This easy beef lasagna is made with a handful of simple, yet scrumptious ingredients. Not only is it easy to make, it’s just as easy to eat – no runny filling here!
Easy Beef Lasagna
I make my lasagna the way my mom always makes lasagna, which is pretty compact and easy to eat.
And I’m not just talking about how easy it is to down this because it’s so delicious. I mean, it’s literally easy to cut into with your knife without the filling seeping out everywhere on your plate.
While I usually like my pastas and noodles saucy, I’m not a fan of saucy lasagna. I don’t like when the filling is everywhere except on my fork!
If you’re the same way as me, then you’ll enjoy this easy beef lasagna too. The ratio of filling to the lasagna pasta is equal rather than the filling overtaking the pasta.
My mom also cooks the pasta by letting it sit in the pyrex dish, immersed in previously boiled water. This is much easier than cooking the pasta in a pot and it’s a great way of not overcooking the pasta.
The filling for this easy beef lasagna is made simply. I typically make it with a mixture of garlic and shallots (or onions), ground beef, tomato paste, some seasoning of salt and pepper, and a mix of cheeses.
I also add a sprinkle of turmeric to the beef. It’s something my mom has always taught me to do with my chicken and beef. It’s not only incredibly good for you, but turmeric has a way of counteracting any subtle taste of gamey-ness your meats or poultry may have when cooking.
I use cottage cheese and shredded mozzarella to make this lasagna because the mozzarella melts really well into that stretchy consistency I love, while the cottage cheese gives the lasagna that creaminess.
If you think you won’t like the cottage cheese because you’re normally not a fan of cottage cheese, I just want to note that the cottage cheese doesn’t have any real flavor contribution to this lasagna. You can’t really taste its flavor so much as you can feel the texture of rich creaminess.
My mom always preferred using cottage cheese because it was lower in fat but still delivered a similar creaminess as ricotta. You can use either, though.
Other additions that can be added to the lasagna are mushrooms, which I’ve shown here, or spinach.
I typically make this lasagna for about 2-3 people, which is why I don’t stack too many layers. But if you’re feeding 4-6, I’d definitely double this entire recipe.
Easy Beef Lasagna
An easy beef lasagna with a compact filling that isn't runny.
- 9 sheets of lasagna (the short kind - De Cecco no 1.) see note
- olive oil
- 1 large clove shallot minced
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup cottage cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese separated
- fresh parsley to garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the lasagna in a 9"x13" pyrex or oven-safe dish, then cover the lasagna in the boiling water until it's fully immersed. Let the pasta rest in the water for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the minced shallot and sauté for about a minute. Then add the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Add the mushroom slices and cook until they're tender and soft. Add in the ground beef along with the salt, a pinch of freshly ground pepper, and a small pinch of turmeric. Stir to combine and allow the beef to cook until it's browned.
Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine. Sauté for a minute to allow the paste to cook just a bit. Temporarily set this mixture aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella. Add the beef mixture to it, and stir to combine.
Remove the lasagna noodles from the pyrex and empty the water. Dry the dish with a paper towel, then brush a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of the dish. Place one layer of lasagna on the bottom of the dish, placing the pasta side-by-side. You should have 3 pieces next to each other.
Top with half of the filling and 1/4 cup of mozzarella. Add another layer of lasagna and top with the remaining filling and another 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Place a final layer of lasagna on top, then cover with more mozzarella (about 1/2 cup).
Brush some olive oil onto a large sheet of foil and then cover the pyrex with the oiled side of the foil facing down. Bake the lasagna for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the foil and turn on the broil setting to 525°F (or just a very high temperature 450°F+) and let the lasagna sit under the broiler for a few minutes or so, just until the cheese gets bubbly and golden. Keep your eye on the lasagna and pull it out just as it's getting golden brown spots.
Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley. Let the lasagna rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into neat squares.
If you're using another brand with the longer, more common lasagna pasta, then you will probably need to trim your lasagna to fit it to the pan size.
To make this recipe for 4 to 6 people, double all the recipe ingredients.
This recipe will yield 2 large squares per person, which is why it's good for 3. I typically have 1 and 1/2 squares, so if you do the same, you could get away with 4 servings.