This Lasagna recipe is super easy to make with layers of cheese, noodles, beef, and sauce. It is a classic homemade lasagna that is better than any restaurant version for a fraction of the cost. Check out the video tutorial below and see how easy this dish is to prepare!
It’s absolute perfection and possibly the BEST LASAGNA you can get! Once you try it, you won’t need another recipe ever again. Enjoy it as is, or mix it up with some veggies on the side, such as roasted asparagus, roasted Brussel sprouts, and broccoli salad.
Best Lasagna Recipe
Lasagna is the perfect meal because it is budget-friendly, easy to make, feeds a large crowd, and reheats and freezes really well. You can make it over the weekend and refrigerate it to enjoy throughout the week. This is our favorite classic lasagna recipe, and we have adjusted it through the years to make it perfect.
It is layered with ground beef, rich and creamy tomato sauce, and finished off with mozzarella cheese. Also, it has a delicious layer of ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese mix.
This recipe is the quintessential classic Italian dish that’s cheesy, hearty, saucy, and comforting that everyone loves. Also, it is one of the best ways to feed a crown and a perfect dish to bring to a potluck or serve during the holidays. It freezes well, and leftovers will keep you happy for days.
DO I HAVE TO COOK LASAGNA NOODLES?
There are a couple of ways to use the noodles, and they are all good based on personal preference. You can not boil them, boil them or simply soak the noodles in hot water.
If you like your noodles to be super soft, then boil them in advance. It tasted very traditional and will have a softer texture when you bite into them. However, if you like them more al dente, then soak the noodles in hot water for about 30 minutes.
Also, it is best to soak them as you start preparing the ingredients, so it soaks while the other preparations are going on. The hot water softens the noodles slightly and they finish cooking while the lasagna is cooking.
Similarly, some people use regular lasagna noodles without boiling them first. This will work as long as they get extra moisture during cooking just like the no-boil noodles. Just make sure to use enough sauce so they can absorb it and cook properly.
What is “Al Dente”?
In cooking, al dente describes pasta as being cooked firm to the bite. Usually, the package instructions will provide the cook time for the pasta to reach the “al-dente” state.
How to Make the most amazing lasagna?
This dish is really easy to prepare. You should basically follow these steps:
- Prepare the cheese mix: First, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses with an egg in a bowl, and set aside.
- Brown the meat: In a pan, brown the onion garlic and meat over medium-high heat, on the stovetop. Then, add the pasta sauce and tomato paste.
- Assemble it: In the 9×13 dish, layer the meat sauce and cheese mixture with noodles and bake until bubbling.
How to Layer Lasagna?
- First, spread about a cup of meat sauce into a 9×13 pan. Then, add a layer of noodles.
- Next, add the cheese mixtures on top.
- Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of noodles
- Cover with foil and bake.
- Lastly, remove the foil, top it with mozzarella and parmesan and bake for another 15 minutes.
how to make the Classic lasagna meat sauce?
The sauce is the central piece of any good lasagna. Therefore, you want to use good quality products for the best results and a rich texture.
- Start with good quality ground beef. Usually, 80/20 lean ratio works best.
- Use crushed tomatoes as a base with a mixture of tomato sauce and some minced garlic and herbs.
- Using tomato paste results in a thick and rich sauce. Don’t skip this ingredient!
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE SHOULD I USE FOR LASAGNA?
There are three sources of cheese in this recipe. First, ricotta cheese is used for the filling. For best results, we recommend using whole milk ricotta cheese in this recipe.
Then, mozzarella cheese and parmesan is added. It is the perfect combination which makes this dish super flavorful and delicious!
How to make lasagna in the Instant Pot?
Alternatively, you can make this dish easily and conveniently in the Instant Pot. Also, doing so, you don’t need to boil the noodles. Layer everything and let the Instant Pot work its magic. Check out the Instant Pot version of it by clicking this link.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT Lasagna LEFTOVERS?
This is the perfect dish to have leftovers because they will keep in the fridge for at least 5 days. Simply, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge.
Reheat individual slices in the microwave, or warm the whole casserole (covered with foil) in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes, or until bubbly again.
HOW TO FREEZE LASAGNA?
You can also freeze the lasagna either baked or unbaked.
- To freeze unbaked lasagna: Line the pan with foil before assembling, then assemble the dish. Let it cool completely, and then freeze until solid. Once frozen, lift the frozen lasagna block from the casserole dish, wrap it in more foil, then freeze for up to a month.
- To freeze baked lasagna: Once it has been cooked, let it cool completely prior to freezing. Then, transfer to an aluminum dish and tightly wrap with foil and. To freeze individual slices, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Delicious Homemade Pasta dishes:
- Drain the grease when cooking the meat. You do not want the sauce to taste greasy. Therefore, it is a must to drain the fat from the skillet.
- Do not overbake the lasagna. Depending on your oven, you want to cook it for 15-30 minutes. When you over bake the pasta you run the risk of the noodles drying out and getting too crispy.
- Also, feel free to add various other dried herbs into the recipe.
- We love using a casserole 9×13 pan when cooking it. It works great. Similarly, if you plan on making a larger sized one, you will have to use a larger baking dish, and also double, or adjust the ingredients accordingly.
- To reheat frozen leftovers, simply pop them into an oven at 350°F covered, for about 20 minutes, or until reheated.
- In addition, to make this into a spinach lasagna, substitute the meat with spinach.
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
- 12-16 lasagna sheets (cooked per package directions)
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground sausage (mild)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning dried herbs
- 2 cups spinach (fresh)
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan (grated)
- 12 oz mozzarella cheese (about 3 cups, shredded and divided)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup marinara sauce
Cooking the Beef Mixture:
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
- Once the oil is simmering, add the onion and garlic, using a wooden spoon, stir and cook for one minute. Add the beef and the ground sausage.
- Let the beef brown a bit and start breaking it with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink. Drain any accumulated grease.
- Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
- Add the spinach, stir and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare Cheese Mixture:
- In a large bowl combine: ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, beaten egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until fully combined.
- Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on the bottom and add one layer of cooked lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture, then top with 1/2 of the meat mixture. Spread about 1 cup of marinara sauce and sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese (from the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese).
- Add another layer of lasagna noodles, top with the all remaining cheese mixture, followed by the beef mixture, a cup of marinara sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Add the final layer of lasagna noodles, top with 1 cup of marinara sauce and 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes.
- If needed, broil at the end to make the cheese golden-brown.
- Remove from oven and let the lasagna rest for 15-30 minutes before slicing.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.