Special Needs Children Cook: Lasagna for the 4th of July

Image of a child assembling a lasagna

Let’s Make Lasagna!

Special Needs Children Cook:  Lasagna for the 4th of July

Special needs children cook lasagna following the visual instructions in the picture galleries here.  They can also decorate the top of their baked lasagna to look like an American flag if they want to for the 4th of July.  This is a fairly complicated recipe, so it’s best to take it in steps with breaks in between the parts.  I used ready to bake lasagna noodles to make it easier and safer for young children.  You will need to fill up one of the cans of tomato sauce with water and add that to the meat sauce in order to have enough liquid in the recipe.  If you use regular lasagna noodles that you boil, just leave the water out.  I added the water later in the meat sauce part of the picture gallery so that you have that option.  But be careful of the hot noodles if you boil them.

Supplies and Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey or meat substitute, browned with 1  chopped onion and cooled.
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2.25 oz. canned sliced black olives, drained, with 1/4 of them reserved for the flag decoration after baking
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2T Italian seasoning (like McCormick’s)
  • 2  15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of water if using ready to bake lasagna noodles
  • 1 pkg. ready to bake lasagna noodles (or 1 pkg. regular lasagna noodles, boiled and cooled)
  • 30 oz. Ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 14.5 oz. canned petite diced tomatoes, well drained.
  • Foil
  • 9 x 13 baking dish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. It is best to make this recipe in parts:  first the meat sauce, then the cheese filling, and then finally put it all together in the pan.

Step 1:  Make the meat sauce.  An adult should set up the ingredients as shown below.

Image shows a green tray with browned meat & onions, 2 cans of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic, black olives and green peppers next to a large mixing bowl and spoon.

Lasagna Assembly Tray 1

Child:  Use this picture gallery to make the meat sauce.  Click on each picture to go to the next.  You’ll need to fill up one of the cans with water before the last steps.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step 2:  Make the cheese filling.  An adult should set up the ingredients as shown below.

Image shows a red tray with mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and two eggs on it next to a green bowl with a large spoon in it.

Ingredients for Lasagna Cheese Filling

Child:  Make the cheese filling following the slideshow below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step 3:  Assemble the lasagna.  An adult should divide the cheese filling into 2 equal parts, the meat sauce into 3 equal parts, and the lasagna noodles into 3 equal parts.  It is easier for a child if you separate the cheese slices for them.  Lay all the ingredients and supplies out as shown in the picture below.

Image shows proper lay out of ingredients for a child to assemble a lasagna successfully.

Lay out for final assembly of lasagna.

Child:  Put the lasagna together by following the pictures below.  Click on each picture to get to the next.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bake the foil-covered lasagna for about 60 minutes.  You can serve it directly or decorate it to look like an American flag for Independence Day if you prefer.  If you are decorating it, remove it carefully from the oven, put it on hot pads and have lots of extra hot pads around it while your child adds the stars and stripes to it.  You will use the reserved sliced black olives for the stars and the well-drained diced tomatoes to make stripes.  Get those ingredients out and ready for your child.  Help them keep from burning themselves.

Child:  Decorate the top of the baked lasagna to look like an American flag.  See the pictures for how to do that.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope you enjoyed Special Needs Children Cook:  Lasagna for the 4th of July.  You can cook even complicated recipes with a special child as long as you break it down into steps.  Have fun!

© 2013, Margaret. All rights reserved.

email

Leave a Reply