Kinzer Family Lasagna

Comfort food

· Shared by

Katherine Kinzer

My spur: story

I met Lee over a decade ago, when he was a participant in the Young Social Pioneers (YSP) program. YSP is a partner program to a global network of fellowships supporting young social entrepreneurs called YouthActionNet, run by the International Youth Foundation (IYF).  Working for IYF, I had the privilege of collaborating with our Australian friends and traveled to Melbourne a number of times.  My first engagement with Lee was watching him facilitate a warm up/ice breaker exercise with a new cohort of Pioneers.  I so appreciated the skill he brought to this critical first moment where a group of entrepreneurial strangers begin to take the first tentative steps to creating their own unique community.  Lee’s understanding of the power of connection and importance of relationship building led seamlessly to his journey with spur:.  I continue to be inspired and appreciative of the work he and the spur: team do to move others to action and reminding each of us to be mindful of the mental wellness of ourselves and others.

This recipe

This recipe has the distinction of being called Kinzer Family Lasagna, but I am vaguely confident that it was taken from some 1970s-era Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Regardless of the source, it is ours now. This was the meal that mended all hurts, brought calm to the wild dramatics three kids can bring to the dinner table, and along with garlic bread and salad, made a bad day just that little bit better. As each of us left home, we proudly took our “Family Favorites” cookbook along for the new journey and inevitably made this lasagna for our new family, tribe, or housemates. It became a suitable (read: slightly twisted) Kinzer rite of passage for each of us to have the unexpected realization that Mom had an unfortunate typo in her recipe transcription related to the volume of salt. But every lasagna we cooked after the first was made all the better for the life lesson that you should always taste as you go. I have corrected the typo in the below version. Or have I? Welcome to the family!


· 6-7 Lasagna noodles*  (oven ready lasagna noodles are awesome and highly recommended for pure convenience!  If you don’t have access, then boil regular lasagna noodles as directed on packaging.)  

· 1 lb ground beef-1-2 garlic cloves minced

· 3 Tbsp dried parsley (divided)

· 1 Tbsp dried basil

· 28 oz (1lb) can petite diced tomatoes (regular dice is fine)

· 12 oz tomato paste

· 2 beaten eggs

· 3 cups cottage cheese

· 1 tsp salt

· ½ tsp pepper

· ½ cup grated parmesan

· 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella


*If you are not using oven ready lasagna noodles, prep the noodles first and set aside so they are ready for lasagna assembling!

Meat Sauce: In large skillet at med/high heat:

1 · Brown and drain the ground beef

2 · Add 1-2 garlic, 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 1 Tbsp dried basil

3 · Stir to combine thoroughly

4 · Add dice tomatoes and tomato paste

5 · Stir to combine thoroughly

6 · Salt & pepper to taste

7 · Reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally

8 · When meat sauce is done, take off heat and set aside while you make the cheese filling

Cheese filling: In large bowl combine:

1 · Cottage cheese, beaten eggs 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp parsley, ½ cup parmesan

2 · Combine thoroughly

Lasagna Assemble! Preheat oven 375 F  (190 C or gas mark 5). Grease a large casserole dish:

1 · Lay down a single layer of lasagna noodles, covering the bottom of the dish

2 · Spoon in half the cheese filling and spread evenly over the noodles

3 · Grab a handful of shredded mozzarella and lay down a layer over the cheese filling

4 · Spoon in half the meat sauce and spread evening over the noodles

5 · Repeat: Noodles, cheese filling, mozzarella, meat sauce

6 · Bake in oven 30 minutes

7 · Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes (or less if you are too impatient and aren’t bothered by slightly messier scooping).

8 · Serve with garlic bread and salad!

Katherine Kinzer

Recipe shared by

Katherine Kinzer


Kat is passionate about people who give a damn and mise en place cooking. As Kat is not a chef, the mise en place approach has limited professional applications.

Recipe attributed to

Better Homes & Gardens (maybe?) via Barbara Kinzer

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