Lasagna is a family favorite. But it’s time and labor intensive, and not necessarily a budget dish all of the time. However, you can cut your costs down AND cook enough for your freezer if you’re careful.
I ♥ lasagna. Just call me Garfield.
I made two extra large pans, like these:
Two smaller pans like these:
And a third smaller pan that was about 2/3 full, without any meat for my vegetarian child.
The first pan fed 4 adults, 1 teenager, 1 toddler, and had a whole mess of leftovers. It was probably close to 10-12 regular size servings. I probably had 35 servings, total. Recipe and cost breakdown after the cut.
Here’s my “recipe”, although y’all know by now that most of my recipes are approximations, and you can substitute at will.
12 – 15 oz cans of tomato sauce ($.25/each at Walmart)
4 – 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes ($.33/each at Kroger)
2 lbs of browned and drained hamburger meat ($1.67/lb)
2 cans of mushrooms, drained ($.50/each at HEB)
2 cans of tomato paste ($.44/each at HEB)
Italian seasoning ($.25)
4 tblsp garlic ($.10)
3 boxes of lasagna noodles, rinsed well in hot water and separated ($1.25/each at Kroger)
1.5 – 32 oz containers of ricotta cheese ($3.28/each at Walmart after coupon)
1 lb of mozzarella cheese, shredded ($3.15/lb at Kroger)
3 bags of shredded Italian blend cheese ($.75 each, rescued from the back of the deep freeze), divided.
1 cup of parmesan cheese ($1.25 at Kroger)
2 eggs ($.08/each at HEB)
Deep foil pans
Cookie sheet to support the pans
Foil for covering
Mix tomato sauce ingredients into a large pot and allow to simmer. Brown hamburger meat, drain well, and add to sauce. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine cheesey ingredients in a separate bowl, reserving some of the shredded cheese for topping the pans. If you’re making 3 xl pans, divide the cheese into thirds, and then divide each third in half so that you have enough for each pan’s two layers.
Rinse noodles well in hot water and separate them. They do not need to be precooked for this recipe.
Using a ladle or a measuring cup with a handle, spoon sauce in a layer on the bottom of a deep pan. Top with noodles, breaking to fit if needed.
Another layer of sauce
Layer of cheese, spreading the cheese mixture out very very thinly. I drop little bites around the pan instead of trying to do a solid layer. I said it was good, I never said it was healthy.
Then I top the pan with extra shredded cheese and parmesan and cover with foil, tightly.
Repeat with other pans. 2 of the extra large pans fit into my oven at one time. Bake at 350 for one hour. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
My costs were $25.37, not including the price of the pans.
I cut my costs down by waiting till I found a good deal on cheese. I used the $.50/1 Frigo cheese coupons at Walmart on some string cheese, which made overage. I then applied that to the other things I was buying at Walmart, that either didn’t have coupons (tomato sauce) or were expensive (ricotta cheese).
A pan of frozen lasagna will run you about $14 and has all kinds of ingredients I don’t want to eat in it. Like cottage cheese. EW! My homemade lasagna gets rave reviews and at $.73/serving, there is no reason not to try it out.