The Ultimate Make-Ahead Meal: Meat-and-Veggie Lasagna

Best for Babies 12+ Months

This weekend has been all about family. Mason’s Uncle Adam has been in New York all week working and we were lucky enough to spend Friday night and this afternoon with him. Mason had so much fun playing with his uncle, and we had so much fun watching them play. I also loved the chance to reconnect with my hubby, who returned from DC last night, and my awesome brother-in-law, who I hadn’t seen since April.

Tonight, it was just Chris, Mason, and me — Adam had to fly back to LA before dinner — so Chris and I decided to introduce Bug to one of our fave cold-weather meals: Meat-and-Veggie Lasagna. We made it with brown-rice lasagna noodles, but you can make our recipe with regular lasagna noodles if you wish. My recipe predates Bug; it’s one of the first dishes I ever made for Chris. It’s the ideal meal for Mason because it offers a grain, protein, and veggies all in one dish. Enjoy!

Meat-and-Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 box regular or brown rice lasagna noodles
1 lb organic ground beef
2  jars  tomato sauce
1  Medium onion
1 Sweet peppers
1  Zucchini or yellow squash
2  Garlic cloves
1   Portobello mushroom
1   Carton fat-free ricotta
1 pkg   shredded mozzarella
Parmesan cheese
Olive 0il
A dash of basil or oregano

Directions:

1. Cook noodles according to package. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, pour a bit of olive oil in a large skillet. Heat and brown onions and garlic together. Set onions and garlic aside and saute veggies. Combine veggies, onion, and garlic.

3. In a large pot, combine sauce and sauteed veggies, onion, garlic, and basil/oregano. Simmer on medium heat. Reduce to low once the sauce starts bubbling.

4. Spoon a layer of sauce until your baking dish is completely covered.

5. Layer four cooked noodles across your dish (or however many it takes to completely cover the bottom of the dish). Spoon on a generous layer of sauce. Spread on a layer of ricotta cheese. Layer four more noodles on top of the cheese. Spoon on more sauce. Top with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.

6. Cover dish with foil. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (check after 30); uncover lasagna for the last 5 minutes and bake until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Servings: 4 – 6; Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: about 50 minutes

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