Lunchbox Freezer Cooking: Mini Lasagnas (Day 8)

Ever since I saw this recipe for Mini Lasagnas, I knew I had to try it.

It’s not the simplest or most inexpensive recipe out there, but it sure was fun to make. And it’s definitely a more unique portable lunch idea — especially great for those of you who have access to a microwave.

I added salt, pepper, parsley, and two eggs to the ricotta cheese. This is how I always make lasagna, so I thought it would make these a bit more flavorful than just using straight ricotta.

I also added canned tomatoes to the pasta sauce. I attempted to save myself from having to dirty up another bowl by pouring these two things in the empty ricotta container. But, as you can see, that idea didn’t go over so well… actually, I guess it did go over — over the side of the container, that is! ;)

 

I thought these turned out beautifully and they tasted really delicious. I’m freezing them in airtight ziptop bags and am thinking I can just pull out however many I need at a time and let them thaw for a few hours before warming in the microwave.

You can find a Dairy-Free version of these Mini Lasagnas over at Milk Allergy Mom.

Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!

 

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Comments

  1. Euri says

    What did you use as the crust? Pasta? Tortillas? They look delish!!!! I don’t know how to cook but your recipes make me wanna learn!!

  2. says

    I made some of the lasagna cups. These are really good. I know I will be making them again for our family. I made some dairy free ricotta out of tofu for ours. My kids didn’t even know it wasn’t cheese. Thanks for posting this recipe I had not seen it before.

    I made some pizza sticks and pinwheels for the freezer. They both turned out tasty but I will need to make some changes to the pinwheels to get them to look more attractive next time.

  3. says

    Oh my goodness! These look amazing! I am really looking forward to freezer cooking day this week, going to give mini lasagna a chance! :)

  4. says

    These look so easy and delicious! I’ll have to figure out a gluten free alternative to the wonton wrappers… but feel free to beat me to it! ;]

  5. Amy says

    I made them for supper the other night too. I doubled the recipe, got 24 mini lasagnas, and between 2 parents and two teens there’s no leftovers. They were super cute and hubby thought they’d be good for party food or appetizers. I probably won’t use them again as a main course since they took me the same amount of time as assembling 2 9×12 pans of lasagna would have.

  6. Ashley says

    EEE I LOVE lasagna but the rest of my family doesn’t care for it at all. I’m seeing mini lasagnas for lunch in my future!

  7. Holly says

    I also have a question. Does anyone send warm lunch with their children? If you put hot water in a thermos and then heated the lunch before school, poured out the hot water and put the heated lasagna in the thermos, do you think this would keep it warm for 3.5 – 4 hours? My son’s school is only kindergarten and first grade, so they don’t have microwaves. I think he’d be proud to take something he helped make.

    • Heather says

      I do that sometimes. Make sure you get the food as hot as possible before putting it in the prewarmed (with boiling water) thermos. I always asks the kids how hot it was, and the results are mixed. But they are not that reliable, being young. However, it does seem that foods with a lot of sauce or liquid stay hotter.

      • Cindy says

        You could try a few different foods in a thermos at home and eat them for your own lunch a few hours later and see if they are still warm. You would have your microwave right there to reheat if you need to.

    • Susan says

      Holly, yes, we do this, and it works well. Get the food as hot as possible. The thermal containers we use don’t need to be heated up with hot water, but with some containers it is helpful to do that. My 12-yo packs her lunch and leaves the house at 7:15, and she says it is still nice and warm at lunch time 4-1/2 hours later. I’d recommend investing in a good quality thermol container. Cheap ones don’t work as well.

      These look good, but I don’t see how they’d be very portable. We make lasagne in a regular casserole dish and just spoon it into the Thermos. I’m too lazy to get this fancy. :-)

  8. says

    Ha ha! Pouring the tomatoes into the ricotta container totally looks like something I would do! Then there’s always a bigger mess than if I would have just gotten out a clean container in the first place. Oh well, at least we’re trying to be more efficient even if it doesn’t always work! :)

  9. says

    Tle lunch box lasagnas look great! I’d have to find gluten free wonton wrappers or make them from scratch. It might be worth it because I know my kids and hubby would love these.

    I left a link for my favorite hummus recipe which can easily be frozen in individual portions for on the go lunches. It’s a true convenience food. The post also discusses making your own sesame tahini which is much cheaper than buying it.

  10. Lisa Marie says

    I just came across these recently somewhere on the internet, and that recipe said to use 2 wontons….1 in the muffin cup, fill, then 2nd wonton on top, tuck the edges against the edges sticking up from the 1st and it seals in better. Also, sprinkle the Italian seasoning ontop of the 2nd wonton.

  11. Jen says

    I’m wondering if anyone has just tried cooked squares of lasagna noodles instead of won ton wrappers? I probably won’t get around to trying this b4 this baby comes, but just a thought.

    • says

      I was wondering about doing that, too. If anyone tries it, let us know how it turns out. I personally think I’d prefer actual lasagna noodles to won ton wraps.

    • Susan says

      I don’t see how cooked lasagne noodles would work at all. Won ton wrappers get crispy and act as a little bowl, kinda like a shell that taco salads come in. Squares of lasagne noodles wouldn’t be big enough to go up the sides of the muffin tin, plus they would be too soft to retain the shape after baking. I don’t think you’d be able to pop them out of the pan. You’d just have to spoon it out, which defeats the purpose of using a muffin tin.

      Unless I’m missing something.

      I never precook my lasagne noodles. No need. I just layer the dry noodles in the pan with the cheeses and sauce. Just be sure to put a layer of sauce (or just tomato sauce) on the bottom of the pan so that the noodles aren’t right up against the bottom of the pan, make sure the noodles are completely covered by sauce with no noodle edges sticking out, and make the sauce with a little more water than you ordinarily would. The noodles will cook nicely and soften at the same time the lasagne is baking.

      I always add veggies to my lasagne too. It’s easy to hide spinach and other healthy foods to lasagne.

  12. Laura says

    I made these last weekend after seeing the preview menu for the lunchbox freezer cooking. I snuck in some sauteed kale to boost the nutrition factor and they are great! I also used cottage cheese instead of ricotta to keep the cost down. Thanks for the inspiration, Crystal! Looking forward to more of these lunchbox freezer cooking ideas – they are helpful to us who are taking lunch to work daily to save money!

  13. Jenny says

    Made these tonight. I had some leftover Ricotta cheese mixture in the freezer so just had to get the wonton wrappers. My kids told me it was the best meal ever! We are not eating out much lately so we made it really special with special table settings and candles, etc . Thanks for posting!!

  14. Amanda says

    I started a monthly Freezer Meal Swap with my local Mom’s club, and made these last week for my contribution. I made a 4x batch so everyone got 8 cups and some garlic bread. I was surprised how easy they were to assemble…and mad I didn’t make more for my own family! :)

    I will say that with a batch that large, I ran short on the ricotta and the sauce – you need a bit more than 4x the original quantities.

    I added ground turkey cooked with Italian seasoning to the sauce…soo good!! I will definitely be making more of these soon. I tried to freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then bagged them up once frozen, so they wouldn’t stick together. Also had better luck popping them out after waiting 20 mins instead of 5, but probably because I tried to coat the pans with olive oil instead of a spray. I’ll use a spray next time for sure!

    From the fridge once thawed, they barely needed 60-90 sec in the microwave to warm up.

  15. says

    In my area, ricotta tends to be a little more then I want to spend so I substituted cottage cheese for ricotta when making my lasagna cups.

    Also, I recently tried making ricotta from scratch and found it to be a task that easy to do while doing other dinner prep. For fun, I calculated the cost to make my own. The cost of a gallon of milk where I live is $2.59 so one cup of ricotta (requires 4 cups of milk to make), cost $0.64. I had distilled vinegar and sea salt on hand so I didn’t include them in finial cost.

    Viviane at food and style has a great tutorial for those of you who may want to try making it too! I’ve made her recipe a few times.
    http://foodandstyle.com/2011/08/31/homemade-ricotta/