Beefy Pesto Lasagna

I have several lasagna recipes that I have used through the years.  I really enjoy the flavors of the dish, but for my family, lasagna is just okay; they can take it or leave it.  Recently I decided to make a recipe that contains pesto.  Now pesto is the current food love of my life.  I eat it on bread, potatoes, pasta – haven’t tried it on chocolate.  I’ll make homemade, buy pre-made – doesn’t matter.  I LOVE PESTO!  So when I read this recipe, it was definitely calling my name, so I thought I would step out of my lasagna comfort zone and try something different.  And this creamy, cheesy, tomatoe-y main course did not disappoint.  My husband LOVED IT and called it his very favorite lasagna ever!  Add some crusty Italian bread and a green salad and rake in the smiles.

Prep Time:     30 minutes

Serves:     12 – 16

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 – 24 ounce container 4% small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 – 16 ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 48 ounce jar tomato-basil pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare noodles according to package directions. Stir together cottage cheese and next four ingredients.  Stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese.  Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until cooked thoroughly.  Stir in pasta sauce.  Layer in a lasagna dish in this order – 1 cup beef mixture, 3 noodles, 2 and 1/2 cups cottage cheese mixture, 3 noodles, 2 cups beef mixture, and 3 more noodles. Top with remaining cottage cheese mixture, 3 noodles, and beef mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.  Bake, covered, at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Uncover and bake 20 minutes or until cheese is browned.  Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

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