Freezer Meaty Lasagna

Here is a wonderful Freezer Meaty Lasagna recipe. Whenever I go on a vacation or a mission trip and cannot prep for Sunday meal, I make these ahead and freeze.

If you able to find Ronzoni No Boil lasagna noodles, the ones with little ripples, not the flat sheet, they are the best ones to assemble and freeze. Other brands of no boil pasta sheets are too thick and gummy after baked. I use these disposable half pans when freezing for easy clean up later. Lasagna is baked frozen, do not thaw ahead. Put hot water between pans before baking for even temperature to avoid over baking on the sides.

Bake with foil cover off until you see little dark specks of cooked cheese, then cover with foil and finish baking. This extra step will ensure that foil will not stick to top layer of mozzarella resulting in a beautiful top.

Freezer Meaty Lasagna

Tomato Meat Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion , chopped fine
6 cloves garlic , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound ground beef chuck (85 percent lean)
1/2 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Pasta Layers
1 3/4 cups whole-milk ricotta
1 1/4 cups Grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (from one 8- or 9-ounce package, Ronzoni brand
5 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese

1. For the sauce: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, add ground meats, salt, and pepper, and cook, breaking meat into small pieces, until meat is no longer pink but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add cream and simmer until liquid evaporates and only fat remains, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and basil and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors blend, about 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cool sauce for 20 minutes, then refrigerate until cool, at least 20 minutes.

2. For the pasta layers: Mix ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, eggs, salt, and pepper in bowl. Spread 1/4 cup meat sauce over bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Place 3 noodles crosswise on top of sauce, evenly space 9 tablespoons ricotta mixture over noodles, and sprinkle evenly with 1 1/4 cups mozzarella; spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese. Repeat layering of noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, and sauce two more times. Place 3 remaining noodles on top and spread with remaining sauce. Cover with remaining 1 1/4 cups mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

3. Spray large sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray and tightly cover lasagna. Wrap with plastic wrap several times and cover with another layer of foil. Freeze.

4. When ready to serve: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove all wrapping except foil layer that is flush against lasagna. Put another pan with hot water in between two pans. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, then remove foil. Continue baking until cheese is spotty brown and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let lasagna cool for 15 minutes. Serve.


  1. Dear Kay, could you please explain the part about having a pan of water in the oven? Thanks!

    - A devoted reader

  2. Oh, gosh! I just saw this note from you, Anonymous! Water acts as an insulation since the disposable pans are so thin, so the sides of lasagna won't burn after almost two hours of cooking!

  3. How many does this feed?

    1. This is 3 layer, which yields about 12 servings. When we make 4 layered in this this type of pans, about 16 servings; both yields if you serve, not buffet style. :)