The Best Lasagna Recipe

5 from 8 votes
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This three-cheese, Italian sausage, and ground beef lasagna is the BEST lasagna recipe I’ve ever made. An easy, crowd-pleasing, meal-preppable, satisfying meal perfect for weeknights, potlucks, and feeding a crowd!

A slice of homemade beef lasagna

Simple, meaty pasta dishes are some of my favorite go-to’s when craving a cozy, comforting, and satisfying meal. After much testing and tweaking, I think I’ve finally found the only easy lasagna recipe you’ll ever need. It might take a bit of time to pull together, but the results are more than worth it with its crowd-pleasing, creamy, cheesy, meaty deliciousness. Plus, it preps and freezes well!

Ingredients

There are three main parts to this easy lasagna recipe, mostly relying on simple pantry staples and easy-to-find ingredients.

Ingredients for beef lasagna
  • Ground meat: I recommend using a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage for the best homemade lasagna. I prefer lean 5% ground beef, though you may use slightly fattier meat if preferred.
  • Lasagna sheets: Use regular lasagna noodles or no-cook noodles (sometimes labeled no-boil lasagna sheets or oven-ready lasagna).
  • Cheeses: Use a combination of creamy whole milk ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese), mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese for an amazing depth of flavor and creaminess.
  • Tomatoes: Use a combination of high-quality canned chopped/crushed tomatoes (like San Marzano) and tomato passata for flavor depth.
  • Oil: Use any neutral cooking oil, like olive oil or avocado oil. Use a splash (about ¼ cup) of broth for an oil-free version.
  • Water: Or use a low-sodium broth (vegetable or beef) for more flavor.
  • Aromatics: White or yellow onion and garlic help to make a flavorful base.
  • Carrot: for extra texture and subtle sweetness to balance the savory flavors.
  • Fresh parsley: To add a hint of fresh herbiness.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg (optional).
  • Worcestershire sauce: Optional, but this adds brightness and depth to the lasagna meat. Alternatively, a small amount of balsamic vinegar or lime/lemon juice would also work.
  • Egg: To bind the cheese mixture and make a richer and creamier dish.

How to make lasagna

Make the Lasagna Meat Sauce: First, peel and finely dice the onion and carrot and mince the garlic. Then, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for several minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and carrot and sauté for a further minute.

Then, stir in the ground beef, Italian sausage, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the meat has browned, using a spoon to break it down while it cooks. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato passata, and water (or broth), and mix well. Then cover and simmer over low for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

steps to prepare the lasagna meat sauce

Prepare the Cheese Filling: When the meat sauce is almost ready, freshly shred the mozzarella and parmesan. Then combine them with the ricotta and egg in a bowl and mix well. Reserve some mozzarella to sprinkle on top of the lasagna.

Prepare the Cheese Filling for lasagna

Boil Lasagna Noodles: To cook the lasagna sheets until al dente, cook them according to their package instructions minus 1 minute. Mine called for 8-10 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Then, drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to halt the cooking process and arrange them individually in a large tray to prevent sticking.

You can skip this step if using no-boil lasagna as it doesn’t require pre-cooking.

Strained cooked lasagna noodles in a colander after being rinsed in cold water

Layer the Lasagna: Preheat the oven to 375 Fº/190ºC and grease a baking dish (9×13-inch) with oil or melted butter. To layer the lasagna, start with a layer of the meat sauce, lasagna sheets, and cheese mixture. Then repeat until all the mixture is used – about 4 layers. Finally, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top.

The exact amount of layers will depend on the size of the baking dish used. Feel free to cut the lasagna sheets to make them fit your dish.

steps for layering lasagna

Bake It: Bake the lasagna covered in foil for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until the top is golden, bubbly, and browned. For a more golden top, use the broiler for a minute or two at the end.

Baked lasagna in a dish, garnished with finely chopped parsley leaves.

Rest the Serve: Finally, leave the lasagna to rest for about 20 minutes before serving. This not only allows more time for the flavors to meld, but it will set slightly, making it easier to slice. Optionally sprinkle it with some more parsley, then enjoy!

Home-baked beef lasagna in a baking dish

Make ahead method

This sausage and beef lasagna recipe is a super handy freezer meal and can be prepped in a couple of ways.

  1. You can cook the lasagna meat sauce 2-3 days in advance and store it in the fridge (or freeze it), ready to assemble and bake the lasagna.
  2. Assemble but don’t bake the lasagna and refrigerate it covered with plastic wrap for up to 2 days (or 2-3 months in the freezer – in a foil baking dish works well).

When you’re ready to bake, thaw it in the fridge overnight (if frozen), then leave it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as written.

Taking a slice of lasagna out of a baking dish

Storing leftovers

  • Store: Once baked, leave the lasagna to cool, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It will taste even better on day two!
  • Freeze: Store leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat: Individual portions reheat well in the microwave (1-2 minutes). Larger amounts can be reheated in the oven, covered with aluminum foil, at 350ºF/175ºC until piping hot (20-30 minutes).

If you try this easy classic lasagna recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Best Lasagna Recipe

5 from 8 votes
By: Samira
This three-cheese, Italian sausage, and ground beef lasagna is the BEST lasagna recipe I've ever made. An easy, crowd-pleasing, meal-preppable, satisfying meal perfect for weeknights, potlucks, and feeding a crowd!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Baking dish 9×13-inch

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 lasagna sheets (lasagna noodles) regular or no-boil
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese (2 cups shredded) to sprinkle on the top
  • parsley chopped – to garnish; OR basil

Cheese filling

  • 16 oz ricotta cheese (2 cups)
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese (1 cup shredded)
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese (1 cup finely grated)
  • 1 egg medium
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg powder optional

Meat sauce

  • 1 lb ground beef lean/5%
  • 1 lb Italian sausage ground
  • 28 oz tomato passata (2 cans)
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes (1 can)
  • 6 oz carrot (1 large/1 cup finely diced)
  • 5 oz onion (1 cup finely diced)
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable/beef borth
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp parsley chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic (1 tsp minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce optional or balsamic vinegar/lemon or lime juice

Instructions 

Prepare the meat sauce

  • Peel and finely dice the onion and carrot and mince the garlic.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for several minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and carrot and sauté for a further minute.
  • Stir in the ground beef, Italian sausage, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the meat has browned, using a spoon to break it down while it cooks.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato passata, and water (or broth), and mix well. Then cover and simmer over low for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the other elements

  • When the meat sauce is almost ready, freshly shred the mozzarella and parmesan. Then combine them with the ricotta and egg in a bowl and mix well. Reserve some mozzarella to sprinkle on top of the lasagna.
  • Cook the lasagna sheets until al dente – cook it according to their package instructions minus 1 minute. Mine called for 8-10 minutes in salted water.
    You can skip this step if using no-boil lasagna as doesn't require pre-cooking.
  • Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to halt the cooking process and arrange them individually in a large tray to prevent sticking.

Make the lasagna

  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375Fº/190ºC and grease a baking dish (9×13-inch) with oil or melted butter.
  • Layer the lasagna – start with a layer of the meat sauce, lasagna sheets, and cheese mixture. Then repeat until all the mixture is used – about 4 layers.
    The exact amount of layers will depend on the size of the baking dish used. Feel free to cut the lasagna sheets to make them fit your dish.
  • Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top.
  • Bake the lasagna covered in foil for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until the top is golden, bubbly, and browned.
    For a more golden top, use the broiler for a minute or two at the end.
  • Leave the lasagna to rest for about 20 minutes before serving. This not only allows more time for the flavors to meld, but it will set slightly, making it easier to slice. Optionally sprinkle it with some more parsley, then enjoy!

Video

Notes

Use high-quality ingredients: Like good-quality cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, etc.
Use a mixture of cheese: The combination of cheeses perfectly balances rich, salty flavor, gooey melty texture, and super creaminess.
Use freshly grated cheese: Pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt the same way. 
Check the blog post for how to meal prep this dish.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Freezer friendly: 2-3 Months
Shelf life: 3-4 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 782kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 164mg, Sodium: 1101mg, Potassium: 1232mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 4854IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 457mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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