I don’t think lasagna was something I ever ate growing up. This was probably due to my aversion to red marina type sauces. I didn’t like pizza or spaghetti either. Plus I don’t think my mom ever even made it once. When I got married, one of my husband’s favorite foods was spaghetti and slowly I started liking it too. I also started trying different lasagna recipes, because I am always looking for the best. I was happy with one that called for just cottage and mozzarella cheese, but then I tried this one with ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella and parmesan. It’s ooey, gooey, cheesy lasagna heaven! It is seriously the best lasagna! My friend Hillary shared this recipe with me. I love to layer it in the pan in the morning and then bake later in the day. We love to serve it with garlic knots and a salad. This makes a whole 9X13 pan’s worth, and it tastes great reheated as well. I have been using ground turkey lately and really like it with the turkey but the ground beef is delicious as well.
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I like the can of Hunt’s traditional spaghetti sauce, 26 oz)
1 pkg lasagna noodles (16 oz)
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz)
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz) softened
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Dried parsley flakes
Cook your noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay out the noodles flat on a paper towel (this helps to keep them from sticking together). Brown the ground beef or turkey in a large pan, adding the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Drain any fat. Add pasta sauce plus a little water (I usually add about 1/4 cup) and bring to a simmer, remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, softened cream cheese and cottage cheese until smooth. Spray a 9X13 pan with a very light coating of cooking spray to prevent sticking. Put a layer of noodles in the bottom of the pan, then a layer of meat sauce (1/3 of the meat sauce) and 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Then layer noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce and the other 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture, sprinkling again with mozzarella and parmesan. Layer one last time with noodles, and the last of the meat sauce and cover with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with parsley flakes and cover with aluminum foil.
If baking immediately cook in a 350 oven for 30 minutes total, 15 with the aluminum foil on and uncovered for the last 15 minutes.
Or you can refrigerate the entire pan to bake later, and then bake for 1 hour total, 45 minutes covered and 15 uncovered. Enjoy!