Wintertime calls for comfort food - easy meals that feed the soul! This Mediterranean Lasagna is the perfect meal to make during those colder winter days.
One of the things I love about lasagna is how easy it is to meal prep and how well it reheats after freezing it. If you've never made lasagna before - no worries!
It can seem complicated but it's really not hard at all. It does take some time and prep work, but it'll give you a ton of meals.
Lasagna works well for families but also for those of us living on our own! With it reheating so well, I usually freeze over half of it in single-serving sizes. This makes future work lunches easy peasy!
This post will walk you through the different steps of building a lasagna - so let's dive in!
How to Make Lasagna
When making lasagna you'll want a pan that's around 3 inches in depth to be able to hold all the layers. This recipe makes enough for 3 layers.
Here's the rundown on the 3 layers:
- Noodles: You'll need a total of 12 lasagna noodles - 4 for each layer. They'll be slightly overlapping.
- Cheese: This layer is spread on top of the noodles.
- Meat/Veggie Sauce: Spoon the tomato based meat and veggie sauce over the cheese layer. It'll be the layer you start and end with!
I start by prepping the 3 layers. Get a large pot of boiling water for the noodles going, a mixing bowl for the cheese layer and a large saucepan heating up for the meat and veggie sauce.
If you don't have a huge pot to cook the noodles just use your biggest one and cook them in batches. They may take time to soften and fall into the water, but that's okay!
Cook the noodles according to your package's instructions. You'll want them to still have some firmness since they'll be baking in the oven. When they're done cooking drain the noodles and put them on an oiled baking sheet to prevent them from sticking to each other.
The cheese layer is the easiest and least time consuming - just mix it all together and set aside until ready to use.
For the meat sauce, you'll cook the ground meat first. Once it's fully cooked you'll add the veggies and tomatoes.
Once you got all three layers ready to go - layer the pan, top with mozzarella cheese, cover and bake!
I love Mediterranean cuisine. It's by far my favorite with its bright, bold flavors - you just can't beat it!
This Mediterranean lasagna has a ton of vegetables like eggplant and zucchini. The cheese layer is mixed with fresh basil and chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a savory twist!
You can make lasagna so many different ways. The classic meat and cheese is always good but if you love Mediterranean flavors - you're gonna love this spin-off!
Is Lasagna Healthy?
Lasagna, and a lot of pasta dishes, get a bad wrap for being "bad" meals or not "healthy." But they can be a great nutritious option!
Lasagna provides us a source of carbohydrates, protein, fat and veggies - it really fuels us by covering so many food groups!
If we're focusing on building a nutrient-dense lasagna here's some ideas to try out:
- Whole Wheat Noodles: Whole wheat products have more fiber and protein, making them a great option and way to get more whole grains in our diet.
- Lean Ground Meat: I use beef in this recipe and often use Laura's Lean Beef. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find lean beef since it's usually around 80% lean in most grocery stores. If you can find it for 90% lean or higher that's a great option!
- Reduced Fat Cheese: There are times I use whole fat becuase the fat is so important to get the right texture in a recipe. But in lasagna I find reduced fat cheese works just fine!
Recipe Tips and FAQs
After you take them out of the water, spray them with a little olive oil.
It happens! I cook 1 or 2 extra noodles just in case this happens to have as back up.
No problem - I've done that before too! Just bake it uncovered for 30minutes or once you notice it becomes golden brown on top.
Prep the lasagna following the instructions and instead of baking, cover it and refrigerate it until ready to bake - up to 2 days after prepping it. If you need to store it for longer, wrap it tightly and freeze it. Just know baking the lasagna from frozen will require more time.
Yes! The key to the lasagna holding its shape is letting it have enough time to cool down after baking.
More Mediterranean Recipes
- Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers: A blog favorite and must-try if you love Mediterranean flavors!
- Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Bake: Another great meal prep recipe. It prepares a lot of servings so great to have for leftovers.
- Mediterranean Buddha Bowl: This grains and greens bowl is a flavorful and nourishing meal - perfect for on-the-go lunches.
Easy Mediterranean Lasagna
- 12-14 lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Meat and Vegetable Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground lean beef
- ⅔ cup chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped eggplant
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves minced garlic
Ricotta Cheese Layer
- 2 cups skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- ½ cup chopped basil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Prep your Noodles
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or spread olive oil on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Cook 14 lasagna noodles al dente according to package instructions (you'll need just 12 noodles, but I recommend cooking an extra 2 noodles in case some tear or fall apart) remove from the water and place on the oiled baking sheet. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.
Make the Ricotta Cheese Layer
- Mix all the ingredients under the ricotta cheese layer except the mozzarella cheese together. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.
Prep the Veggies and Meat Sauce
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and salt and cook the ground beef until there is no pink left.
- Add the onions, eggplant and zucchini and saute with the ground beef for 5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and rinse the sides of the can with water and add to the pan (about ½ cup - 1 cup water). Add the garlic and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until it thickens into a sauce.
Assemble the Lasagna
- Start with a thin layer of the veggie and meat sauce in a 13x9 inch baking dish that is around 3 inches in depth. Next place 4 lasagna noodles on top, slightly overlapping. Top noodles with cheese layer. Cover cheese layer with meat and veggie sauce and repeat (noodles, cheese, meat and veggies) 2 more times so you have a total of 3 layers.
- Cover the top of the lasagna (last layer of meat and vegetable sauce) with the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30-35minutes. Remove foil and allow it to bake an additional 10minutes or until the top is bubbly and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow the lasagna to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
- You'll need 12 lasagna noodles. I recommend cooking an extra 2 noodles incase some of the noodles tear or fall apart.
- For Meal Prep:
- Refrigerator: pep the lasagna following the instructions and instead of baking, cover it and refrigerate it until ready to bake - up to 2 days after prepping it.
- Freezer: If you need to store it for longer than a few days, wrap it tightly and freeze it. Just know baking the lasagna from frozen will require more time.
(Nutrition values are calculated by third-party software and an estimate that can vary based on product brands and cooking methods.)