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Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna Recipe

taking slice of lasagna from pan
taking slice of lasagna from pan - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

We all know lasagna, and we probably all love lasagna, at least a little bit. It's hot, comforting, nostalgic, and certainly fills you up. However, its flavors are familiar and just might benefit from a refresh. When you hear you're having lasagna, you know what to expect — but what if you were pleasantly surprised by the steaming, saucy slice presented to you? Enter stifado lasagna, which takes inspiration from a hearty Greek beef stew to elevate this deliciously familiar dish.

"Stifado is fovero (Greek for 'amazing')," says recipe developer Patterson Watkins. "Succulent, fork-tender chunks of beef and savory-sweet pops of pearl onion really elevate the traditional lasagna, while combining ricotta with crumbled feta adds a unique creamy-saltiness that makes every well-balanced bite that much more scrumptious." It's hard not to feel hungry after reading all that! Plan to cook the components of this recipe on a Saturday morning, then pop the lasagna in the oven in the evening for a stress-free dinner with company.

Read more: Frozen Meatball Brands Ranked From Worst To Best

Gather Your Ingredients For Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna

greek-inspired lasagna ingredients
greek-inspired lasagna ingredients - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

The central protein in this stifado lasagna recipe is stew beef, and to season it, you'll need salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice, plus bay leaves and pearl onions. The sauce comes together with red wine, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. The cheese mixture in this lasagna includes ricotta, feta, and shredded mozzarella, plus egg, minced garlic, and fresh oregano and parsley to spice it up. You'll also need some lasagna noodles and olive oil, plus extra fresh herbs for garnishing at the end.

Step 1: Dry Off The Beef

raw beef chunks on paper towel
raw beef chunks on paper towel - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Pat stew beef dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Add Spices

seasoned raw beef chunks on paper towel
seasoned raw beef chunks on paper towel - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Season beef with salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, nutmeg, and allspice.

Step 3: Get Your Pot Ready

oil in dutch oven
oil in dutch oven - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Step 4: Sear The Beef

beef chunks searing in dutch oven
beef chunks searing in dutch oven - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned beef and sear on all sides until brown, working in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Drain The Cooked Beef

beef pieces next to dutch oven
beef pieces next to dutch oven - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the pot and set aside to drain on paper towels.

Step 6: Saute The Onions

pearl onions in dutch oven
pearl onions in dutch oven - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Add onions to the pot and saute for 3 minutes.

Step 7: Deglaze Your Pot

pearl onions and sauce in dutch oven
pearl onions and sauce in dutch oven - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Deglaze pot with wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits left on the bottom of the pot.

Step 8: Make A Tomato Sauce

tomato sauce in dutch oven
tomato sauce in dutch oven - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and their juices, and tomato paste to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Step 9: Simmer The Beef In The Sauce

beef, bay leaves, and tomatoes in pot
beef, bay leaves, and tomatoes in pot - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Once simmering, return the beef to the pot along with the bay leaves, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook stifado sauce, stirring occasionally, for 1 ½-2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 10: Season The Cheese

bowl of seasoned ricotta
bowl of seasoned ricotta - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Meanwhile, place ricotta, feta, egg, garlic, oregano, parsley, and black pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Step 11: Heat Up The Oven

oven screen preheated to 350
oven screen preheated to 350 - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Step 12: Create The Saucy Lasagna Base

tomato sauce in casserole dish
tomato sauce in casserole dish - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Once cooked, pour about ¾ cup stifado sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread out in an even layer.

Step 13: Add Some Noodles

lasagna sheets in casserole dish
lasagna sheets in casserole dish - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Place a single layer of pasta on top of the sauce.

Step 14: Layer On The Cheese

ricotta on lasagna noodles
ricotta on lasagna noodles - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Top pasta with ⅓ of the ricotta mixture and spread out in an even layer.

Step 15: Add More Sauce

sauce and cheese on lasagna noodles
sauce and cheese on lasagna noodles - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Top ricotta with ⅓ of the remaining stifado sauce and spread out in an even layer.

Step 16: Top With Shredded Cheese

shredded cheese on uncooked lasagna
shredded cheese on uncooked lasagna - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Evenly sprinkle the stifado sauce with ⅓ of the shredded mozzarella.

Step 17: Create More Lasagna Layers

uncooked lasagna in casserole dish
uncooked lasagna in casserole dish - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Repeat steps 13-16 for the remaining 2 layers.

Step 18: Cover And Bake The Lasagna

foil-covered casserole dish
foil-covered casserole dish - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (lightly spritzed with cooking spray on the underside to keep the cheese from sticking) and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Step 19: Turn Up The Heat

lasagna in casserole dish
lasagna in casserole dish - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

After 45 minutes, remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

Step 20: Finish Baking The Lasagna

golden-brown pan of lasagna
golden-brown pan of lasagna - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Return to the oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Step 21: Garnish And Serve

pan and plates of lasagna
pan and plates of lasagna - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Garnish lasagna with chopped parsley and oregano before serving.

Can I Make This Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna In Advance?

raw beef pieces in pot
raw beef pieces in pot - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Pressed for time but still want to enjoy a delicious Greek-inspired lasagna? You're in luck: "You can absolutely make the stifado component ahead of time — I did!" says Watkins. "The stewing portion of this recipe takes a bit of time for the stew beef to reach that tender state. I allowed my stifado to cool to room temperature, stored it in a sealable container, and refrigerated it until I was ready to assemble the lasagna the next day."

Once you've made this lasagna, you probably want to know how long it lasts. "The lasagna should keep for a day or 2 in the refrigerator. I would reheat portions in the oven or toaster oven for the best results," Watkins adds. "Lasagna is a pretty good candidate for freezing too. I would wrap cut portions in plastic wrap with an outer layer of aluminum foil for maximum protection from issues caused by deep freeze." When you're ready to reheat it, just thaw it in the fridge first.

Can I Use Another Type Of Onion In This Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna Recipe?

bowl of pearl onions
bowl of pearl onions - Dream79/Shutterstock

Onions are one of the most common ingredients around, but not every recipe calls for pearl onions in particular. When it comes to this lasagna, there's a reason for that: Stifado, the tomato-y, red wine-tinged Greek beef stew this recipe was inspired by, is traditionally made with these pearly little spheres. In addition to being smaller, they typically have a sweeter and more delicate taste than your average yellow or white onion.

Watkins encourages home cooks to stick with what the recipe calls for, noting that pearl onions are pretty easy to source. Watkins often uses her grocery store's frozen pearl onions that are whole and peeled, though she says you might also be able to find them canned. "If pearl onions are proving elusive, you can substitute with fresh, peeled cipollini onions (halved) or peeled shallots that have been quartered."

Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna Recipe

Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna in pan
Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna in pan - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Prep Time: 35mCook Time: 3hYield: 12 servingsIngredients

  • 1 ½ pounds stew beef

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon + 1 pinch black pepper, divided

  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 pinch allspice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups pearl onions, halved (and thawed, if frozen)

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 15 ounces ricotta

  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 12.5 ounces fresh pasta sheets (or 16 ounces cooked dried lasagna noodles)

  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions

  1. Pat stew beef dry with paper towels.

  2. Season beef with salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, nutmeg, and allspice.

  3. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  4. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned beef and sear on all sides until brown, working in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes.

  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the pot and set aside to drain on paper towels.

  6. Add onions to the pot and saute for 3 minutes.

  7. Deglaze pot with wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits left on the bottom of the pot.

  8. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and their juices, and tomato paste to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

  9. Once simmering, return the beef to the pot along with the bay leaves, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook stifado sauce, stirring occasionally, for 1 ½-2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  10. Meanwhile, place ricotta, feta, egg, garlic, oregano, parsley, and black pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

  11. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  12. Once cooked, pour about ¾ cup stifado sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread out in an even layer.

  13. Place a single layer of pasta on top of the sauce.

  14. Top pasta with ⅓ of the ricotta mixture and spread out in an even layer.

  15. Top ricotta with ⅓ of the remaining stifado sauce and spread out in an even layer.

  16. Evenly sprinkle the stifado sauce with ⅓ of the shredded mozzarella.

  17. Repeat steps 13-16 for the remaining 2 layers.

  18. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (lightly spritzed with cooking spray on the underside to keep the cheese from sticking) and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

  19. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

  20. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

  21. Garnish lasagna with chopped parsley and oregano before serving.

Read the original article on Mashed.