Recipe Finder | Back-of-the-box lasagna

Liz Williams from Newton, N.C., wanted help finding a recipe for making baked lasagna that she had lost. She said the recipe came from a box of pasta she was using probably around 20 years ago, and it was the best lasagna ever.

Back-of-the-box recipes are always popular and reliably good. I received quite a few of them from readers for baked lasagna from several different pasta brands. I decided to test the one Kay Sauvageot from Joppa shared that she said she came from a box of Mueller's lasagna noodles, circa 1980. She said she still uses the recipe often, "just as I cut it from the box and copied it word for word, and it is delicious."

Homemade lasagna can be a little time-consuming but is an excellent party dish and can easily be made. It also freezes beautifully. These days, I find that there are many very good-tasting, high-quality tomato sauces on the market that can be used to speed things up a little. Once everything bakes together with all the cheese, I doubt anyone will notice if you used sauce from a jar. For the purist, however, this recipe is a classic.


Betty Bensel from Columbia is looking for a recipe for a "butter kuchen" or "runny butter kuchen." She said the Heintzman Bakery in Louisville, Ky., made it, and it was her favorite treat when she was growing up. She said it had a yeast dough bottom that rises up around the sides of a gooey yellow filling. The filling looks solid on top when it cools, but when you cut into it, it's like a volcano cake and flows out onto the plate. The cake is topped with a simple white frosting made with powdered sugar, milk and butter.

Classic lasagna

Makes 8 servings

1 pound ground beef

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons salad or olive oil

1 can (1 pound) tomatoes

2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste

2 cups water

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/2 package (8 ounces) Mueller's lasagna noodles

1 pound ricotta

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large, heavy pan, lightly brown beef and onion in oil. Add tomatoes (put through blender or cut with edge of spoon), tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, sugar, garlic powder, pepper, and oregano; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook lasagne noodles as directed on box; drain. In a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, spread about 1 cup of sauce. Then alternate layers of lasagne noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan, ending with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling. Allow to stand for 15 minutes; cut in squares to serve.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

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