I am a HUGE fan of meals that I can freeze. I don't care if a make a big batch of something and freeze half of it or just make it soley to freeze, I am a happy girl. I mean really, how nice is it to know you are stocked just in case something comes up.
That happened this weekend when my family was planning on getting together. My sister (in-law) is in school, has two (twin) girls who are 19 months old and the last thing I wanted to do was add another thing to her plate. So when we talked about getting together I said "hey, I have a lasagna I can bring." I was thrilled to have it just in the freezer waiting to be baked in the oven. I'm telling you, these come in handy! I also like that this recipe makes to different things, one pan of lasagna and one of stuffed shells. That way it isn't overload of one or the other.
What meals do you freeze? I'd love to add more to my repertoire.
Musical Selection: Have You Seen the Rain by: Creedence Clearwater Revival....again because Playlist is being difficult right now.regular lean turkey and the other Italian seasoned ground turkey. I added two medium chopped onions while the turkey browned.
Then begin the assembly. When I did this, I did the lasagna first, poor choice. I think it is better to stuff the shells then use the remainder on the lasagna. See, another reason why it's good that I try things out before you do!
So, pour a bit of sauce (3 cups) on the bottom of a tin foil pan--or one that you can leave in the freezer and you won't need it for a while.
When you are ready to enjoy these dishes, be sure to let the lasagna sit out on the counter for at least a whole day. I took it out in the morning, popped it in the oven at 200 degrees for 2 hours then an additional 2 hours (or so) at 375. It will be cooked all the way through, just make sure the middle is hot.
For the shells, letting them sit out for 4 hours on the counter and baking at 375 degrees for an hour or so should do it. Again, it is cooked all the way through, just make sure they are hot all the way through.
2 1/2 lbs ground turkey (I used one Italian seasoned and one plain)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 15 oz tubs ricotta cheese (fat free/skim is fine)
1/4 cup dried parsley (fresh would work as well) + additional for topping
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 2 lb 13 oz jar Ragu pasta sauce (I know, it is not the most fancy kind but for some reason it is perfect with the turkey)
20 large pasta shells
9-12 sheets of no cook lasagna pasta
For the Stuffed Shells:
Begin by browning the ground turkey with the chopped onions in a large skillet on medium high heat.
Add the ricotta, parsley, salt, pepper and 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Let cool for a bit. Meanwhile cook the pasta shells just shy of al dente (meaning so they have a bit of a bite left to them).
Ladle 3 cups (or so) of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a tin foil pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place 1/3 or so of the turkey mixture in a large zip top plastic bag and cut the corner off. Fill the pasta shells with filling and place each shell stuffing side up into the pasta sauce.
That is it for the stuffed shells. Cover with press and seal (or plastic wrap) and tin foil.
When it is the day you would like to enjoy the pasta, take it out and let it sit on the counter for 4 hours or so. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about an hour or they are heated all the way through.
For the lasagna:
Ladle 1 cup or so of the sauce into the bottom of a tin foil pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. On top of the sauce, add a single layer of pasta sheets (I used three per layer). On top of the pasta, take 1/3 of the remaining turkey and cheese mixture and spread it on top of the noodles. It doesn't have to be perfect. Add a ladle and a half (or so) of sauce. Top with noodles and repeat the layers. I made three layers total. On the top layer of noodles, just add the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and parsley.
The day you want to enjoy the lasagna, let it sit out on the counter for at least a whole day. I took it out in the morning, popped it in the oven at 200 degrees for 2 hours then an additional 2 hours (or so) at 375. It will be cooked all the way through, just make sure the middle is hot.
Recipes by: Mrs. Schwartz