Mc - Yummy, too bad I live in a place that doesn’t eat beef (India), but I could substitute, just wouldn’t taste nearly as good! Your daughter Lauren would do fine here though 😀

Christina - Don’t boil the noodles, and that’s one less pot to clean! 🙂 I add a little extra sauce and 15-20 minutes to the cooking time, and it’s so good.

linda lou - i got two julie & julia’s for christmas took one back and got 4 other movies in place of one since it was so expensive, and have watched it several times now. meg you can make the lasagna for me and i’ll pay YOU!!
lindalou (amy d mom)

Beth - Ummm, I can’t see my first comment, which I really left. Anyway, my second comment, minus my first comment, sounds a bit schizophrenic. My first comment (which I can’t find) said you should watch this video on youtube. I might have posted it in your comments section before, but I do think you’ll love it (it’s about ART, not sugar).

Beth - Oh, well, ok, you didn’t say “sugar, sugar I love you” but what you did say made me think of that song/video anyway 🙂 That’s just the way my mind works I guess. I still think you’ll love it.

DreamGirlLisa - Love you Megan, but not sure about the jarred sauce and cottage cheese(I love it, but not in lasagna, I use ricotta). I do love to cook though, so making the sauce from scratch is all part of it for me, but also why I don’t make lasagna too often. I loved Julie & Julia too, definitely one of my new favorites too.

Jenni - Yummy!!! Yes, that movie is a must see. FYI, I have your plates! 🙂

courtney - can not wait for lasagne…I am nine months pregnant and the idea of that much acid in my tummy makes me green, but oh my once my little is here; bring it on! Your blog is awesome! Congrats on the HOMIE too!

Lori - I have never attempted Lasagna but I’ll definitely put it on my list of things to do. And, yes, I did see Julie and Julia-loved it!

christi - you are always SO practical. so practical. and i watched the movie twice last weekend … LOVE IT!!!

Jessica Defibaugh - Great Job! I did see the movie and yes one of my all time favorites!

feather - i am such a lover of lasagne. however, my kids don’t eat mixed foot. mixed food…you know, chili, soups, casseroles, lasagne. i will never understand them.

Tonya - Thanks for the inspiration! I haven’t made a lasagna in years but we’re having it tonight!!! I made mine with whole wheat pasta and added wheat germ & pureed carrots to my sauce. Gotta do whatever I can to sneak healthy stuff into my guys!

Janine - ok, so I have to admit I am a little grossed out by the cottage cheese thing. I have never heard of using cottage cheese, and I never liked it. I always use Ricotta cheese and I spice the cheese up with herbs. I guess all that matters is that your family loves it. And you can easily make a small tray (use a mini loaf pan) for Lauren without meat.

janet - Thanks for the quick yummy recipe! Found you via Seleta’s site. If it makes you feel any better, or gives you some hope, I was a true sugar addict. Seriously, seriously addicted. I gave it up last January 1st. I honestly thought I was going to die from with drawals. It got better each week.I did still eat fruit etc. ( no pineapple). I lost 40 pounds, and have never felt better! 🙂 I can honestly say, I don’t even miss the sugar! Giving up sugar was the absolute BEST thing I ever did! I don’t even like the taste of it anymore~Good luck Meg!

megan - hilarious my easy lasagna recipe is almost identical! i always use cottage cheese in place of ricotta and i always use prego sauce with mine too. i usually double and freeze one.

Collette - Agreed that lasagna is so easy to make that I usually make 2 at a time (one for now and one to freeze). I prefer veggie lasagna (mmm, spinach) to meat, but both are good. And I stopped cooking my noddles first and most of the time they are just find. Maybe just a tad not soft enough, but it saves time. Nothing wrong with generic, it’s all pretty much the same in the end – just less pretty packaging.

Renee - Are you trying to make me fat, Meg? Cause all of your recipes make me eat like I haven’t had a meal in a week! This from the woman who has given up sugar! LOL For me, lasagna will always be one of those meals that tastes better when somebody else makes it, know what I mean? But I’m still going to try your recipe (cause I always do). xoxoxoxo

Angela Neil - Looks delicious! And easy to make too!

Dianne Avery - Tell Lauren to make a separate batch with Morningstar Crumbles. I’m a lifelong veggie and I love the stuff. I’ve made lasagna with it for friends and they didn’t even realize that they weren’t eating meat. It works great for Tacos too.

Carisa - We love it too! I never cook my noodles and i don’t even purchase the “no-boil” kind. Just layer them in there. My cheesy layer is cream cheese and sour cream too…light of course! 🙂

carissa... brown eyed fox - i’ll take it… a bite… BIG one… that is! 🙂
and i love how salad just melds right in as the perfect side… with ranch of course! 🙂
now if i could just try making it! 🙂

Danielle @ Transforming Home - Alright. You convinced me. No more frozen. I will make it from scratch next time.

Shelly Reil - Please, PLEase, PLEASE!!! Don’t even boil the noodles!! Layer everything with noodles uncooked, Bake at 350 covered with foil for 30 minutes, and uncover and bake another 15 – 25 minutes. That simple!! Don’t need special pasta either, it all works! Saved you some water, and the hassle of ripping and tearing the cooked noodles

Diane Rathbun - Lasagne is wonderful, I agree. I almost always use the oven ready noodles which is nice and my own spaghetti sauce. Whenever we have spaghetti I always make a huge pot of sauce and throw the leftovers in the freezer, that way we have another round of spaghetti or sauce for lasagne ready for a quick meal!

Courtney Walsh - I actually make lasagna as one of my “easy” dinners. Sometimes I prepare it ahead in the morning and then bake it closer to dinner time. I use ricotta instead of cottage cheese too and LOTS of garlic (in my beef too!! yum) and we all absolutely love it!
Oh, I have to tell you I’ve more or less given up sugar too and I feel your pain. It’s really, really hard!!

Jess - I also never attempted lasagna because I thought it was hard to make. Yours looks simple and yummy!

amanda - I’ve gotten quite a response asking me about my crock pot lasagna, so here’s the recipe!
1lb ground beef
1 box lasagna noodles
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 large tub ricotta cheese
1 large bag mozzarella or italian blend shredded cheese
Parmesan cheese
Whatever spices your heart desires
1. Season, cook, and drain ground beef
2. Add sauce to beef
3. Mix parmesan cheese and salt and pepper into ricotta cheese
Layer into the crock pot however you want. I do it like this:
Noodles, ricotta, sauce, grated cheese, repeat until full.
It’s so quick and easy and you don’t have to cook the noodles! Also, sometimes I skip the beef and just use the sauce and cheese and it’s still super yummy and even quicker!

Anna - And for those chaotic nights when you only have a short time to get food to the table before your 2.5 year old has her “I’m hungry now” fit… there is Skillet “La-bong-ya” as my little one calls it. This is my weeknight lasagna.
Cook Ground Beef, Add Spaghetti Sauce, Salt, Pepper, and Minced Onion, 1.5 cups of water, then break the Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles into pieces and add to mix, let boil 15-20 mins until noodles are tender (I’m sure there is a fancy name for that), As it cools add the cheese on top. Hubby says it taste just like the other, but he’d rather the traditional layered type.

Val - When my son was little he pronounced it “jon-g”.
And I use the no-boil, ready to use lasagna noodles… you can’t tell the difference!

Mindi - Looks yummy! My best friend, who is admittedly not a chef, makes her own version of lasagna called “la-la-la-lori!”

Janet Biernacki - It is a great movie..I’ve seen it twice.
I’m a big fan of Prego as well…plus no boil noodles. And..I use ground turkey sometimes. Or when I want to make my hubby swoon will use ground turkey, plus ground beef , plus sausage.
Kudos to u and the no sugar! You can do it.

4JJM - Lasagna is so easy, I agree – and I don’t even cook the noodles first – just use the hard noodles in the recipe and they come out perfect every time!

Kim - Thanks for posting! I’m even making lasagna without cooking the noodles first! It is so nice to get rid of one step in the process!

A pocket full of posies... - YUMMM!!! and LOVED “Julie & Julia”!!! one of my new forever favorites too!
sorry on the “sugar thing”!- I’ll keep praying!

Immyyas - I’ve never made lasagna before either. My sisters always tell me how easy & quick it is but never have said “Hey, here is the recipe give it a try!” I enjoy cooking & make tons of things way more complicated than this… I do believe I will have to give this a try. Looks Yummy!!!

Heather - I just watched Julie and Julia for the second time last night. I adore it! It makes me want to wear pearls and buy butter.

Amy - My kids love Lasagna! I have to laugh at your prep pictures. My girls got in this huge discussion how annoying it is that there parents only buy the white stuff (Great Value)So when they get home I will show them this picture.
We decided to a cook book in a year but NOT Julia Childs I am not sure butter for every meal is such a great idea.

Courtney - I saw Julie & Julia last week… so good! Are you a Glee fan? Did you notice Sue? Just wondering, I love Glee 🙂

Janelle - I love making a lasagna – mainly because my husband is under the impression that it is super hard to make and I must be a goddess for knowing how to do it. So stop going around telling everyone it is easy!!!

Laura Phelps - I loved Julie & Julia more than I love lasagna
and I buy the NO BOIL noodles…makes it that much easier
you can also add cooked spinach, feta cheese, sliced fresh tomato on top…
ya know, to make sure your kids don’t eat it…

Rachel / cREaTe - LOVE lasagna … it IS easy & yet looks fancy. 🙂 my recipe has you lay thin tomato slices across the very top, sprinkled with some parmesan … nice fresh touch. another little tip my recipe came with: alternate your layers of the lasagna noodles to go lengthwise on one layer, then lay across the width [or on a diagonal] on the next layer & keep alternating to make it easier to cut & hold its shape instead of all sliding out. a little cutting is involved on the width layer… but i think it does help.
might have to make ma-zan-ya mañana! 🙂 ha ha [that’s what you should call it when you make it the night before … the mañana mazanya.]

mikki roo - I know so many people who say they don’t make lasagna too! I have no idea why because it’s my stand-by when I can’t think of anything else to make. It’s easy, filling & everyone loves it! Like some others said, I use the no-cook noodles but I do soak them a few minutes in hot water (just in a 9×13 pan) so they have a head start. So much simpler!

Tracy - mmmmm! My mouth is watering – what a perfectly easy and great short cut recipe!
I think i need breakfast now….mmmmm!

Lisa - Looks delicious!
I’m thinking of switching blog domains to typepad. Do you pay a monthly fee to allow you complete design control? If so any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Take Care,

Christy - Yum! I am the designated lasagna maker in my family (took the title from my sister). I use ricotta cheese & Barilla (plus one can tomato sauce & one can diced tomatoes for my marinara). I also like to add some shredded zuchini to get some veggies in & no one is the wiser. 🙂
There is also a great recipe for skillet lasagna from Country Home or Country Living mag a few years ago. It’s a great week night dinner as it only takes 10 minutes to cook!

angela - Have you ever tried NOT boiling your noodles? Works great and it saves you a step! Love your Annie!

Hattie - I make my lasagna the exact same way! I’ve been bugging my hubby to order Julie & Julia from netflix for me, I can’t wait to watch it.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - Prego Tomato Basil Garlic is my FAVE! I also use a lot of generic food…but some things, like salsa and spaghetti sauce, are too important. 🙂
Julie and Julia – We loved it! Stanley Smoochie. 🙂

The Lady of the House - Man! I love your Annie – she’s a doll! What she calls lasagna is hilarious! Looks really good and thanks for sharing your way of doing it! Always fun to see how other people do things… Julie & Julia was totally marvelous!

jen - Why the cottage cheese and not ricotta? I’ve never heard of using cottage.

Beth - This made me laugh out loud! I just made out my menu for the week and I’m making your crescent chicken, baked french toast (for breakfast for dinner), my own ‘no boil noodles’ lasagna, AND cream puff dessert. Ahhhhhh, do you hate me? I will take extra bites for you, my dear. 😉

Trasie Bressler - Hey! Did you know they are doing Pickalicious at the crown up town starting in Feb.?
Just thought I would pass that info along since one of your girls loves that book.

Trasie Bressler - Ok so that looks too good to eat. Love that stuff but I use the no cook noodles because I can never get the one that you have to cook right.
I want to know what the side of your 9 x 13 pan says……LOL!!!

Deanna from dedeetsyshop - I am making lasagna tonight too! It is one of our favorite dinners! I actually make it pretty much the EXACT same way you do, only I don’t even mix the meat and sauce. The meat just gets layered on the sauce! Yummy!
I LOVE your blog by the way! 🙂

linda@LimeintheCoconut - I make it all the time…but still even LOVE seeing it be made! Yum! Now I wanna make it for dinner!

Tara @ the cinnamon post - Julie & Julia is a sweet movie…I just wish Julie in real life was more like the character in the movie. I watched it with my daughter Charlotte who thought Julie’s meltdowns were much like mine. Lovely.

Cori - I think i’ll pick up some stuff to make lasagna today. This week is a quiet week kid activity wise but next week looks a bit crazy on the old calender. Wouldn’t it be great to pop this into the oven one night. You are an inspiration to me Meg with your Sugar thing. I need to kick my habit and soon!

Donna - Ummm. I love lasagna. When I was growing up my grandma’s would make it all the time for me. My mom said it was “too much work”. So naturally, I was intimidated by it. Then one day I psyched myself up for “all the work” and made me some lasagna. Ha! Too much work? I actually found it to be one of the easiest, quickest and most delicious meals to prepare. Unfortunately, there are a few cheese haters in my family who won’t eat it, but there are a few more of us who just love it and I make it often. I boil up some penne noodles and throw some sauce on top for the cheese haters on lasagna night. Tonight I am making my families favorite meal – Calzones – now that is a bit of work. I will post it on my blog later tonight.

Ivy Bettinger Smith - Sometimes I use spiral noodles if I dont have any lasagna noodles. Also I like to add in cream cheese and sour cream in between my layers. I just get a spoonful and use my finger to kinda plop in down in between the layers…yum!

julie y. - meg…lasagna really is so easy, thanks for reminding us bloggers. and the no-boil noodles are just as yummy and make it even easier. btw…your post will be up tomorrow. i started to “designer spotlight” today, and have lots of creative ppl. thanks again for sharing with me! blessings!!
xoxo julie!!

Karen Gerstenberger - Yes, I just saw it 2x last weekend: once with friends at a Julie & Julia party at my house (it’s on my blog, but beware – there was sugar & chocolate involved), and once with my husband, because the friends were chatting through the movie. It’s a great one. If you haven’t read Julia Child’s book, “My Life in France,” it’s wonderful, too.
We love homemade lasagne, and one interesting difference in ours is that I use the pasta sheets that my fabulous grocery store makes fresh, & then freezes. They don’t require pre-cooking; you can just lay a full sheet in the pan, and then add your other ingredients, lay another sheet down, etc., and bake.
I love your blog!

Angela - I’ve been a full time, stay at home mom of 3 boys, 18, 14, and 7 for the last 15 yrs and pasta is a huge staple in our house, mostly because it’s so filling. My recipe is the same as yours, except for the onion, my husband and boys won’t eat it, so I add onion powder. We watched Julie and Julia a couple of weeks ago and loved it but I don’t aspire to cook such grand things. lol

Staci - YUMM-MEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! I agree, it really isn’t that terribly hard to make 🙂 Your’s looks super yummy! (I will have to say…I’m with Lauren, I don’t LOVE beef so much…but I will eat it in ma-zan-ya!) Oh Annie…how I love ya 🙂

Daniela - Hi, I always read your blog, it’s wonderful.
I am Italian, I live near Bologna, in Emilia, the region where Lasagne are born.
The ground beef is ok, sausages are ok too, but not the cheese sauce: the real thing is Besciamella, that is, Béchamel sauce, which is really very easy to do, you only have to combine flour, butter and milk.
For a medium pan, half liter of milk, 50 g of flour and 50 g of butter; melt the butter, add the flour, toast for 2 minutes, add the milk, stir and cook for some minutes; the more you cook it, the firmer it becomes. Add some REAL parmesan to the Béchamel sauce and a BIG quantity on the last layer of béchamel.
Enjoy !!!

Diane - I love lasagne. It’s not hard to make but I do make a huge mess in the kitchen when I make it. The great thing about it is that you can make it and freeze it for another day. I can make one pan for my carnivores and one for the veggievores.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - One of my favorites. Yummy!!!
Eat fruit with plain yogurt or a protein bar…something as a substitute. Keep your goals close to your heart, so you don’t waver. You can do it MEG. The new improved body and emotions are worth it:)

Amy - Mmmm. That looks delicious!!

Dina - Have you ever used the noodles that you don’t have to cook? They’re amazing! Makes it even easier:-)
I’ve been wanting to see J & J. Good to know it won’t disappoint:-)

Holly - Oh Yum! I am so making that this weekend!

Lauren - Julie & Julia is definitely on the top of my favorites list! LOVED it!
And I can’t wait to make your lasagna!
Thank you so much for blogging! It always makes my day!

amanda - I make lasagna in the crock pot. SO easy and the house smells like heaven all day!

BriBedell - I have never had ground beef in lasagna. I use Italian sausage. Also just the bag Italian cheese, no cottage cheese but it does look very good with the cheese mixture! Oh and mushrooms I love all of your recipes they are so easy 🙂

Nancy - Ok. I’ll add the lasagne to my list. I won’t tell you what i have made… but I always love it and it is multicolored and has a few layers.

kat - I received Julie and Julia in my stocking at Christmas and I LOVE that movie. It is so cute, and a much have for anyone who loves to cook! 🙂

kat - We love lasagna at our house too! Homemade is way better than frozen any day!!! My daughters call it “De-san-ya” which makes me laugh and think of designer lasagna.

rebecca - I did see Julie and Julia and now I am reading the book…I think this may be a rare instance when the movie is better than the book!

Christy - sounds easy., I have been contemplating about trying Pioneer Womans Recipe. Thanks!!

Debra - Looks yummy. I’m joining you on the sugar thing. (sigh)

Dana Banana - That is my exact recipe for lasagna! Way too easy, don’t know why people think it is so hard to make. I am doing without most sugar here, so I feel your pain. Jonathan watched Julie and Julia with me the other day, even he liked it. Take care!

Stephanie - Aaaah…just saw Julie & Julia last night! I LOVED IT!! I wrote a post this morning about how I hate to cook. I envy you, I wish I found cooking simple or fun. Your lasagna looks yummy.

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