Lasagne is one of those universal make ahead dinners that many families rely on for a hectic midweek meal. It’s a hearty and satisfying crowd pleaser and still tastes great (in this case, even better!) when reheated. I love coming up with variations, whether it be mixing up the types cheese, opting out meats, and stuffing full of veggies for all those picky eaters. The one thing that has always bothered me about my leftover lasagne is the consistency or watered down nature of the sauce when reheating the next day or after freezing. I realized this was due to the ricotta cheese used as the base cheese mixture in the middle, i.e. the part that sticks it all together. This new version is made sans ricotta and replaced with a cream cheese base that holds its consistency and taste great the 2nd or even 3rd time you reheat it. A feat for leftovers and busy moms and dads who need a legit make ahead midweek meal that won’t disappoint. Opt in other kinds of meats and veggies, but follow along the cheesy base mixture for gooey, baked perfection, time and time again.
- 1 box of lasagne noodles
- 1 lb. organic ground beef
- 1 lb. organic ground pork
- 1 large yellow or white onion
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning or All Purpose Seasoning
- 1/2 cup red cooking wine
- 2 large cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Cheesy Mixture:
- 1 - 8 oz. package of high quality cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a large sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil on high heat. Add in the ground meats and allow to brown, stirring and breaking up, about 7 minutes.
- Take out the meat and reserve in a large bowl. Turn down heat, dd in the onions, and a little more olive oil if need be. Stir and allow to cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, carrots, and celery. Stir to coat and cover, softening the entire mixture, another 10 minutes.
- Add in the herbs and the tomato paste. Allow to cook, uncovered for 3 minutes. Add back in the meat and de-glaze with the red cooking wine. Allow to cook down another 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomato sauce and cook for high, covered for another 10-15 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, let’s make the cream cheese mixture. In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add in the cream cheese. On medium speed, add in the egg, salt and the parmesan cheese. Whip for 3 minutes. Take off the mixture and reserve/
- In a large, oven proof baking dish, line the bottom with a large serving of the sauce. Top with the lasagne noodles. Top with a little bit of sauce, a large spoonful of the cheese mixture, smoothing out over the noodle layer, and then with a handful of shredded mozzarella. Top with more sauce and then another layer of noodles. Repeat until you have reached the top of the baking dish.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes to ensure the top isn’t browning too much.
- Take out and serve or allow to cool. Once cooled, you can cut and place in leftover containers and kept in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.
- When ready to reheat, turn oven onto 375° F. Place the leftover lasagne into an oven proof cooking dish or pan. Allow to heat up for 10-15 minutes until bubbling and hot. Serve hot.