Family Lasagna Night: #53 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Lasagna takes a bit longer to make than other pasta, but the prep time is actually not that long and the comforting nourishment is worth it. Side benefit: the whole house will smell delicious as it bakes away in the oven! This recipe makes enough for 4-5 people to have 2 dinners (leftovers are just as good as the original, if not better).

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($15 total)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb organic ground beef (or lentils for a plant-based version) – $5.99
2 cans crushed tomatoes with basil – $3.18
1/2 ball mozzarella cheese, grated – $1.25
1 box no-boil lasagne noodles – $2.29
Water – free
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated – $1.00


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to turn golden, then mix in the oregano as well as salt and pepper to taste. Add the ground beef and stir to mix well and brown, about 5 minutes. Blend the can of crushed tomatoes in the blender for extra smoothness, then add to the pan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium low, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

2. Soak the lasagna noodles in cold water for 20 minutes while the sauce cooks. Grease a 9×13 pan with olive oil, then cover with a couple scoops of sauce. Lay down 6 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce (it’s ok if they overlap slightly), then add more sauce, then a sprinkling of mozzarella. Repeat the noodles-sauce-cheese layers until you run out of noodles, then pour the rest of the sauce on top and a final layer of cheese. 

3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375F for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 5-10 more minutes until the cheese is melted and the edges of the lasagna are crispy. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with pecorino romano cheese and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 1 = wowzers (beef)
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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