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The Most Amazing Lasagna Recipe

Roll up your sleeves and grab that apron and make a lasagna that’s truly worth the effort. This isn’t just any lasagna; it’s the perfect work of love featuring homemade bolognese and layers upon layers of cheese, all nestled between sheets of perfectly tender pasta that you didn’t have to boil. Bonus, it’ll have your house smelling amazing for hours! It’s the dish that’ll have the whole family buzzing with anticipation from the moment the sausage hits the pan.

Craving the flavors, but need your fix faster? Check out our lasagna soup or our viral lasagna stuffed chicken breast! For a lighter option, go noodle-free with zucchini lasagna!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A decadent bolognese sauce made from scratch brings the best tomato flavor.
  • Ricotta cheese is used over the traditional bechamel to add a creamy texture that maintains the same classic flavor.
  • Can be prepared ahead of time for minimal day-of effort.
  • We use a special pasta hack that gives you the best pasta texture without the extra hassle of boiling.

This is the kind of lasagna people write home about! It brings together all of the things we love in a good pasta dish: noodles, cheeses, fresh herbs and a delicious meat sauce. If you’ve never made lasagna before or haven’t found a good recipe, you have come to the right place. Invite a friend because you won’t want to keep this dish to yourself!

Ingredient Notes

Overhead view of the raw ingredients needed to make a lasagna on a clean kitchen counter.
  • Sweet Italian Sausage: Can be substituted with spicy sausage to add a mild kick, ground chicken sausage, or a plant-based ground sausage alternative.
  • Ground Beef: Ground chicken, ground lamb, or a plant-based ground meat alternative can also be used. 
  • White Wine: Red wine or additional beef broth can be used. 
  • Ricotta cheese: Use whole milk ricotta cheese in this recipe for best results. Cottage cheese can be substituted in the same amount.
  • Sliced mozzarella: We like to get our mozzarella sliced at the deli counter in our grocery store. (You want the slices to be pretty thin, 24 slices is the ideal amount and it should equal somewhere around one pound.)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese: Don’t use the canned stuff! It doesn’t melt the same as real, freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Sugar: Added to balance the acidity of the tomato. 1 cup of finely diced carrots be used as a substitute. Add the carrots in with the onions to saute.
  • Tomato Paste: Two cans of tomato paste are used in this recipe. It may seem like a lot, but tomato paste has a super concentrated tomato flavor. By adding in so much, we’re able to get a deep tomato flavor, without adding too much liquid to the sauce.
  • Fennel Seeds: A common flavor used in Italian-style sausages. Additional fennel seeds enhances that meaty flavor from the sausage.

Tomato Paste Can Hack

Canned tomato paste is the best value, but can be annoying to use. If you open a tomato paste can from both ends, you can use one of the lids to push the paste through the other side of the can, which is so much easier than scraping it out with a spoon!

A collage of four images showing the process of how to make a homemade lasagna sauce from start to finish.

Lasagna Pasta Shortcut

Boiling lasagna pasta sheets is an extra step that we would all love to avoid. No boil lasagna pasta sheets, in our opinion, have an unpleasant texture and often turn out soggy. Here is a hack to skip the boil and make perfect pasta every time: All you have to do is place regular lasagna pasta sheets in a container, like a 9 x 13 pan, and pour hot water over them. Let them soak for 30 minutes and they’ll be tender enough to use in the recipe. Don’t worry, they will finish cooking in the oven.

Angled view of a clear glass casserole dish filled with dry lasagna noodles being filled with water poured from a large clear glass measuring cup.
A collage of five images showing the process of how to make the sauce and then assemble a homemade lasagna.

Serving Suggestions

To turn your lasagna into a complete and satisfying meal, consider these classic pairings:

  • Garlic Bread: Serve your lasagna with a side of warm, buttery garlic bread. The crispiness of the bread complements the soft layers of lasagna, and it’s perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce on the plate.
  • Fresh Salad: Balance the richness of the lasagna with a light, refreshing salad. A simple mixed greens salad or a classic Caesar salad adds a crisp, fresh element to your meal, offering a contrast in flavors and textures.
  • Tiramisu: Conclude your meal with a serving of tiramisu. This classic Italian dessert, with its layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese, offers a sweet and indulgent end to your dining experience.

Troubleshooting

  • Soggy Noodles: If your noodles seem too soft or the lasagna is too watery, extend the baking time slightly to help evaporate some of the excess moisture.
  • Too Dry: If the lasagna looks dry or the edges are crisping too much, cover with aluminum foil during baking to retain moisture. You can also add a bit more sauce on top before returning it to the oven for a few minutes.
  • Cheese Burning: If the cheese on top starts to burn, place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the lasagna for the remainder of the baking time.
  • Not Heating Through: If the center isn’t hot after the recommended baking time, cover with foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes. Check the temperature in the center with a food thermometer to ensure it’s reached 165°F.
  • Layers Sliding Off: If the layers slide off when cutting, let the lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes after baking. This resting period allows it to set and makes it easier to cut.
An overhead bird seye view of a pan of homemade lasagna.

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Assemble: Build your lasagna but don’t bake it. Ensure ingredients are cool to prevent sogginess.
  • Wrap: Tightly cover with plastic wrap and foil. Refrigerate up to 48 hours or freeze for longer storage.
  • Bake: Remove wrapping and bake as directed, adding extra time if chilled or frozen.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

  • Refrigeration: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until warm.

Freezing Instructions

  • For Freezing: Let lasagna cool to room temperature to avoid sogginess. Cover well to prevent freezer burn from air and freeze for up to 1 month.
  • For Unbaked Lasagna: Assemble, skip baking, cover in a freezer-safe dish, and freeze.

Thawing and Reheating

  • Thawing: Defrost in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  • Reheating Baked: Remove wrap, cover with foil, bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until bubbly.
  • Baking Unbaked: Bake covered at 375°F for 60 minutes, then uncover and bake until golden.

Try these lasagna recipes for a fun twist on the dish!

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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