ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lasagna Recipe: Easy Cheesy Party Lasagna

Updated on March 30, 2012

Classic Lasagna - Yum!

On a cold day, there's nothing better than digging into a nice piece of warm, homemade lasagna. It's filling, comforting and best of all, delicious! Not many things can beat the taste sensation that comes from that perfect combination of cheese, sauce and noodles. Fortunately, lasagna is also a really easy to make.

My mom is a good cook, so I'd always watch her make dishes while I was growing up. I didn't attempt to make my own lasagna, though, until I was in college and decided to throw a dinner party for some friends. It seemed simple enough: you layer noodles with sauce and cheese and you're done, right? Wrong! In my case, I forgot to cook the noodles first and ended up with a crunch, burnt dish -- not exactly appetizing.

I'm happy to say, I've never made that mistake again and now regularly serve my meatless lasagna at parties. It's the perfect dish because both my meat-eating and vegetarian friends like it; you can adjust the ingredients so that it serves a bigger crowd; and it tastes even better the next day so leftovers are also delicious!

By now, I've made this dish so many times that I get requests for it. My father-in-law loves it so much, he always makes sure it's going to be served. One time, I didn't serve it and instead went for a Mexican-themed meal ... and several of my guests were disappointed. So now, whatever theme I decide to go with, I always have that lasagna on hand -- just in case.

For parties, I tend to use full-fat ingredients, but that can easily be adjusted. You can use low-fat cheese or low-sodium sauce, and even whole-wheat noodles. It's also delicious if you add veggies to it and turn it into a vegetable lasagna. Whatever you do wth it, though, your diners are almost to certain to like it. Here's hoping that this will become a regular party dish for you, as well! 

How To Prepare Lasagna Noodles

How To Prepare Tomato Sauce

Lasagna Ingredients

Easy Cheesy Party Lasagna (Serves about 10; double the ingredients if you're having more guests)

1 box lasagna noodles (make sure they're NOT the no-cook kind!)

1 large jar MEATLESS spaghetti sauce, like Ragu; NOTE - make sure it's a smooth sauce and doesn't have large tomato chunks in it.

2 cups fresh or pre-shredded mozzarella cheese (whole-milk or low-fat, your preference)

2 cups ricotta cheese (whole-milk or low-fat)

2 tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

sprinkling of oregano or pepper (optional)

Non-stick cooking spray, such as PAM

Garlic Bread - The Perfect Side Dish

I love to serve this lasagna with a nice, toasty garlic bread. Here's a quick and easy garlic bread recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf fresh French or Italian bread

1 stick butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

As much garlic powder as you can stand!

DIRECTIONS:

1. Slice the bread in thin, even, slices, but don't cut the entire way; slice about 3/4 of the way down, so that the loaf is still intact.

2. Butter both sides of each slice, then sprinkle a liberal amount of garlic powder between the slices.

3. Clamp the slices back together so that the loaf is back in one piece and drizzle the olive oil over it. Then dust with some more garlic powder.

4. Wrap the loaf tightly in foil so that it maintains its shape. You can heat this in the oven set at 250, along with the lasagna. Take out and let cool when you remove the lasagna dish. The slices should have a nice, crusty outside and a soft, buttery inside. You can cut the slices apart yourself or provide a knife and let your guests do it.

Directions For Making Lasagna

 NOTE: This lasagna works and tastes best if prepared a day, or at least a few hours, in advance of serving. If serving more guests, you can double the ingredients and make two lasagnas or just use a larger pan and put more noodles across in each layer.

1. In a very large pot, boil the noodles according to the package instructions. To get them "al dente" -- soft, but firm -- I let the water boil, then turn it down and keep them at a low simmer for about 30 minutes. Make sure you periodically stir the noodles -- gently -- to keep them from sticking together. When they've reached the consistency you like, drain and put the noodles back into the pot to let cool. For this recipe, it's important that the noodles not be too hot when you work with them.

2. Once the noodles have cooled, get a large, square pan and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Put on some plastic kitchen gloves and very gently place a layer of noodles in the pan so that they're just slightly overlapping. Usually I can fit about four noodles across.

3. Spread a liberal amount of the ricotta cheese over the noodles so that they're completely covered. This is why the noodles can't be too warm -- you DO NOT want the cheese to start melting at this point.

4. Over the ricotta, add a liberal amount of shredded mozzarella. Take a spoon and press the cheese together so that the flavors can blend.

5. Spread about 1/4 cup tomato sauce over the cheeses. As I said in the ingredients section, try to use a sauce that's thick and easy to spread. This is why chunky tomatoes don't work; they can be difficult to spread and can get runny and watery. If you're making your own sauce, make sure it's of a thick and smooth consistency. I've found that shaghetti or pizza sauce works best for this.

6. Repeat noodle, cheeses, sauce layers until you use up all of the noodles. For the final -- and top -- layer of noodles, DO NOT add the ricotta cheese. Instead, pour a liberal amount of tomato sauce over the top, so that there's enough to run over the sides. Spread to make even. Finish up with a generous sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, and if you desire, a little parmesan cheese.

7. At this point, I carefully wrap the lasagna in plastic or tinfoil and place it in the fridge. I like to let it "rest" overnight so that the flavors blend together; also, the lasagna forms a more solidified shape and doesn't fall apart when being cut.

8. When ready to heat, I've found that the slow, but steady process works best. Prepare to heat up at least an hour before you plan to serve it. Set the oven temperature to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot, but not overwhelming -- and put a layer of foil over the lasagna. Then let the lasagna slow bake. By doing it this way, all of the cheese will melt evenly and you won't get burnt cheese crusts on the sides of the pan.

9. About 15 minutes before it's time to serve, turn off the oven and let the lasagna cool. Then serve -- being careful not to burn yourself -- and enjoy!

10. Leftovers can be reheated or frozen, but I personally like the way it tastes cold!

Pasta Cooking Tips

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      james 

      7 years ago

      Cool, but you didn't say how long you slow bake it for.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Sounds great! I'm glad to see you use ricotta instead of cottage cheese. I love the former and don't care for the latter.

    • maribin profile image

      maribin 

      9 years ago from USA

      yummy,.....my children love spaghetti, can't wait to make my first lasagna

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      lasagna is my favorite food beside spaghetti.

    • NaomiR profile imageAUTHOR

      NaomiR 

      9 years ago from New York

      Hey, I'd consider it an honor if Garfield approved!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 

      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Great stuff. I've made lasagna probably 300 times and my first 12 times was a disaster. I've gotten a lot better and now know how to make vegan and vegetarian lasagna as well. Make sure Garfield keeps his distance from this hub :D

    • GiftedGrandma profile image

      GiftedGrandma 

      9 years ago from USA

      This sounds soooo good! Will have to try it...have always baked right away at high temp..

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)