My mom’s homemade meat and cheese lasagna is a dish we serve at almost every major holiday. It’s been on the table for many an Easter, New Year’s, and yes – even Thanksgiving. This Cooking for Twosday, you can serve this lasagna for two… But I have to warn you: You might not want to share at all.
Being an Armenian, we can sometimes have unusual foods on our holiday table. Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner often consists of hummus, tzatziki, tabouleh, and multiple meat dishes like kebab, lehmejun (Armenian pizza), or gatlet (don’t ask – you’re not ready). At my request, this lasagna often makes an appearance. And because there are usually 20 different dishes on the table, we always have leftovers that last for days. I love this meat and cheese lasagna because it’s just as good the next day, and the day after that.
It’s true. Lasagna is not a 15 minute dinner. But, this recipe is so easy to make that it’s fun to take the time and make it with someone you love. Cooking this recipe together can actually be your date night. Grab two glasses, pour some wine, and sip, taste, & sizzle while you cook.
- Cooking spray
- 5 regular or gluten-free lasagna noodles
- ½ lb ground beef, turkey, or chicken
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- ½ tsp Kosher salt, plus more for pasta
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ cups (12oz) marinara sauce
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 6 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cut a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the pan, and grease one side with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Bring water to boil in a deep pot. Add the lasagna noodles and a pinch of kosher salt. Gently stir often to separate noodles, checking to make sure they aren't sticking together. Cook until al dente, then drain in a strainer and lightly rinse with cold water for just a few seconds. Cut off tops of noodles so all are 8 inches long (the same length as the dish). Don't discard smaller pieces.
- In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add meat and 2 tbsp water. Cook until completely browned, about 10 minutes. While cooking, use a wooden spoon to split the bigger chunks into small pieces. The meat should be in tiny bits rather than chunks. Then add onions, salt, and pepper. Cook another 10-15 minutes, until onions are translucent and soft, and water has evaporated. Remove from heat. Stir in marinara sauce and oregano.
- Place two long lasagna noodles side by side in bottom of baking dish. Spread a third of the meat mixture evenly on noodles, then sprinkle ½ cup cheese over it. Place smaller pieces of noodles over this layer. (You can use all except the last 2 long pieces.) Spread another third of the meat mixture over noodles, then another ½ cup cheese. Place the last 2 long noodles over this layer. Spread remaining third of the meat over the noodles. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over the meat, covering all of it.*
- Cover loosely with greased aluminum foil and cook in oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and cook 10 more minutes, or until cheese bubbles. Remove from oven, let sit 10 minutes, then cut into 4 pieces and serve.
Want more pasta for two?
Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta
Creamy Alfredo Sauce
Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Linguini