Out of the box Lasagna

Another recipe from the Real Simple maga-book. I’ve actually been thinking about this one in the back of my head but it hadn’t been quite the right night for it.

Until tonight. I had a bunch of errands to run so I got home about an hour later than usual but still before Chris. He’d done some light grocery shopping earlier in the day but we didn’t have a ton of fresh stuff on hand. What we did have was some things that needed using up, ASAP.

The original recipe called for frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained. I do have spinach in the freezer but decided to go a different route.

1/2 onion, roughly chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 package ravioli (frozen or thawed)- I used a chicken ravioli, medium sized from Sam’s Club
1 jar pasta sauce (organic basil, may I suggest)
1 8oz package shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup 3-cheese mix with parmesan
Garlic seasoning
oregano, fresh


Preheat oven to 350

While oven is heating, saute onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat with some garlic seasoning. Cook until onions are lightly golden. Near end of cooking time, stir in fresh oregano or other fresh herbs of your choosing.

In a 9×13 baking dish, layer 1/3 of pasta sauce in the bottom then half the raviolis. Top with more sauce, half of mozzarella cheese and onions/mushroom mixture. Add second layer of raviolis and finish with last of sauce, remainder of mozzarella and the 3-cheese mix.

Bake, covered with foil, for 25 mintues. Remove foil and continue to bake another 10 minutes or until cheese turns golden and bubbly.

Remove from oven. Ideally, let set for 10 minutes to allow cheese to set up.

Served with mixed green salad.

No picture – C’mon you know what lasagna looks like! It was way too gloomy to try for nice natural light pictures anyhow. And we were hungry.
Super super easy. Next time I hope to do both the added mushrooms/onions and the spinach.

Mushroom Sauce (gravy?) for ravioli

Quick dinner tonight, once I got it going. We bought a 2-pack of a chicken & 4 cheese ravioli at Sam’s Club a week or so ago. The first batch, I just made with a jarred tomato sauce, slightly improved upon with herbs and balsamic vinegar.

Both Chris and I agreed that this was not quite the right topper for this ravioli that is primarily chicken. We also agreed that something more brothy or even gravy like would be better. There was even talk of treating the raviolis like pierogies and topping them with carmelized onions and mushrooms. That takes a long time and Thursday night is homework night so I did this, instead:


1/2 onion, finely diced
8 oz mini bella mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tbsp white wine
1 1/2-2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter (may be optional)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tablespoon flour
1 garlic clove, crushed


1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and herbs, stirring 20-30 seconds until fragrant. Add onion and season with a pinch of salt.

2. After onions have cooked down, stir in mushrooms and another pinch of salt (helps release the water). Cook the mushrooms until the pan is nearly dry. Add wine.

3. Add broth and bring to a boil then reduce to medium temperature. Allow to cook down a bit then add red bell pepper.

4. Stir in butter and flour to thicken slightly. Or thicken more or less by varying the amount of butter and/or flour.

Serve hot and garnish with a little cheese of your choice and fresh parsley (I used a bit of cheese leftover from our weekend trip to Petoskey: it had lavender and espresso beans washed over the rind).

Done! I started the onions then put the raviolis in their boiling water when I reached step 3 above.