Homemade Lasagna

Ok, this is probably the favorite lasagna recipe of all time, the one lasagna recipe I know will deliver without fail. The keeper lasagna. The world’s best lasagna. The lasagna that Garfield must dream about, the lasagna that I know my husband and boys dream about. When you lift the pan, you know you have created something deep and meaningful and comforting and just plan substantial.

Meat Lasagna

Best Cheeses for Lasagna

I sometimes make this lasagna with all mozzarella (plus ricotta and Parmesan). You can use any mozzarella from pre-grated in a bag to home-grated fresh mozzarella and it will be delicious. Lately I have been making it with half mozzarella and half Monterey Jack or Havarti, or another white melting cheese with a bit more flavor than mozz. You cannot go wrong, whichever direction you choose.

Homemade Lasagna

Do not buy grated Parmesan in a can (you knew that, right?). I’m totally cool with pre-grated or shredded Parmesan, as long as it’s the real stuff. If it’s in a can, run the other way.

As for the ricotta cheese, you can use whole milk or part skim, as your heart tells you.  Lasagna made with fresh ricotta is a real treat, if it’s available to you.

Meat Lasagna: This is probably the favorite lasagna recipe of all time, the one lasagna recipe I know will deliver without fail.

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How to Layer Meat Lasagna

Spread all 12 of the lasagna noodles with even amount of the ricotta mixture, laying them out on a counter. Place 4 ricotta-covered noodles into the pan, covering the bottom. Spoon over a generous 1 1/2 cups of the sauce, covering the ricotta mixture entirely. Evenly sprinkle over 1/3 of the shredded cheese mixture.

Repeat until you have three layers. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan over the top.

Classic Cheesy Beefy Lasagna

How Long to Cook Lasagna

A lasagna should bake at 375 degrees for about one hour. Cover the lasagna with tin foil (hint: spray one side with nonstick cooking spray and place that side down on top of the lasagna – when you remove it, the cheese won’t stick to the foil). Bake for 1 hour, removing the foil halfway through the cooking time so that the top gets bubbly and browned. You may wish to put a baking sheet (with sides) on the rack below the lasagna pan, to catch drips.

Let the lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting it, so that the pieces hold together better.

How to Reheat Lasagna

Lasagna can be reheat in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, covered with foil, until it is hot throughout. A whole lasagna will take longer to heat, while smaller pieces will take less time. You can remove the foil for the last 5 or so minutes of the reheating to allow the top to brown up a bit more.

Classic Cheesy Beefy Lasagna

You can also reheat lasagna in the microwave. For an individual piece, start with 1 minute in the microwave, and add 15 to 30 seconds at a time as needed. You do not need to cover the lasagna. I like lasagna just warm, not piping hot, and you might feel the same!

No-Cook Lasagna Noodles

I am an un-abashed fan of no cook lasagna noodles. Some people think no boil noodles is a cheater’s shortcut, maybe even sacrilegious, to use no-boil noodles. I think whatever get you to lasagna is fair game, be it these noodles or some jarred sauce, or – as mentioned – pre-grated cheese. An 8-ounce package of lasagna noodles will usually contain between 12 and 14 pieces of rectangular lasagna noodles.  You might have a couple of extra, to save for the next time.  

Classic Cheesy Beefy Lasagna

Meat Sauce for Lasagna

If you have a favorite meat sauce recipe that you would like to use in place of the one here, have at it.  Bolognese sauce would also be great.  You could also add some ground browned beef and/or browned crumbled sausage to store-bought jarred sauce if you want to take that shortcut.

What to Serve with Meat Lasagna:

Classic Cheesy Beefy Lasagna

Other Cheesy, Beefy Recipes to Love:

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Meat Lasagna

This is what my family thinks of as the world's best lasagna.
Yield: 10 People
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 32-ounce container ricotta
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 cups Meat Sauce
  • 12 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack (or add another 1 1/2 cups mozzarella)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the ricotta, ½ cup of the Parmesan, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper, and stir to blend. Stir together the mozzarella and Monterey Jack in a bowl.
  • Ladle a little of the sauce onto the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan. Spread all 12 of the lasagna noodles with even amount of the ricotta mixture, laying them out on a counter. Place 4 ricotta-covered noodles into the pan, covering the bottom. Spoon over a generous 1 1/2 cups of the sauce, covering the ricotta mixture entirely. Evenly sprinkle over 1/3 of the shredded cheese mixture. Repeat until you have three layers. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan over the top).
  • Cover the lasagna with tin foil (hint: spray one side with nonstick cooking spray and place that side down on top of the lasagna – when you remove it, the cheese won’t stick to the foil). Bake for 1 hour, removing the foil halfway through the cooking time so that the top gets bubbly and browned. You may wish to put a baking sheet (with sides) on the rack below the lasagna pan, to catch drips.
  • Let the lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting it, so that the pieces hold together better.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 1075mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1301IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 503mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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Comments

  1. Putting this lasagna together is a snap when I’ve got quarts of your meat sauce in my freezer! Your lasagna is a regular guest at our house for Sunday dinner.

  2. I made 2 square lasagnas so I could freeze half. Will the cooking time change on the one I’m cooking right away? And how much time should I add to cook the other one from frozen?

    1. It will probably take 10 minutes or so less time in a smaller square pan. If you defrost the second one in the fridge, the cooking time should be almost the same, just add 5 to 10 more minutes if you are going from fridge to oven. From frozen probably another 30 minutes!

  3. Sounds delish!! Now, if I could just afford to go out and buy all this stuff…..
    Anything in your bag of tricks that is nourishing AND inexpensive?? Some of us are on hard times here…

    1. I hear you. I have loads of recipes that are nourishing and inexpensive. Type any of these words into the search field “inexpensive” “:economical” “beans””grains” “vegetarian” or a specific ingredient you have on hand and see what pops up. Also try these: https://themom100.com/recipe/bulgur-wheat-sweet-potato-and-black-bean-gratin/, https://themom100.com/recipe/baked-chicken-legs-with-herbs-and-lemon/, https://themom100.com/recipe/lentils-and-carrots-with-dried-apricots/

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