Lasagna is one of those meals that is almost impossible to make without compromising your food budget for the week. Even vegetarian versions are expensive because the cheeses are just so pricey.
Last week I had a revelation…my kids don’t like those expensive cheeses. I have been bribing persuading them to eat expensive cheese that they don’t like, when I could have just been feeding them the cheap cheese that they do like. I decided to replace all of the cheese with mozzarella cheese, which I buy in bulk, shred, and freeze. Then I decided to make my lasagna even more frugal by replacing 1/2 of the meat with black beans. It only seemed natural to use taco seasoning and salsa after that… My kids absolutely loved it, went back for seconds, and asked for the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
- ½ pound hamburger
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup black beans (How to quickly cook beans in a pressure cooker)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3 teaspoons taco seasoning or 1 pkg. (Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe)
- 16 oz. cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 9 - 12 lasagna noodles, prepared according to package directions
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup salsa
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (or use 1½ teaspoons dried)
- Brown hamburger with onion. Add beans, tomatoes and taco seasoning and mix well.
- In a small bowl combine cottage cheese, egg, and mozzarella cheese.
- In a small bowl combine tomato sauce with salsa.
- Spoon ½ of tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Place 3 – 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce.
- Spoon ½ of the meat and bean mixture onto the lasagna noodles.
- Spread ½ of cheese mixture over the meat and beans.
- Place another 3 – 4 noodles down and then top with remaining meat mixture and cheese mixture.
- Place remaining noodles on top of cheese mixture. Top with remaining tomato sauce mixture. Top with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
Have you ever forced an expensive food on your family, when there was a frugal alternative?