This has been a rough week. I am not motivated to cook or be creative at all. I am waiting to the last possible second to start dinners and I end up scrambling around to see what we have to make. I am thankful for my list of monthly meals to choose from but sometimes, like tonight, even that fails me. This dinner was supposed to be Pizza Stuffed Shells but when I went to get the shells from the pantry I forgot to buy them at the grocery store at the beginning of the month, grrrr.
So, quick thinking needed. Pizza Lasagna it is.
I have been in a pizza mood lately. There is a pizza joint near the lake so every time we drive by I want pizza more and more.
So this was my compromise. I served it with a green salad and a side of garlic green beans.
- 1 (16 oz.) box of lasagna noodles, boiled to al dente
- 1 (12 oz.) container of Ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. parsley
- 3 cups of cheese,grated, I used all the leftover pieces in my fridge (Monterey Jack, Colby and Cheddar)
- 2 (16 oz.) jars of pizza sauce *See note below recipe
- 1 package of sliced pepperoni
- 1 (16 oz.) package of fully cooked chicken sausages, sliced, (I used red pepper and mozzarella flavored)
- Your favorite pizza toppings. Be creative: mushrooms, olives, onions, red peppers, bacon, banana peppers, etc…
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 pan with non-stick spray.
- Pour 1/2 jar of pizza sauce in the bottom of the 13×9 pan and spread it evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Layer 4 – 5 cooked noodles in the bottom of the pan to completely cover the pizza sauce in the bottom of the pan.
- In a bowl mix ricotta, oregano, garlic powder, egg and parsley in a bowl to well mixed. Add 1/2 cup of your grated cheese to the ricotta mix and stir well.
- Spread 2/3 of the ricotta mix over the noodles. Be gentle in spreading so that the noodles do not tear or move in the pan.
- Add 4-5 noodles over the ricotta layer to completely cover the cheese. I usually layer in the opposite direction of the first layer to help add stability to the lasagna. ie. If I layer the first layer of noodles on the bottom of the pan lengthwise I will layer the second layer width-wise across the pan trimming the ends to fit.
- Pour rest of first jar of sauce over the noodles and spread to cover all noodles evenly.
- Add pepperoni slices in rows to cover all the noodles and sauce (picture below).
- Add sliced sausage over the pepperoni layer.
- Dollop the rest of the ricotta mixture over the sausage layer and gently spread as much as possible.
- Add another layer of 4-5 noodles to cover ricotta and sausage.
- Sprinkle noodle layer with 1 cup of cheese. Add the rest of your “pizza” toppings to cover the cheese.
- Add final layer of noodles and cover with 1/2 jar of pizza sauce.
- Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove lasagna from oven and remove aluminum foil. Cover with rest of cheese and return to oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you do not have pizza sauce make it with spaghetti sauce and add spices to make it more “pizza” flavored. Empty a jar of spaghetti sauce into a bowl and add garlic powder, dried oregano, onion powder, salt and pepper to your taste. I use TONS of oregano in ours as that is what my family likes.