I know what you’re thinking. What is a woman with a house full of hungry men doing with a recipe called Lasagna For Two. Let me explain.
This scaled down lasagna baked in a loaf pan should also be known as “Date Night Lasagna” because it’s the perfect thing to have on hand to feed the kids when you head out for a dinner date. Or, for a nice meal for you and your significant other when the kids are out with their friends. There’s nothing like a quiet meal at home when everyone has left the house. Either way, it’s date night.
Baking the lasagna in a loaf pan yields just the right amount to serve two with leftovers (or two very hungry teenage boys). I like to put these together on the weekend and pop them in the freezer for a future meal.
Lets make some mini lasagna!
The grocery list - Olive oil, zucchini, yellow summer squash, yellow onion, minced garlic, cremini mushrooms, fresh basil, salt and pepper, marinara sauce, ground beef, thyme, oregano, ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, no boil lasagna sheets, shredded mozzarella cheese, and shaved or grated Parmesan cheese.
I added some diced zucchini, summer squash, cremeni mushrooms, and onions to the layers to add even more flavor and texture to the dish. You can use any veggies you prefer or leave them out altogether for a more traditional style lasagna.
Generously coat a large saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the veggies and cook and stir for a couple of minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes then add chopped basil and continue to cook and stir for another minute. Do not allow the veggies to become overcooked or mushy. Remove pan from heat.
Transfer cooked veggies to a dish and set aside.
Wipe the saute pan clean with a paper towel. Coat with a little more olive oil and cook ground beef, over medium heat. Break up meat with the back of your spoon while it cooks. Remove from heat when no pink remains and drain the grease from the pan. Return pan to heat and add thyme, oregano, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for a minute, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine ricotta, eggs, and parsley. Mix well.
Gather all the ingredients for layering around you and grab 2 loaf pans that measure 8″ x 4″ or slightly larger. Basic metal loaf pans work great. Be sure to use something freezer safe if freezing. Pour about 1/4 cup of your favorite prepared marinara sauce in the bottom of each pan.
Place an uncooked lasagna sheet on top of the marinara in each pan. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture on top of each lasagna sheet and smooth out with the back of the spoon.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the ground beef mixture on top of the ricotta in each pan.
Next, the veggies. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup on top of ground beef layer.
Cheese time! Sprinkle about 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/8 cup Parmesan on each lasagna.
The last layer is a little bit of sauce, about 1/4 cup.
Begin your next layer with a new lasagna sheet. Repeat these layers two more times, ending with the fourth lasagna sheet.
Divide the remaining marinara sauce between the two pans and spread it out over the top of the fourth uncooked lasagna sheet.
Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Spray some cooking spray on two sheets of foil and cover the lasagnas with the foil, oil side down. This will ensure that the cheese will not stick to the foil when you remove it. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes till hot and bubbly.
Come to mama.
I hope you try this and you love it and your family loves you for it.
Have a great weekend!
- Olive oil
- 1/2 small zucchini, diced
- 1/2 small yellow summer squash, diced
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 5 cremini mushrooms, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 (15 ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon dry parsley
- 1 (26 ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1/2 (9 ounce) package no boil lasagna - 8 sheets total
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously coat the bottom of a large saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add diced onion, zuchinni, and yellow squash. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Add basil and cook and stir for one minute. Vegetables should be slightly softened but not mushy. Transfer vegetables to a plate and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook and stir, breaking the meat up with your spoon, until no pink remains. Drain the grease from the pan and return it to the heat. Add thyme and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside.
- Mix together ricotta, eggs, and parsley in a small bowl.
- Gather all the ingredients for layering within reach and layer as follows:
- Place a sheet of uncooked lasagna at the bottom of two loaf pans, approximately 8" x 4", or slightly larger.
- Spoon a scant 1/2 cup of ricotta mixture on to each lasagna sheet and spread out with the back of your spoon.
- Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of meat mixture evenly over the ricotta.
- Add a scant 1/4 cup of cooked vegetables to each pan.
- Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/8 cup Parmesan.
- Pour 1/4 cup of marinara sauce over the top of both and place another lasagna sheet on top of it all, pressing down lightly to compress it into the pan a bit.
- Repeat layers two more times, ending with the 4th and final lasagna sheet. Divide remaining marinara sauce between the two pans, pouring it directly over top of 4th lasagna sheet. Sprinkle each lasagna evenly with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Spray 2 pieces of foil with cooking spray and place, oil side down, over the assembled lasagnas. Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or till bubbly.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Make-ahead method: Assemble lasagna and cover uncooked lasagna tightly with foil as directed above. Wrap entire loaf pan in a second large piece of foil. Freeze for up to two months. When ready to bake, allow lasagna to thaw overnight in refrigerator. Remove outer layer of foil and bake as directed, adding about 10 or 15 minutes to baking time.