The Best Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe

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Save time and prepare for busy days ahead with this amazing freeze ahead lasagna recipe. With layers of noodles, cheese, & meat sauce, it’s a perfect pasta dinner – without having to cook the noodles first! Make a pan for dinner tonight and freeze another one to have on a later date! 

Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe | This lasagna recipe is simple to assemble and freezes beautifully!

My mother-in-law is one of those cooks who rarely needs a recipe.  She just somehow knows by instinct what to put in a recipe and how much.

I got this recipe from watching her prepare lasagne for a huge group of guests.  As she worked away, I jotted down what she was doing.  I couldn’t believe that you didn’t need to cook the noodles first, and it turned out great!

The Best Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients (for 2 9 x 13 pans ): 

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large container Prego pasta sauce
  • 1 large container cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 boxes lasagna noodles
  • grated cheese
Make ahead lasagna cooked and sitting on a table in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish

Step by Step instructions:

Step 1: Brown 3 pounds  hamburger and add 1 jar of family –sized (1.75 liters) Prego spaghetti sauce and 1/2 cup water. Simmer for a few minutes.  This will become the “meat layer”.
Step 2: Grate about 3-4 cups mozzarella cheese.
Step 3: Assemble layers in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan in the following order:
  1. Small meat layer
  2. Lasagne noodles, uncooked
  3. Small layer of mozzarella cheese
  4. Noodles
  5. 1 carton (500 ml) cottage cheese
  6. Small meat layer
  7. Noodles
  8. Remainder of sauce
  9. Mozzarella Cheese
Step 4: Cover with foil and freeze.

How do I cook freezer lasagna?

When ready to use, *thaw in refrigerator and then bake covered at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until knife inserted in center indicates the noodles are tender. If you notice it is getting dry while baking, pour a bit of water around the edges.

{**Or, if you forget to thaw it, like I do most of the time… Take from the freezer, put it in the oven while it is preheating and bake covered 1 ½ hours at 300 degrees and then bake ½ hour at 350 degrees.}

How do I know if lasagna is done?

Great question! Just poke a knife in the center of the pan. If it slides through the noodles easily, then the pasta is done and it’s is ready. By that time, you should also notice it bubbling and browning around the edges, too.

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The Best Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe

The Best Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Save time and prepare for busy days ahead with this amazing freeze ahead lasagna recipe. With layers of noodles, cheese, & meat sauce, it's a perfect pasta dinner - without having to cook the noodles first!

Ingredients

  • (for 2 - 9x13 pans)
  • 3 POUNDS GROUND BEEF
  • 1 LARGE CONTAINER PREGO PASTA SAUCE (1.75 liters)
  • 1 LARGE CONTAINER COTTAGE CHEESE
  • 1 1/2 BOXES LASAGNA NOODLES
  • 4 cups GRATED CHEESE

Instructions

STEP 1: BROWN 3 POUNDS  HAMBURGER AND ADD 1 JAR OF FAMILY –SIZED (1.75 LITERS) PREGO SPAGHETTI SAUCE AND 1/2 CUP WATER. SIMMER FOR A FEW MINUTES.  THIS WILL BECOME THE “MEAT LAYER”.

STEP 2: GRATE ABOUT 4 CUPS MOZZARELLA CHEESE.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE LAYERS IN A 9 X 13 INCH BAKING PAN IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER:

  1. Small meat layer
  2. Lasagne noodles, uncooked
  3. Small layer of mozzarella cheese
  4. Noodles
  5. 1 carton (500 ml) cottage cheese
  6. Small meat layer
  7. Noodles
  8. Remainder of sauce
  9. Mozzarella Cheese


When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator and then bake covered at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until knife inserted in center indicates the noodles are tender. If you notice it is getting dry while baking, pour a bit of water around the edges.

If you would like to bake it on the same day you make it, just cover with foil and bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove foil and poke a noodle in the center of the pan to see if it is tender. If not, cover and bake some more. Pour a little water around the edges if you see it getting dry.

If you'd like to brown the cheese slightly on the top, turn the oven to broil and broil on a high rack for about 3 minutes or until the noodles just begin to brown.

Let the lasagna rest a few minutes on the counter before cutting and serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 231mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 21g

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Ritajoy, thank you so much for this fabulous recipe for lasagna. I am definitely going to make this. I can almost taste it along with fresh Italian bread. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.com/

  2. For years I tried making lasagna, and it was always a disaster. I finally gave up, which made me sad because it's one of my husbands favorite foods. The only time he got to eat it was in restaurants or the frozen kind from the grocery store (yuck). When I saw your recipe I decided to give it one more try. It had been years and your recipe seemed different. IT WAS A SUCCESS!!!!! I am so happy!! My husband ate four helpings! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I'm sure I'll be making it for years to come.

  3. Pingback: Recipes
  4. I just found your recipe for freeze ahead lasagna……I cant wait to make this for our upcoming beach house vacation, as i will need to feed a large crowd. My only question is can you make this with Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese? Thanks in advance!

  5. So easy and it freezes perfectly!!! It certainly helps take the stress out of deciding what’s for dinner when my freezer is stocked with your lasgana.

  6. Thank you! this is such a good recipe. Reminds me of my childhood and I love having it available in the freezer for when I have a craving!

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