Although, since discovering no-bake lasagna noodles, I have to say it’s not as tedious as it once was. If you have been afraid to try the no-bake noodles, don’t be! This version does not have lasagna noodles of any sort. I’m using wide egg noodles!
This, however is a quick alternative to the classic lasagna. You can easily adjust the ingredients and make it your own. Fancy it up or dumb it down. Even the most finicky kids will chow this down. Use your (or their) favorite ingredients!
This is the basic recipe that I use. It was adapted from a Sour Cream Noodle Bake recipe that I discovered courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. I tried it her way first. It was too plain for me. I had to doctor it up quite a bit to get it to my liking. So I hope that you will try this version and make it your own, too!
If you already make your own pasta sauce, use that if you want! You’ll need about 4 cups to make this. I make a really good sauce, this is just an easier recipe
I have made it with Italian sausage and sauteed mushrooms, too. It’s SO GOOD!
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs ground chuck
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 12 oz wide egg noodles ( I like the EXTRA WIDE )
- 16 oz cottage cheese ( with chives is REALLY GOOD! )
- 1 cup sour cream, add more if desired
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Handful of parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grab a 9×13 casserole dish
- In a large skillet, brown the ground chuck with the onion and garlic. Salt & pepper to season
- Drain the fat, then add the tomato sauce, paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Adjust red pepper flakes to your heat preference.
- Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If you feel it is too rich, just add 1/2 to 1 cup of water and it will mellow it out, but let it cook down a little bit, too!
- While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente**
- Drain and set aside
**To save time and and extra step, You can also make this without cooking the noodles first, they cook during the baking process! Just be sure to cover the casserole with aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes**
- In a large bowl combine the cottage cheese and sour cream. Add plenty of fresh cracked black pepper
- Add the egg noodles to the cottage cheese & sour cream mixture. Mix really well to make sure all of the noodles are covered in the mixture. It’s actually easier to do this with uncooked noodles. You know how noodles can stick together after they have cooked. It doesn’t do it as much when they are dry! Whodathunk!? But, it does make sense, huh!?
- Place a light layer of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish
- Top with half of the egg noodle mixture
- Layer half of the meat sauce evenly over the noodles
- Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the meat sauce
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until cheese has browned slightly and it’s bubbling around the sides. Just remember to cover with foil if you’re starting with uncooked egg noodles. After 20 minutes or so, remove the foil and let it bake a little longer ( like 10-15 minutes ) so the cheese has a chance to brown a little and the sides get a little crispy