meatless mondays: short cut to lasagna…

With Christmas just a few days away, I am feeling a little scattered. Last minute errands, busy stores, travel preparations, and full time work leave little time for cooking. With all of the holiday goodies I’ve been nibbling on, I really need to sit down and eat a hearty, filling meal.

This week, I opted to make a quick and easy lasagna with a few cheats. Usually, I like to use my fun Trio Lasagna pan to make 3 separate types of lasagna. It takes me at least an hour to put it all together from scratch though. Hectic times like these call for a few shortcuts.

This lasagna takes about 10 minutes to assemble. Instead of boiling noodles, use the Barilla no-cook noodles. They have a bit of a different doughy flavor, but when you are in a hurry, they are just fine. To save time, this recipe also uses jarred sauce, pre-shredded mozzarella, and frozen chopped spinach. I’m not usually an advocate of these convenience packaged foods, but its better than ordering Chinese take out!

Recipe: Quick and Easy Lasagna

1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
2 jars spaghetti sauce (I like Newman’s own brand)
1 bag frozen chopped spinach
2 cans sliced mushrooms
1 container ricotta cheese
1 bag pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmasan cheese
1 egg
~10 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 400. In the bottom of a 9×11 casserole dish or roasting pan, pour about 1 cup of spaghetti sauce and spread evenly. Add a layer of the uncooked noodles to cover the bottom of the pan.

Mix the ricotta, egg, and chopped basil together into a paste. Spread a thick layer onto the noodles. Top with another layer of uncooked noodles. Cover with sauce.

Saute drained spinach and mushrooms with salt and garlic for 5 minutes and drain off any excess water. Layer onto saucy noodles. Top with another layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. If you have a deep pan, add another layer of noodles, sauce, and parmesan. If not, just top with parmesan.

Cook for ~ 35 minutes or until bubbly all through and browned on top. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with bread and a green salad. Have left overs all week!

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