Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pepper Jack Mushroom Lasagna

My husband never used to like lasagna.  I could never understand this, as it is one of my favorite dishes!  However, some time ago, I figured out why he didn't like lasagna - it wasn't really that he didn't like lasagna, but that he had an extreme aversion to ricotta cheese!  Wow! Well, the light bulb went off in my head at that point, and I realized that I could experiment a bit with lasagna to see what I could replace the ricotta cheese with.  My sister makes her lasagna with mushroom soup and ricotta cheese.  So, I decided to skip the ricotta cheese, and just use mushroom soup and OH.MY.WORD... I hit the jackpot!

So here you go - my revised lasagna recipe that is just about the most awesome lasagna you'll ever make! :)

First scramble up about 1-1/2 to 2 lbs hamburger meat, and as it is just about done, add in a couple of cloves of minced garlic.

I always make my own pasta sauce "from scratch" as the old saying goes.  I also use my own canned tomatoes to make the sauce.

I like to use the lasagna noodles that you cook first, as they seem to have a better end result.

To make my own lasagna sauce, I add a little bit of this and that - but I'll do my best to let you in on the what the "this and that" is, lol!   First I add about 3-4 cups of canned tomatoes, and 1 small can of tomato paste, and mix this well.  Then I add in about 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, 1-2 drops oregano oil, 1/4 cup red or white cooking wine, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and a handful of fresh diced basil leaves.  The fresh basil leaves, in my opinion, add the most flavor to the sauce, and there is just no substitute for fresh cut basil leaves! At the end, I also added about 1/4 tsp or so of red pepper flakes.  This gives just the right amount of zest for the lasagna.

Then the fun begins assembling the lasagna.

After greasing my 15 x 9 x 2" pan, I lay 5 noodles down for each layer.  This is followed with one-third of the can of cream of mushroom soup, and then about 1 cup or so of pasta sauce, followed by a heavy sprinkling of cheese.  I choose to use Pepper Jack cheese, as it has much more flavor than mozzarella.  Continue the layers another two times, and then on the top layer, end at the pasta sauce.  I add the top layer of cheese about 10 minutes before the lasagna is done cooking, to prevent it from sticking to the foil, and losing some of that cheesy goodness!

Cover the lasagna with tin foil, and pop the lasagna in the preheated oven for the time given on the directions for the box of lasagna you are using.  I generally cook mine about 30-40 minutes, then pull the tin foil off, add the last layer of cheese, and let it cook another ten minutes or so.

When I pulled the lasagna from the oven, the whole family was standing around waiting to eat, rather impatiently waiting for the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes! LOL!

And the wonderful thing about making this big pan of lasagna is that it makes amazing leftovers, and in fact, my husband has been known to argue with my son over who gets the last piece!

Here is the recipe for this lasagna.  If you give it a try, please let me know!

Pepper Jack Mushroom Lasagna

1-1/2 to 2 lbs cooked hamburger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups canned tomatoes (or about 2 large cans crushed tomatoes)
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red or white cooking wine
1-2 drops oregano oil (optional)
handful fresh diced basil leaves
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can cream mushroom soup
4 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan-Romano cheese, shredded

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease your pan.  I use a 15 x 9 x 2" pan for my lasagna, but you can also use a 9 x 12" pan or two 9 x 9" pans, depending on what pans you have.

After cooking hamburger meat, add in minced garlic cloves at the end of cooking.  Then add in the tomatoes, paste, sugar, seasonings, oil, cooking wine and let simmer for about 10 minutes or so.  Then add in the oregano oil, and fresh basil leaves.  You can also add in another clove of minced garlic too, if you'd like.

Lay 5 large noodles down for each layer.  This is followed with a layer of one-third of the can of cream of mushroom soup, and then about 1 cup or so of pasta sauce, followed by a heavy sprinkling of cheese.  Continue the layers another two times, and then on the top layer, end at the pasta sauce.  Cover the lasagna with tin foil.  Bake the lasagna for about 30-35 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.  Remove tin foil from lasagna, and add remaining cheese, and let cook until cheese is melted and lightly brown. Let lasagna cool for about ten minutes, and then serve.  Enjoy!


  1. That looks SO good! I'm hungry now!

    1. LOL! I think I need to make it again soon too!

  2. Looks great and I admire how you solved the ricotta problem. At our house the problem is tomato sauce. My hubby doesn't like tomato sauce very much. Consequently, I never make lasagna, though I really love it. xxx ~ Nancy

    1. Aww, that must be rough to have him not like tomato sauce! We go through tons of tomatoes every year, and I can my own tomatoes. I understand though how you have to work around such aversions very well as my husband has quite a few aversions to different foods that I have to work around. :)


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