I love Italian dinners, especially when they don’t take a lot of time. This Easy Lasagna Recipe is one of my go-to’s and always requested. It’s so flavorful, cheesy, and family-friendly. My kids love this homemade lasagna and this keeps their belly’s full and happy.
Classic Lasagna Recipe
This lasagna recipe calls for your favorite store-bought marinara sauce. There are so many different kinds that can slightly change up the flavor. It saves so much time and trust me, trying to make your sauce is work that you can skip. However, if you love making things from scratch, you try this Easy Marinara Sauce.
What makes this lasagna special is the protein. The combination of ground beef and Italian sausage adds great texture and flavor to the layers. Plus, cooking them down with onions and garlic will make your kitchen smell so good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! The red pepper flakes add a kick without making the lasagna spicy, too.
What You’ll Need to Make The Best Lasagna Recipe
This list may look like a lot of ingredients, but it’s mostly staple ingredients you already have on hand. You are going to love the result once it comes out of the oven.
What’s great about this recipe is that you can prepare your lasagna ahead of time and bake it later! It can be prepared and refrigerated for up to 48 hours before you’re ready to bake. Just remember to remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. If you decide to do all the steps at the same time, it’s still pretty quick!
- Lasagna noodles – cook according to the package directions.
- Mozzarella cheese – Shredded and added on top and mixed with ricotta.
- Parmesan cheese – Sprinkled on top and mixed with ricotta.
- Ground beef – Browned and drained with the sausage, onion, and garlic.
- Hot Italian sausage – this adds a wonderful flavor.
- Onion & Garlic – added to the meat mixture.
- Marinara sauce – Store-bought or try our easy homemade marinara sauce.
- Salt & Black pepper
- Italian seasoning
- Crushed red pepper
- Ricotta cheese – we like using creamy ricotta, but you can also replace this with cottage cheese.
How to Make Lasagna
- Prep the Oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the Noodles. Boil the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package in a large pot. Rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process and set them aside.
- Brown Beef and Sausage. Heat a medium large skillet or a dutch oven to medium-high heat. Add in the sausage, beef, diced onions, and garlic. Continue to cook until the meat is brown, then drain the fat.
- Add Sauce. Stir in the marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade), salt, pepper, red pepper, and Italian seasoning to the cooked meat mixture.
- Make Ricotta Mixture. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, egg, half of the mozzarella, and half of the parmesan. Make sure the egg is fully incorporated.
- Layer Lasagna. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or casserole dish), layer ½ cup of sauce, 3 cooked noodles, and ⅓ of the ricotta cheese mixture, in that order. Top with 1 cup of the meat sauce. Repeat the whole process twice and the final layer will be 3 lasagna noodles and any remaining sauce.
- Bake. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and slightly browned.
- Rest and Serve. Allow the lasagna to rest for about 10-15 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy.
Tips & Tricks
- Cheese: Shred the cheese from a block and avoid using packaged shredded cheese. Whole milk mozzarella cheese melts the best.
- Additions: Feel free to add in any veggies like peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, etc…
- Substitutions: The meat can always be changed out with ground turkey or ground chicken. Cheddar or any cheese can be subbed if you don’t care for mozzarella. Just make sure the cheeses are not low-fat.
- Lasagna Noodles: No-boil lasagna noodles or fresh lasagna noodles can also be used for this recipe allowing you to skip a step. Fresh lasagna noodles can be found in the deli section of the grocery store.
- Sauce: Spaghetti sauce can be used instead of the marinara.
- Resting: Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes once removed from the oven. This will keep it from becoming runny and help it to keep its shape when cut.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Transfer any leftover lasagna to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, you can either transfer the leftovers into an oven-safe dish and reheat at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. You can also reheat a portion in the microwave as well.
What to Serve with this Recipe for Lasagna
- Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
- Antipasto Skewers for an Appetizer
- Garlic Knots
One of the best parts about lasagna is that it can be frozen. Tightly wrap and it will keep for up to 3 months. When you are ready to heat, move the lasagna to the refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours, and pull it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. It should take around 30-40 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
Easy Lasagna Recipe
- 12 Lasagna Noodles Uncooked
- 16 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
- ½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
- ½ Pound Hot Italian Sausage
- 1 Large Onion Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 36 Ounces Marinara Sauce Homemade or Store Bought
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- 16 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Egg
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions, rinse in cold water and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium high heat, add the ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic. Brown until cooked through and no longer pink, drain and add back into the pan.
- Stir in the pasta sauce, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning. Simmer over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when thickened.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, half of the shredded mozzarella and half of the grated parmesan cheese.
- Spread ½ Cup of the sauce onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Add 1 cup of the sauce over the ricotta. Repeat twice, finish assembling the lasagna with 3 more noodles and the rest of the sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle on the rest of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.
- Let the lasagna rest for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!.
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- You may want to cook a few extra lasagna noodles, as some tend to break during cooking.
- It’s very important to drain the meat after it has been cooked, when making a lasagna you want to remove any excess liquid during the cooking process. This makes for a better-set lasagna that won’t fall apart when cutting and serving.
- You can make the lasagna ahead of time, and store it in the refrigerator or freezer before baking. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil and refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
The hot Italian sausage can be substituted with mild or sweet sausage.