Okay, now I’ll just preface this recipe by saying that I’m not Italian, and this most likely is NOT a completely traditional lasagna recipe.  But it’s my mom’s lasagna recipe, and it’s amazing.

Lasagna is probably my favourite pasta dish of all time.  I have ordered it at a number of Italian restaurants, but I’m always disappointed.  This recipe is just better, or maybe it’s just the version I like since I grew up with it?  Possibly.  I think probably because this version uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta, and I’m not a giant fan of ricotta in lasagna.  Like I said, not Italian!

Lasagna - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

This does take some time to make, but all of the steps are easy, and it can be made up a day or two ahead of time and baked when you’re ready to eat it.  It also freezes well, and I usually double this recipe when I’m making it and freeze one, since the amount of time and effort to make two is virtually the same as making one.

A great trick for freezing that I recently started doing is lining the pan with aluminum foil before layering the lasagna in it.  Then once it’s frozen you can pull out the frozen lasagna by the tin foil overhang to leave in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it, and you have your pan back to use in the meantime.  Just remember to take the foil off and put it back in the pan before defrosting and baking it!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!  Or does everyone else out there only like ricotta cheese in their lasagna?!

Lasagna - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

Yield: serves 8-10 (one 9x13 inch pan)
Note: This recipe is easily doubled if you need two pans, or want to freeze or gift one. You can also make half a recipe and use an 8x8 inch pan. It can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated before baking, or even frozen. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator the day before baking, or if baking from frozen, increase the baking time by about 30 minutes and cover it with foil for the first half hour.
  • 1 pound (454 g) ground beef
  • 2-3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 can (796 mL, 26.9 fl oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (156 mL, 5.5 fl oz) tomato paste
  • 10 oz (275 g) lasagna noodles (8-10 noodles)
  • 3 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound (454 g) mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Drain off the fat, and then add the garlic, mushrooms, onion and basil to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the onions are softened slightly. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a large pot, boil the lasagna noodles until al dente, about 10 minutes (I use whole wheat noodles, the time may be a bit less for white noodles) and drain. In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper, and beaten eggs.
  3. In a 9x13 inch baking pan, layer the lasagna. Place half the noodles in the pan and spread with half the cottage cheese mixture. Next spread one third of the mozzarella cheese and then half the meat sauce. Repeat these layers and then top with the remaining third of the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the cheese has started to brown and the filling is hot and bubbling. Let it stand for at least 10 minutes to set up before cutting into squares and serving.
Source: my mom! No idea where she originally got this recipe, it was on one of those handwritten recipe cards!

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  1. Lisa says

    Thanks, I went ahead and followed the recipe. The cheese will probably add some saltiness. I’m feeding a bunch of hungry college kids tonite. I’ll tell you how it goes!

  2. Lisa says

    I noticed there is no salt in the sauce. Will it be ok? I just thought there might have been an error in the recipe.

    • stacey says

      Hi Lisa, I just checked my moms old recipe, just to make sure I didn’t typo anything! But no, we’ve never added salt to the sauce, although I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt it any if you wanted to add a bit. I’ve never found that it needs it.

  3. Barbara says

    Hey Stacey. This looks really similar to the one my mom used to make but she added spinach to the cottage cheese mixture (one package of frozen, cooked and drained) I think you mentioned previously that you like to sneak spinach in wherever you can so I thought I’d share. Not only is it nutritious but it looks pretty too!

  4. Bonnie Schnitter says

    I will have to try this recipe. I always just wing it when making lasagna but sometimes wish I had used an actual recipe because I don’t always like how it turns out. Thanks Stacey.

    • stacey says

      Thanks Bonnie! I can’t believe you wing it making lasagna! I think I’d be too scared to not have some form of recipe for it! Hope you like this one!

  5. Mom says

    I have made this receipe many times, serving it at Men’s Fellowship I always received rave reviews and there were never any left overs. One thing I did do to make it stretch a little further was add a layer of noodles and divy the ingredients a little lighter between layers, I also did it because I like the taste of noodles

    • stacey says

      Funny, I was actually going to mention that in my post, that your recipe was actually requested at the church quite often when I was growing up, it was THAT good! Didn’t know about the extra layer of noodles though, good to know!

  6. says

    Haha, right? Italians are funny about their traditional foods! I only know because I live with one who is 100%!! I loooove cottage cheese because it’s oh-so-creamy, and feel like ricotta can be ‘blah’, but I am 0% Italian, so what do I know? :) This looks so delicious, and the tip about freezing it w/ plastic wrap is a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing it!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Sarah! I loved that freezing idea when I first saw it, because I never have those foil pans on hand and I hate losing one of my dishes for however long something is frozen for! And I agree, ricotta is kind of blah!

    • stacey says

      Just realized I had a typo in here, it’s tin foil you use to line the pan, not plastic wrap! Plastic wrap wouldn’t be strong enough to lift out when it’s frozen. Fixed it in the post, but thought I’d make a note of it here too since we were talking about it! Sorry about that.

    • stacey says

      Thanks Manali! You know, I’ve never had a spinach lasagna that I’ve liked, but I love spinach so I would love to find one! If you end up making it, please post your recipe! I’d love to see it!

    • stacey says

      It really is the perfect comfort food isn’t it? I love it, I’m always so happy when I take the time to make it! Thanks for stopping by Dannii!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Gayle! The work is definitely always worth it, it takes so long but soooo good! And I don’t know why I keep trying it at restaurants, I always figure, it’s Italian, it MUST be better, but it never is. Oh well, that’s what makes it so worth making from scratch!

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