Sauce, pasta, cheese.    Sauce, pasta, cheese.    Sauce, pasta, cheese.

I’m one of those people that can say a phrase or a list a hundred times, attempting to memorize it, but then get confused ten minutes later. Was it “sauce, cheese, pasta”? Or maybe “pasta, sauce, cheese”? Set to music, though, and it’s in my head forever. So years ago, when I needed to remember which order to place the ingredients in the pan for lasagne, I’d repeatedly sing “sauce, pasta, cheese” (I made lasagne very often, therefore I sang this very, very often). Now when I make lasagne that little ditty still goes through my head over and over. I’d sing it for you, but I don’t sing well — good thing there’s no sound on this blog post!

*Note: I make this in a variety of ways — cheese only, with spinach, with ground beef, or with sausage. Depends on who I’m cooking for and what mood I’m in!

*Another note: The original recipe was found on a box of Barilla lasagne years and years ago. I’ve modified it slightly. Barilla is the only pasta I use to make lasagne now, because you do not need to cook the pasta before assembling the lasagne. I’m a big fan of saving time and work if it results in a wonderful meal!



1 box Barilla lasagne (look for “no boiling required” printed on the label!)

1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 container (bag or box) frozen spinach, thawed and drained (if desired)

1 pound ground beef or sausage, cooked and drained (if desired)

2 jars pasta sauce or 2 batches of homemade sauce

*From these ingredients I made two lasagnes. One was cheese only, and the other had ground beef. Because I make two instead of one, still using casserole (9x13x3-inch) dishes, they don’t end up tall (thick?), but I’m okay with that… makes me feel less guilty for having a second (or third?) piece! I’ve done the math and if using half the ingredients in one lasagne, then eating two pieces is equivalent to one piece of a normal lasagne…. At least that’s what I tell myself!

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, 3 cups of mozzarella, and the Parmesan cheeses. If using spinach, add it to this cheese mixture.

In a deep casserole dish (9x13x3-inch casserole dish or similar), place the ingredients in this order:

  1. 1/3  of the sauce
  2. pasta
  3. 1/2 of the cheese (& spinach) mixture
  4. 1/3 of the sauce
  5. pasta
  6. 1/2 of the cheese (& spinach) mixture
  7. half of the remaining sauce
  8. pasta
  9. finish off the sauce
  10. remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese

If adding the cooked ground beef or sausage, use this order:

  1. 1/3 of the sauce
  2. pasta
  3. 1/3 of the cheese
  4. 1/2 of the meat
  5. 1/3 of the sauce
  6. pasta
  7. 1/3 of the cheese
  8. 1/2 of the meat
  9. half of the remaining sauce
  10. pasta
  11. finish off the sauce
  12. remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350F.

Cover your lasagne and bake for 50 minutes. Take it out and remove the foil. The lasagne should be bubbly. If not, put the foil back on and put it back in for at least 10 more minutes.

When bubbly, remove foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes for the top layer of cheese to melt.

Important: Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Hint: I prefer to complete the cooking process ahead of time (early in the day or the day before you plan to serve it). When you want to serve it, put it back in a 350F oven, covered, for half an hour to warm it through.


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