Stretching a Buck Lasagna

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This lasagna “recipe” is our favorite! It’s simple and easy and uses whatever food you already have on hand. I came up with this a few years ago as a way to make lasagna but avoid some of the higher priced items that many lasagnas have.

Stretching a Buck Lasagna

What you need:

  • Lasagna noodles
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Hamburger
  • Pasta Sauce

Here are the ingredients I had on hand to make this today, lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, hamburger, and leftover pasta sauce from a previous meal.

Mix together the cheese and cottage cheese. Usually, we prefer mozzarella cheese with the cottage cheese when I can get it. In this cheese mixture, you can add any herbs or spices you might want, we like to add a little garlic salt or onion salt. You will need about 2 cups of shredded cheese and 2 cups of cottage cheese for a 9×13 pan although if you have less, don’t worry about it!

Spread just a little of the sauce and the meat on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. You don’t need too much, just enough so the noodles won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add a layer of noodles on top of this meat sauce, then scoop 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles and spread it around. If you don’t have lasagna noodles you can also use any other kind, I’ve done that before to make more of a pasta bake and it works fine!

Place another layer of noodles on the cheese mixture. Top that with a layer of sauce and meat and the rest of the cheese. Add a third layer of noodles and pour the rest of the meat and sauce on top. You will need about a quart of sauce and at least 1/2 lb of meat to make the sauce. Finally, pour about 1/2 c. water around the edges of the dish.

Stretching a Buck Lasagna

Bake at 350F covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 15 minutes or until bubbly. This dish freezes really well!

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  1. YUM! Looks good and as I read this I remembered that I have a box of lasagna noodles in the pantry *and* I’ve been really bored with spaghetti lately. I don’t have cottage cheese on hand though… I’m sure I can whip something up anyway!

  2. If you line a pan with tin foil, it is easy to take it out when it has cooled and then pop it into the freezer that way. Saves your pan from being in the freezer if you only have one that size.

  3. Do you cook the pasta first or just put it in dry? From the photos it looks dry but I always cook my noodles al dente first. Thanks!!

  4. you can also do this in the crock pot, have done this before and it is a great meal. cook on low for about 6 hours.

      1. I have made lasagna for many years and almost always use ricotta cheese but when I use cottage cheese I add a pinch of cinnamon to the cheese.

  5. Just wondering, what are the expensive ingredients you are referring to that are usually in lasagna that aren’t in this one? I live in Canada, and here dairy products are the most expensive (cheese costs more than beef) so I make lasagna for company only.

    1. Lasanga noodles can be $3 to $4 per box, ricotta or cottage cheese would be at least $3 to $4 a tub, ground beef is running around $5 per pound right now, plus any extra cheese, veggies, sauce, etc.

  6. This is a good go to recipe. I would add that any surplus garden vegetables could be added for more nutrition and cut the beef to 1/2 lb. I am thinking thin sliced zucchini, green peppers, onion or eggplant chopped or shredded and added to the sauce.

  7. My sister made a version of this for me when I was visiting. She mixed the cottage cheese, mozzarella, and sauce together before layering. Shaved just a little more time off! I was like, duh! Why hadn’t I thought of that however I make lasagna? She also used uncooked noodles and a little water sprinkled on them. Worked like a dream boat!

  8. I am so thankful I found you!!!
    I love your site.
    I love lasagna, so I will do this recipe as soon as I can get to town for lasagna noodles….I only have elbow Mac in pantry.
    Thank you for all your amazing, delicious, and ever so helpful posts on living.
    Dian Devine

  9. I love your great recipes!! I have one comment that I feel could be helpful to so many of us who avoid recipes that are high in Sodium! I would never use Garlic salt or Onion Salt!! I use pure granulated Garlic Powder and Onion Powder! I noticed in all your recipes, you use the garlic and onion salts rather than the powders which have so much more flavor and healthy aspects over the salts? What do you think? Keep up your fabulous recipes and look forward to some great fall surprised! I have Lupus and I would love to see more vege. Soups like celery, split pea, carrot, asparagus onion etc!!! Thanks for listening, Diane