A quick and easy lasagne recipe made with a cheat’s white sauce, ready in just 45 minutes! Delicious comfort food the whole family will love.
First of all a disclaimer! This is most definitely NOT an authentic lasagne recipe (Italians look away now), but what it lacks in authenticity, it more than makes up for in taste and speed.
This cheat lasagne is one of my favourite go-to recipes for busy days when you just don’t have time to be slaving over a hot stove. It’s also one of the kids’ most requested meals.
✔️ Why should you try it?
- Ready in just 45 minutes.
- Rich and comforting
- A great recipe for home freezing
- Made with a cheat’s white sauce rather than a traditional bechamel.
- Onion – 1 small white onion, finely chopped.
- Garlic – 2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped.
- Carrots – 1 large carrot, washed, peeled and finely chopped.
- Celery – 1 stick, finely chopped.
- Streaky Bacon – 3 rashers, cut into small pieces.
- Beef Mince – 500g of lean beef or steak mince.
- Passata – 400g of smooth passata, although a tin of chopped tomatoes could you used instead.
- Herbs – A mixture of thyme, oregano, rosemary and smoked paprika.
- Marmite – Helps give the ragu a lovely rich flavour.
- Lasagne Sheets – 8 fresh lasagne sheets.
For the cheat’s white sauce;
- Crème Fraiche – 300g of full-fat creme fraiche. Soured cream could be used as an substitute.
- Milk – Two tablespoons of milk ( I used semi-skimmed) helps thin the sauce out.
- Parmesan – 100g of finely grated Parmesan is mixed into the creme fraiche with an additional 150g of grated Parmesan sprinkled on top before baking. To save even more time why not buy pre-grated Parmesan!
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post
One: Make a quick ragu sauce by frying the onion, garlic, carrot and celery on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the bacon, herbs and beef mince. Fry until the beef changes colour then add the passata, marmite and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
Two: Spoon one half of the beef mince on the bottom of a baking dish and lay 4 lasagne sheets on top. Add the remaining mince on top and lay over 4 more lasagne sheets.
Three: In a small bowl mix together the creme fraiche, milk and 100g of Parmesan and spread on top of the lasagne. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Four: Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (at 220°c / /200 fan) until golden and bubbling.
🍴 Serving suggestions
I like to serve lasagne with a crisp green side salad and garlic bread, although fresh steamed veggies are delicious too.
If you don’t have fussy kids in your house, a sprinkling of chopped parsley just before serving gives the lasagne a lovely freshness.
You could use a mixture of beef and pork mince for the ragu, or alternatively use leftover pork bolognese (I sometimes make a double batch just for this reason).
Vary the cheeses by using a mixture of Parmesan and mozzarella, or even extra mature cheddar. If I know I’m going to be really pushed for time, I sometimes buy pre-grated cheese (shhh don’t tell anyone).
The lasagne can be made up to the point of baking and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Slices of reheated lasagne make for a comforting lunch the next day too!
I like to use fresh lasagne sheets as they take much less time to cook, meaning your lasagne can be on the table in super quick time. If you’re using dry lasagne sheets, they don’t need pre cooking but the lasagne may need an extra 8-10 minutes in the oven.
Some more easy pasta recipes you might like to try;
- Easy Cheesy Pasta – Deliciously comforting easy cheesy pasta using a cheat’s crème fraiche cheese sauce pepped up with smoked paprika and Dijon mustard.
- Chorizo and Pepper Pasta – Perfect for busy weeknights when time is of the essence.
- Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake – An easy and cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta bake with a crispy breadcrumb topping.
- Turkey Bolognese – An easy turkey bolognese recipe that can be made with low-fat turkey mince or leftover roast turkey from Christmas. Ready in just 45 minutes.
- Caramelised Shallot Pasta – A delicious and easy, caramelised shallot pasta recipe, with sweet caramelised shallots, tangy tomatoes and salty anchovies.
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🍽️ More family-friendly recipes
Easy Cheat’s Lasagne
- 1 Onion chopped finely
- 2 Garlic Cloves chopped finely
- 1 Carrot peeled and chopped finely
- 1 Celery stalk chopped finely
- 3 Streaky Bacon rashers chopped
- 500 g Beef Mince use lean mince
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 400 g Passata
- 1 tsp Marmite
- Salt and Pepper
For the cheat's white sauce
- 300g Creme Fraiche full fat
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 250g Parmesan grated
- Preheat the oven to 220°c (200 fan/ 425F/ Gas 7). In a shallow casserole or frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a medium heat and add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.
- Turn the heat up and add the bacon, mined beef and herbs. Cook until the mince has changed colour (stirring often).
- Add the passata, marmite and season. Simmer over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the creme fraiche, milk and 100g of the grated Parmesan.
- Assemble the lasagne by placing half the mince mixture in the bottom of the baking dish and spread out with a spoon. Lay 4 lasagne sheets on top. Spoon over the remaining half of the mince and cover with 4 more lasagne sheets.
- Spoon over the white sauce then sprinkle with the remaining 150g of grated Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes.
I’m linking this recipe up to #CookBlogShare which this week is hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage.