If orderly layers are extremely important to you, then you'll want to go with a traditional method. If your favorite thing about lasagna is the taste, then you need to try this!
We've seen other recipes for "Lazy Lasagna" but this is by far the easiest. It takes only about 5 minutes of active time!
1 package noodles*
1 bag frozen spinach
1 jar tomato-based pasta sauce
2 cups low fat, low sodium ricotta or cottage cheese
2 cups low fat, low sodium mozzarella
2 tablespoons low sodium Parmesan cheese
Put uncooked noodles in a lasagna pan. Cover with spinach, cottage cheese or ricotta, mozzarella, and pasta sauce. Fill pasta jar with water, close lid and shake to get out any remaining sauce. Pour into pan. (You might want to add a little extra, but do not add too much water.** Spinach, tomatoes in sauce and cheese will all release moisture. Since cottage cheese has a much higher moisture content than ricotta, if using cottage cheese, you most likely won't need to add more water unless pan gets too dry.) Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. After about 20 minutes, uncover (being careful of hot steam), stir to combine. Break apart any clumps of spinach and gently mix until noodles are covered in sauce and cheese. Re-cover and continue baking until noodles are soft - about 45 minutes to an hour for regular noodles. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Note: This makes a delicious vegetarian dish, but you can add about 1 1/2 cups cooked lean ground beef or turkey along with the other ingredients. You can also add more vegetables like shredded carrots or diced green peppers. Feel free to play with the basic recipe!
*We liked egg noodles because they had a similar texture to lasagna noodles and were easier to stir in the pan than lasagna noodles. Choose the healthiest ones you can find since you'll want to make this often. If you are sensitive to gluten, choose gluten-free noodles. Also, be sure to check for hidden gluten in all other ingredients. Some brands use fillers that contain gluten. Make sure that whatever noodles you choose are "sturdy" enough for this recipe. Some of the lighter ones (like rice-based) don't work well. Although we couldn't find it in either a a lasgna noodle or egg noodle shape, we liked the quinoa & corn gluten-free noodles for both their taste and texture. Check on the noodles as they cook since different types soften at different times.
** If you find that you have added too much water (or your ingredients release far more moisture than you anticipated) you can leave the foil off to help the water evaporate. Some types/brands of noodles absorb less water than others. This turned out perfectly for us the first six times. The seventh time, we used a different brand of noodles and a different brand of cheese and ended up with a very different result. If all else fails, lasagna soup is very tasty too! :-)