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Mom's Favorite Italian Recipe - Hamburger Penne Lassagne

Updated on September 14, 2012

Italian Food!

2 stars from 1 rating of Poor Man's Lasagne

Great for Busy Moms

How to Make Lasagne

This is a fairly easy way to make an Italian cuisine staple main dish - but actually its easier, substitute version. No ricotta cheese, mozzarella, nor long strips of pasta to layer. No white Beschamel sauce to prepare, nor special Italian seasonings. This lasagne recipe has a bit of chopping, grating and organizing to do by way of prep work but once it's in the oven, you can rest easy. Just wash up some salad greens and find a bottle of wine, because dinner will be ready before you know it.

We always used egg noodles but penne regatte would also work fine. Those of you who are creative may opt for tri color but in my humble opinion, the dish is lively enough without adding any new distractions to it.

Another great thing about lasagne, it is designed to be made ahead of time and then baked when you come home from work, for example. The salad will have to be made fresh, but the lasagne itself can be prepared the night before or early morning, then popped in the oven the moment you get home. Or if you have school kids aged ten or older, this might be just the thing to help them get started in the kitchen. Let them (if they are responsible) turn on the oven and the timer and be proud of taking part in preparing the main meal of the day!

Calorie conscious people can choose reduced fat cheddar cheese or low fat cottage cheese. What you have here is a meal that will stick with you. Most Mediterranean chefs prefer to serve their heaviest meal at lunch time, to give plenty of time to work and walk off the calories.

This recipe has been a standard in my parents home since the 1970s and even before. I hope it will give you an interesting alternative to whip up the night before, and that your family enjoys it as much as ours does.

Another Family Pasta Favorite

A healthy dark green salad is an essential side dish to this lasagne recipe.  Bellissima!
A healthy dark green salad is an essential side dish to this lasagne recipe. Bellissima! | Source

Cook Time for this Baked Pasta Dish

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Serves four people (more if children)


  • 1 - lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 - 8 oz can tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated or shredded

Rich or Poor, a Healthy Alternative to Traditional Lasagne

  1. Brown together in a skillet 1 lb. ground beef and 1/2 cup chopped onion. Make sure the onion is wilted and light yellow before proceeding further. The hamburger should be crumbly and light to medium brown colored. Drain the fat.
  2. Add one 8 oz can tomato sauce, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Blend well.
  3. Pour into a shallow baking dish. I use an 8x11 inch glass Pyrex baking dish, but metal also works fine.
  4. Add 8 oz of cooked, drained egg noodles, fusilli or penne regatta - whichever pasta you prefer. Add 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup green onion, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, adding the second 8 oz can of tomato sauce.
  5. Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The last few minutes of baking, uncover the dish to ensure melting and a little color to the top.
  6. This dish is nice enough to serve to guests if accompanied by an interesting organic dark green leafy salad. May be served with garlic bread on the side and a glass of red wine or Merlot.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 adult portion
Calories 405
Calories from Fat162
% Daily Value *
Fat 18 g28%
Saturated fat 9 g45%
Carbohydrates 21 g7%
Sugar 6 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 29 g58%
Cholesterol 92 mg31%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 5 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Another plus - you can substitute low fat cottage cheese or turkey burger instead of hamburger for a little less calories. Appreciate your comment, Susan.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      A faster way to make lasagna, I'll have to try this as it looks good.