Delicious, comforting, filling food that takes fifteen minutes to prepare and less than five to disappear.
This post could have been titled: How to Feed a Crowd
How to Feed a Teenager
How to Satisfy Even the Most Pickiest of Eaters
But in the name of brevity, I went with Ravioli Lasagna.
Ravioli Lasagna has been around forever. It’s not a new invention, but it IS something I haven’t made before.
On Wednesday afternoon, I walked in the door after a dentist consult and had exactly an hour and a half to make dinner for 19.
To say I was a little stressed would be an understatement. Because it’s also the same time period that everyone needs homework help.
Has a million stories to tell me about their day.
And our zoo wants attention.
Like, just shoot me.
But this Ravioli Lasagna.
This Ravioli Lasagna saved the day. When we have our twice-monthly Girl Scout meetings, we make eating dinner with the girls a part of our meeting. The girls love it. And we, as leaders, love it. And, more importantly, it means everyone is fed when we finally get home at 8 pm. All the parents take turns with making dinner, and it’s been a great experience.
Now with such a large troop, you can imagine we have a LOT of picky eaters. But pasta? In most forms? Is usually a hit with ALL of them. As I was serving this up with pieces of buttered bread, three of the girls just wanted bread. But our rule is everyone has to try the dinner. And if you don’t like it, you have to be polite about it. So I gave those three a small piece of the lasagna. And those three all came back for three full helpings.
Ravioli Lasagna … winning over picky palates every day of the week.
Taking much of the personality of more traditional lasagna, you are not cooking any noodles beforehand. And since the ravioli already has cheese in it, you save a layering step.
So sauce, meat, ravioli, cheese, repeat.
It was in the oven in 13 minutes, and ready to go 40 minutes later.
I tripled the below recipe and made I made two heaping 9×12 trays.
And came back with half a tray.
Nick, a growing boy with a TEENAGE APPETITE, demolished the rest of it last night.
Easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
Perfect for when you want lasagna, but don’t have the time to make a more “proper” version.
Universal enough for a large Girl Scout troop.
And perfect for teenage boys.
Oh! One final note. This recipe is COMPLETELY customizable. Use meat ravioli. Try ground turkey instead of ground beef. Layer in slices of pepperoni, if you want. Switch up the cheese. Add in some vegetables. Layer in fresh mozzarella and chopped up basil.
Use the recipe as a guideline and GO CRAZY.
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley
1 pound lean ground beef
28 ounces spaghetti sauce (or if you have more time, make some)
1 package (25 ounces) frozen cheese ravioli
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a greased baking dish, layer a third of the spaghetti sauce, half of the ravioli and beef, and then a third of the mozzarella; repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover and bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until heated through.
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