Have you ever felt guilty about buying convenience foods? We assume they’re usually much more expensive than if we make the item ourselves. One convenience food that I tend to buy is frozen lasagna- on busy days it is definitely nice to just put it in the oven and use the prep time to do other things that need to get done. I can’t find a store brand veggie lasagna so I usually get the Amy’s kind. But I’ve always wondered if it is really worth it money-wise to make my own veggie lasagna.
The ingredients match pretty closely; I followed the basic outline of the lasagna recipe on the Barilla box (as far as the amount of ingredients goes). I don’t have the storage to shop in bulk, so using Costco type items would lower the total. I thought the lasagnas tasted similar, but when I asked my husband, he said, “no, yours is much better.” (Aww).
Here’s the comparison between the two:
The Amy’s requires no prep time, while the homemade version took an hour of slicing, dicing, and assembly. It was my first time making it, so the prep time would probably go down as I got faster at putting it together. But still, it makes me wonder: is 0.46 cents a person really worth it? If buying frozen lasagna means you can stay at work a bit longer and make more money, it could be worth buying the pre-made kind. If buying frozen lasagna means you have an extra hour to play with your kids, clean your home, or wash your car instead of paying someone else to do it, then it could be worth buying pre-made. However, if you’re cooking for someone with food allergies/restrictions and you need to use specific ingredients, the homemade would win!
Homemade Veggie Lasagna:
- 1 box Barilla Oven Ready Lasagna Squares
- 2 jars of marinara sauce (I used a roasted garlic one that was good)
- 1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
- 4 cups (2 bags) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash
- 1 handful shredded carrots
- 10 button mushrooms
- Olive oil
Wash, peel, and chop mushrooms. Wash and dice the zucchini and yellow squash. Sauté all the veggies in a little olive oil while you prep the rest of the lasagna according to the package directions (minus the part about the ground beef 🙂 ). Drain the veggies before adding them to the layers of lasagna. One thing I would NOT do according to the package directions is to let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving- it cooled off too quickly. 5 minutes would probably be fine!
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