Mama Mia Meatball Lasagna


I decided to do a lasagna using veggies instead of noodles and then topping it with some savory meatballs.  The result was a yummy italian casserole and my kids didn’t even know there were veggies inside.  I also made some homemade ricotta to go inside which was fabulous!  I will share that recipe with you later.


1 eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 large zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch slices

salt and pepper

olive oil

2 c riccotta

1 c italian cheese, shredded

1lb mozzarella ball, shredded

1/4 c chopped italian parsley

1 jar of your favorite GF pasta sauce

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 egg beaten

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

3 medium baking potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch slices

1/4 c chopped fresh rosemary and thyme

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

granulated garlic

1/4 grated parmesan cheese

2 sliced of GF bread (process into breadcrumbs using food processor)

Lay eggplant and zucchini slices on a kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt.  Let drain for 30 minutes.  Pat veggies dry and brush with olive oil and roast in 400F oven for 6-10 minutes until slightly golden.  Combine beef, pork, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.  Form into meatballs and then brown in a large stockpot with some 2 T olive oil.  Once all sides are browned remove meatballs to plate to drain on papertowel.  Combine pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, sugar and salt and pepper in saucepan.  Using hand blender puree until smooth and heat just until warm.  Combine ricotta with 1c of cheese, the mozzarella, parsley, egg, salt and pepper.  Mix to combine.  Lower oven to 400F and spread 1c of sauce in bottom of 9X12 baking dish.  Layer in eggplant and zucchini and then cover with some of ricotta mixture.  Layer with potatoes and then top with salt, pepper and half of the chopped herbs.  Repeat layers and then top with meatballs and some additional sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


When Life Doesn’t Give You Lasagna Noodles You Make Lasagna Casserole

This weekend I wanted to make gluten-free lasagna for my Mom’s birthday dinner.  We travelled to two different stores in search of gluten-free lasagna noodles, but could not find any on the shelves.  I decided to go with Plan B…..lasagna casserole.  This casserole would have all the lasagna flavors, but I would layer the sauce and cheeses with penne pasta in a baking dish.  The result was a casserole that even Garfield the cat would enjoy.


Bolognese sauce (I made a fresh batch of this sauce using Giada De Laurentis recipe here – except I added a mixture of ground sirloin and italian sausage and added a 1/4 c red wine to deglaze the pan)

16 oz ricotta cheese

2 c shredded italian cheese blend

16 oz package of baby bella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil

16 oz package of fresh spinach sauteed in olive oil

16 oz package gluten-free penne pasta

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray 9X13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Ladle 1/2 c of bolognese sauce in bottom of dish.  Spread half the penne over the sauce.  Ladle half the remaining bolognese sauce over pasta, then add half the ricotta, half the mushrooms, half the spinach and half the shredded cheese.  Repeat the layers once more making sure top layer is shredded cheese.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes and then let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


Mexican Lasagna

Don’t you just love casseroles and one pot meals?  I love building flavors in a pot and then having everything come together to make one delish dish!  This is a new dish I tried which is a take on a Nigella Lawson recipe that I tweaked.  This will keep you warm on a chilly fall day.


1 lb ground beef

1 large clove of garlic

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper peeled and chopped

1  4 oz can of diced green chiles

1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 8 oz can Rotel tomato and green chile sauce

2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 T sliced black olives

2 C shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese

1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed

1 15 oz can whole kernal corn drained

9 corn tortillas

Non-stick cooking spray

14 oz water

1T ketchup

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Sour cream

Spray a deep round casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and preheat an oven to 400F.  Add your oil to a deep pot on the stove over medium high heat and brown your ground beef adding salt and pepper to taste.  Remove beef from the pot and add your garlic, onion, green chiles and bell pepper, salt and pepper to the pot and cook for about 6-7 minutes stirring frequently.  Next add your can of tomatoes, tomato sauce, 14 oz of water and cilantro and your ketchup.  Season with salt and pepper and let mixture come to a simmer and then add back in your beef.  Mix your black beans and corn in a separate bowl.  Assemble the lasagna in your casserole dish starting with a couple of ladles of the ground beef sauce then add tortillas, then a layer of the corn and beans and then cheese.  Repeat this process ending with a layer of cheese on top.  Sprinkle the top with sliced olives and bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes.  Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving with sour cream.

What is your favorite fall casserole or one pot dish?

No Noodle Lasagna

So the kids were watching a Garfield movie this weekend and suddenly I got a craving for lasagna.  That fat orange cat has a way of making you yearn for that cheesy, saucy italian casserole.  I decided I would use grilled eggplant instead of lasagna noodles.  I haven’t found a gluten-free lasagna noodle that has knocked my socks off so this was my plan B.  This plan also hides the veggies in the dish so that my son doesn’t realize he is eating them which is a plus in my book!


2 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices

16oz large curd cottage cheese

1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley

1 large egg

1 jar of gluten-free pasta sauce

olive oil

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

dried oregano

2 c shredded italian cheese

Brush your eggplant slices with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.  Grill your eggplant slices until slightly softened and you have sufficiently charred both sides.  In a food processor combine your cottage cheese, parsley, oregano, egg and salt & pepper to taste and puree  until you get the texture of ricotta cheese.  Ladle 1/4 c pasta sauce on bottom of 9X13 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Layer your eggplant, sauce, cottage cheese and then shredded cheese mixture making sure top layer is shredded cheese.  Cook in a 350F oven for about 30-40 minutes or until your cheese is melted and bubbly.  If your cheese doesn’t sufficiently brown on top turn your broiler on for a couple of minutes, but keep an eye on your lasagna so the top doesn’t burn.


And when you are done you are left with a vegetarian lasagna that even Garfield would love!  My son didn’t even know there was veggies in it until I told him 🙂

 What’s your trick to get your kids to eat more veggies?