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I’ve seen the pictures creeping across my Facebook feed. It’s back to school season. It doesn’t matter if you’re ready-school is starting soon. (If it hasn’t already started!) Luckily I can help with at least one of your back to school problems: what should you have for dinner? This make-ahead turkey lasagna can wait in your fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake!
Start with Butterball® Ground Turkey. It’s great for quick weeknight dinners and is lower in fat and calories than ground beef. That makes it a great alternative. You can find a wide range of Butterball high-quality turkey products when you visit Walmart.
To make your lasagna, you’ll need:
- Butterball® Ground Turkey
- Two jars of your favorite marinara sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese (optional)
- Lasagna noodles
Start by boiling your noodles, making sure you remove them from the stove before they’re fully cooked. (I usually cook them about halfway.) If you skip boiling them they can be a bit chewy in the final lasagna.
Brown the full package of Butterball ground turkey and add in your marinara sauce. I have been known to make my own marinara, but there are so many good jar sauces available that I’m not sure I see the point! You can make your sauce your own by adding in some of your favorite ingredients. I love mushrooms and add them in whenever I’m making anything with a red sauce that’s just for me. I also have a lot of friends and family who aren’t quite the mushroom fan I am, so when I’m cooking for others I leave them out. Red pepper flakes, green peppers, onions, garlic-all of theses make great sauce add-ins.
Once you’re happy with your turkey marinara sauce, it’s time to start layering. Always start with a layer of sauce in your lasagna pan.
I love ricotta cheese, so I always add a layer or two in the middle of my lasagna. This is one of those steps that you can skip if you don’t have any ricotta on hand or if you’re just not a fan.
The secret to a great make-ahead lasagna is ending with the sauce layer on top. I know-the melty brown cheese on a lasagna is the best part. But…freezing the cheese before you bake it really affects the taste and texture of the cheese.
Instead, end with a layer of sauce and tightly wrap your lasagna. If you’ll be baking it within the next day or two, place it in the fridge. Waiting a bit longer? Throw it in the freezer.
When it’s time to heat up your lasagna, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Top your lasagna with cheese and bake. If the lasagna is coming straight from the freezer, I like to bake it for about five minutes before adding the cheese.
You’ll need to bake your lasagna for at least 30 minutes, until you get the desired level of brownness on top. If your lasagna is frozen you might need to bake it a bit longer-cover it in foil to keep your cheese from burning.
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