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This easy recipe details how to make lasagne step-by-step, to fill your freezer with the best lasagne you’ll ever eat!
Prep time: 1 hour 45 mins
Cooking time: 30-40 mins (from fresh), 1 hour (from frozen)
Cost per portion: £0.96
Lasagne is the perfect dish to batch cook
When I started my mission to cut my grocery spends in half, I became obsessed with batch cooking. Very quickly, I learned how to whip up several meals at once, saving lots of money, time and energy.
Before learning how to make lasagne, I tried making a bolognese. Bolognese is super simple, and I realised that making lasagne was incredibly similar. The steps are the same, but for lasagne, you also make a white sauce, and layer it with pasta.
Many people think that lasagne is a lot of work. And while there are a few steps involved, it is one of the best meals to cook in bulk.
It takes the same amount of time to prepare lasagne for 4, as it does to prepare lasagne for 14. So if you are investing the time in cooking lasagne, making a larger quantity means that, while you put in the graft now, you can fill your freezer with lots of portions for an easy midweek dinner, or a lazy Sunday lunch.
But how do you prep 14 portions so quickly? All will be revealed in the recipe below!
With this easy lasagne recipe, you will stick to the basics and produce a wonderful dish. When it comes to lasagne, the simpler the recipe, the better.
How can I freeze this lasagne?
In the recipe below, I will detail how you will freeze the lasagne.
As with all my freezer meals, I store them in freezable containers. To maximise the room in your freezer, use containers that come with strong lids, rather than covering with cling film or foil. The lids will ensure that the food doesn’t get squashed when you pile anything on top of the container.
These are my containers of choice. They go from freezer, to microwave or oven, to dishwasher. I use them myself and can highly recommend them!
Is this the easiest lasagne recipe out there?
I don’t know about you, but I instantly scroll past recipes that require a ton of faff (I’m looking at you here, Jamie Oliver!).
I like to take my time cooking, but how many of us have the time to mull over a recipe that feeds 4 for half-a-day? And then there’s the washing up. Hands up if you hate washing up!
My easy lasagne recipe takes 2.5 hours from scratch to table and makes 14 servings. That means you put in a little bit of effort by cooking up a batch now, and set yourself up with a ton of easy freezer dinners for the next few weeks.
To serve straight from the freezer, you simply need to put it in the oven at 180c for one hour, while you have a bath, tackle some work or spend your hard earned free time relaxing. You don’t need to do anything else but sit back and enjoy!
And if you need some more proof that batch cooking is the way to save a ton of money on food, and get your time back, read this.
This simple lasagne recipe contains my secret weapon that will show you how I cook 14 meals in 2.5 hours. What I will share below will give you everything you need to batch cook multiple lasagnes with ease.
Batch cooked lasagne: The Breakdown
This easy lasagne recipes takes two and a half hours to prepare and makes 14 portions of lasagne. The entire lasagne recipes works out at £13.43, making each portion cost a budget-friendly £0.96.
For the beef filling
1 kg lean beef mince
1 kg carrots
150g cherry tomatoes
1.5 bulbs of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
4 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
300ml boiling water
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
For the white sauce
70g salted butter
1 pint of semi skimmed milk
100g plain flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
For layers and filling
2x 125g mozzarella balls
200g cheddar cheese
500g dried lasagne sheets
To make this lasagne recipe super simple and quick to prepare: my secret weapon, my ultimate hack, my top tip is…
My food processor!
If you want to prepare huge quantities of food very quickly, a food processor is a must-have. I cannot stress this enough!
Mine is linked here, and I use it to prep everything. It can make soups, curry pastes and smoothies in a matter of moments. I never have to overpay for expensive pre-prepared products like grated cheese or sliced vegetables; this does all the hard work. With a food processor, you’ll never have to pay over the odds for groceries. You can buy basic ingredients, prep them in this, and save a small fortune (and a lot of hard work slicing and dicing!).
So, let’s get started with our lasagne.
Prep your carrots, onions, mushrooms and cheddar in the food processor. Use your food processor’s grater attachment for carrots and cheddar, and the slicer attachment for onions and mushrooms. Each element should be prepped separately, as we will add them to the dish at different times.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can prep the ingredients by hand, of course.
While you are prepping the above, brown your mince in a large pot. Fry off the mince in 1 tbsp of olive oil on a medium heat until it is mostly cooked, then remove the pot from the heat and drain in a colander to remove the excess liquid.
Put your pot back on to a medium heat and heat up the remaining tbsp of oil. Fry onions for a few minutes until soft, then add the minced garlic. Fry for one minute, then add the cooked beef mince, grated carrots, sliced mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Allow to cook for five minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, basil and oregano, chicken stock cube and boiling water. Give everything a good mix. Simmer the mix, lid off, on a medium/low heat for an hour and a half, until most of the liquid has evaporated. While the mix is cooking, stir occasionally. Add sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
While the meat filling is cooking, prepare your white sauce separately.
Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat, then add the flour, whisking as you do to incorporate both ingredients. You will find that within moments of mixing, the butter and flour will form a wet, doughy mix. Add the milk slowly. Continue whisking on the heat to ensure the mixture is lump-free. It should thicken within 7-8 minutes. Season, and set your white sauce aside.
How to layer your lasagne
Now, here’s the fun part! Layer your lasagne dishes with layers of meat filling, white sauce and lasagne sheets, repeating until you are nearly at the top of the dish. Top each dish with a generous sprinkle of cheddar and torn chunks of mozzarella.
You don’t need to cook the lasagne sheets in advance. The combination of the liquid from the meat filling and the white sauce will ensure the pasta is cooked evenly when you heat up your dish.
If you prefer a crispy topping, make your last layer a lasagne sheet before adding the cheese. For a creamier topping, make some white sauce your top layer before sprinkling on your cheese.
If you intend to freeze your lasagnes, allow to cool, place the lids on the dishes and freeze. When you are ready to cook, you can cook from frozen at 180c for around 1 hour.
If cooking from fresh, finish the lasagne off in the oven at 180c for around 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling, melted, and the top of the lasagne is golden brown.
Serve hot with your side of choice. I’ve served mine with oven roasted chips and vegetables. For a weekend treat, this dish is perfect with some garlic fried potatoes and tossed greens.
Let me know in the comments how you layer your lasagne. Do you follow the same method as me, or is there a tastier way to layer it up?
Looking for more batch cooking ideas? Check out this easy and quick recipe for breakfast egg muffins. Prep a healthy breakfast for the entire week in a matter of minutes!