Blogger Spotlight

Melissa From Bless This Mess Discovers Her New Go-To Lasagna Recipe

Cheesy, meaty, and make-ahead—this is what lasagna dreams are made of.

Published Jan. 19, 2018.

The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook is America’s Test Kitchen’s first all-purpose make-ahead cookbook packed with 500 fresh recipes re-engineered by the test kitchen to work around your busy schedule. Each of the 250 recipes are kitchen-tested to not only work, but to exceed expectations every time, from party-ready appetizers to healthy salads to easy one-dish meals to company worthy roasts and desserts. And every recipe can be made straight through, too.


Busy weeknights call for make-ahead convenience. To get dinner on the table Melissa of Bless This Mess blog turns to our newest release, The Complete Make Ahead Cookbook, for the best make-ahead lasagna to feed her family.

“It’s a good one!” exclaims Melissa on her blog. “I love this book because there are 500 recipes you can make ahead of time–500! Lots are freezer-friendly too. It goes through the process of how to make, store, and then cook each recipe. It’s awesome for busy moms.”

For a Hearty Meat Lasagna that could impress the whole family and be made in two hours or less, we came up with several shortcuts. First we made a quick meat sauce with meatloaf mix, tomatoes, and cream. For the cheese layer, we stuck with tradition and sprinkled mozzarella over a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, fresh basil, and an egg, which helped thicken and bind the mixture.

Few things are more deliciously comforting than a plate full of delicious hearty cheesy lasagna. Truth be told, I didn’t have a great lasagna recipe until I tried this one.

No-boil lasagna noodles also proved to be a key shortcut in helping to eliminate the process of boiling and draining conventional lasagna noodles. Then covering the lasagna with aluminum foil for the first part of baking helped the noodles soften.

“Not only can you make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours,  you can freeze it, too," Melissa writes. "I make a double batch of this recipe in the morning or early afternoon, stick one in the fridge to cook for dinner and wrap one up and stick it in the freezer. Cook once and eat twice! I love having meals in the freezer for busy nights or to have ready for a friend in need.”

The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook

How many times have you wanted to make lasagna or chicken pot pie in advance, only to be discouraged by recipe after recipe that doesn’t tell you how? Should you make it, then store it, or vice versa? The experts here at America’s Test Kitchen have eliminated the guesswork of cooking in advance with 500 recipes that spell out all the make-ahead options.  

What’s your favorite make-ahead meal? Let us know in the comments! For the recipe for Hearty Meat Lasagna, read Melissa’s post. For more make-ahead recipes, go here.  And for more from The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook, read these posts:

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