This traditional lasagna recipe is by far the best! It is so easy to make, has layers of a cheesy ricotta, mozzarella, and a meat sauce that is seasoned to perfection. Serve with a simple garden salad or Kale Salad for a perfect family dinner any night of the week!
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Lasagna has been recreated time and again using different flavors and ingredients. Some have meat, some are meatless, like this Vegetable lasagna, and some are even dessert lasagnas like this Christmas Lasagna! But if there is one thing any home cook should know how to make is the simple comfort food that is the classic lasagna!
It’s one of those dishes that you really can make year-round. However, there is something a little extra special about enjoying a warm comfort dish during the cooler months. The aroma of lasagna in the oven is enough to have your family ready and waiting at the dinner table.
One of the best things about Italian food is the simplicity of the ingredients, the fresh ingredients, and the herbs and spices. Always resulting in the most wonderful flavors.
Hearing the sizzle and see seeing that bubbly sauce coming up the sides and then that first cut into that golden brown cheesy topping is absolute perfection.
This is a great make-ahead dish that freezes well and it’s a convenient go-to meal when you need to feed a crowd or drop off a meal to comfort a neighbor.
How to make lasagna from scratch
For the Meat Sauce
Add olive oil, onions, and ground beef to a saute pan and cook until meat is no longer pink and onion is translucent.
Drain the meat of the excess oil. Add crushed tomatoes and sugar and stir to combine. Heat and simmer.
For the Cheese Mixture
Combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and combine well with a wooden spoon.
In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, add a thin layer of meat sauce and spread evenly along the bottom of the entire dish. This helps prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the dish.
Add a layer of lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, then a layer of meat sauce. Add to that a layer of the ricotta mixture topped with the mozzarella.
Repeat the layering two more times. Top it off with your last layer of noodles and mozzarella cheese.
Bake until cheese is bubbly and your family is waiting at the table with napkins tucked into their shirts.
- Use a glass casserole dish like a Pyrex or stainless steel pan. Avoid aluminum pans since they can absorb the acidity of the tomatoes.
- For added convenience use pre-shredded mozzarella (although grating it from a block is the fresher way to go). Use a jar of store bought sauce and omit the added sugar, Italian seasoning, and salt as the store bought sauce will already contain all of that.
- For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free noodles.
- Add approximately 3-4 cups of homemade marinara sauce in place of tomato sauce.
What type of noodles should I use?
There are a few different options that will work with this recipe. You can use lasagna noodles you have on hand and follow the directions on the package. You can also use no-bake noodles which are made specifically to add some convenience to your life. Then there is my favorite method which is to use regular uncooked noodles and allow the sauce to do help cook the noodles!
Can I substitute the meat?
Yes! This recipe works just as well when you swap out the beef for 1 pound of bulk pork sausage or ground turkey.
How do I store lasagna?
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you are making two at a time, or have leftovers you would like to freeze, you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Put in the oven at 350 degrees to reheat all the way through.
Easy Classic Lasagna Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 30 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded or grated off a block
- 1 pound lasagna noodles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Cook lasagna noodles per package directions.
- Use No Bake Noodles
- Use uncooked noodles! (this is my preferred method and it comes out perfect!)
For the Meat Sauce
- In a large sauté pan, add olive oil, onions and ground beef
- Cook until meat is browned and onion is translucent.
- In a colander, drain the meat mixture
- Add crushed tomatoes and sugar and stir well to combine
- Heat for 15-20 minutes.
For the Cheese Mixture
- In a separate large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Mix with a spoon to combine well.
How to Layer Lasagna
- In a 9x 13 casserole dish, add a thin layer of meat sauce and spread evenly along entire dish. (about 1 cup)
- Then add a layer of lasagna noodles on top of the sauce (appox. 4 noodles)
- Next, add a layer of meat sauce
- After the meat sauce, add a layer of ricotta mixture (⅓ of the mixture)
- Then add a layer of mozzarella cheese (about ½ cup)
- Repeat 2 additional layers: meat sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese.
- Add another layer of noodles topped with mozzarella cheese if desired
- Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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