Recipe: Homemade Lasagne

I love homemade lasagne almost as much as I love spaghetti bolognese. The only separating factor is the extra steps that it takes to make lasagne. To combat this – I now make these in bulk, and freeze them. That way, the actual preparation is done on a lazy Sunday afternoon – rather than right before dinner. This Recipe for Homemade Lasagne is designed to freeze and cook later. So let’s fill your freezer and give your family some wholesome dinners to heat and serve.

The Empowered Cook shares a freezer friendly homemade lasagne recipe. It is designed to be made in bulk and frozen - saving you time in the kitchen!

A note on freezing

When making meals for the freezer, you will need to choose your storage method. I will sometimes simply use the casserole dish that I will cook it in – and then freeze it whole. Or I will line the casserole dish with a few layers of aluminium foil and then once the dish is frozen, I can lift out the dish and simply freeze it by itself. This lets me re-use my casserole dish – pretty handy when you only have one.

But for lasagne – I find the best method is to use the disposable aluminium foil trays. I just find that this works the best – they are stable so you don’t need to worry about ‘smooshing’ the lasagne as you swap trays, and they heat evenly in the oven.

You decide though – whatever works best for you.

A time-saving note

For this recipe, I use a batch of spaghetti bolognese sauce posted here. You don’t however, need to make that fresh on the day – you can pull it from the freezer and defrost it for this recipe. I will always heat the sauce if I do this. I have found (by my own research and by trial and error) that this works best. If you’re not sure about defrosting, cooking and refreezing food – perhaps do some of your own research.

Ok – let’s get down to business – the Recipe for Homemade Lasagne.

 

Homemade Lasagne
Ingredients
  • 1 batch bolognese sauce
  • 1 packet lasagne sheets dried
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheese grated
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder optional
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder optional
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. We will start by making our bechamel (or white cheese) sauce. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, start to melt the butter. Add the flour, and with a whisk - give this a good stir. This will make your roux. You need to cook this roux for a few minutes until it smells like a yummy shortbread biscuit. This is to cook the flour.

  2. Once it smells good, you can add a few tbsp of millk while whisking. Once that has combined with your roux, add some more milk and keep whisking. Repeat this process until there is a smooth sauce created. Note: I usually get impatient and increase the amount of milk I add as I go along. I have found that as long as you start slow, you can finish fast. 

  3. Once all the milk is added, add your seasonings. I like to add garlic and onion powder - but you could simply just add salt and pepper if you like. 

  4. Now, switch your whisk to a wooden spoon. We now need the sauce to heat up and thicken. This will take a few minutes. Just keep stirring fairly regularly with your wooden spoon. 

  5. While waiting for the sauce to thicken, let’s heat up the bolognese sauce. Pop this on the stove on a low heat, stirring occasionally.

  6. When the bechamel sauce is to your desired thickness - remember this is going into the lasagne, so it doesn’t need to be perfect! - you can add half the grated cheese and stir this through the sauce. 

  7. Next - we get to assemble the lasagne. In your chosen dishes - casserole or aluminium foil tray - place a couple of spoons of sauce in the bottom and spread this around to cover the base. This doesn’t need to be too much - it’s just enough to help moisten and cook the bottom lasagne sheets.

  8. Now place your first layer of lasagne sheets. I sometimes break mine up a bit if they don’t fit perfectly - but they don’t need to completely cover the dish. Just do your best. 

  9. Next - another layer of sauce (a bit more than the first layer) - followed by a good drizzle of the bechamel.

  10. Repeat this a few times - lasagne sheets, bolognese, bechamel - until you get a few centimetres from the top of the dish. You want to finish your layering with lasagne sheets. 

  11. Onto the last lasagne sheets, cover these a good layer of bechamel. Sprinkle this with the rest of the grated cheese.

  12. You’re done! Flash freeze these dishes (i.e. freeze for about an hour or two - until they are solid) - and then wrap them really well. Remember to label them too - including how to defrost and heat - and then place in the freezer. 

  13. To cook: defrost your lasagne, and then heat at 180 degrees celsius for 45-55mins - until hot all the way through, the cheese has melted and the top is golden. Serve with a green side salad. 

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