The Great Hamburger Experiment: Meal 6 Addy’s Lazy Man’s Lasagna- 45 pounds to go

How many meals can you make out of 50 pounds of ground beef? I gave myself a challenge to see how many meals I could make for my family of 2 adults and 6 children (4 teenagers) using ground beef as the only meat in the meal.

Meal 6 – Addy’s Lazy Man’s Lasagna  I sent my oldest daughter Addy (age 10) to an afterschool cooking program where each week the kids learned to make dinners and desserts (which they then ate). 

Meal 6 - Addy's Lazy Man's Lasagna

Meal 6 - Addy's Lazy Man's Lasagna

At the end of the session, she came home with a recipe book and much to my delight insisted on making some of the family dinners (talk about a good investment!) One of the kids’ favorites quickly became Addy’s Baked Ziti. The recipe fills a large casserole sized dish and when you add salad and bread, it makes for a filling meal.

Last night we set out to make the Baked Ziti for The Great Hamburger Experiment but when we got to the part where you are supposed to add a ½ cup (yup a ½ cup!) of parmesan cheese, we realized that we had no parmesan cheese in the house.

But, as all moms know, being thrifty really comes down to being creative.

So I got out a 2 pound tub of Ricotta cheese (that had been on sale the previous week) and put one half of the tub (1 pound) into the mix. It’s just a mild creamy cheese, I told my daughter as she wrinkled her nose at the large white blob in the bowl.

I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Baked Ziti, but this resulted in a creamy lasagna-like ziti of which all the kids (and my husband) had seconds. (And there was still enough left over for a lunch today).

For this meal I used 1 pound of ground beef.

Recipe – Addy’s Lazy Man’s Lasagna


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 one pound box Ziti noodles
  • 3 cups total shredded Mozzarella cheese (reserve one cup for the top)
  • 1 pound Ricotta cheese
  • Italian herbs (optional)
  • Pasta Sauce 7.5 cups (Large jar of Sauce – we used Prego)
  • Directions:

Brown 1 pound of ground beef and a chopped onion. Drain oil when done

Boil a box of ziti noodles until cooked, drain

In a bowl, add:

  • The beef and onion mixture
  • 1 pound of Ricotta cheese
  • 2 of the cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • The ziti noodles
  • A few pinches of Italian herbs (optional)
  • Pasta Sauce

Mix together and scoop into a large 9 by 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining shredded Mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake in a 350 oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cheese on top melts.

Serve with salad and bread.

Note – this created such a nice creamy sauce for the noodles that the next time I would be tempted to add beans, cooked spinach, olives, or any other vegetables into the casserole.


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Filed under Simple Thrift Tips, The Great Hamburger Experiment

18 responses to “The Great Hamburger Experiment: Meal 6 Addy’s Lazy Man’s Lasagna- 45 pounds to go

  1. Rosemarie Rung

    Rachael Ray has a recipe where you use frozen cheese ravioli in place of the pasta and ricotta. It makes it real easy and it’s delicious.

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