"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Foodie Friday: Poor Man's Lasagna

lasagna poor man's lasagna

I think “Lazy Man’s Lasagna” is a better name for this dish. I don’t think the ingredients cost all that much less than if you made a regular lasagna, but the labor involved is greatly reduced. I personally think of it as a poor man’s dish, because after I have spent so much time and effort making a nice lasagna to give as a gift, I still have to feed my family that night. I usually throw together whatever ingredients I have leftover to make my poor family’s meal.
You can make this as a meat or meatless meal quite easily. For a vegetarian version substitute beans, especially cannelloni or pinto beans for the meat. Darker beans don’t work as well, but they can be used.
Poor Man’s Lasagna
by Diane Balch
prep: 15 min. serves: 4-6
1 14.5 oz of Barilla Plus Pasta (any kind other than spaghetti you can use Schar's gluten-free pasta) 
1 jar of good quality marinara sauce (Rao’s is good)
approx. 1/4 to 1/2 cup of part-skim Ricotta cheese.
1 6 oz bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese part-skim.

2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of chopped or dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lbs of meatloaf mix ground meat or 1 can of beans

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and put a large pot of water well salted on for the pasta.
2)While the pasta water is coming to a boil.  If you are using meat season it with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Sauté it in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

3) While the meat is browning in a large bowl mix together the ricotta, parmesan and parsley. Add meat when it is done.
3)When the pasta is cooked mix it with red sauce, meat or beans and the ricotta cheese mixture.
4) Spread out in a lasagna pan and top with Mozzarella cheese
5) Bake at 400 degrees until cheese starts to get brown in spots approximately 20 minutes.

6) Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving with a side salad or greens.

copyright 2012


  1. Yum! Lentils work really well too :)

  2. Your lazy lasagna looks delicious! In the summer I thinly slice zucchini and use it as my "frugal noodles".

    1. I'm always looking for something else to put zucchini into during the summer when I have too much. Great idea, sneaks more veggies in to the kids too.

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  4. i'll be honest, i like the idea of lazy lasagna. But to be fair, i already make lazy lasagna by making my partner grate all the cheese for me. haha... we usually throw in some spinach as well to help amp up the veggie quotient. I'm not much of a ground beef eater so i do love your idea of putting beans in there!

  5. Great Lasagna, Diane! I agree that it looks real easy and very tasty, I will have to give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    1. Thank you so much. I really do pride myself on this lasagna. I've been working out the kinks for years. I hope you enjoy it.

  6. Thanks so much! This is an easy alternative to traditional lasagna. And it's great to have some easy to fix meals that have grat taste!

    1. You are very welcome. This is definitely a crowd pleaser meal. Kids really like it. My kids think the name is hysterical, " They ask if regular lasagna noodles really cost a lot?" It is easy to make and does taste like regular lasagna. Enjoy.


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