When you are doing meal prep, life is made easier if you also batch cook at. I made the meat sauce for this make ahead lasagne by doubling up my Spaghetti Bolognese sauce – one saucepan, two different meals! In the past I’ve also cooked up a base mixture of mince, garlic, and onions in a huge saucepan, and then divided it up to make several other dishes.
Make Ahead Lasagne
I have been taking steps to make meal prep part of my routine, to help me track of my calories, and ultimately, for some weight loss. To that end, I try to reduce the calories in many of my favourite dishes. I will usually always use 30% less fat cheese; 5% fat beef mince (or opt for leaner pork or turkey mince, depending on the dish) and for white sauce/toppings on dishes like lasagne, moussaka, or pasta bakes, I use a mixture of 0% fat Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, and eggs.
To contradict myself in this recipe though, I used 15% fat mince, and regular Cheddar, as they were sent to me as part of a food challenge!
The recipe for the meat sauce will make 1 lasagne (which I got 6 portions from), and 4 portions of sauce for spaghetti bolognese. Or you could double up the topping and make two lasagne. You can store the pre-baked lasagne in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 6 months. In both cases, cover the dish completely with two layers of plastic wrap.
Find more recipes here: Easy Meal Prep for Beginners
- For the meat sauce (Meal Prep Tip: Enough for 1 lasagne, and 4 portions of bolognese sauce; or 2 lasagne)
- low-calorie oil spray
- 200g onions, finely chopped (about 2 medium sized onions)
- 220g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 200g aubergine, cut into small cubes (about 1 medium sized aubergine)
- 300g courgettes, cut into small cubes (about 3 medium sized courgettes)
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 500g organic beef mince (15% fat)
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 2 tsps dried rosemary (optional, I always add it to my sauce!)
- 2 x 500g jars Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce
- salt & pepper
- For the white sauce (Meal Prep Tip: Enough for 1 lasagne, or double quantities to make 2)
- 400g cottage cheese
- 150g 0% Greek yoghurt
- 10g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 30g Cheddar, grated
- 1-2 tsps dried parsley
- 1-2 tsps dried basil
- 1-2 tsps dried rosemary
- salt & pepper
- 3 medium eggs
- To assemble (Meal Prep Tip: Enough for 1 lasagne, or double quantities to make 2)
- lasagne sheets – I used about 12
- 30g Cheddar, grated
- Heat up a large saucepan, and spray in some of the oil.
- Add the onions, mushrooms, aubergine, and courgettes, and fry gently for about 5 minutes. You can add a splash of water to stop them from sticking, or a a few more sprays of oil.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the beef mince and stir until the meat is browned.
- Crumble in the stock cubes and add the rosemary if using.
- Pour in the Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce – I then add a drop of water to the jar and shake it up to get every last bit of sauce out!
- You can season with salt and pepper if you wish. (I didn’t)
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the white sauce, and cook the lasagne sheets in boiling water according to the package instructions – should be around 10 minutes. Add a drop of oil to prevent the sheets from sticking together.
- In a mixing jug, stir the cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, and cheeses.
- Season with the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the eggs, and whisk until mixture is well combined.
- Put a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish, and spread evenly.
- Add a layer of lasagne sheets.
- Pour over a layer of the white sauce, and sprinkle over 1/3 of the cheese.
- Repeat this twice.
- If you are eating the lasagne now, you will need to bake it in a 200C/Gas 6 for 20-30 minutes until the top is bubbling and golden.
- Do not bake but allow to cool for 1 hour.
- Cover the lasagne and the dish with two layers of plastic wrap.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes and bake as above when ready to eat.
- Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight before baking as above.
- You could also bake the lasagne as instructed above, allow to cool, then cut into portions, before freezing in individual bags. This is great idea if you are cooking for just yourself, or as a couple.
Please feel free to share this post by using the social buttons to the right, or bottom of this post, and don’t forget that you can subscribe to The Purple Pumpkin Blog by email, on Feedly or by RSS so you don’t miss out!