Go ahead and drool over this traditional Gluten Free Classic Meat Lasagna made with from scratch pasta sauce. The flavors will have you dancing!
Well, it’s begun. The days of my perfect child at school have come to a screeching halt. I knew this moment would come sooner or later.
I’ve always been in awe that Braelyn can be so sassy and energetic at home, yet transform into a sweet little angel at school, obeying her teachers’ every directions. How does a child do that?!
Let me preface this post with the fact that I LOVE Braelyn to death. Yes, she is my more difficult child and yes, she tries my patience EVERY SINGLE DAY. But, she is a free spirit. A spirit that I admire and wish that I could emulate in many respects. She dances to the beat of her own drum and lives life in a constant state of wonderment and awe.
That being said, she is still a stinker. Haha! Seriously though, she can be a downright sassy pants, stink face.
I received an email from her teacher today making me aware of a “situation” that happened in class. During a difficult math lesson, Braelyn and another girlfriend of hers were chatting to the point that Braelyn had to be sent back to her desk to work alone. The teacher later went to discuss with her how she could better pay attention in class and in true Braelyn fashion, she began to deflect fault on to all others but herself.
Her response to her teacher’s questioning of why she couldn’t focus was, “When people around me are bothering me, it just makes me talk!”
On top of blaming others, she also pulled out the waterworks for a real show. She tends to do that when she gets in trouble. Not because she really feels bad, but more so because she thinks that by crying you will feel bad for her and in return her punishment won’t be so severe.
No joke, I’ve caught her in the mirror before making herself cry. A true little actress. She even attempted to teach me one night how to fake cry. “Mom, it’s so cool! You just have to keep fake crying and you can for real make yourself cry. You should try it. It’s awesome!”
Thanks for the advice Braelyn.
Sometimes I just can’t figure this girl out. She wants attention, but then you give it to her and she sasses you. She wants friends to like her, but then she bosses them around to the point they don’t want to play anymore. She wants to be nice, but then the second something doesn’t go her way the banshee is released in full fury.
I’m telling you, she is full of layers and layers of confusion. And one by one, I am determined to peel them away until I can figure her out…if that’s even possible. But until then, I will love each and every sweet and spicy layer of that girl right down to her skinny little bones. That’s for sure.
And while I’m loving every layer of that girl, I’m also loving every layer of this Gluten Free Classic Meat Lasagna. Yep, I just did that. I compared Braelyn to a piece of ooey gooey lasagna. Don’t think about it too hard. It makes sense, okay?!
I was so beyond excited when I found a box of gluten free lasagna noodles at our local Whole Foods grocery store the other day. I haven’t made a gluten free lasagna for almost 3 years because I haven’t found gluten free lasagna noodles in the regular grocery stores. What’s up with that?! They have gluten free spaghetti noodles, rotini noodles, penne noodles, and sometimes even the corkscrew shaped noodles along with elbow macaroni.
You think gluten free peeps don’t want some lasagna too?!
Anyway, I was so stoked to make lasagna that I invited a couple of families over for dinner and went all out with a spread of artichoke dip, roasted broccoli, salad, French bread (sorry, not gluten free), and some glorious gluten free cookies n’ cream cupcakes. Don’t worry, that recipe will be coming soon.
Let me tell you, this lasagna did not disappoint. People were going back for seconds and thirds. I even overheard one of the girls who we invited exclaim to Braelyn, “This lasagna is the BOMB!”
I love all the flavors that go into making this lasagna. I used to make lasagna with trusty old Ragu, which is still good, but since creating a super simple homemade pasta sauce, I just can’t bring myself to pop open another can of Ragu…and I have 3 jars just sitting in my cupboards.
The homemade pasta sauce gives this lasagna a slightly sweet and tangy taste with a hint of basil and a huge punch of other Italian flavors.
Not only is there so much flavor in the sauce, but this lasagna is made of all kinds of cheeses from your classic Italian blend to havarti, parmesan, and even cottage cheeses. To say it’s ooey gooey is quite the understatement.
And last but not least, the best thing about lasagna is that it can be prepared in advance. Make it the day before and stick it in the refrigerator. Or better yet, split the recipe into two 8X8 pans so you can eat one now and freeze the other for later. It’s such a great make ahead meal that everyone can enjoy.
Now I just have to figure out how to get Braelyn to cooperate as nicely as this lasagna. But if I can, it’s smooth sailing from here on out. Buckle up!
Do you have a traditional lasagna recipe that you love?
- For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz. each)
- 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz.)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¾-1 teaspoon salt
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon pepper
- For cottage cheese mixture:
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- For the layers:
- 12 gluten free lasagna noodles
- 1 cup shredded havarti cheese
- 1½ cups Italian blend cheese
- Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- Begin making sauce by prepping veggies. Dice onion, peel and chop carrots into small pieces, remove seeds from bell pepper and chop, slice mushrooms, and mince garlic.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, reduce heat just below medium and add carrots and onions, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper, and cook for 4 minutes. Add bell pepper, seasoning lightly again, and cook for 3 minutes more. Add mushrooms, seasoning once more, and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooking veggies to avoid burning. Add ground beef and garlic. Season with another few shakes of salt and pepper and cook until beef is no longer pink.
- Add remaining ingredients for the sauce and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes until sauce is slightly reduced and veggies are tender.
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions, minus 2 minutes to account for cooking time in the oven.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix all ingredients for cottage cheese mixture until eggs are mixed through and parmesan cheese has separated.
- Once lasagna noodles are done*, begin assembling lasagna. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Put a very light layer of sauce on the bottom of pan, just enough to keep noodles from sticking (1/4 cup should be enough). Lay 3 lasagna noodles over top. Sprinkle ½ cup of shredded havarti cheese over noodles. Spoon ⅓ of cottage cheese mixture over top and gently spread. Layer 3 more noodles. Spoon ⅓ of sauce over top. Spoon another ⅓ of cottage cheese mixture over top. Gently spread mixtures over noodles. Sprinkle ½ cup Italian cheese mixture on top. Layer 3 more noodles. Spoon another ⅓ of sauce over top. Spoon remaining cottage cheese mixture on top. Gently spread mixtures over noodles. Sprinkle another ½ cup of Italian cheese blend. Layer remaining 3 noodles on top. Spread remaining sauce over top of noodles. Sprinkle remaining havarti cheese and Italian cheese blend on top. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top of lasagna.
- Cover lasagna with a layer of foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.**
**Lasagna can be assembled ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated before baking. A frozen lasagna would take 1½-2 hours to bake and a refrigerated lasagna would take about between 1-1¼ hours to bake.