Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reusing Spaghetti Sauce from the Freezer - Seashells or Lasagna

One of my favorite things to have on hand is spaghetti sauce.  I make a big pot of it often and then eat leftovers until I can't stand them anymore.  When there is still spaghetti sauce left, I freeze it.  It's delicious, homemade, and can be turned into a variety of different meals.  I realize that to most people spaghetti served with other pastas is still just spaghetti.  Honestly, though, to me, different pastas make a world of difference.  Spaghetti has different  "meal feel" to it than say... Seashells... or Lasagna.

Last night, it was the first day back to work after the break for New Year's.  I was tired.  Definitely I wasn't stopping at the grocery store at 6PM.  Luckily, I had some handy dandy spaghetti sauce in the freezer.  First, I will give you my spaghetti sauce recipe.  Honestly, I just dump and shake because I've made this so many times.  But I have written the recipe down for my daughters because let's face it.  They don't shake and dump like I do LOL!

Last night I made Seashells!  My mom often made this with her leftover sauce when I was growing up.  My brother and I used to LOVE eating Seashells.  We ate it most of the time in a bowl, usually with a spoon, and nothing else.  No salad, no bread, just Seashells!  And we gobbled it down!

My older daughter, by chance, also used some frozen spaghetti sauce last night for her dinner.  She turned it into this wonderful pan of Lasagna!  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!  I told her after she sent me a picture of her pan of Lasagna that I was going to blog both of our ideas at cooking once to eat twice!

Here's how I reused frozen spaghetti sauce to put another fast meal on the table AT HOME MY WAY:

Recipe for the Spaghetti Sauce.  This really only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Spaghetti Sauce
Ingredients you will need:
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder or 1/2 fresh onion. chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • Garlic powder (see amount needed below in instructions)
  • Dried basil (see amount needed below in instructions)
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
Directions for the sauce:
Brown the hamburger (& real onion, if using - I cook the chopped onion first and then add the uncooked hamburger so that the onion has more time to get all the way cooked) in a large pot, stirring often (until onion is clear), then drain any fat off the cooked meat (if using onion powder, add after draining).

Sprinkle the cooked meat with:

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried basil.
Stir, then add:

1- 15 oz can of tomato sauce + 1 can of water
2- 6oz cans of tomato paste + 3 cans of water for each can (=6 cans water)

On med-high, heat and stir so that the tomato paste blends with the water.

Add spices again: 1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 bay leaves (DO NOT EAT THESE - REMOVE BEFORE SERVING). Use large ones so you can find them when done.)

Simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, around 30 minutes until the sauce is thick.  I usually cook with a cracked lid so that it can thicken.  REMOVE BAY LEAVES BEFORE SERVING.

To Redo into Seashells or Lasagna
Thaw frozen sauce.  Cook (& salt) your seashell pasta, drain.  Add the sauce over the pasta (in the pasta pot) and heat until heated well. 
Frozen Sauce
Lasagna pasta
Grated cheese of your choice - mozerella
Thaw frozen sauce.  Cook lasagna pasta (remember to salt) while the sauce is thawing.  Layer in a pan (starting with sauce) the sauce, pasta, and then cheese.  Repeat three layers.  We just use mozerella but you could use ricotta or cottage cheese if your family likes that for the in-between layers.  End with a layer of sauce and finally topping with cheese.  Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes until all hot and melted.



  1. Either you suck for making me hungry, or I suck for staying up too late and reading food blogs and making myself want to eat when I should be sleeping. Methinks it's the latter. LOL! These sound great, I love making homemade sauce and freezing it for later meals. I rarely cook fact I think I only made them once! I love their texture and the way they catch sauce inside. OK I'm closing this before I really do have a midnight (it's actually 4 am lol) snack! Goodnight!/morning

  2. Ha-ha, Veronica! I know what you mean. I just LOVE reading food blogs (obviously). I was trying to explain this whole food blog thing with my mother last night. She just didn't get it and still doesn't. Even when I tried to tell her it was like a library full of different Taste of Home magazines where you got to see the food and recipes that home cooks and even fancy cooks are making. She basically just thinks I'm weird for having pictures of our food on my phone LOL! I hope to be cooking more and bloging more so good luck with that midnight hunger thing. Take care and thanks for commenting!

  3. This looks great! I will be making the Seashell/Meat Sauce tonight for dinner. I really appreciate your blog and have been using it as of late to get meal ideas for the week being I normally only cook one big meal a week to last me and go grocery shopping every 2 weeks. Thanks again!

  4. Jasmine:

    Thank you for commenting! Awesome that you are really using my recipes. I try to do pretty simple things that my family likes to eat. Let me know how this turns out for you. We loved the seashells meal also! We also warmed up every last scrap it was so delicious so I think it will work well for you eating throughout the week. Let me know if you this works! Thanks again!

  5. Hi Mrs. Gina!

    Just wanted to say it turned out great! My grandma and I sat down to eat it together and she really enjoyed it too. We had ours with some roasted zuchinni on the side and it all went very well together. Even sprinkled some Muenster cheese that I wasn't using anymore on top and it gave it a real Gourmet effect, lol. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Next week I'm planning on trying the Pepper Steak one and will comment on that post letting you know how it turned out! Blessings and thanks again for sharing your recipes. :)

  6. Jasmine- You just made my NIGHT! I am so excited that you tried this recipe. My mom always made homemade spaghetti sauce and then I started making it. She just uses a "little of this and little of that" method and it wasn't until I had to write the recipe down for my daughters that I really paid attention to what I was putting in there. I think its a really good recipe but I especially like knowing that it turned out well for you!

    You will love the pepper steak as well. Hmmm.. maybe I should make it too!

    The other recipe that we really swoon over that I have on here is the chicken & biscuits.

    Thanks again for commenting and I'm so excited that you liked our spaghetti sauce recipe!



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