Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna

Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna

I was out grocery shopping the other day and was thinking about what to feed a group of kids? I didn’t want something that required a lot of plates and a one dish casserole was what I had in mind.  I was thinking of just buying a frozen lasagna when it dawned upon me.  I had a big bag of elbow macaroni at home, mince meat in my cart, and we always have cheese so all I needed was the cottage cheese which I did the mad dash for. I was already in the long cash register line-up and I did run, while the irritated people behind me quietly waited.  I decided to make this Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna!  How FUN!!!

Layering Station

This hybrid could become the next big thing!  My boys definitely love their Mac and Cheese and Lasagna!  I am not sure why kids adore elbow macaroni? I did some research and came across a few recipes that used Kraft Dinner and jars of sauce, but I always like to make things from scratch when I can.  So here it is, I boiled up the macaroni, prepared the cheese layers of mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese and made up a batch of homemade meat sauce.  Then it is layered similar to a lasagna.

Layering

From the bottom up:  
1. Meat Sauce  2. Macaroni 3. Cottage Cheese 4. Mozzarella and Cheddar 5. Repeat

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I was just packing in this casserole dish and it was one hefty meal!  Lastly, the star and my favourite more CHEESE PLEASE!  This is such a great family meal and a new twist on a couple of traditional meals.

Ready for the Oven

This is a Show-stopper!!!  The boys LOVED it and my hubby kept saying how good it was and perfect after a cold, winter day!  His actual words were “This is really good, it is heartwarming.”   I looked at him a bit strangely and said “heartwarming?”  He said yes, it is heartwarming!  Ok!?  that is good enough for me! Wait till you try this HEARTWARMING Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna!

Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna

A forkful just for you

Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A wonderful combination of Lasagna and Macaroni and Cheese! Your family will love this heartwarming meal full of goodness, fusing two delicious classic meals together!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Kids, Family
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 500 g cooked elbow macaroni
  • 500 g cottage cheese
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • For the Meat Sauce (or just use your own favourite marinara sauce)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 500-700g ground beef
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
Instructions
  1. Meat sauce
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel and cook onions until tender
  3. Add mince meat and cook through, stir often
  4. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, paprika, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, simmer until it thickens
  5. Turn off heat and add basil
  6. In a large casserole dish, spread about 1-2 cups of the meat sauce evenly on the bottom, followed by a good layer of macaroni, cottage cheese to cover, about ⅓ cup of mozzarella and ⅓ cup cheddar and then repeat.
  7. The mozzarella and cheddar cheese should be the final topping - make sure you save enough to have plenty for the final layer.
  8. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven until the top is a light golden brown and the sides are bubbling, about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley

 

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