My family loves lasagna. One Christmas, I asked the boys what they wanted me to make for Christmas dinner and they requested my Cheesy Bolognese Lasagna. It is a favorite meal in our house.
I have to say, though, that my lasagna was not always a hit. In fact, I remember my first lasagna attempt very well because it was no short of a disaster. AND I had made it for my then-boyfriend (now husband). I don't remember much except for following a recipe and not knowing what it meant by "mozzarella cheese slices". Did that mean slices of mozzarella cheese? Or did it mean *processed* mozzarella cheese slices?
After some deliberation, I decided it HAD to mean the latter!
Horror of horrors me. What was I thinking??
Off I went to buy processed mozzarella cheese slices and I excitedly lay them in my lasagna, thinking I was making an awesome lasagna dinner for the two of us. I also decided to use no-boil lasagna noodles to speed up the preparation process. That would have been fine...had I actually covered all the noodle edges with sauce.
But alas, it was not fine. What I ended up with was lasagna with crunchy noodle edges. And the processed cheese slices? Did you know that processed cheese does not brown like *real* cheese when baked? Instead, it sort of transforms into a layer of shiny plastic...much like the wrappers they come in.
So we had crunchy lasagna with layers of plastic cheese.
Not. Yummy. At. All.
I remember sitting there, thinking that my lasagna was a complete and utter disaster. It didn't look or taste the way I expected it to. And my husband was such a trooper. I don't remember how long we had been dating by that point, but I do remember him sitting there, crunching loudly on the lasagna noodles and saying, "It's good!" In recalling this story now, he says he was obviously trying hard to make a good impression. 😉 And he still married me after that!
Fast forward to today and much to the relief of my husband (and subsequently, our boys), thank goodness I learned how to cook!
I know we're not the only ones who love lasagna...it's like comfort food. Perhaps it's because it's an easy one dish meal. Maybe it's the magic combination of cheese, sauce, and pasta. It might be how the different flavors and textures meld so perfectly. Could it be the way it smells so good as it's baking and how yummy it looks when I serve a piece straight from the pan? Perhaps it's all of the above!
My Cheesy Bolognese Lasagna has simple ingredients, is easy to throw together, and is oh-so-good. An important component is my versatile Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce. In addition to topping pasta or polenta, I love using it layered in this lasagna recipe.
This recipe is also gluten-free, thanks to the gluten-free lasagna noodles! Thankfully, gluten-free lasagna noodles and pastas are widely available nowadays. They make putting together traditionally wheat-based meals possible for families like ours who try to avoid gluten. And of course, making sure to cover the noodles completely in sauce ensures no mouthfuls of crunchy sound effects while eating. 😉
I love seeing the beautiful browned cheese topping (you know...like how REAL cheese looks when baked). I love when food not only tastes good, it looks good. And this looks and tastes delish! All I have to do is look at it and I just want to dig in!
I like to think that lasagna is, in ways, healthy. Or I try to convince myself of that anyway. Yes, it can be a little heavy on the calories, but you're not going to eat the whole pan of lasagna! You've got protein from the cheese and beef, which is smothered in tomato sauce that has carrots, onions, and garlic. Obviously, those are all good for you, right?? 😉 In the proper serving portion, you can enjoy all its goodness alongside a fresh salad or steamed or roasted vegetables.
I've come a long way since that first pan of lasagna I made. No more processed cheese slices, no crunchy lasagna noodles. This Cheesy Bolognese Lasagna is the real deal and oh so good.
So first thing...go make my Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce. Then go get some lasagna noodles and cheese and put this Cheesy Bolognese Lasagna together! Furthermore, go ahead and add some of your own favorite lasagna fillings, like wilted spinach, roasted vegetables, cottage cheese, etc. Try it and leave your comments below!
Cheesy Bolognese Lasagna
- 6-8 cups Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce
- Gluten-free lasagna noodles (I use no-boil noodles)
- 3-4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese using the large grater size
- Preheat oven 400 deg F (200C).
- Layer in baking dish: Bolognese sauce, light sprinkle of cheese, gluten-free lasagna noodles. Repeat layers once more.
- Top with remaining Bolognese sauce, making sure to cover any exposed lasagna noodle edges. Cover with remaining cheese,
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Let rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.