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10-Minute Prep Kid-Friendly Lasagna
Does the thought of boiling noodles and making sauce from scratch make you run away from lasagne? Me too. But, I’ve learned how to have lasagna be a staple food in our house - it’s easy to include healthful additions, and my kids (and husband) gobble it up! With just a few key ingredients stocked, you can make a quick, healthy, and delicious lasagne with just a few minutes of prep time.
Making lasagne doesn’t need to be time-consuming and labor intensive. I prep mine in the morning while my kids are finishing up breakfast, let is sit for a few hours, and then pop it in the oven an hour before dinnertime. The great thing is, this recipe is flexible, and you can use some imagination to doctor it up.
I’ll give you the basic ingredients first, show you how you can add veggies and other healthy additions, and then walk you through the quick assembly. Your kids won’t notice the shredded veggies, and neither will your guests, but they’ll all love it!
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1 box no cook lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces ricotta (full or low-fat)
- 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- Italian seasonings
Easy, Health-Enhancing Additions:
The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to doctor up with health-adding foods (that is, hidden vegetables!) Here are my top ideas. Choose a couple, or choose them all!
- Carrots (1-2, shredded). Add to the sauce right out the can. It will cook with the lasagne, and the kids won't even notice!
- Zucchini (1 medium, shredded). Add to the sauce or the cheese mixture. If you have super picky kid, peel the zucchini before adding it to the cheese to they won’t notice the green.
- Mushrooms and/or Broccoli (finely diced). These can be a little harder to hide, so chop finely.
- Low-fat yogurt. Add a couple of spoonfuls to the cheese mixture. Or, if you’re going for lower fat, substitute some for the ricotta cheese.
- Tofu. Smash it and add to the cheese mixture. Again, if you’re going for lower fat, substitute for some of the ricotta cheese.
- Whatever veggies or dairy products you'd like to try! You know what works in your house. Try whatever you have on hand (cubed butternut squash, eggplant, red peppers, leftover roasted veggies, cottage cheese!)
- Mix together the cheeses with some Italian seasoning and whatever healthy additions you choose.
- Mix your sauce with whatever healthy additions you choose.
- Put some sauce at the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish.
- Layer noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce repeatedly until the dish is almost full.
- End with a layer of noodles. Cover with sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes, until noodles are tender. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Make sure all the noodles are covered with sauce so they cook to be soft and don’t get crunchy. You can add a little water if it’s looking like it might be dry.
- Let it soak for at least 1 hour before cooking.
- Use a smaller baking dish for smaller portions. This makes prep and cooking go faster, and lets you experiment a bit more with additions.
- Start small! Don’t add in all of the veggies in your fridge the first time. Start by adding the least noticeable veggies and then build on that in future versions.
- Let the kids help! They'll love adding the layers, spreading the sauce, and sprinkling the cheese.
There are endless ways to doctor up lasagna. These are a few a my favorites and biggest hits with my kids. Have fun and enjoy!
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