Homemade Lasagna is a classic recipe that every cook should have in their rotation.
Tender sheets of pasta, a creamy ricotta cheese filling, and a rich meaty tomato sauce are all topped with more cheese and baked until browned and bubbly.
While there are a few steps to this lasagna recipe, it’s easy to make and has so much flavor. This dish can be made ahead of time and freezes well either before or after baking!
Homemade lasagna may have a few steps, but each step is easy – and I assure you it’s worth the time; the perfect Italian meal!
The best lasagna recipe is made with ingredients that you know, and it’s not difficult at all! All you’ll need for this easy lasagna recipe is one pan, one bowl, and a 9×13 baking dish!
- Cheese Filling For this classic lasagna recipe, the filling contains ricotta and parmesan with seasonings and a couple of tablespoons of parsley. No ricotta? No problem, cottage cheese works just fine in this recipe!
- Meat I use both Italian sausage and ground beef for great flavor. If using all beef, add a ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds and some Italian seasoning to the meat mixture for flavor.
- Sauce To keep this sauce quick, I use pasta sauce or marinara sauce (it’s easy to make from scratch with crushed tomatoes and canned tomatoes if you’d prefer).
Spinach (variation): To make a spinach lasagna, squeeze out most of the moisture of defrosted frozen spinach and add it along with the cheese layer.
Lasagna ingredients don’t have to be limited to the ones you see here. Substitute meats or different cheeses, or try different meat sauce variations.
How to Make Lasagna
Homemade lasagna may have a few steps, but each step is easy – and I assure you it’s worth the time; the perfect Italian meal! The is a really easy lasagna recipe.
- Boil pasta: Cook in a large pot of salted water per the recipe below.
- Prepare meat sauce: Cook sausage and beef with onion and garlic. Drain well, add the pasta sauce & simmer it for a few minutes to thicken.
- Combine cheese mixture: Stir the cheese mixture together in a bowl.
- Layer & bake: Layer the meat sauce and cheese mixture with lasagna noodles and bake until browned and bubbly.
How to Layer Lasagna
- Spread about a cup of meat sauce into a 9×13 pan. Add a layer of noodles.
- Top the noodles with some of the ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of noodles and sauce
- Cover with foil and bake. Remove foil, top with mozzarella and parmesan, and bake for another 15 minutes.
Once you have prepared the meat sauce and the cheese mixture, you’re ready to layer. This is the order of layers:
- sauce – noodles – cheese
- sauce – noodles – cheese
- sauce – noodles – cheese
- noodles – sauce (bake) – cheese
How Long to Bake
Bake this lasagna recipe for a total of one hour. To get a perfect browned cheese topping, you’ll need to bake it in two stages.
- Layer and cover it tightly with aluminum foil to retain the moisture.
- Once cooked, and heated through, remove the foil, top with cheese, and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the lasagna is bubbling.
Imporant: Let the Lasagna Rest
Let the lasagna sit/rest for at least 15 minutes once removed from the oven (even 30-45 minutes is fine). This will keep it from becoming runny and help it to keep its shape when cut. Resting is not required when reheating.
Serve with a big slice of Homemade Garlic Bread and garnish with fresh basil or a couple tablespoons parsley.
Finish the meal with a caesar salad or Italian salad.
Lasagna can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. It can also be frozen before or after baking.
To Freeze Lasagna
Lasagna is one of the best meals to make ahead and freeze. Double or triple the recipe and store it tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. If the lasagna is cold from the fridge, it may need an extra 20 minutes or so of cooking time.
How To Reheat Lasagna
If you’ve frozen leftovers, pop them in the oven at 350°F covered until reheated. This should take about 30 minutes! Of course, leftovers are perfectly heated in the microwave too!
More Baked Pasta Recipes
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Easy Homemade Lasagna
Homemade lasagna is a classic, delicious dinner that every family should have in their recipe rotation.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot of salted water, boil lasagna noodles until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown beef, sausage, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
Stir in the pasta sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 ½ cups mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ricotta, parsley, egg, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Spread 1 cup of the meat in a 9×13 pan or casserole dish. Top it with 3 lasagna noodles. Layer with ⅓ of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of meat sauce. Repeat twice more. Finish with 3 noodles topped with remaining sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining 2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Broil for 2-3 minutes if desired.
Rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
*Note on the sauce: In this recipe, each layer has about 1 cup of meat sauce. If you prefer more sauce in your lasagna, increase the pasta sauce to 48 oz. Salt needed may vary based on the brand of pasta sauce used. Taste and season after simmering. Cheese Layer The cheese layers are thin; if you’d prefer a thicker layer of cheese, divide the cheese in half and put on the first two layers, and add just meat sauce to the third layer. We did test this with extra ricotta cheese and found it overpowered the lasagna. Time-Saving Tip: Use fresh lasagna sheets found in the deli area and skip the boiling step! Fresh lasagna doesn’t need to be boiled first. Let the lasagna sit/rest for at least 15 minutes once removed from the oven (even 30-45 minutes is fine). This will keep it from becoming runny and help it to keep its shape when cut. Resting is not required when reheating. Substitutions:
- Ricotta cheese can be replaced with cottage cheese.
- Use all beef (or even ground turkey) in place of sausage if needed. If using all beef, add ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning to the meat (and ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds if desired).
Calories: 377 | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 805IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 526mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Course Casserole, Main Course, Pasta Cuisine Italian
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