Traditional recipes

Cheat's lasagne recipe

Cheat's lasagne recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pasta

This is an easy lasagne recipe that uses a few shop bought ingredients, and saves you from having to make a white sauce. It might not be what they serve in Italy, but it is still a family friendly meal that everyone will love!

862 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 225g lasagne sheets
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 (400g) jars tomato pasta sauce
  • 450g cottage cheese
  • 450g mozzarella cheese, grated

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook lasagne sheets in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute mince, onions, salt and garlic salt until beef is brown. Drain excess fat, add pasta sauce to beef mixture, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 20x30cm glass baking dish.
  4. Line bottom of pan with three lasagne sheets. Spread 1/3 of sauce mixture over sheets. Layer 1/3 of the cottage cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella over the cottage cheese. Repeat this layering process until all ingredients are used.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(885)

Reviews in English (654)

by MommyFromSeattle

Very rich and tender lasagne and easy/quick to prepare. But a few additions: add 1/2 box of 10oz. frozen, chopped spinach to meat mixture while cooking for more nutrition & color. Moms, this is a good way to sneak in something green. Also, as previous reviews states, the cottage cheese needs one egg to bind together or else it's too runny. And add a few dashes of grated nutmeg to cottage mixture- (an old italian secret!). And one more trick for lasagna makers: no need to wash an extra pot to boil lasagna noodles. Put very hot tap water into a large bowl and soak the raw, hard noodles for 20-30 min. Noodles won't be cooked, but soft and can complete it's cooking in the oven. I learned this trick from a caterer, try it!-27 Jul 2006


This is truly a fast (45 minutes to prepare ingredients) and easy recipe. This was my first lasagna ever, and it turned out really tasty. I did use Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese (wanted a classic feel), however, I don't think it had any impact on the taste. I read all of the reviews and based on all suggestions made the following alterations:1. Doubled the meat amount.2. Added 1 teaspoon dried oregano to meat/spaghetti sause mixture.3. Added 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasonig to meat/spaghetti sause mixture.4. Used Presco Spaghetti sause with mushrooms5. Added 1 teaspoon dried oregano to cheese mixture.6. Added 2 eggs to cheese mixture7. Added 2 teaspoons of fresh minsed parsley to cheese mix8. Added a layer of sauteed mushrooms after the meat layer.9. Added a few slices (5 per layer) of Provologne cheese after the mozarella, except for the top (no Provologne cheese there).10. Did not grease the pan, but put a layer of meat instead.11. Did not cook the lasagna noodles beforehand. They cooked very well in the oven.12. Kept in the oven heated to 350F for about 50 minutes.Next time I'll try Italian sausage and some garlic in the cheese.-30 Jan 2003

by FROGNN162

By far the best lasana I've ever had. Almost too easy to be true!! The only alteration I make is I mix the two cheeses together along with two eggs which holds it together better. When I get to the top layer I top the last layer of cheese mixture with a light layer of only mozzeralla chesse. Make it the night before and bake it the next day---really lets the flavor set in!! YUMMM!!-21 Nov 2002

Cheat’s Lasagne Recipe : Including Time Saving Hack

One of the things I have discovered since becoming a mum, is how important time is! No longer do I have hours to think and plan what we are going to have for dinner! When it was just the two of us, it didn’t matter if we both wanted to eat something different – I had all the time in the world. But when Little Miss and Little Sir came home, I quickly realised that I was going to have to change the way I planned and cooked. So, after many many months of tearing my hair out, I came to the conclusion that finding quick and easy recipes was necessary, and if they involved using ‘cheat’ ideas, then that worked even better. So, one of our favourite family recipes is my Cheat’s Lasagne. It can be made in under 45 minutes, tastes great, and best of all, has a cheat hack within it.

Cheat’s veggie lasagne with a garlic bread swirl

This veggie lasagne is quick and easy to make - and perfect for feeding a hungry family.

500g vegan mince, or beef mince

A scattering of dried, mixed herbs

Approx 6 or 7 lasagne sheets


3 cloves of garlic, grated

Handful of parsley, chopped

In a food processor, blitz the onions, carrots, celery and garlic with some salt and pepper. Alternatively, finely dice all of the veg by hand.

Set a heavy pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil and the chopped vegetables. Season a little more and scatter over some dried mixed herbs and the bay leaves.

Cook gently for 5 minutes until soft, then add the mince, red wine and tomato paste. Let the wine bubble and reduce by half.

Add the tinned tomatoes, return to the boil and cook for 10 -15 minutes.

Break up the lasagne sheets and stir them into the sauce. Transfer to an oven proof dish.

Top with spoonfuls of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of cheese, then bake for 25 minutes.

For the garlic bread, place the flour, baking powder, yogurt and salt in a bowl and mix together until a dough is formed.

Flour the work surface well and then roll the dough out into a rectangle, approximately 40 x 20cm.

Scatter over the mozzarella and roll the dough up like a swiss roll, bringing the ends together to form a ring.

Place on a baking tray, making sure that the seam is on the bottom.

With a pair of scissors make cuts around the ring at a 45 degree angle.

Pull each section away from one other to separate them a little and then bake for 20-25 mins.

Meanwhile, make the garlic butter. Add the garlic, salt, parsley and butter to a small bowl and mix well.

Once the bread is baked, brush with the garlic butter and serve alongside the lasagne using any extra garlic butter for dipping.

Broken lasagne with cavolo nero, ricotta and tomato

If you can’t find cavolo nero, use any other mix of greens, such as spinach, chard or spring greens.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 4-6

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
4 garlic cloves, peeled 2 finely sliced, 2 left whole
2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper
500g cavolo nero, leaves stripped from the stem
250g ricotta
100g parmesan, grated
Nutmeg, generously grated, to taste
250g fresh lasagne sheets

First, make the tomato sauce. Warm two tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the garlic slices. Cook gently, stirring, for two to three minutes, until the garlic begins to colour and smell fragrant. Tip in the tomatoes, season, then blitz with a stick blender to a smooth sauce. Simmer briskly while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Bring a large pan of well-salted water to a boil (you are going to use the water twice, so make sure there is plenty) and add the cavolo nero and whole garlic. Simmer for six to eight minutes, until the cavolo nero is soft and tender, then scoop everything out into a colander and run under cold water to cool keep the cooking water. Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6.

Squeeze the greens of excess water, put on a chopping board with the garlic, and chop finely. Transfer to a bowl, add the ricotta, half the parmesan, the remaining two tablespoons of oil and the nutmeg. Mix, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Return the pan of water to a boil. Break up the lasagne sheets into roughly three to four shards a sheet. Cook for two to three minutes to soften, then drain reserve a cup of the cooking liquid. Stir the ricotta mix through the pasta, loosening it with the reserved cooking liquid, a little at a time – it should need about two-thirds of a cup for a lovely, wet sauce.

Empty into a baking dish and spoon over the tomato sauce. Scatter over the remaining parmesan, drizzle with a little oil, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until glistening and golden. This is perfect with a green salad.

Cheat’s Chestnut Lasagne

I used to think I could only use lasagne sheets in a lasagne. Not so! Break them up into small pieces and you can use them in the same way you’d use short pasta. I’ve used spinach pasta sheets, but your traditional sheets will also work.

The garlic, rosemary , red onion combo for me is perfect. Try this with different greens including brussels or savoy cabbage if you prefer. The chestnuts give an extra bit to this delicious mediterranean inspired recipe.

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Chopped fresh rosemary - 10g
  • 2 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (as much as you like)
  • 150g Lasagne sheets, roughly broken into pieces - cooked until just tender and drained (or gluten free alternative)
  • 100g Cooked chestnuts ( roughly chopped )
  • 75g Peas (we used frozen)
  • 75g Broad beans (we used frozen)
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by boiling the lasagne sheets in a large pan of salted water for around 3-5 minutes until just tender.

Set a saucepan on medium heat and add the oil, onion, rosemary, garlic and chilli flakes. Sweat down for around 5 minutes until the onion is softening. Then add in the chestnuts, peas and broad beans. Cook for another 5 minutes before adding in the cooked pasta pieces.

Give everything a good stir, adding salt and pepper to taste, some lemon zest and another drizzle of olive oil.

Cheat's Lasagne

People love lasagne but often think it's too complicated to make when you're in a hurry to feed the masses. This recipe puts paid to that old myth! Although it's not lasagne in the traditional sense, it uses pasta instead of lasagne sheets. It's a pretty close imitation.

This recipe uses very affordable ingredients and makes a large quantity. It's suitable for freezing, entertaining, or for large families.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 minutes 5 to brown cheese
Makes : 10 servings

Meat Sauce:
Olive oil
2kg beef mince
3 medium brown onions
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp sea salt
Good quantity of fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, and chives (you can use dried)
6 garlic cloves

Cheat's Bechamel:
1/2 cup fresh cream
250 - 350g cream cheese
2 tbsp Insanely Healthy Concentrated Vegetable Stock or you can use a stock cube
1/2 cup cold water
3 bay leaves


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1 tbs thyme leaves or rosemary
  • 300 g extra lean beef mince
  • 400 g can of diced tomatoes
  • 310 ml water
  • 5 dreid lasagne sheets or 80g of any pasta you have on hand
  • 100 g grated cheese


Heat the oil in a large deep ovenproof frying pan.

Cook the onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, celery and thyme, stirring for 10 minutes or until browned.

Add the mince and and cook until browned, breaking up any large lumps.

Stir in the tomato and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

Break up the lasagne sheets and push them into the beef mixture, making sure they are covered.

Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Top with grated cheese and place under the grill until the cheese is golden.

I hope your family enjoys my cheat’s lasagne as much as we do. Don’t forget to freeze a few serves of cheat’s lasagne to save you on a busy night or spoil yourself and take it for lunch.

If you’re interested in more of my easy recipes you can see more here.

Bernadette is an entrepreneur, blogger, primary school teacher and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting, every day life (recipes, craft ideas, organising tips) and of course including fun into your life on her blog So Freaking Organised. Connect with her over on her Facebook Group So Freaking Organised Community, her Facebook Page or her Instagram account.


1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / gas mark 6. 2. Cook the garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a couple of minutes and then tip in the tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened and then season and stir in the basil (as I mentioned my chopped tomatoes already came with basil and then I just added a pinch of dry basil). 3. Meanwhile cook the ravioli in boiling water until almost tender but drain before it's done as it will continue cooking in the oven. This meant that I literally cooked it for one minute. 4. Mix together the mascarpone and the Parmesan - mine didn't mix that well to be honest and was quite "sticky". 5. Oil a small baking dish - I used fry light oil spray. Spoon a little tomato sauce (about a third) on the bottom, add half the ravioli and then dollop over half the mascarpone mix. 6. Add some more tomato and then repeat the process with the ravioli, mascarpone mix and then the remaining tomato sauce. 7. Top with the mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for at least 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling and then serve. 8. This was a great, easy version of lasagne and would be perfect with a green salad and even some garlic bread if you are feeling particularly naughty! Perfect for a midweek supper - I will definitely be cooking this again. I reckon you could do a "veggie" version and use spinach and ricotta ravioli instead of the beef and it would still be delicious. Arabella also gave it the thumbs up!

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Easy Lasagne with a Cheat’s White Sauce

My Easy Lasagne with a Cheat’s Bechamel is guaranteed to fly off plates. It’s easy to make because I use my Quick and Easy Bolognese Sauce and a bechamel that tastes gorgeous but is ready in just a couple of minutes. If you are gluten free, simply substitute the lasagne sheets for thinly sliced aubergine.

In our house, lasagne is one of those meals that always disappears without a trace. You can guarantee that there will be absolutely none left over – not one tiny bit! Ok, so it takes a little bit more work than just serving the meat sauce over pasta, but the addition of the white sauce and mozzarella and that time in the oven seems to work like magic. What comes out is always so much more meltingly gorgeous than you could imagine as you put it in.

To make this easier to get on the table, I like to cook a double batch of my Bolognese sauce when making my Best Quick and Easy Bolognese Sauce. I then serve one batch over pasta as it is and freeze the rest so that I can come back to it over the next couple of weeks to make this lasagne. This means you can have a gorgeous dish of bubbling lasagne on the table much more rapidly than you normally would.

So, to make this I firstly defrost and heat my Bolognaise sauce.

Once that’s heating nicely I get going with the white sauce. To do this you simply pour the milk into the pan, add the nutmeg, pepper and salt and heat gently. Once you have mixed the corn flour with a little water, add it to the milk then stir constantly (you can turn the heat up to medium if you wish).

When the sauce has thickened, and your Bolognese is hot, you are ready to assemble the lasagne. Then you simply pop it in the oven and wait for the magic to happen.

Whatever the season, I like to serve this with some salad leaves on the side. Or, even better, my French Carrot Salad or my Easy Summer Coleslaw. And if I have time I also make a batch or two of my gorgeous Dough Balls served with garlic butter. They’re one of my earlier recipes so the pictures could do with being updated but they are truly gorgeous and disappear as fast as the lasagne itself.

Cheat&rsquos Ricotta and Veggie Lasagne

Ready in just 30min, this tasty lasagne is the perfect midweek, quick-fix meal. We&rsquove used tinned veggies in order to make it cheaper too.

Try our cheap and healthy vegetarian lasagne that's ready in just 30min. A tomato sauce, rammed full of veggies, is layered with fresh lasagne and a pesto and ricotta mix, that's then topped with bubbling cheese. You really can't go wrong!

large garlic clove, crushed

tin whole sweet red peppers, roughly chopped (see GH tip)

pitted black olives, roughly chopped

tin artichoke hearts in water, drained and roughly chopped

  1. Preheat grill to high. Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat and add garlic. Fry, stirring, for 1min. Add tomato purée and fry for a further min. Add passata, mixed herbs and vegetables, increase heat to high and bubble for 10min, until slightly reduced. Season to taste, bearing in mind the vegetables may already be salty.
  2. To assemble, spoon 1/3 of the sauce into the base of a deep 2 litre baking dish. Top with 2 lasagne sheets in a single layer, making sure the sheets are flat so the corners don&rsquot catch during cooking. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta on to the lasagne sheets, then gently spread 1/2 the pesto over the ricotta. Repeat layering, finishing with a top layer of ricotta.
  3. Sprinkle over the Cheddar and grill for 7min until golden and bubbling. Serve with a green salad, if you like.

If you can&rsquot find tinned whole sweet peppers use 250g jarred roasted peppers instead.