Deliciously yummy, this Pancake Lasagna tastes like lasagna but not so heavy on the tummy due to the light, fluffy pancakes used instead of lasagna sheets.
Who would have thought? Pancakes used in lasagna, yes, pancakes. My father-in-law has wanted to show me how to make this recipe for a while now. And at last, it happened, and he has allowed us to share it with you all.
We organised a weekend for him to come and show us his recipe, and OMG! It tasted amazing. The only catch, though, is that he does not use measurements.
That’s ok for us but for you not so much. So I worked out the proper ingredient ratio and recreated the recipe with measurements so you can make this at home for your family.
It took a few shots to perfect it, but no one complained about having to eat it a few weekends in a row to make sure the flavour was just right.
Oh, and this dish is even better tasting the next day, so if you want to go ahead and make this recipe the day before, by all means, go ahead. Or have leftovers the next day.
TIP: Store in the fridge either in the baking dish or a container and cover loosely with aluminium foil to avoid the pancakes from sweating.
Let’s make Pancake Lasagna.
Ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Brown Onion
- Red Wine
- Beef Stock Cubes
- Minced Beef
- Tin Whole Peeled Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
- Plain Flour
- Olive oil (optional)
- Mozzarella Cheese (oops, left out of photo)
- Fresh parsley (optional)
Finely dice the garlic and onion, then roughly chop the carrot into small pieces. You want the carrot to be small enough to cook through but not too small that it breaks down.
I find chopping the carrot in half, then each half in half. Then cut each half into thin slices and dice from there. Don’t worry too much about the thickness so long as your carrots cook through and are in small chunks that you can see through the sauce.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and saute until you can smell its fragrance, approx one minute.
Add the onion and carrot and continue to saute for a couple more minutes or until the onion changes colour. The onion will turn a faint yellow-orange colour due to the carrots.
Add the red wine and stir continuously for 1 to 2 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the onion, garlic and carrots have soaked it all up.
Add the minced beef to the pot and break it up using the end of the wooden spoon. The flat-style ones work well for doing this, but if you don’t have one, that’s ok; the round-edged ones work too.
TIP: Use a hamburger mince (80/20 beef mince) instead of lean to get the best flavour. You can also use lamb, pork or chicken mince.
Using the end of the wooden spoon, use a back-and-forth motion while breaking up the mince. Doing this helps the meat break apart so you don’t end up with large chunks of meat, and tosses the beef as it browns. Try to avoid stirring it.
Once the minced beef is separated and brown, crumble the beef stock cubes into the pot and stir until the stock is well combined, then add salt and pepper to taste. Put only a little salt in, as the beef stock already contains salt. Then flatten the meat so all the liquid comes to the top. Allow the ingredients to simmer over medium-high heat to reduce the liquid that the minced beef has produced.
Stir occasionally to rotate the ingredients in the pot and flatten out again.
Push some meat mixture aside to check how much liquid is left and allow the liquid to fill the gap. If almost no fluid appears, you are good to go. It will take approx 9 to 15 minutes, depending on how much liquid your mince has produced during the browning process.
TIP: By doing this, you allow for a nice thick sauce that is not full of the excess liquid from the minced meat.
Add the whole peeled tomatoes and break them up using the wooden spoon. Fill the tin halfway with warm water, swish it around to get the excess tomato juice off the sides of the can and pour it into the mixture, then add the tomato paste and stir until well combined.
Turn the heat down to low and allow the sauce to simmer until thick, approx 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the sauce rest with the lid on while making your pancakes.
These are slightly different to regular pancakes; they are more crepe-style.
Add the eggs and whisk in a medium-sized mixing bowl, then add the milk and continue to whisk well.
Add the flour a bit at a time if you like, or all at once, and continue to whisk until smooth.
TIP: sift flour or use an electric mixer if you struggle with getting lumps out of pancake batter.
Add the water and a splash of olive oil (optional), then whisk until well combined.
TIP: although water is not generally used in pancakes, water is added to this to help thin the batter.
TIP: The olive oil helps the pancakes not to stick to the pan, but it is optional.
Spray a small amount of olive oil onto a crepe pan or a pan large enough to make crepes, then heat over medium heat.
TIP: Olive oil doesn’t burn, whereas butter does.
Using a ladle, pour enough mixture onto the hot pan to create a crepe-sized pancake. You also only want the pancake to be as thin as a crepe.
Cook until you see no liquid left on the top side, then flip and cook for a further minute or until cooked.
TIP: If your pancake rips when you flip it, pour a little batter over the tear and allow it to cook, repairing your pancake.
Put all cooked crepes aside on a plate; you should get between 10 to 12 pancakes, maybe even more, depending on how thin your mixture is and how thin you make your pancakes.
Slice the mozzarella into thin slices, then preheat your oven grill/broiler to 200°C or 390°F.
In a baking dish, spread a small amount of the sauce on the bottom. This creates a coating to stop the pancakes from sticking.
TIP: I use a 7cm(H)/42.5(W)/25cm(D) baking dish for this recipe. You need to adjust the ingredients accordingly if you use a bigger or smaller baking dish.
Place two pancakes over the top, one on each side of the dish. Cut up a third to fill in the gaps in the corners and tops of the middle.
Spread a thin layer of the sauce over the top to cover the pancakes. Then place a layer of your sliced mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
Then again, repeat with another two pancakes and one cut up to fill in the gaps, a thin layer of sauce and another layer of mozzarella cheese.
Then repeat the layer of pancakes as before, but this time add the remainder of the sauce; this should give you a nice thick layer of sauce. Finally, cover the sauce generously with the cheese and place in the oven under your griller/broiler to grill/broil for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown.
TIP: you are not cooking the pancake lasagne, as everything is already pre-cooked; you are just melting and browning the cheese on top and allowing everything else to bind together.
TIP: if you do not have a griller/broiler in your oven, you can still use your oven to melt and brown the cheese. Or, if you have a separate griller, you can use that instead.
Once the cheese has melted and is brown, remove your pancake lasagna from your oven/griller and set it aside to rest for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
Sprinkle freshly cut-up parsley over the top to serve.
What red wine and whole tomatoes to use?
I use a Merlot red wine for the pancake lasagna recipe, but you can use your favourite red if you like. As for the whole peeled tomatoes, I find the Annalisa brand good as it uses Italian tomatoes with a more intense tomato flavour.
What to serve with Pancake Lasagna?
A loaf of crusty bread is excellent alongside this recipe, or you can go with dinner rolls or even a bread stick. However, we love eating this recipe alongside the following:
- Simple Creamy Mayo-Free Homemade Coleslaw
- Cheesy Weber Q Garlic Bread
- Simple Homemade Potato Salad with Egg and Bacon
- Ultra Crispy Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges
- Garden Salad
- Pasta Salad
Hearty Pancake Lasagna
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 1 medium Brown Onion
- 1 medium Carrot
- 3 tbsp Red Wine
- 1 kg Mince Beef (Refer to ingredient notes below)
- 2 Beef Stock Cubes
- Pinch Salt and Pepper
- 400 g Tin Whole Peeled Tomatoes
- ½ cup Water
- ¾ cup Tomato Paste
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 cups Milk
- 2 cups Plain Flour
- 1 cup Water more if needed
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- 400 g Mozzarella Cheese Ball or Block (Also refer to ingredient notes below)
- Finely dice the garlic and onions, then roughly chop the carrot into small enough pieces to cook through.
- Heat oil in a large pot over a medium-high heat.
- Saute garlic until fragrant.
- Add onion and carrot and continue to cook until the onion starts to go translucent and goes yellowy-orange in colour.
- Add wine and stir 1 to 2 mintes or until the wine has reduced. The ingredients will also soak the wine up.
- Add mince and break up using the end of your wooden spoon, Do not stir until the mince has broken up, use a back and fourth motion instead. (Refer to note 1)
- Crumble 2 beef stock cubes and stir through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste (do not add too much salt as beef stock already contains enough)
- Flatten out the mince and reduce the liquid. (approx 10 to 15 minutes) Make sure you stir occasionally and reflatten. You will know when it has reduced enough if you push some of the mixture aside and little to no liquid fills the gap.
- Add the tin of tomatoes and break them up while stirring through the meat.
- Fill the tomato tin half way with warm water, swish about to get any excess off the inside of the tin and add to the pot.
- Add tomato paste, then stir through.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer until you have a thick sauce (approx 10 to 15 minutes.) Once the sauce is thick, turn off the heat, put on the lid and allow the sauce to stand while you make the pancakes.
- Whisk eggs in a medium-sized bowl
- Add milk and continue to whisk
- Add flour and whisk until smooth
- Add water to thin it out
- Add a splash of olive oil to avoid pancakes sticking (optional)
- Spray a crepe pan with a little olive oil, and pour just enough to make a crepe sized pancake. You also need to try and have it as thin as a crepe. If the batter is not thin enough, add a little more water to thin it out.
- Cook until the side facing up is no longer liquid and then flip and continue to cook. Place all cooked pancakes aside.
- Thinly slice the mozzarella cheese and pre-heat your ovens griller/broiler to 200°C or 390°F (Refer to note 2)
- Add a very thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of a 7cm (h)/42.5 (w)/ 25cm (d) Baking dish. (Refer to note 3)
- Add two pancakes and cut a third into small pieces to fill the gaps.
- Add thin layer of sauce, enough to just cover the pancakes and then a small amount of sliced mozzarella cheese over the top of the sauce.
- Repeat once more, then the third layer of sauce needs to be the thickest layer of sauce, along with a generous layer of mozzarella on the top.
- Grill/Broil at about 200°C for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown, (you can bake also if you can’t grill/broil; just remember everything is already cooked you just need to brown the cheese and allow everything to bind together)
- Once the cheese is brown, remove it from the oven/griller and rest for 20 minutes before serving.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve
- Use 80/20 minced beef (hamburger mince for the best flavour). You can also use Lamb, Chicken and Pork Mince instead of beef.
- You can use grated mozzarella if you are unable to get a ball or block to slice. Tip – fresh melts better.
Did you make my Pancake Lasagna recipe? Tag @justsoyum on Instagram or Facebook so we can find your masterpiece.