Skillet Lasagna

lasagna

Before the cheese has melted. Almost done!

Lasagna Born of Friendship

More than twenty years ago, my friend Shirley shared this skillet lasagna recipe with me. When I make this dish, I remember her and all the fun times we shared.

At the time I met Shirley, both of our families lived in the Charlottesville, Virginia area.  Shirley and I met in a K-Mart store one evening when both our families were Christmas shopping.  We kept running into each other and I decided if I ran into them again, I’d introduce myself. Oh, did I mention that I prayed about this?  You see, we were new to the area and I was lonely.

A minute later, I turned a corner pushing my cart and met Shirley and Tim coming my way.  I stopped and introduced myself and asked them where they went to church. (When you’re an Anabaptist who practices a head covering, there’s a connection.)  They invited us to visit their church, and we went. We grew to love the folks at Pine Ridge Church of the Brethren and have warm memories of our time there.

For the remainder of our stay in Charlottesville, we were friends. Dave and Tim hit it off as well as Shirley and I did. We’re still friends, but we just don’t see each other often. We spent a lot of time in each other’s homes and babysat each other’s children. Our children were staggered and between the two couples, we had one child every age from one to eight.  I have several recipes that came from Shirley, and this is one of them.

lasagna

Lasagna Ingredients

All you’ll need is some hamburger, noodles, spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. A cast iron skillet helps, but you can use any skillet. 

It’s been over a quarter of a century since we moved out of their community, and I still think of Shirley when I make this dish.

I usually serve this in a cast iron skillet. You can also pour this into a casserole dish and then put it in the oven to melt the cheese. This recipe is simple and easy. If you happen to have hamburger in your freezer that is already fried, you can throw it into the skillet with the water, spaghetti sauce and noodles, and it will thaw as it cooks.  It can be made in under 20 minutes and also freezes well. Make a double batch and freeze half of it for another meal. You can vary the ingredients and the amounts; I don’t do a lot of measuring with this one. You can switch up the type and amount of cheese. Sometimes I use a Mexican mix, which includes some cheddar. I’ve added Swiss cheese when I was low on Mozzarella. I’ve used a mix of wide and thin noodles when I was low on wide noodles. Bow tie noodles are prettier; just remember to give them more time to cook.

lasagna

Be sure to stir the cottage cheese into the noodle mixture after it begins to soften.

This is an easy, quick supper dish, especially if you have hamburger already fried and in your freezer. [See 10 Kitchen Hacks.] It’s also an easy dish to fix if you need to take a meal to someone; they can eat it then or put it in the freezer for a later time.

lasagna

In the cast iron skillet. Yep, it’s a little fuzzy.

Skillet Lasagna
Author: 
Recipe type: main dish - pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef - season to taste
  • 28 oz. spaghetti sauce
  • 2½ -3 c. wide egg noodles (not lasagna noodles)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown beef; drain.
  2. Add spaghetti sauce, noodles, and water.
  3. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add cottage cheese, dropping by spoonfuls over noodles
  5. Add mozzarella cheese on top and shake Parmesan cheese over all.
  6. Cover and cook 5 minutes to melt cheese.

lasagna

One Dish Hamburger Meal with Potatoes and Green Beans

I had never heard of this one dish hamburger meal until I married into the Slabach family. It was one of Mom’s recipes and the one that her son Paul loved the most. I still think of it as Paul’s favorite dish.

I hadn’t made it in years and had to call my sister-in-law Rhoda to ask her how mom did it. She gave me the detail-by-detail method, and I fixed it that evening to perfection. Dave said it tasted just like Mom’s.

This dish is so versatile. You can increase it for a large crowd or use smaller amounts of the ingredients if you’re cooking for a few. Another thing that’s nice about this dish is that the ingredients are items you will (probably) already have on hand in your kitchen.

Hamburger, potatoes, green beans, and cream of mushroom soup. You can add some onion, salt and pepper, or garlic for flavor if you’d like. Mom just used salt and pepper, but you can add other spices. I like to add garlic and some red pepper flakes.,but I just don’t tell anyone. 🙂

One thing I can tell you is this: it tastes a whole lot better than the photo can make it look.

 

Hamburger, Potato, Green Bean One Dish Meal
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A simple and nutritious one-dish casserole with hamburger, green beans, and potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 quart green beans
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
Instructions
  1. Fry hamburger in a dutch oven until done
  2. Do not drain (optional)
  3. Add peeled, diced potatoes and cook until tender
  4. Add green beans with juice
  5. Add cream of mushroom soup and heat through
  6. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic - you choose

hamburger one dish meal

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

cucumberIt’s summertime, and that means it’s cucumber time. Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are easy to fix and delightful to serve.

The recipe calls for seedless cucumbers, but I have used cucumbers with seeds.

You’ll want to use smaller, tasty cucumbers for this. You can slice them into thin rectangular slices or use a vegetable slicer and make tiny rounds with them.

The recipe calls for white bread, but you can also use tortillas and roll the cucumbers up into them.

If you are using tortillas, you’ll want to use thinly-sliced cucumbers and possibly double the layers.

The cream cheese layer is easy to make. You can add other seasonings (red pepper flakes, etc.) if you’d like.

cucumber

If you prefer, you can spread the whipped cream cheese on the bread and then sprinkle fresh dill on top. I find it easier to just mix it all together.

I have also used regular cream cheese, adding just a tablespoon of milk as I whipped it with a mixer. It take a little longer this way, but at the same time, it might save you a trip to the grocery.

I like to add salt and pepper to the cucumbers before I put the top layer of bread on, but that’s up to you.

cucumber

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
A tasty way to serve cucumbers at a tea or even for a child's party.
Ingredients
  • 2 seedless cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 12 slices white sandwich bread
  • 6 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill (I have used regular dill)
  • 1 tablespoon onion and/or garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Mix whipped cream cheese, dill, and onion/garlic together
  2. Trim ends of cucumber (peeling cucumber is optional)
  3. Cut each cucumber crosswise into 4 equal pieces
  4. Thinly slice each cucumber piece lengthwise into strips
  5. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture onto the bread slices
  6. Divide the cucumber evenly among 6 slices
  7. Top with remaining bread.
  8. Trim the crusts and cut into quarters.

cucumber

 

Chicken Bites

chicken bites

Chicken Bites is a fun dish to make, and one that children and adults will be sure to like. You can make this recipe ahead and then refrigerate the dish. The next day you can put it in the oven and just heat it through slowly.

I did this the other weekend – made the mess and cleaned it all up on Saturday. On Sunday morning, all I had to do was pop it into the oven, and put it on Time Bake for an hour at 250. By the time we got home from church, the aroma of chicken filled the kitchen and the dish was hot and ready to serve.

If you do this, I recommend that you bake it until it’s just barely done. You can finish baking as it heats. Likewise, you could freeze this dish as well and then pull it out of the freezer one morning when you’re going to be having a busy day.

chicken bites

To make the crumbs, put the ingredients into a blender.  It guarantees an even crumb mixture and helps get the clumps out of the Ritz crackers. Use a fork or tongs for dipping the chicken into the butter and crumbs.

Bake the dish uncovered – but if you’re heating it up the next day, be sure to cover the chicken so it won’t dry out. You can always take the cover off for the last few minutes if you want.

Go for it. Get your kids to roll up their sleeves and help dip and bread the chicken!

chicken bites

ready to bake

Chicken Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces, dipped in butter and breaded with a Ritz cracker-Parmesan cheese seasoning mix. Baked for half an hour, and it's ready to serve.
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 up crushed Ritz crackers
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. basil leaves
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ cup melted butter
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces
  2. Melt butter and put into a container for dipping
  3. Mix all other ingredients well - a blender is my choice
  4. Place aluminum foil over baking sheet
  5. Heat oven to 400
  6. Dip chicken in melted butter, then in crumbs
  7. Put onto baking sheet
  8. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes

 

chicken bites