When homemade lasagna comes to the table, everyone seems to want seconds. And thirds! This classic lasagna recipe is the perfect dish and always has my family cleaning their plates and eating up every last bit until they’re stuffed. My husband had called dubbed it the world’s best lasagna!
Best Lasagna Recipe
This is the best lasagna recipe you’ll find out there because it uses fresh herbs in it which elevates the flavors. Serve it for a family gathering or just immediate family and you’re going to get lots of those “Mmmmm” sounds!
- Ricotta cheese – how else can you get that dreamy, creamy, cheesy filling? If you don’t have ricotta, no worries, cottage cheese is a great substitute.
- Marinara sauce – it’s the best red tomato sauce for the job!
- Lasagna noodles – you can even get the no boil noodles to save some time!
- Cheeses – you’ll need both grated parmesan and fresh mozzarella to create your cheese blend.
- Fresh herbs – chopped parsley and basil are the best in lasagna.
- Meat – This simple lasagna recipe calls for ground beef. If you are running low you can substitute a blend of ground beef and Italian sausage which is a delicious way to create your Bolognese Sauce. If you are vegetarian and prefer it to be meatless, you can simply omit it. Cheese lasagna is also amazing, and so is adding spinach for an extra boost of veggies.
Easy Lasagna Recipe
I know amazing lasagna might look difficult, but I promise it’s so easy. It’s all about layering and you’ll see exactly how to do that below. Once you do it once, you’ll always know how to make this easy traditional lasagna recipe!
Lasagna is not just spaghetti flavored cake.
How Do You Make Lasagna from Scratch?
Making lasagna from scratch doesn’t mean you need an Italian Nona to come help you. All you need are a few key ingredients (see below) to put together. They’re easy to find so it won’t take you long at the supermarket.
The big emphasis I want to make here is what takes it to the next level. Using fresh chopped parsley and basil makes it taste like something you’d get from your favorite Italian restaurant.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Lasagna
- Get the right ingredients – don’t skimp on quality ingredients for a stellar final dish. Get no-boil noodles to save some time.
- Be careful not to over-bake – It is better to error on the side of caution and under-bake your lasagna rather than overdo it. Once its overdone there is no going back.
- Make extra sauce for serving – lets be honest, who would turn down extra sauce on top of their lasagna.
- Brighten your lasagna with fresh basil – if you love basil, some fresh whole basil leaves on the top of your lasagna can really take it to the next level
How to make lasagna step by step?
Lasagna step by step is very simple. You will cook your ground beef until no longer pink, mix it with the sauce, and then layer it in your pan with the noodles, cheeses, and herbs and spices. You can also omit the meat if you would like a meatless dish.
Do you have to boil lasagna before baking?
You will save time using noodles that are no-boil. They also make gluten-free no-boil noodles for lasagna. However, if you have the regular boil-first type of noodles, you will need to cook them and drain them first before baking.
How Many Layers Should Lasagna Have?
One box of lasagna noodles should have you at about 4 layers. However, your lasagna layers can vary if you’re using a differently sized pan. You’ll want to fit 3 lasagna noodles across the bottom and then stack it accordingly in layers until you’ve used up all the ingredients.
What do you put on the bottom layer of lasagna?
You will put the sauce and meat as the very bottom layer. If you start with your noodles, they will stick to the bottom. The sauce and meat keeps it moist. To recap, you’ll put sauce down first, then noodles, then ricotta, and repeat until you’re finished.
Is lasagna better with ricotta or cottage cheese?
Lasagna is definitely better with ricotta cheese. The whole milk version adds the perfect creamy, cheesy richness. If you’d like to reduce calories, you can certainly use cottage cheese instead.
Why do you add egg to ricotta cheese for lasagna?
Some recipes add egg to the ricotta cheese in lasagna. This recipe does not, as part of the fun of lasagna is when the cheesy layers ooze out in every bite.
Pro tip: Runny Lasagna
Why is my lasagna so runny?
To prevent the common problem of runny lasagna. You must let your lasagna rest for a minimum of 15 minutes once you take it out of the oven. This allows it to set in shape. You won’t have to do this when you reheat it but the first time you pull it out of the oven, it must sit so it can solidify.
If your marinara meat sauce is too runny, you can add one small can of tomato paste to thicken it without altering the traditional lasagna flavor.
How Long Should I Bake Lasagna?
In this classic meat lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese, you should bake it covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. There will be 2 minutes of broiling after that to get the cheese on top nicely browned and bubbly. Once you see the top starting to barely brown your baked lasagna is ready to remove from the oven.
How long does lasagne take to cook at 200 degrees?
For this lasagne recipe, the temperature is set for 350 degrees. But at 200 degrees, the lasagna cook time will be about 45 minutes until it is bubbling and ready.
Do you cook lasagna covered or uncovered?
You will definitely want to cover your lasagna before cooking it. This keeps it from drying out, especially on top. At the end of the cook time, you’ll broil it for a minute or two to get the cheese on top bubbly.
What to Serve with Lasagna (Side Dishes)
Nothing goes better with lasagna than fresh garlic bread! You can also serve up a garden salad brimming with vegetables or a sautéed side dish of broccoli rabe, garlic spinach, or asparagus.
Can You Freeze Lasagna?
I love making lasagna ahead of time and stuffing it in my freezer. It’s a smart way to have a ready-to-make dinner ready to go on a busy night. Just double or even triple the recipe below and then freeze that extra. You’ll want to defrost it in the fridge overnight the day before and then simply follow the baking instructions you see below.
How to Reheat Lasagna
The absolute best way to reheat your lasagna from the fridge is by putting it in a bake-safe dish, adding about 2 tablespoons of water, and covering it with aluminum foil. This keeps it from drying out. Put it at 350F for 15 to 25 minutes until heated through.
You can also put it in your toaster oven if you’re just heating a piece for yourself. The microwave is my least favorite way but it works. Just a few minutes and it’s ready though do yourself a favor and cover it with a paper towel to keep it from making a mess.
Watch How To Make Lasagna (Video)
Best Homemade Lasagna Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef ((cooked and drained))
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 5 cups ricotta cheese ((whole milk))
- 2 1/2 cups parmesan cheese ((grated))
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley ((chopped))
- 3 tbsp fresh basil ((chopped))
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil ((extra virgin))
- 3 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese ((shredded))
- 15 lasagna sheets (noodles)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large saucepan, cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through and is no longer pink. Drain well.
- Mix the prepared beef with 4 cups of marinara sauce to make your meat sauce. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, fresh parsley, basil, salt, black pepper, and olive oil and set aside.
- In your lasagna baking dish, spread a thing layer of the marinara and meat mixture on the bottom. Place 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise in the dish to create a layer of pasta. Spread enough ricotta mixture to cover the noodles, then add a layer of the fresh mozzarella cheese. Repeat these layers until you’re out of mixture. (*This recipe uses no boil lasagna noodles. If you have noodles that require boiling, fill a large pot with hot water and boil them for the recommended time. Then rinse the noodles in cool water before layering)
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350F, then uncover and broil on low for 1-2 minutes.
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