Meat Lasagna

Ingredients - Preparation - Cooking - Nutritional

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Theoretically this is my Mom and Dad's recipe. It is relatively true to the original, but I usually vary from it as I go through the construction. The biggest area for change is in the sauce where I continually taste it and alter as I go. This is fact holds true to Mom and Dad since they did the same thing.

One issue with this lasagna is water; if you do not drain everything well you will end up with water draining out of the lasagna and running around your plate. So heed to drain warnings. Besides draining the water I also make a thick sauce that will help soak up any extra.

This recipe makes enough for a small army (two 9x-18 pans), but it freezes very well. Letting it thaw through the day and cooking it a little longer make a very simple, extremely good meal.


12 oz Italian Tomatoes
3 - 8 oz Tomato Sauce
2 - 6 oz Tomato Paste
3 Tablespoons Parsley
1 cup sliced Mushrooms
1 cup sliced Kalamata Olives
1/2 tsp Tabasco
4 oz ground Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine (like Cabernet)
Bread crumbs (if needed)

2 tsp sage
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp of Basil
1 tbsp Oregano

1 pound Extra Lean Ground Beef
1/2 pound Extra Lean Pork Beef
1 Medium Yellow Onion diced
3 cloves Garlic
1/2 tsp Oregano

Hot Italian sausage in the casing is also good. Chop it into 1/4 inch chunks. Use it sparingly so that you only get a piece every few bites.)

Two packages frozen Spinach
2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 package white, wheat or spinach Lasagna noodles
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp Unground Red peppers

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Mix the sauce and spices and get then up to a good simmer. Stir frequently. Test the spices in the sauce and see if you need to alter things a little.

In separate pans brown the meat. When fat builds up, drain the fat by pressing the meat in a strainer. Replace meat back in the fry pan and add the put in the oregano and fry on low heat for another five minutes. Add the meat to the sauce.

Fry the onions until clear. Deglaze the pan with some red wine and caramelize the onions. If you have the patience do this twice. Add to the sauce.

Let the sauce simmer for two hours. It should get very thick. If it is at all runny add bread crumbs to thicken.

Heat the spinach without adding water. After it is warmed and drain it EXTREMELY well by putting it in a fine strainer and pressing it with a spoon until you get very little water. Then let it sit over a bowl or cup in the strainer for an hour or so to get the last bit out.

Boil the lasagna noodles in an oversized pot to keep them from sticking. Put 2 tbsp of salt and a 1/4 cup of oil in the water to a) raise the boiling point of the water, and b) reduce the stickiness of the noodles. After they are done let them cool and drain.

Lightly oil two 18x9 inch oven pans. When the sauce is done place a layer

Build it by layering sauce, spinach, ricotta and noodles. The number of layers depend on the size of the pan but in a 2x9x18 pan you should have three layers of sauce and two layers of noodles, If there are three noodles per layer this means you should have cooked 12 noodles -- plus a couple for mistakes. This means you will end up with the top layer being spinach and ricotta.

To top it off with grated Mozzarella and sparingly sprinkle on the red peppers.

If you want a little more zing, sparingly add some Feta Cheese or capers to the top. Once again, you do not want this is every bite. Variety during the meal adds adventure.

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The Lasagna is pretty well cooked so you only need to get things melted and at an even temperature. Preheat the oven to 350° and cook the uncovered lasagna about 45 minutes (75 if freshly thawed but cold) until it is nicely bubbling. Remove from the oven and let it rest for five minutes.

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Nutritional Data

The site is a wealth of information on foods. They provide the ability to add a recipe into their system and create a host of data about that recipe. Below is a copy of those results for this recipe.

The Good
This food is a good source of Protein, and a very good source of Vitamin K.

The Bad
None menitoned.

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