This shop to create a garden lasagna recipe and share some small kitchen quick clean up tips has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubDishCloth #CollectiveBias
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share my lasagna recipe with you! This recipe is a friends and family favorite to the point people bring me a casserole dish so I can make a double batch and send an extra lasagna home with them. Honestly, building the lasagna is so easy, making a second dish isn’t hard at all. It just takes prepping a few more veggies and a little more meat sauce.
Since I’m sharing my garden lasagna recipe with you, I thought this was also a great time to walk you through my clean as you go method to keeping my small kitchen in order while I create a somewhat messy dish.
First prep your vegetables. For this recipe I’m making a garden vegetable lasagna. It’s a bit early in the season so my vegetables aren’t producing yet; I picked them up from the store instead. Experiment with your own favorite vegetable flavors. For this recipe tutorial I’m using red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, green pepper and red pepper.
Dice these into small pieces and place them into a bowl as you go. You can also prep the vegetables ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready for them.
At this point I have a couple of time saving and keeping it clean tips to share. First, always start with a clean work space and sink, then wipe it all down immediately after you’re done chopping vegetables. At the very least, wipe it down after you add your vegetables to the skillet because you should have some free moments while it starts to cook.
To make wiping down surfaces easy, I like to keep a bowl of dish soap water with a dish cloth. I love the new Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth for this all purpose kitchen cleaning method. It’s made from a premium textured fiber dishcloth that features two sides with scrubbing dots technology on one side. You can wash and use this dish cloth again easily, plus it won’t scratch any surface. That’s right, it’s sturdy and perfect to use on both easy wipe down cleaning needs, as well as scrubbing needs.
Another keep it clean tip I have at this stage of the food prep is to keep a bowl next to you for food scraps. Whether you throw them in the trash, use them to make stock or toss them in the compost, this bowl helps keep you in one place while keeping your counter cleaned and organized. You can dispose of your scraps (or use them) later on, but the bowl keeps them contained and keeps you from needlessly moving around your kitchen to the trash or picking the bits off the counter later.
Let’s get into the cooking part of this lasagna. Brown your hamburger in one skillet, then start cooking your vegetables in another large skillet. Use a tablespoon of olive oil to cook the vegetables. Once the hamburger is browned and the vegetables are soft and reduced in size, combine them all into the larger of your two skillets. A bigger stock pot can also be used if you don’t have a large skillet.
Now add in some spaghetti sauce. I used a large jar, around 48oz, but you can make your own homemade spaghetti sauce if you have the extra time. Combine everything and let it simmer until heated through.
At this point you may get some sauce splatters. Even when I’m using my splatter guard I still get a few that blurp through. My suggestion is to wait until after you put the lasagna into the oven to wipe these down with your prepared water and a Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth, but don’t wait too long. The heat from the oven will most likely make any oils stay liquid so it will be easier to wipe down the stovetop while the oven is on. Just be careful of the area around your oven vent, the surface can get hot.
Time to assemble your lasagna!
First collect your ingredients. You’ll need the sauce, lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese and ricotta. I know a lot of people add egg to their ricotta, I just stir it up and add it straight from the carton. Also, as optional items I didn’t show you can add parmesan cheese and oregano to this dish for a nice touch.
To start, spread some of your sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Now place three strips of lasagna over the sauce, and no you do not need to cook them first. Just right into the dish uncooked.
Next add on a layer of sauce, then a layer of ricotta (I just spoon it on) and sprinkle part of your mozzarella cheese over all of that layer. Repeat from the noodles to make as many layers as you can from the ingredients you have or the size of your dish. I’ve done three noodle layers in the past, this time I only made it to two due to the extra veggies in the sauce.
Top everything with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and oregano. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.
While your lasagna bakes, this is a great time to clean up your kitchen space. Wipe down any surface you haven’t wiped down yet, so counters, stove top and possibly even the floor or walls if you’re a splatterer. Luckily the Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth can handle them all.
This is also a good time to wash your dishes. Add what you can to the dishwasher if you have one and get your hand washing done. Making good use of your time is one of those cleaning tips that never get old.
Finally it’s time to pull out your lasagna. I like to let mine rest for about five or ten minutes which is the perfect amount of time to prep a quick salad or bake some garlic bread to go along with your dinner.
I only have ricotta on half of the top layer because I have a few family members who don’t care as much for ricotta. After your lasagna has rested serve it up and enjoy! And promise me you won’t wait until tomorrow to wash out that dish. It really doesn’t get easier to wash out the longer you let it sit. Most likely it will get harder to washout, so if you’ve done your duty and cleaned up the other dishes, you shouldn’t have too much hard work after dinner for this.
There you have it, a recipe for the best lasagna you’ve ever made and some cleaning tips to help you keep your kitchen tidy as you go.
If you want to use the Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloths I mentioned in the post you can grab them at Target, you can also use this Cartwheel deal for even more savings between the dates of 6/19 and 6/25! They seriously are fantastic! I love how sturdy they are and I can use them without worrying about scratching surfaces.
Here’s a close up of the packaging so you know what you’re looking for. The Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths are available in 2 packs in gray, mint, coral, and navy for $4.99 at Target.
Here’s a recap of everything I shared today. First the recipe, then a quick run through of the cleaning tips.
Easy Garden Vegetable Lasagna
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small yellow squash
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 48 oz jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 lb ground burger
- 6 to 9 lasagna noodles
- 1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 small container ricotta cheese
- parmesan cheese optional
- oregano optional
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Dice vegetables. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add vegetables, stirring occasionally. Cook until soft and reduced in size. Meanwhile brown burger in another skillet.
- Combine browned burger and softened vegetables, then add in sauce. Heat through.
- In a 9x13 baking dish cover bottom of dish with a small amount of sauce, then layer 3 noodles over the top. Top noodles with a layer of sauce, some ricotta and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top of that. Repeat layers, noodles, sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. On top of final layer sprinkle parmesan cheese and oregano if desired.
- Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Quick Kitchen Clean Up Tips (Perfect for Small Kitchens)
- Keep your sink clean. Not only will it take a little stress off of you not having the piles, but it makes food prep easier if you have to clean vegetables or drain pasta.
- Keep a scrap bowl near your prep area. You can easily put food scraps in there, then later dispose of them, use them in stock or toss them in compost.
- Keep a bowl of soapy water and a dish cloth nearby. You can wipe down surfaces as you go. Start with a clean counter and stovetop, then wipe it down as you prep, cook and serve.
- Take advantage of cook times. If you need to bake something for an hour, use that time to clean up your area by putting dishes in the dish washer, wiping down surfaces and hand washing dishes.
- Don’t forget other surfaces. If the walls or floors take on spills or splatters, don’t forget to wipe them down ASAP.
- Don’t leave the clean up until the next day. Multitask and clean up as you go. You’ll be glad you did!
What tips do you have for keeping your kitchen clean? Find more inspiration for Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloths here. Share your ideas in the comments below.