Meat Lasagna

I love lasagna! It’s so homey and cozy – the perfect comfort food meal! And although the assembly takes a few minutes, it makes enough for many meals (and freezes well, too!).

Meat Lasagna
A Karen original recipe (with inspiration from several sources!)
Serves 12

Ingredients:
9 sheets whole wheat lasagna (Archer Farms)

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
Spray olive oil (such as misto)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp italian seasoning (salt-free)
pinch red pepper flakes

1 jar (25oz) fat-free pasta or marinara sauce (365 brand)
1 can (14 oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 container (15oz) fat free ricotta
1 container (16 oz) fat free cottage cheese
1 egg
salt & pepper

8 oz (2 cups) shredded fat-free mozzarella (I use a block and shred it myself), or low-fat mozzarella
spray olive oil (such as misto)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a large skillet with olive oil and brown meat with garlic, onion, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, paste, & basil. Stir mixture into cooked meat mixture.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta & cottage cheeses, egg, salt, & pepper.

In a 13×9 inch pan, start by covering the bottom of the pan with meat/tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup maximum). Then add a layer of 3 noodles, then dollops of cheese mixture, then a coating of meat/tomato sauce, then a handful of mozzarella. Repeat for 2 more layers, reserving some sauce to top the entire lasagna. After covering with reserved sauce, sprinkle remaining mozzarella, then spray with olive oil.

Cover pan with foil and bake for about 1 hour 15 min, until bubbly (may want to put over a lined cookie sheet, to catch any spills).

Let rest 5-10 minutes, then cut into 12 servings.

**Note** To make ahead (and freeze), make lasagna in 3 foil loaf pans – use same directions as above, just divide each step among the 3 loaf pans. Cover with foil and freeze. To bake (from frozen), place one or more of the frozen lasagnas on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 1.5 hours. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then divide the contents of each loaf pan into 4 servings.

Nutritional info (fat free mozzarella):
Calories: 235.3
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 51.9 mg
Sodium: 749.6 mg
Potassium: 293.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 5.7 g
Protein: 27.9 g

Nutritional info (low-fat mozzarella):
Calories: 258.6
Total Fat: 7.6 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 58.6 mg
Sodium: 676.2 mg
Potassium: 293.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 22.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 5.7 g
Protein: 27.2 g

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