Overhead view of a serving of lasagna with cottage cheese on a white serving plate with a metal fork.
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Venison Lasagna (Lasagna with Cottage Cheese)

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Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

This venison lasagna is easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients like venison or ground beef, cottage cheese, and oven-ready lasagna noodles. Things that you probably already have in your kitchen or can find easily at the grocery store. The oven-ready lasagna noodles and cottage cheese make it a quick dinner to throw together on a busy weeknight.

Today I’m sharing my Mom’s lasagna recipe with you. This delicious and easy lasagna is a family tradition that’s been passed down to me. 

square serving of lasagna on white plate with silver fork

It’s been a long-running joke that my mom’s 10-step cottage cheese lasagna is why my husband married me. The truth is that when we got married, I couldn’t make this venison lasagna quite like my mom. Ok, I didn’t make it like my mom at all.

Four years into our marriage I actually found out that my brother and husband called it lasagna dip behind my back for the entire first year of our marriage. Thanks, guys. According to my husband, the flavor was delicious but the texture, not so much. Years later I have perfected my mom’s lasagna (still not as well as my mom does it though), and I’m so excited to share it with all of you!

​My mom’s secret to the best lasagna is all in the layering. If you follow these 10 simple steps, you’ll have the best and most authentic lasagna that you’ve ever tasted. And if not, well… at least it’ll be good for dipping!

I make this as a venison lasagna recipe, however, feel free to use whatever meat that you prefer! You can also leave the meat layer out for a flavorful cheese lasagna that’s full of protein.

Overhead view of a serving of lasagna with cottage cheese on a white serving plate with a metal fork.

Venison Lasagna Ingredients & Substitutions:

Lasagna with cottage cheese recipe ingredients on a marble countertop.

Lasagna noodles – 1 packet of uncooked oven-ready lasagna noodles will be enough for this recipe. The key is to use oven-ready noodles, trust me…I have used the other type before and they don’t work as well. Use gluten-free lasagna noodles when catering to food allergies. 

Water– this helps the lasagna noodles cook and get softer during the baking process. No one wants to bite into a crunchy lasagna noodle!

Spaghetti sauce – Store-bought or homemade lasagna sauce. You could also use your favorite pasta sauce sauce with meat mixture. I personally love Aldi’s brand of sauce for this recipe.

Ground Beef or venison – I’ve used venison in this recipe, but you can use a different ground meat. A pound of ground beef adds delicious flavor from the higher fat content. Lean ground beef is also suitable. 

Cottage Cheese – I’ve used small curd, low-fat cottage cheese in my mom’s cottage cheese lasagna recipe. The cottage cheese mixture adds additional healthy protein and a creamy texture. Ricotta cheese could also be used. 

Shredded cheese – This recipe calls for a combination of shredded Italian cheese and Parmesan cheese. 

Egg – Bring to room temperature and use a large egg.

Salt & black pepper – Consider including red pepper flakes for extra flavor. 

Garlic Salt – Garlic powder can be used instead. 

Oregano – Other fresh herbs, such as fresh basil or fresh parsley, can be used. 

How To Make Lasagna With Cottage Cheese

  • Preheat the oven and brown the ground meat in a large skillet. 
  • Drain the meat and return to low heat. If you are using venison in this lasagna recipe, you will have less fat to drain off which is another reason I love cooking with ground venison.
  • Add the spaghetti sauce, water, salt, oregano, pepper and garlic salt to the ground beef.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring slowly.
  • Add 1/3 of the sauce mixture to a greased 9×13″ pan.
  • Add a layer of lasagna noodles on top of the sauce mixture, making sure to cover the edges. Some noodles will need to be broken in half to fit.
  • Whisk an egg and parmesan cheese into cottage cheese.
  • Add 1/2 of the cottage cheese/egg mixture as the next layer.
  • Continue to layer the ingredients as directed by the full recipe instructions.
  • Top the assembled lasagna with shredded cheese and cover the pan with foil to bake for 45 minutes. 
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Allow the baked lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Serve

You can serve almost anything with this easy lasagna recipe (or eat it alone!). It’s great with garlic bread and tastes even better the next day.

Side Dishes to Serve with Lasagna

You can serve pretty much anything with lasagna or enjoy it by itself. Below are a few of my favorite side dishes and desserts to serve with lasagna.

How To Store This Simple Lasagna Recipe

Leftover lasagna can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days, covered with the same aluminum foil used to cover the pan while baking it.

You can also freeze this delicious lasagna for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge to reheat in the microwave or in the oven before serving again. 

Recipe FAQs:

How Do I reheat Leftover Lasagna?

There are a few ways you can reheat lasagna. If you are serving more than one slice of the leftovers and you stored your lasagna in its original baking dish, you can simply reheat your lasagna in the oven. I would recommend using your oven’s warm setting if it has one for 30-45 minutes or until fully warm. Be sure to keep the foil covering on.

If you are looking for a late-night snack or simply want to eat your leftovers for lunch the next day, you can reheat a slice on a microwave-safe plate for 45-60 seconds.

What Kind of Lasagna Noodles Should I Use?

For this recipe, I recommend using oven-ready lasagna noodles. This will make your lasagna much easier to assemble and it cooks up beautifully in the oven.

You can also use regular lasagna noodles or no-boil lasagna noodles if you prefer, but just be sure not to cook them before adding the layer of noodles to the pan. The lasagna sheets will cook in the oven with the savory marinara sauce.

What Is The Correct Order To Layer Lasagna?

Classic lasagna is traditionally layered with sauce first, followed by noodles, cheese mixture, meat sauce, and then repeated twice. The great thing about homemade lasagna bakes is that you get to decide in which order these layers are added.

Do I Need To Boil Lasagna Sheets Before Baking?

No. You don’t need to boil the lasagna sheets before baking as the wet ingredients in this dish with the heat from the oven will cook the noodles sufficiently.

Boiling the sheets before baking may result in overly mushy lasagna noodles. Some people prefer to soak the noodles for a short time before assembling the lasagna, but this isn’t necessary, in my opinion.

Do You Cover Lasagna When Baking?

Yes. It’s best to cover the assembled lasagna for the first 45 minutes of baking as the prolonged heat can dry out the lasagna and burn the shredded cheese topping. Uncovering the lasagna for the last 15 minutes of baking will ensure a golden brown color.

More Italian-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love

I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe for venison lasagna with cottage cheese! If you try it, please come back and leave me a comment letting me know how you liked it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I love hearing from you!

Venison Lasagna with Cottage Cheese Recipe:

Easy Dinner

Venison Lasagna (Lasagna with Cottage Cheese)

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This venison lasagna is easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients like venison or ground beef, cottage cheese, and oven-ready lasagna noodles. Things that you probably already have in your kitchen or can find easily at the grocery store. The oven-ready lasagna noodles and cottage cheese make it a quick dinner to throw together on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 1 package lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef or venison
  • 1 8 oz. container cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1/3 cup grated parmasean cheese
  • 1 8 oz. shredded italian cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Brown ground beef.
      Note: I use venison-you can use any 'ground' meat you like.
    3. Drain beef, add back to low heat.
    4. Stir in spaghetti sauce, water, salt, oregano, pepper and garlic salt to ground beef.
    5. Allow sauce mixture to simmer for 5-10 minutes, slowly stirring.
    6. Add 1/3 of sauce mixture to greased 9x13" pan.
    7. Add layer of lasagna noodles on top of sauce mixture, making sure to cover edges
      Note: you may have to break some noodles in half to make them fit.
    8. Whisk 1 egg and parmasean cheese into cottage cheese.
    9. Add 1/2 of cottage cheese/egg mixture as next layer.
    10. Add 1/3 of sauce mixture.
    11. Add another layer of lasagna noodles on top.
    12. Add remainder of cottage cheese/egg mixture.
    13. Add remainder of sauce mixture, spreading it evenly with a spoon.
    14. Top with shredded italian cheese mixture.
    15. Cover pan with foil.
    16. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
    17. Remove pan from oven, remove foil.
    18. Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
    19. Remove from oven, let rest for approximately 10 minutes. Cut and serve!

Notes

You can also make your sauce mixture in the slow cooker. Simply cook your meat in the slow cooker (read my tutorial on that here), add in your sauce and spices.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 905mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

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24 Comments

  1. This looks good. I don’t eat pasta, so will have to get creative with some of the ingredients!

  2. Sounds good! Nice to know we’re not the only household that uses venison more than we use beef. I can’t remember the last time we had beef. We have a wild boar problem and my husband is an avid hunter so we use it in all our food or venison.

    1. I can’t remember the last time we had beef either! We eat venison all the time! I have heard wild boar is amazing-never had it, but would love to try it!

  3. It takes me back to my Mom’s lasagna growing up. Yum. πŸ˜‰

  4. Mangia mangia mangia! (psst…you cookin for us? πŸ˜€ )

  5. I’m not a pasta lover so the “dip” version of this would be for me πŸ™‚ I do love it without the noodles though! Looks easy and delicious

  6. I have my great-great- grandma’s recipe for Italian sauce and lasagna, it is always a huge hit for meals for those who are in need – and of course my family loves it. Perfect comfort food

  7. This looks delicious. My husband loves lasagne so I’ll give it a try. I LOVE the fact you can put the noodles in uncooked. Cooking them is always my most unfavorite part. I always use cottage cheese, too.

  8. This looks a lot easier than the last lasagna recipe I tried to make!

  9. Yum, Yum, Yum! This would be good with zuchinni “lasagna” noodles and Vegan cheese too. Looks delish! Thanks for the meal time inspiration.

  10. Lasagna is one of those things that is a special occasion food. Our recipe costs bout $50 to make lasagna:)

  11. This looks amazing! I wonder if I could make it with zucchini instead of noodles. I’m not sure if it would be as good, but I bet it would still be pretty amazing!

  12. This looks really good…I still have yet to try lasagna and I am probably the only person on this group who has never had it…LOL

  13. Thanks for sharing this lasagna recipe! It looks like it would be a family favorite around here!

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