With my mom’s homemade Lasagna Recipe, I promise you’ll fall in love with just one bite. Layers of lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese, homemade meat sauce, and ricotta and Parmesan cheeses make this family favorite THE ultimate comfort food with plenty for everyone! It’s also a great way to feed a crowd or you can freeze the leftovers.
No kitchen should be without a best easy lasagna recipe, and this one is it!!
Just the hearing or saying the word makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Especially when it comes to this perfect dish. The layers of noodles, pasta sauce, cheese filling, and melted cheese on that top layer make for a delicious lasagna.
See, it was my mother’s and one of THE recipes she absolutely knocked out of the park.
This original recipe makes a VERY full and heavy 9X13-inch pan and tastes even better the next day.
SAVE THIS BEST LASAGNA RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
See, my mother wasn’t the greatest of cooks and there were many nights we’d have that blue box macaroni and cheese with hot dogs slices mixed in. Her pork chops were dry and overcooked, but I’ve learned this is the best way to cook pork chops. I also never looked forward to her meatloaf, but have since fallen in LOVE with this meatloaf recipe!
Though to her credit, she did have a few dishes she excelled at that I still make for my family. These Spinach and Cheese Manicotti are ones she made often. I learned to love the slow cooker because of Gram’s Crockpot Spareribs, and her O’Henry Bars were something I looked forward to every Christmas.
Mom passed away many, many years ago, but I still have the brown lasagna pan she made her lasagna in.
And honestly, I don’t use it for anything else, just mom’s easy homemade lasagna.
I have never had a problem with this turning out really well and love to serve it when we have company. It’s so filling and there’s plenty of it.
What do I need for this easy lasagna recipe?
- Hearty Meat Sauce
Cloves of Garlic
Salt / Pepper
- Lasagna Noodles
- Ricotta Mixture
- Mozzarella Cheese
How to make the best classic lasagna recipe?
- Begin by making the homemade meat sauce.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant. Add the ground beef and cook until brown. Add the diced tomatoes, puree, sauce, paste, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt, pepper, oregano and bay leaves. Stir until well combined. Cover, and reduce heat to simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Preheat oven to 350°F, and cook lasagna noodles al dente according to package directions.
- Ricotta Mixture
Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Mix well.
- Assembling the Lasagna
Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and place a deep 9 X 13-inch or large casserole dish on it, generously coating it with cooking spray. Place a cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. For the first layer, place 4 lasagna noodles in a single layer over the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Cover with 2 cups of the meat mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over the sauce.
Repeat with 4 noodles, ricotta filling, sauce, mozzarella cheese.
Again repeat with 4 noodles, remaining ricotta filling, sauce, mozzarella cheese.
Layer 4 cooked noodles on top, cover with remaining sauce, and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of the lasagna.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until bubbly.
Recipe Tips –
- Place the 9 X 13-inch baking dish on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. This will prevent any drippings from spilling onto your oven, allowing for easier clean up.
- Be sure to stir the meat sauce frequently. There’s nothing worse than adding a burnt or slightly burnt sauce to your lasagna. It can ruin the whole dish.
- Prepare a clean work surface and place long pieces of wax paper or parchment paper on it. After draining, place lasagna noodles flat on the paper to cool. Flat noodles are easier to spread the sauce and ricotta on.
- You can use the no-boil lasagna noodles or oven-ready lasagna noodles in place of regular lasagna noodles. I did use them a long time ago, just not sure of the exact number of noodles you’ll need, since I always prefer to boil them in hot water.
- After removing from the oven, allow the dish to sit at least 5-10 minutes before serving. That way when you slice it your pieces will be more uniform as opposed to the layers sliding all over the plate.
- When freezing, be sure to write on the bag or container what it is and the date, so you know when to best eat it by.
Can this recipe for layered lasagna be made ahead?
Absolutely, and it’s one of the best make-ahead meals! I recommend making it no more than a day ahead of when you plan to cook it.
Prepare it up until you layer it with the last bit of mozzarella and Parmesan and then cover tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
To bake: remove the plastic wrap, and tin foil. Cover with just a sheet of tin foil and bake at 350° for about 45 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle all over with cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is glossy.
Can I freeze this lasagna recipe?
Either before you put it into the oven or after.
Freezing UNBAKED lasagna –
Prepare the recipe up until you sprinkle the last bit of mozzarella and Parmesan on top.
Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and place into the freezer.
Freezing AFTER you bake it –
Remove the lasagna in sections from the pan, and either place into a freezer safe food container or wrap in aluminum foil and place into freezer Ziploc bag(s).
How do I reheat it?
From FROZEN –
The best way to reheat a frozen lasagna is to allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and re-cover it tightly with the sheet of aluminum foil. Bake it in a 350°F. oven for about 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese is glossy.
If you don’t have time to do that, remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Cover tightly with just the aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for about 60 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan and bake for an an extra time 10 – 15 minutes, until cheese is glossy and lasagna is bubbly.
How long will leftover lasagna last?
Leftover lasagna that has been cooked will last 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
What do I serve with this casserole?
This recipe pairs well with my Grandmother’s Italian Bread, these Asiago Herb Biscuits or Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks. You can also purchase some pre-made garlic bread from the grocery store if you’re short on time, and don’t want to make bread from scratch.
Want some cheesy bread?
Make this cheesy garlic bread or these Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
More Lasagna Recipes
Yes, believe it or not, there are sweet recipes that are known are lasagna desserts because they have layers.
Chocolate Lasagna is a very popular one.
All of my Dream Bar recipes are based on it.
The most popular are the Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars, Orange Creamsicle Dream Bars, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Dream Bars (pictured above), and Turtle Dream Bars.
They’re all no bake recipes, except for the Red Velvet Cherry Dream Bars, so they’re perfect to make any time of year.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion or enough for one cup
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 ounces tomato puree
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 1 large egg
- 30 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 4-5 cups shredded mozzarella
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the olive oil.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and cook until brown.
- Add the puree, sauce, diced tomatoes, paste, sugar, basil, salt, oregano, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir until well combined.
- Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place a few long sheets of wax paper onto a clean work surface, and spray with cooking spray. In a large pot, cook lasagna noodles according to manufacturer’s directions.
Drain and place noodles flat onto the wax paper while the sauce continues to cook.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg.
- Add the ricotta, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Mix until well combined.
- Generously coat a deep 9 X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and layer a rimmed baking pan with tin foil.
Remove the bay leaves from the meat sauce.
- Place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Put 4 lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce.
- Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
- Completely cover with about 2 cups of sauce, making sure to spread the sauce into the corners and along the edges.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella over the sauce.
- Place 4 lasagna noodles over the mozzarella and repeat the order of layering.
- Place lasagna noodles over the final ricotta/mozzarella layer and cover with sauce.
- Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses over the sauce.
- Place the pan of lasagna onto the foil-lined baking sheet. This allows for easier clean-up should it bubble over in the oven or spill over when cutting into at the table.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until bubbly. If you should notice cheese beginning to brown, cover lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.
This recipe was updated in format and photos on 11/13/2018, and again on 9/21/22. It was originally published on 2/23/11 and was Day 27 of my original 365 days of baking.