Who said the sweet and sour sauce should only make friends with chicken or noodles? Why not combine it with lasagna to make an easy and delicious lasagna that melts in your mouth and contains no Ricotta cheese?
A Twist on a Classic Lasagna Recipe
To be honest, this was my first impression of what lasagna was. Not the classic one with ricotta cheese and beef. Not even close.
I hadn't tried the traditional lasagna for many years but was enjoying this variation and loving it. And when I finally had a chance to try the classic one, I was slightly disappointed that it didn't give me that 'wow' effect, and my whole family admitted that our homemade lasagna was far better than that at the restaurant.
Why sweet & sour? Because it's super easy, really creamy, and so DELICIOUS! While tastes differ, and someone might prefer classical values, I am confident this recipe deserves a place on your 'to-be-tested' menu.
The combination of the sweet and sour sauce and lasagna sheets makes this dish appealing to a large audience, including kids who enjoy Mac & Cheese type dishes.
While the one we cooked might not be the tallest lasagna out there (I'm sure you've seen lasagnas with quite a few more layers), I've found that this structure works best for us. If you desire that extra thickness, add an additional layer of lasagna sheets, slightly increasing the amount of the rest of the ingredients (furthermore, they can be spread in a thinner layer without compromising the dish's overall taste).
This lasagna is super creamy, cheesy, and extremely satisfying, and it also works perfectly for those looking for a lasagna without Ricotta cheese.
Although we've mostly removed carb-loaded dishes from our menu and rarely make any pasta dishes, this lasagna remains one of our very few sins. It's simply too good to leave it behind, and I guess we'll have to develop a low-carb version of it eventually. While this happens, let us share this gem of ours.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the original recipe contains ground pork, we've tried mixing pork and beef 50:50 and using only beef. It worked great in all of the cases. At the end of the day, it's a matter of taste. If you prefer beef, go with it.
We haven't yet tried making this recipe with chicken, though. Do let us know in the comments if you have and how you liked it!
Choose whichever you prefer and which is available in your local store. Other great options are, for instance, Kikkoman or Kraft Sweet & Sour Sauce. The sweet and sour sauce is one of the key components of this dish. However, you can replace it with a Marinara sauce, Bolognese sauce, or a similar one if you like. Don't forget that you can also make the sweet and sour sauce yourself! If on a keto diet, use a keto-friendly alternative.
This lasagna can easily be frozen and reheated; therefore, it's a perfect meal prep dish.
You can, of course. It will allow you to make a more traditional version of lasagna. However, do note that Ricotta doesn't melt like Cheddar, and the texture will be completely different. You may not achieve the desired cheesy flavor and texture with Ricotta cheese.
Now, enough talking. Without further ado, let's get cooking!
Sweet & Sour Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese - Ingredients
To make this delicious, cheesy lasagna, you'll need:
- Lasagna sheets
- Ground pork - although we used ground pork in this recipe, it can be easily switched with beef to achieve a more traditional taste.
- Cheddar cheese - or another type of cheese that melts well. This is a key difference from the traditional lasagna with Ricotta cheese. Ricotta is a type of cheese that is heat resistant and does not melt like Cheddar and other similar cheeses. In our recipe, our goal is to achieve a perfect cheese pull, like in a pizza. You'll therefore need to look for Cheddar, Colby, Gouda, or a similar cheese.
- Parmesan cheese - you can always skip Parmesan and cook lasagna without it, but it will NEVER taste that good without it. It's, therefore, a "must-have".
- Garlic - adjust the number of cloves based on your garlic appetite.
- Uncle Ben's Sweet & Sour sauce (or a similar sauce of another brand) - the key is not the brand but the sweet & sour flavors. On the market, there are several brands of sweet and sour sauces available in different variations. Some of these variations include pineapple, bamboo shoots, and other ingredients. We've tried several of them, and the result was always great, but in this recipe, we're recommending the sauce that we liked the most, and it's Ben's Original Sweet & Sour Sauce.
- Heavy cream
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley
- Basil leaves
How to Make Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese
1. Fry onion & garlic: Preheat a skillet; add olive oil, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes (be careful not to brown the garlic too much).
2. Fry the pork: Add ground pork, salt, and pepper, and cook until the meat starts turning golden brown and is ready. Remember to stir once in a while so that the meat doesn't form chunks.
3. Prepare lasagna sheets: While the meat is cooking, prepare lasagna sheets. Lay them out in a rather deep container (you can use the same oven dish that you'll be baking your lasagna in), pour with hot water, and leave for 5-8 minutes while lifting the sheets once in a while so they don't stick together. Drain the water after the indicated time and set the lasagna sheets aside until it's time to assemble the dish.
4. Add the sauce: When the meat is done, add the sweet and sour sauce, stir to combine, and saute for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to merge well.
5. Prepare the cheese sauce: Mix grated Cheddar cheese and heavy cream in a separate bowl.
6. Assemble the lasagna: Do it in the following order (from bottom up):
[Repeat 2 more times]
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake the lasagna: Bake in the oven at 200°C (390°F) for 20-25 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms on the top of the lasagna.
8. Serve and enjoy: Let it cool for approximately 10 minutes and serve sprinkled with parsley and a basil leaf.
Easy Sweet and Sour Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese
- 12 lasagna sheets
- 800 g ground pork (feel free to use beef instead)
- 400 g grated Cheddar cheese
- 30 g grated Parmesan cheese (or another hard cheese)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 400 g Uncle Ben's Sweet & Sour sauce (or a similar sauce of another brand)
- 500 ml heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley for serving
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves
- Preheat a skillet, add olive oil, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes (be careful not to brown the garlic too much).
- Add ground pork, salt, and pepper, and cook until the meat starts turning golden brown and is ready. Remember to stir once in a while so that the meat doesn't form chunks.
- While the meat is cooking, prepare lasagna sheets. Lay them out in a rather deep container, pour with hot water, and leave for 5-8 minutes while lifting the sheets once in a while so they don't stick together. Drain the water after the indicated time and set the lasagna sheets aside until it's time to assemble the dish.
- When the meat is done, add the sweet and sour sauce, stir well to combine, and saute for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to merge.
- Prepare the sauce by mixing grated Cheddar cheese (not the Parmesan cheese - you'll be using it on top of the dish) and heavy cream in a separate bowl.
- Assemble the lasagna in the following order (from bottom up):Lasagna sheetsMeat sauceCheese sauce[Repeat 2 more times]Lasagna sheetsCheese sauceSprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 200°C (390°F) for 20-25 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms on the top of the lasagna.
- Let it cool for approximately 10 minutes and serve sprinkled with parsley.
- Ground beef can easily replace pork to make it closer to the original recipe, or you can mix pork and beef 50:50.
- Feel free to use any cheese that melts well and that you typically use for a pizza.
- Replace the regular lasagna sheets with homemade low-carb pasta sheets to reduce your carb intake.
- This lasagna can easily be frozen and reheated, making a perfect meal prep dish.
- Feel free to use another sweet and sour sauce or make your own.
Disclaimer: This nutrition label has been created using the calculator provided by www.verywellfit.com, and it may not be 100% accurate.