Hearty Meat & Vegetable Lasagna

Hubs & I love lasagna, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually made it. 

Hubs made what he dubbed “man lasagna” early in our marriage (there was a whole lot of meat & cheese and it was delicious).  And both my mom and mother in law have made lasagna for us when we’ve visited.  But every time the kids have seen lasagna (mind you, it’s been a couple years) they’ve flipped out and won’t eat it (even though they love spaghetti and meat sauce).

I finally decided to tackle lasagna myself and made a sort of hybrid between Hubs’ man-sagna and a healthier veggie lasagna by adding all sort of meat plus tons of veggies (because my goodness would the zucchini plant stop already?)

I loved it! And Hubs loved it!  And I told the spuds it was spaghetti and meatballs, only with giant noodles so they ate it too (Dude was all over it, Spud was slightly less thrilled, but ate without (much) complaint).

This recipe makes two (huge) lasagnas, so plan to feed a crowd, freeze one, or take one to your neighbor (perfect for the friend who’s recently been in the hospital!)

Recipe Note:
For saucier lasagna, add an additional jar of pasta sauce.

Hearty Meat & Vegetable Lasagna

1 lb lasagna noodles (18 noodles), cooked al dente
1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small yellow squash, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried oregano
3 (24 oz) jars 3 cheese pasta sauce (see note)
30 oz ricotta cheese
2 (10 oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook the lasagna noodles to al dente, drain, rinse with cold water (to stop cooking) and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the sausage, beef, and vegetables into a large deep skillet.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and the pork and beef are cooked through.  Drain off excess liquid.

Stir in the pasta sauce, herbs, and garlic.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the ricotta cheese, chopped spinach, and 2 cups of mozzarella.

To make the lasagna, spray two 9x13 inch pans with non stick spray.  Spread about 1 ½ cups of sauce mixture into the bottom of each pan.  Top with 3 noodles each.  Top with another 1 ½ cups of sauce and ¼ of the ricotta mixture each.  Follow with more noodles, sauce, and ricotta.  Add the remaining noodles to the top and the remaining sauce.  Top with 1 cup mozzarella each and 2 tablespoons of parmesan.

Cover the lasagna with foil.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes (thaw before cooking, if frozen.  You may need to increase the cooking time).  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Makes two 9x13 lasagnas, serving 8-10 each


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