I’m going to go out on a limb here, and guess that you’re a little something like me. We’re probably alike in that sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking. Am I right? This mom thing – ain’t easy, and by the time 5:00 rolls around, I’m not always feeling like Mary Poppins. Some evenings, all I want to do is pour everyone a bowl of Cheerios and call it good.
Towards that end, I’m always looking for EASY weeknight meals that require minimal effort on my part. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a recipe that doesn’t require a bunch of chopping, sautéing, or preparation.
My daughter was thumbing through an old Kraft Food & Family magazine, and came across a recipe for Mac n’ Cheese Lasagna. She showed me the picture, and it immediately went into my next meal plan.
This isn’t gourmet food. Let’s get real here. This is a dressed up boxed mac n’ cheese people. BUT, it’s quick to prepare, easy to make, and I had 6 clean plates. Win. Win. Win.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 boxes of your favorite boxed mac n’ cheese
1 lb. ground meat (I used beef, but you could easily use turkey, venison, etc.)
*Optional – packet of spaghetti seasoning mix, or blend of seasonings (basil, garlic powder, etc.)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I used my homemade canned sauce, but you could easily use the store-bought variety.)
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Start by browning your ground beef. While the meat is cooking, prepare the macaroni as directed on the package. Set aside.
Once the meat is browned and cooked through, drain off the fat and add any desired spices or seasonings. Add the marinara sauce to the meat.
Add the meat & sauce mixture to the prepared mac n’ cheese.
Spread half of the meat sauce/macaroni & cheese mixture into the bottom of an 11×13 pan. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat. Top the final layer with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and dish is bubbly. Serve and enjoy.
*This made enough for us to eat twice, so you could easily cut this recipe in half if you have a smaller family.
*If you wanted to add a layer of cottage cheese/ricotta cheese (much like what is in an actual lasagna) – I think that would taste great! I was opting for a meal that was as EASY as possible!
*You could also add onions to the ground meat as it was browning. My husband loathes onions, so I left them out.
Happy easy cooking everyone!