Filipino Style Lasagna is sweet, cheesy and creamy. It is a rich pasta dish made with saucy ground beef meat sauce, layered with a creamy bechamel sauce and finally topped with lots of mozzarella cheese.
Filipino style lasagna was one of the first few dishes I often made when I first started to find my way into the kitchen. I still can remember the time when I braved our little kitchen with a piece of paper in my hand. I was so nervous that I waited for everybody to be out of the house and I didn’t start to cook until I was alone.
At the end, I was so exhausted. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I was a novice one and I tackled a recipe with three separate elements in it: Pasta, meat sauce and white sauce. Too complex for someone who is just starting, right? I was ready to crash in bed as soon as I wash the last piece of dirty dishes.
I made the dish again several times after that. And of course, just like with anything, things got easier and easier as you get used to it. I tweaked the recipe over the years, making it more simple and less laborious than the original one that I started with.
When my husband first came to Canada, and having mastered this recipe by heart, I made this dish for him for his welcome party. He liked it except for one thing, he says that the white sauce is not actually white but brown. So from then on, I omitted the condensed mushroom soup from the recipe and resorted to adding only evaporated milk in the white sauce.
You see, this recipe has been tweaked, re-invented and has been tested.
Today, this Filipino Style Lasagna is well loved by my family, and gladly, by my two kids. Whenever I am out of ideas to cook, I always turn to this one. Between this and my other favorite, Chicken BBQ Pizza, lunch is covered for times we want to have a break from eating rice.
As much as I would like to take the credit, this Filipino style lasagna mostly got its wonderful, sweet flavor from the Filipino style spaghetti sauce. I used to put only tomato sauce before and always ended up sweetening the sauce with sugar to get that Filipino style taste, but now, the addition of Filipino spaghetti sauce makes the pasta sauce perfect in sweetness, saltiness and tang.
The cheesy top is shredded mozzarella. You can use cheddar, Parmesan, or combination of cheeses, if you prefer. I love the mild sharpness of mozzarella and its creamy pale color adds to the character of the dish. I always go for the pre-shredded variety because I am lazy!
Make this Filipino style lasagna and you will be amazed by how easy it is. Instruction is lengthy, yes, but the over-all process is really simple. You will love this!
Want more Filipino dishes? Try:
Filipino Style Lasagna
Filipino Style Lasagna is a sweet, creamy and cheesy pasta dish with layers of juicy meat sauce and rich bechamel sauce in between.
- 12 sheets Lasagna
For the Filipino Style Lasagna Meat Sauce
- 1 and 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cup Filipino style spaghetti sauce ( such as UFC or Del Monte) can be found in the Asian, Oriental Aisle
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Bechamel Sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 and 1/2cup cup shredded Mozarella cheese
Boil the pasta by following the package instructions. Drain, lay them out flat in a plate and set aside.
Make the Lasagna Sauce
In a large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until soft and add the ground beef. Cook meat until brown and add the chopped tomatoes. Stir around and let cook for for 5 more minutes.
Add the spaghetti sauce and let mixture boil for a few minutes or until the meat is tender and cooked through. Season sauce with salt and pepper then add the basil and parsley. Turn off heat.
Make the Bechamel Sauce
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once it starts to bubble, add the flour and constantly stir the mixture with a wire whisk. Let this cook for a few minutes, until the mixture is very lightly browned. Slowly add the regular milk and evaporated milk while stirring mixture constantly. The mixture will start to thicken in about 4-5 minutes as you constantly stir. The consistency you are aiming for is thick but still pourable. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
Assemble and Bake
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread a thin layer of the white sauce then lay out 3 sheets of lasagna over top. Spoon enough meat sauce to cover the lasagna sheets. Again spread a thin layer of white sauce, then top with lasagna noodles and cover with meat sauce.
Repeat the process until you end up with the last three lasagna sheets on top. Spread all remaining white sauce on top of the lasagna sheets and sprinkle mozzarella cheese as a final topping.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Let cools lightly before cutting.