Cottage Cheese Lasagna with layers of flavorful meat sauce, creamy cottage cheese mixture, spinach, and melted mozzarella cheese. This hearty dish is budget and freezer friendly!
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I love recipes with cottage cheese if they taste good! We loved my cottage cheese pasta, so I wanted to make a super easy lasagna recipe with cottage cheese that tastes delicious and is lighter.
My secret is quality marinara sauce. This lasagna will satisfy all lasagna lovers and critics and is a breeze to make compared to any traditional lasagna recipe out there!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Minimum ingredients: This recipe calls for 8 basic ingredients, most are probably already in your kitchen.
- Easy recipe: There are a few steps to making lasagna with cottage cheese, but I assure you each one is practically effortless.
- Delicious: Cottage cheese has less fat and calories than ricotta cheese but does not sacrifice flavor. Instead, it adds extra tang and creaminess to the dish.
Ingredients for Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
The list of ingredients for cottage cheese lasagna is very simple, you may be able to make it today without a trip to the store!
- Lasagna noodles: Use your choice of noodle. Regular, whole wheat, or brown rice pasta all work well.
- Ground beef: You’ll need more or less 1 pound of ground beef for the meat sauce. I use extra lean ground beef, so there’s less fat to drain.
- Marinara sauce: It has to be quality marinara sauce because the ingredient list for this lasagna recipe is short. I love Rao’s marinara or my homemade marinara! Another good brand is La San Marzano. Or use your favorite marinara sauce you trust is flavorful!
- Cottage cheese: Make sure to use full fat cottage cheese made with whole milk for the best flavor and creamier texture. Low fat cottage cheese will lead to a watery lasagna.
- Egg: 1 large egg acts as the binding agent for the cheese filling.
- Seasoning: I always make my own Italian seasoning, you can also use packaged seasoning. That’s all you need!
- Spinach: Frozen spinach works well for this recipe, make sure to thaw and squeeze it. Doesn’t have to be very dry, a bit of moisture is great to cook the lasagna.
- Mozzarella cheese: Freshly grated mozzarella cheese melts beautifully and adds rich flavor.
- Cooking spray: A light spray is needed to prevent sticking, I use Misto.
How to Make Cottage Cheese Lasagna
Here’s an overview of how to make cottage cheese lasagna, you’ll love how easy it is!
There is a full recipe card below.
- Make the meat sauce: Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and cook ground beef for 10 minutes, breaking into small pieces. Drain any fat at the end. Add marinara sauce to the pan and bring to a boil, then let it simmer covered for 15 minutes.
- Combine cheese mixture: Meanwhile, add cottage cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Cook lasagna noodles: While sauce is cooking, boil noodles according to package instructions in salted water. Drain and carefully lay noodles flat on a baking sheet. Cover them with a towel and set aside.
- Finish prep: Preheat your oven to 375 F and spray a large 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Start layering: Cover the bottom of the greased baking dish with a bit of meat sauce. Next, layer 4 noodles lengthwise with edges overlapping. Then spread 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, half the spinach, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat this layer once more but without the mozzarella.
- Assemble top layer: Finish lasagna with remaining 4 noodles, 1/3 of meat sauce and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake: If you have a silicone lid, spray it with cooking spray, if not spray aluminum foil and cover the dish. Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Serve: After removing lasagna from oven, allow it to rest for 20 minutes while covered. Slice into 9 pieces with a sharp knife and serve using a flat, sturdy spatula.
Tips for Best Results
Here are my expert tips to make this homemade lasagna with cottage cheese an absolute favorite main dish!
- Use only quality marinara sauce: To make this recipe easier, I opted for store-bought marinara over homemade. Make sure to choose a high-quality sauce to enhance the depth of flavor. I absolutely love Rao’s marinara!
- Salt the water for pasta: It infuses lasagna sheets with extra flavor we need in this recipe because we don’t use many ingredients. Work smarter, not harder!
- Bake it covered: Start baking with the lasagna covered to prevent it from drying out.
- Let it rest: Allow lasagna to set, so the noodles don’t slip and filling doesn’t create a mess when you cut it.
- Spray cover with oil: This tip helps avoid cheese from sticking to foil or silicone lid cover. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that delightful gooey goodness!
What to Serve with Lasagna?
And, naturally, some crusty bread or garlic bread is the perfect complement to complete the meal.
Can I Make It Ahead?
Yes! You can assemble and refrigerate lasagna covered for up to 2-3 days in advance. Before baking, bring it to room temperature for about an hour and then cook as per recipe.
You can also freeze uncooked lasagna for up to 3 months. Then thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 5-6 hours and bake as per recipe.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze: I recommend to freeze sliced lasagna for easy defrosting. You can freeze them individually or in a pack of 2 or 3. Cut cold lasagna into individual slices and place them in a large airtight container to leave enough room in between.
You can also freeze individual slices of lasagna on a baking sheet separately and then once frozen transfer to an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
Lasagna with ricotta is a more classic lasagna, but it’s a matter of personal preference. We’re using super quality marinara sauce in this recipe, so lasagna tastes super delicious even when swapping ricotta for cottage cheese.
Yes. If you prefer the taste of ricotta or if that’s what you have on hand, you can follow the same recipe using ricotta cheese.
A little bit of meat sauce, lasagna noodles, more meat sauce, ricotta cheese, spinach and Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Repeat this layer 1 more time. Then top with noodles, sauce, and lots of cheese. I like to use 4 noodles in each layer but you can also use 3 noodles to make lasagna taller.
Yes, this lasagna recipe with cottage cheese can be made with or without spinach.
After you first bake lasagna, there will seem like a little bit of liquid. Let it rest and it will soak up the liquid. I assure you your lasagna should be fine. Also be sure to avoid using low fat cottage cheese.
More Lasagna Recipes to Try
- Zucchini lasagna
- Zucchini lasagna rolls
- Roasted red pepper lasagna
- Instant Pot lasagna soup
- Instant Pot white chicken lasagna soup
Easy Cottage Cheese Lasagna
- 12 lasagna noodles regular, whole wheat or brown rice pasta
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 42 ounces quality marinara sauce I love Rao's, I used 1.5 x 27 ounces jars
- 17 ounces cottage cheese full fat (1 tub)
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 11 ounces frozen spinach thawed and squeezed (1 pack)
- 3 cups Mozzarella cheese full fat, divided
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- Cook lasagna noodles as per package instructions in a large pot of salted water. Then drain and lay flat on a baking sheet. Cover with a towel to prevent from drying out and set aside.
- Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and add ground beef. Cook for 10 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring, and draining fat at the end. Add marinara sauce, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add cottage cheese, egg and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray large 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and spread a bit of meat sauce to cover the bottom. Layer 4 noodles lengthwise overlapping a bit. Then spread 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, half of spinach and 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Repeat this layer one more time.
- Finish with remaining 4 noodles, 1/3 of meat sauce and 2 cups of cheese. Spray aluminum foil or silicone lid with cooking spray to prevent cheese from sticking to it. Bake covered for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for 20 more minutes.
- Remove lasagna from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes while covered. Then using a sharp knife cut into 9 slices and serve using a flat sturdy spatula.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Freeze individual slices in a container for up to 3 months. You can also freeze unbaked assembled lasagna! Assemble, tightly wrap with plastic, then few layers of foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as per instructions adding 10 minutes.