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Easy Lasagna Recipe

This Lasagna Recipe is easy to make with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture, savory meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese. BONUS: it’s make-ahead and freezer-friendly!

A white plate with Lasagna on it with a fork in the background.

 

Easy Lasagna Recipe

I suppose since I have recipes for Skillet Lasagna, Lasagna Soup, Lasagna Roll Ups, and Taco Lasagna, we are long overdue for me to share my easy, classic lasagna recipe.

This recipe has simple ingredients but tons of flavor with a creamy ricotta mixture, savory meat sauce, and lots of mozzarella cheese. 

This is a great freezer meal, make-ahead recipe, and leftovers freeze and reheat super well. 

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Spoon meat sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased casserole dish. Add 4 boiled lasagna noodles (or use no-boil or fresh noodles). Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture on top. Add 1.5 cups of meat sauce.

Repeat the same layers two more times.

Adding layers of noodles, ricotta cheese, and meat sauce to make Lasagna.

Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 15 more minutes. Broil at the end if desired. Let it rest for 15 minutes prior to serving with Garlic Bread With Cheese.

Lasagna in a casserole dish before and after baking.

How Many Layers Does Lasagna Have

  • Lasagna needs to have at least 3 layers in order to constitute a true lasagna. Most recipes have 3 or 4 layers.
  • I opted for 3 layers of 4 lasagna noodles as that is what will fit in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Additional layers would require a deeper baking dish

Make Ahead Method

  • Assemble as outlined but do not bake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw frozen lasagna completely before baking.
  • Let chilled lasagna sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to baking. Add an additional 10 minutes to covered baking time.

Reheating Lasagna

  • To reheat leftover lasagna: Place it in a lightly greased, covered casserole dish. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Pro Tips

  • Flavor Enhancers: The hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce are flavor enhancers and can’t be tasted outright. The hot sauce won’t make it hot/spicy. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce.
  • Marinara Sauce: I recommend using Rao’s marinara sauce for this recipe, it’s very high quality, lasagna is a labor of love that deserves quality ingredients.
  • Cheese: Shred and grate the cheese from a block, avoid using packaged shredded/grated cheese for this recipe. Low moisture, whole milk mozzarella cheese melts the best. I use Dragone mozzarella, Belgioioso Parmesan, and Galbani Whole Milk Ricotta.
  • Lasagna Noodles: No-boil lasagna noodles or fresh lasagna noodles can also be used for this recipe, neither of which need to be cooked first. Fresh lasagna noodles can be found in the deli section of the grocery store.
  • Casserole Dish: If your lasagna is very close to the top of your casserole dish, place a baking sheet underneath the casserole dish to catch any splatters of sauce, as it gets hot and bubbly toward the end. This is the Staub casserole dish that I use for this recipe and it fits this lasagna perfectly.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Leftovers do freeze well. 

A casserole dish with Lasagna being pulled up with a spatula.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 8 Quart Pasta Pot: Make sure to use a large pot for boiling the lasagna noodles to ensure that they can all fit and are less likely to stick together. You also want to ensure that you don’t need to reduce the heat from overflowing boiling water, as this can cause the noodles to be mushy.
  • Deep Casserole Dish: This is the one that I use for this recipe and it fits this lasagna perfectly.

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Easy Lasagna Recipe

5 from 2 ratings
This Lasagna Recipe is easy to make with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture, savory meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese. BONUS: it's make-ahead and freezer-friendly!

Ingredients

Cheese Filling

  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese, 2 cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Meat Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¾ lb. ground beef
  • ¾ lb. ground sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 40 oz. marinara sauce, see notes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Lasagna

  • 12 lasagna noodles, plus extra in case of breakage
  • 2.5 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Pre Work

  • Combine the ricotta cheese mixture in a medium bowl and set aside. Measure out remaining ingredients.

Make the Meat Sauce

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the diced onions. Let them soften for 10 minutes. (This allows them to release a little sugar which is a nice offset to the acidity of the tomatoes.)
  • Add the ground beef and sausage and increase heat to medium-high. Use a spatula to break up the meat so that it’s very fine and crumbled. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Add garlic during the last minute. Drain excess grease.
  • Add the chicken broth and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the pot. Add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover partially and let the sauce simmer gently.

Preheat Oven and Cook the Lasagna Noodles

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Begin boiling a large pot of salted pasta water for the lasagna noodles. Once a rapid boil is reached, cook the noodles to al dente according to package instructions. (Set a timer to ensure you don’t overcook them.) Gently stir with a wooden spoon throughout cooking to prevent the noodles from sticking. Drain and rinse with cold water until noodles are completely cool.
  • Lay the cooled noodles flat on wax or parchment paper while you begin assembling the lasagna.

Assemble

  • Spread 1 heaping cup of meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Next, add 4 lasagna noodles, overlapping them if needed.
  • Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, followed by about 1 ½ cups of meat sauce.
  • Top with 4 more lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1 ½ cups meat sauce.
  • Finish with 4 more lasagna noodles, the rest of the ricotta mixture, and the rest of the meat sauce.
  • Top with 2 ½ cups of Mozzarella cheese.
  • Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray and place it spray-side-down on top of the baking dish to prevent the cheese from sticking to it.

Bake

  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 15 more minutes. If desired, broil at 450° to brown the top more, watch it carefully during this time.
  • Remove and garnish with fresh parsley. Let it sit for 15 minutes prior to serving to allow the layers to set. Serve with garlic bread with cheese.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Flavor Enhancers: The hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce are flavor enhancers and can’t be tasted outright. The hot sauce won’t make it hot/spicy. I use Frank's Hot Sauce.
  • Marinara Sauce: I recommend using Rao’s marinara sauce for this recipe, it’s very high quality, lasagna is a labor of love that deserves quality ingredients.
  • Cheese: Shred and grate the cheese from a block, avoid using packaged shredded/grated cheese for this recipe. Low moisture, whole milk mozzarella cheese melts the best. I use Dragone mozzarella, Belgioioso Parmesan, and Galbani Whole Milk Ricotta.
  • Lasagna Noodles: No-boil lasagna noodles or fresh lasagna noodles can also be used for this recipe, neither of which need to be cooked first. Fresh lasagna noodles can be found in the deli section of the grocery store.
  • Casserole Dish: If your lasagna is very close to the top of your casserole dish, place a baking sheet underneath the casserole dish to catch any splatters of sauce, as it gets hot and bubbly toward the end. This is the Staub casserole dish that I use for this recipe and it fits this lasagna perfectly.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Leftovers do freeze well. 

Make-Ahead Method:
  • Assemble as outlined but do not bake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw frozen lasagna completely before baking.
  • Let chilled lasagna sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to baking. Add an additional 10 minutes to covered baking time.

Reheating Leftovers:
  • To reheat leftover lasagna, place it in a lightly greased, covered casserole dish. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

  • The Nutritional Info shared is an estimate and is per serving. There are 12 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 487kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 1207mg, Potassium: 632mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 968IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 396mg, Iron: 3mg

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8 comments on “Easy Lasagna Recipe”

  1. Just curious, why are you using Rao’s marinara sauce to add to your meat to make the meat sauce rather than crushed tomatoes?

    • If you did a side by side taste test if crushed tomatoes vs. Raos marinara, you would find Raos to be soooo much more flavorful. It amps this lasagna up to restaurant style.

  2. This was the first time I’d ever made lasagne and it was delicious! The only thing I’d do different next time is boil noodles instead of using the oven-ready ones. It was kind of like instant rice- ok but not as good.  I’ll make this lasagne again soon! Wish I could post my pic it looked amazing haha 

    • I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it Jodi! I also prefer to use traditional boil lasagna noodles! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Bake before freezing, or, freeze unbaked?

  4. I LOVE lasagna and always have. I love any kind… but my mom always made lasagna the best!!! UNTIL…I tried this recipe. Everything about it is absolutely delicious!!! I love the sausage, I love the ricotta, I love the spices that make everything taste like heaven. HEAVEN, I say!!!!! I thought it couldn’t be done Cozy Cook, but you might have out-cooked my mom on this one. Well played!

    • Wow, that’s the ultimate compliment Kristin, I’m speechless!💖 I’m so happy you enjoyed this so much, thank so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review!

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