April 18, 2024

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Best Lasagna Recipe (VIDEO) – NatashasKitchen.com

Piece of lasagna being lifted from baking dish

This easy Lasagna Recipe is meaty, cheesy, and packed with flavor in every bite. Homemade lasagna is better than any restaurant version and it feeds a crowd for way less than going out to eat.

We love lasagna around here and have gotten creative over the years with Lasagna Soup and even Chicken Lasagna, but we’ve heard again and again from our readers that this is the best lasagna recipe they’ve ever made.

Piece of lasagna being lifted from baking dish

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Best Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is the perfect meal, and of all of the recipes I’ve tried over the years, this is the perfect lasagna. We loved it so much, we even turned it into Lasagna Roll Ups. It’s flavorful and satisfying, but also easy to make. It’s delicious as-is, but you can make it your own by swapping in your favorite ingredients.

In our house, lasagna is a staple for busy school nights because it keeps, reheats, and freezes so well and it’s nice to have something in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week. I even use it for kids’ lunches—I pack a serving in my son’s thermos to keep it hot and that thermos comes home empty every time.

Lasagna Video

Watch Natasha make this classic Lasagna Recipe. It’s the best lasagna we have tried, with the perfect balance of meat sauce to the three cheese sauce and noodles. That golden cheese crust seals in all the flavor and makes it irresistible. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Meaty, cheesy, and saucy – Everything you want in a lasagna recipe.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep – It’s simple enough that you can make it on a weeknight, but you can also make it over the weekend to enjoy it throughout the week. Or double the recipe and freeze one lasagna for later.
  • Everyone approves – this is a family-friendly meal.

Ingredients

This 3-cheese lasagna is the ultimate comfort food and the ingredients are refrigerator and pantry staples. See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.

  • Ground beef – We used 80/20 beef (20% fat content) for a juicier lasagna.
  • Onion – we use yellow onion, or sweet onion works well
  • Garlic cloves – you can add more if you love garlic
  • Red wine (or beef broth) – This amps up the flavor of your sauce (avoid using cooking wine).
  • Marinara sauce – Use homemade marinara or store-bought.
  • Dried thyme – Italian seasoning, basil, or oregano can be substituted
  • Sugar – balances the acidity of the tomatoes
  • Parsley – flat-leaf or curly parsley works well
  • Lasagna noodles – Cook these al dente; they’ll continue to soften as the lasagna bakes.
  • Cottage cheese – adds great texture and moisture
  • Ricotta cheese – we use low-fat or part-skim ricotta
  • Mozzarella cheese – An Italian cheese blend works, but mozzarella is definitely the classic choice
  • Egg – helps hold the cheese layer together
Overhead view of ingredients for lasagna

Pro Tip: Use a very large pot of salted water to boil the lasagna noodles and stir them several times, especially right after adding them to the pot. This will keep them from sticking to each other and tearing.

How to Make Lasagna

If you’d like to get a head start on this recipe, you can make the meat sauce a day or two in advance. That said, it’s still easy enough that you can make it all in one go, even for a weeknight dinner.

  1. Brown the beef – Add oil to a deep pan and sautee onion and beef until browned, 5 minutes then add garlic and stir another minute.
  2. Finish the sauce – Pour in 1/4 cup of wine and stir until almost evaporated. Add marinara, salt, pepper, thyme, sugar, and parsley; bring to a simmer, then cover and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Make the cheese filling – Combine all of the cheese sauce ingredients and 1 cup of mozzarella in a mixing bowl (reserve the rest for later).
  4. Prep – Preheat your oven to 375ºF and cook the lasagna noodles in a pot of well-salted water until al dente.
  5. Assemble – Spread 1/2 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Add 3 noodles, followed by 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella, and half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat, then for the top layer, add 3 noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, and the remaining mozzarella.
  6. Bake – Cover with foil and bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.
  7. Rest – Let the lasagna rest for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving. 
Dish of cheesy meat lasagna

Pro Tip: There’s nothing worse than having the top portion of cheese stuck to the foil. To prevent this, I poke 8-10 toothpicks evenly around the top of the lasagna, pushing them in halfway to keep the foil from touching the cheese. Just be sure to count and remove every toothpick prior to serving.

Common Questions

Which is better for lasagna, cottage cheese or ricotta?

I use both; cottage cheese is healthier and ricotta is creamier, so you get the best of both worlds by using both of these cheeses in your lasagna.

Can I use no-boil lasagna noodles?

This lasagna recipe was developed with traditional lasagna noodles, but several readers have reported great results using no-boil noodles.

Can I substitute the red wine?

If you don’t have red wine, or prefer not to use it, you can substitute with beef broth or beef stock. The red wine adds great flavor but the lasagna will still be delicious with beef broth.

What is “al dente”?

Cooking al dente pasta means it should be “firm to the bite.” The package instructions will provide the cook time for pasta to reach al dente. Keep in mind, the lasagna will be baked for 45 minutes so do not overcook your lasagna noodles.

What is the best marinara sauce for lasagna?

Homemade marinara is definitely best, but if you don’t have time to make it, use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can easily double this recipe, but you’ll need to bake the lasagna in two pans.

Piece of lasagna being lifted from baking dish

What to Serve with Lasagna

Lasagna is a satisfying meal on its own, but if you’re feeding a big crowd, you can stretch it out by serving it with:

Make-Ahead

Here’s everything you need to know about storing lasagna for later.

  • To Refrigerate: You can assemble the lasagna and store it covered in the refrigerator for a day or two until you are ready to bake.
  • Freezing: Lasagna can be frozen before or after baking. Either way, it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months when wrapped well or stored in an airtight container.
  • To Reheat: Frozen lasagna should be thawed in the refrigerator first; this reduces the time needed for baking and ensures more even heating. Bake according to the recipe instructions; if your lasagna was already baked and you’re simply reheating it, cover the baking dish with foil and reheat at 350ºF until warmed through.
  • Slow Cooker Lasaga – this is one of our favorite ways to make dinner ahead of time.
Lasagna on plate with fork

With its meaty sauce and layers of cheese, we think you’ll agree that this is the best lasagna recipe ever!

More Pasta Recipes

If you love this lasagna, then you won’t want to miss these pasta recipes.

Lasagna Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Resting Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Homemade Lasagna recipe in casserole dish

With 3 cheeses and a meaty ground beef sauce, it’s easy to see why so many of our readers have proclaimed this the best lasagna recipe they’ve ever had.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Skill Level:

Easy/Medium

Cost to Make:

$18-$22

Keyword:

best lasagna, easy lasagna, lasagna recipe

Cuisine:

Italian

Course:

Dinner, Main Course

Calories: 368

Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients for Lasagna

  • 1
    lb
    ground beef, (15-20% fat content)
  • 1
    medium
    onion, finely diced
  • 2
    large
    garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4
    cup
    dry red wine, or beef broth
  • 1
    Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 24
    oz
    Marinara Sauce , (3 cups)
  • 1/2
    tsp
    sea salt
  • 1/4
    tsp
    black pepper, ground
  • 1/4
    tsp
    dried thyme
  • 1/2
    tsp
    granulated sugar
  • 2
    Tbsp
    parsley, finely chopped
  • 9
    lasagna noodles, cooked al dente

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:

  • 16
    oz
    low-fat cottage cheese
  • 15
    oz
    reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 1
    large
    egg
  • 2
    Tbsp
    parsley, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
  • 4
    cups
    mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided

How to Make Meat Sauce:

  1. Place a deep pan or dutch oven over medium/high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 lb ground beef and diced onion. Saute, breaking up the meat, for 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Add pressed garlic and sauté another minute until fragrant. 

  2. Add 1/4 cup wine and stir for 2 minutes or until wine is nearly evaporated. Add 3 cups marinara, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp parsley. Bring to a simmer then cover and cook 5 minutes. 

How to Make Cheese Sauce:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 16 oz Cottage Cheese, 15 oz Ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 egg and 2 Tbsp parsley. Mix well.

How to Make Lasagna:

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and 9 lasagna noodles. Cook until al dente according to package instructions.

  2. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce in the bottom of a deep 9×13 casserole dish. Add 3 noodles, spread on 1/3 of the meat sauce, and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon on and spread the top with 1/2 of your cheese sauce. 

  3. Repeat until you have 3 layers of noodles:
    Add 3 noodles, 1/3 meat sauce, 1 cup mozarella cheese, 1/2 cheese sauce
    Add 3 noodles, remaining 1/3 meat sauce, remaining 1 cup mozarella. 

  4. Poke 9-12 toothpicks over the surface of your lasagna (to keep the foil from sticking to the cheese). Cover with foil and bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes. 

  5. Remove foil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese turns golden. Let lasagna rest 30 min before slicing. 

Nutrition Facts

Lasagna Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 368
Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 8g50%

Cholesterol 77mg26%

Sodium 858mg37%

Potassium 482mg14%

Carbohydrates 23g8%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 29g58%

Vitamin A 705IU14%

Vitamin C 6.1mg7%

Calcium 437mg44%

Iron 2.1mg12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.