I have been trying to be more creative with my meal ideas as of late. It is hard to get home from work to a bunch of hungry people and know what to do, which is why creating meal plans is such a great idea. I have noticed that we have been eating a greater variety of healthier foods because of my meal planning.
In the middle of the week I know I will get tired so I usually plan something easy to make. This time around it was lasagna. Now, if you have ever made lasagna from scratch before then you know it is not an easy thing to make. However I ran across a great recipe for one pot lasagna that I changed up a bit to my family’s tastes and my time constraints. I paired that with frozen Texas Toast garlic cheese bread and a wonderfully simple and tasty Avocado salad.
The first thing you do is brown the hamburger. I used about a pound and a half of lean ground chuck. I browned it in a large pot so I would have room for all the ingredients without having to worry about it.
When the hamburger was almost done I added a tablespoon of minced garlic and stirred it around. After the hamburger was cooked I drained off the fat and added salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
To the hamburger I added one can of spaghetti sauce and stirred.
Next I poured in the broken up lasagna noodles. You can’t use just any noodles for this recipe. You have to get the “oven ready” kind that doesn’t require boiling first. I suppose you could boil regular ones and then add them in, but it wouldn’t really be one pot anymore, right? Breaking them into large pieces makes it easier to stir and eat later.
On top of the noodles I added another can of spaghetti sauce and then stirred it all together.
After stirring, I poured in half a cup of chicken broth to make sure it wouldn’t dry out as it cooked. I ended up adding about another half a cup later on too as I thought it was getting too thick. Then I put on the lid and let it simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now it is time for my favorite ingredient! The cheese. A cup of low fat ricotta cheese and a cup and a half of mozzarella cheese get put in.
Doesn’t all that cheese look good? I mixed it in well and then let it warm and melt for five minutes on low.
I couldn’t help but add another half of a cup of mozzarella to the top before serving. My kids loved this and it came out great.
While the lasagna was simmering, I put in the Texas garlic toast.
In ten minutes out came brown, cheesy and delicious toast, enough for everyone! I always get the presliced garlic cheese bread instead of the loaf. For one, it is softer and easier to eat. For two I don’t have to listen to my kids fight over who got the bigger piece or the most cheese.
Now it is time for the yummy and simple avocado salad.
It only has five ingredients and is super simple and tasty to make. First, take a fresh ball of mozzarella cheese and cut it into bite sized chunks. Go for real cheese, not shredded or the bar version. It tastes so much better and the soft texture pairs well with the avocado.
Next cut up the two tomatoes into the same sized pieces. I like vine ripened as they have more flavor and less wateriness than Roma.
Then it comes time for the two avocados. Make sure they are ripe and slightly soft when you buy them if you are using them right away. Peel off the skins, take out the pits, and cut them into bite sized chunks. Coat the avocado pieces lightly with lemon juice if you want to preserve the color for more than an hour.
Now for the dressing. Two tablespoons (I used slightly less) of extra virgin olive oil is mixed with a tablespoon and a half of Italian seasoning. You can just use basil too, fresh or dried. Pour over the chopped cheese, tomato and avocado and mix well to coat. Serve warm for a tasty treat or chill for an hour if desired.
Even my kids ate this salad and they usually hate salad of any kind. The soft cheese and buttery avocado just made it great!
As you can tell, this meal was a big hit with my family and it took less than half an hour to put together. For busy weeknights or stressful weekends, this one pot stovetop lasagna recipe is a great way to feed a bunch and make everyone happy!
Easy One Pot Lasagna
1 ½ pounds hamburger
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
2 large containers of spaghetti sauce
1 package oven ready lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces
1 cup of chicken broth, as needed
1 cup low fat Ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Brown hamburger in large pot.
- One minute before hamburger is done cooking, add minced garlic and stir to cook.
- Drain off grease and add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
- Pour in one container of spaghetti sauce.
- Break noodles and place in pot.
- Pour in second can of spaghetti sauce and stir until mixed.
- Add one half cup of chicken broth and stir.
- Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer and cover.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining half cup of chicken broth if the sauce gets too thick.
- Remove lid and add the cup of Ricotta cheese and one and a half cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese. Mix well.
- Let simmer and melt on low for five minutes.
- Before serving, sprinkle on top remaining half cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese.
- Serve with garlic cheese bread if desired.
1 ball Mozzarella cheese
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 large ripe avocados
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or less to taste)
1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning or basil
- Cut cheese, tomatoes and avocado into bite sized pieces.
- Coat avocado with lemon juice for color retention if desired.
- Mix together olive oil and seasonings.
- In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients.
- Serve warm or chill for an hour before serving.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.