Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lasagne Cups~my twist

One of the best food e-magazines is one called FoodieCrush and last week it featured seven lasagne recipes--Lasagne Cups being one of the seven.  I thought, "what a great idea...for so many reasons."  Tonight, I came up with my version since in a few days, I leave for a trade show (CHA-Craft & Hobby Association) in Anaheim, California, and I wanted to make sure I stocked the refrigerator and freezer with good food that hubby can fix on his own.

The concept of baking lasagne in a cup, I have to admit, is ingenious.  The first and most important I believe, is portion control.  I'm a very active person, but as I have aged and have gone through the stress of what life has given me, I've added weight that is definitely uncomfortable.  I've found the craze of Zumba to be inspirational for exercise, but need to watch what I'm eating and how much.  I'm not a dietitian, but being a vegetarian and raising a family has made me be responsible with the food I make.  Secondly, serving is easy--which anyone knows, cutting through layers of noodles, cheese, ricotta and sauce, can be messy.  Lastly, I can make this dish up and it's easy to package for later meals (when I'm pulling all nighters in designing) for freezing.
Add a green salad and maybe, a whole-grain roll, and you've got a balanced dinner that your family will enjoy.

Lasagne Cups
12 Lasagne noodles
1-32oz. Marinara sauce (I'm a big Raos brand fan!)
1-15 oz. container of Part-skim Ricotta Cheese
1 large egg
1-16 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
8oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Save the "rind" to add to soup

10 oz. frozen chopped Spinach
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 T. olive oil

4 oz. vegetarian sausage, crumbled and sauteed

Bechemal Sauce:
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 tsp. freshly ground Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F-degrees.  Line 2-6 cup jumbo muffin pans with parchment squares.  I cut a sheet of parchment paper into 6 squares, then used a glass to press the square down in the muffin opening.  (Lining the muffin cups with parchment makes for easy removal from the pan.)

In a medium sauce pan, saute chopped spinach with the diced yellow onion on medium heat until the water from the spinach has been evaporated.  Remove from heat and cool while making up the rest of the filling.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese.  Fold in the cooled spinach mixture and set aside.

Make the Bechemal sauce.  In a sauce pan, melt the butter, then, add sprinkle the flour and whisk together.  Turn heat to med/low and add the milk, whisking constantly to make a smooth sauce.  Season with the nutmeg and the salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the lasagne noodles as directed, drain and pat dry.  (I use this fabulous gadget called the "FastaPasta" maker to cook my pasta in the microwave!)

1. Layer one lasgne noodle across the parchment paper and push down.
2. Place a tablespoon of bechemal in the bottom.
3. Add a heaping tablespoon of marinara sauce.
4. Add a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta cheese/spinach mixture.
5. Crumble a few pieces of vegetarian sausage (if using).
6. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over the sausage.
7. Fold one of the overlapping layers of lasagne over this first layer.
8. Repeat with more marinara sauce, ricotta/spinach mixture, and another sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Fold the second side of the lasagne noddle over, pressing down slightly.  
9. Add a little more sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

10.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until tops are browned.
Use a small spatula to remove the lasagne cups.  Remove the parchment and serve with additional sauce if desired and more Parmesan cheese.

These were a success!  My husband raved and I ended up placing some in the refrigerator for another dinner and two more bags in the freezer for those times when I'm rushed.  Visit FoodieCrush for other great lasagne recipes (among others). Enjoy!



  1. What a great idea! I'm always freezing small containers when I cook. I love the idea of using the baking cups. This gives me easy meals in just the right portions. Thanks for the link to the e-magazine

  2. These look delicious!!

    Can you send me the link to your pancake mix when you have time, please :) I can't seem to find it!

  3. Wow, Sis!! I can't wait to try the Lasagna Cups. I occasionally make Lasagna Roll-ups, but I like the idea of the actual layers of the lasagna and easy clean-up using the baking cups. Hugs, Barb

  4. Fantastic! you can call them faux ravioli. lol! I will have to try these little wonders. stamping sue