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Traditional Canadian Lasagna

This is definitely a Canadian recipe as I Personally recall seeing it on the side of the blue Catelli box, myself, as a child, on . It was the only pasta mom would buy, and a Canadian company since 1867. However, I could find no information about when the recipe first appeared on the side of the lasagna noodle box. The meat sauce and tomato sauce in this recipe are not the recipes on the side of the box. The idea and process is the same. The cottage cheese and spinach layer is key to the Traditional Canadian Lasagna, as is the mozzarella and the meat filling layers.
Course Main
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 -10
Author Valerie Lugonja


Ingredients for the Meat Filling:

  • 2 cups or 500mL homemade tomato sauce
  • 2 pounds or 1 kg ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Ingredients for the Spinach Filling:

  • 1 litre cottage cheese
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach , thawed and strained well
  • 4 eggs
  • freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for Putting it all Together:

  • 1/2 cup Homemade Tomato Sauce
  • Meat Filling
  • Cheese Filling
  • 650 g mozzarella cheese , sliced
  • 16 lasagna noodles , cooked


For Meat Filling:

  1. Brown the beef with the garlic; stir to break into small pieces of meat
  2. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  3. Add 4 cups cooked beef to 2 cups homemade tomato sauce; combine well
  4. Check again for seasoning

For Spinach Filling:

  1. Wring frozen spinach inside a thick tea towel until all liquid is dispelled
  2. Combine all ingredients

Putting the Traditional Canadian Lasagna Together:

  1. Spread 1/2 cup Homemade Tomato Sauce onto the bottom of the pan; it will be sparse
  2. Place 4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce (these will fit perfectly in the 11 x 13 inch casserole pan)
  3. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce very sparsely over the noodles; cover with 4 lasagna noodles
  4. Spread 1 1/4 cups of meat sauce very sparsely over the second layer of noodles; cover this layer of meat sauce with mozzarella cheese slices
  5. Cover the cheese slices with 4 lasagna noodles (at this point, you will need a couple of half pieces of noodles and ends if your casserole dish fans outwards as the surface area grows with each layer)
  6. Spread the entire cottage cheese and spinach mixture over the third layer of lasagna noodles; top this with another layer of lasagna noodles
  7. Cover the last layer of lasagna noodles with 1 1/2 cup of meat sauce, sparsely distributed over the noodles (if you have enough room, make one more layer of noodles and a final layer of meat sauce)
  8. The meat sauce will be the top of the lasagna; cover that with generous slices of mozzarella cheese

Ready to Freeze:

  1. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; date and label; freeze for future use
  2. Bake frozen in 350 degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until bubbly and cheese on top just starts to brown (cover with tented foil while still baking, to avoid over browning, if necessary)

Ready to Bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until bubbly and cheese on top just starts to brown (cover with tented foil while still baking, to avoid over browning, if necessary)

Leftovers Freeze:

  1. If you have a lot left over, portion into individual pieces, wrap well, label, date and freeze and these make great individual lunches

Recipe Notes

I usually make 2 at once; one to eat and one to freeze
A large box of lasagna noodles usually has enough noodles for a double batch