Easy Lasagna Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings

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This Easy Lasagna recipe is made with oven ready lasagna noodles, jarred tomato sauce and a couple special ingredients that bring LOADS of flavor! Includes step by step recipe video so you can make this simple lasagna at home.

Do you love lasagna as much as we do? Try these Lasagna Roll Ups, this Crockpot Lasagna Soup or this Chocolate Lasagna for dessert!

overhead image of pan of lasagna in white baking dish.

Sharing this Easy Lasagna recipe here on The Recipe Rebel, I’ll admit, is mostly for me.

That’s right.

I occasionally have purely selfish motives here (and my motives are almost entirely selfish when cheesy pasta is involved 😉 ).

The thing is, I realized one day that lasagna is one of those easy dinner ideas I hadn’t yet mastered, because I never use a recipe.

So I have made some amazing lasagna, and I have made some dry lasagnas, and I have made some soupy lasagnas, and I struggled to get consistent results.

I figured the only thing to do was to come up with The Perfect Easy Lasagna Recipe to share here, and that would force me to actually get in my kitchen and figure out the best ratios of sauce to pasta to cheese and then we would all be making amazing lasagnas forevermore.

Just don’t forget the Cheesy Garlic Bread!

Reader Rating

“Just like everything else Ashley makes, this was so delicious!! Definitely a permanent dish in the dinner rotation.” — Megan

“I made this recipe for Christmas Eve dinner, and it was a hit. There was barely anything left. Thanks for sharing this recipe!” — Joi

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piece of lasagna being scooped out of white baking dish.
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What is authentic lasagna?

All I have to say to this is: who’s to say?

Even in Italy, there are so many variations of a classic lasagna recipe depending on where you live, that I don’t know if we can really claim there’s one right way.

Some Lasagnas have a layer of ricotta, cheese and egg mixture layered with meat sauce.

Some Lasagna recipes have cottage cheese (I feel like this is a Canadian prairies thing, but I could be wrong).

Some Lasagna recipes have a layer of bechamel sauce rather than ricotta or cottage cheese.

So this is my interpretation of the best lasagna recipe, and I think it’s pretty delicious! I’d love to hear which way you prefer it in the comments.

Easy Lasagna Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef: I choose to use lean ground beef so there is little fat to drain. If you are using regular ground beef, you may want to drain the fat before continuing. Feel free to swap this out with ground turkey, chicken or pork.
  • Italian Sausage: Italian sausage is a must here (in my opinion!) because it adds so much flavor without having to add a bunch of different spices. If you swap it out, you’ll want to make sure to compensate by adding additional seasonings.
  • Onion: adds depth of flavor that can’t be missed!
  • Garlic: opt for freshly minced garlic for the best flavor, but pre-minced works in a pinch.
  • Salt and Italian Seasoning: because the sausage adds so much flavor, I keep the rest of our seasonings pretty basic. If you like extra kick, you can add a ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes as well.
  • Tomato Pasta Sauce: a simple marinara sauce or similar tomato sauce works great here! Keep in mind the more flavor your sauce has, the more it will add to the lasagna.
  • Water: a little bit of water added to our sauce ensures that our lasagna doesn’t get dry as our noodles cook.
  • Ricotta cheese: I use Ricotta cheese in this lasagna — you don’t notice the texture and it adds a deliciously mild, creamy flavor.
  • Frozen Spinach: I prefer to use frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, because it is already shrunk down considerably and it’s easy to mix into the filling. You can substitute with fresh, finely chopped spinach if you prefer.
  • Cream: keeps our Ricotta filling from becoming dry.
  • Egg: binds our Ricotta filling to keep it in place.
  • Parmesan cheese: adds the best salty, cheesy flavor.
  • Mozzarella cheese: a must have! In our cheese filling and a solid layer on top.
  • Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles: I love using oven ready lasagna noodles because it takes out one step in an admittedly long process. They make this Easy Lasagna recipe much more convenient! You can use regular lasagna noodles, pre-cooked to al dente, and omit the water in the sauce.

How to make Lasagna:

Here is a quick overview of the recipe! Scroll down to the recipe card for all the details you need.

  1. Brown your meat and onion: in this recipe I like to use a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage because it adds a ton of flavor without us really having to put in any extra work!
  2. Add your spices: adding your spices and garlic before your liquid really brings the flavor to life.
  1. Add the tomato sauce and simmer your sauce until the flavors meld together.
  2. Make the ricotta cheese mixture: Stir together the ricotta, seasonings, cheese and egg to hold it all together.
  1. Layer it up: Start with a little meat sauce in the bottom of the baking dish to ensure your noodles don’t stick to the bottom, then top with noodles, ricotta, and meat sauce and then repeat. Dump allllll of that extra mozzarella on the top for good measure!
  2. Cover and bake: Covering the lasagna with aluminum foil to bake ensures that the moisture stays inside and cooks the noodles. We will uncover once we add the cheese and let it sit at room temperature for some time before slicing to help it set well.

Variations on this Easy Lasagna Recipe:

And because there are about 1 million different ways to make lasagna, here are a few tips to get it just the way you like:

  • You can swap the ricotta for cottage cheese and change nothing else at all. See how easy that was! Simply mix it up with the cheese just like you would ricotta.
  • Can you make lasagna without ricotta or cottage cheese? Absolutely! You can actually skip it altogether or use a Bechamel Sauce instead! (Just don’t tell anyone)
  • Want to add extra veggies? Go for it! I often do, but I wanted to keep this lasagna recipe as simple as possible to start. Finely chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms, kale or spinach would be great, and you can add them when you’re cooking the meat.
  • Don’t have an Italian sausage? You can use all ground beef or sub for ground turkey or pork, but you will want to increase the seasonings somewhat.
piece of lasagna on grey plate with parsley.

What’s the correct layering for lasagna?

To prepare your pan for your lasagna layers, it’s always a good idea to spray with non stick spray and then spread a bit of the red sauce in the bottom to keep the oven ready noodles moist and prevent them from sticking. From there, this is the best way to layer your lasagna:

  1. Noodles
  2. Ricotta cheese mixture
  3. Red sauce
  4. Repeat until all layers are done, then add your mozzarella on top!

Make ahead Lasagna method:

Lasagna is the perfect meal prep or make ahead meal! Just follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your lasagna up to the point of baking, leaving the mozzarella cheese off for now.
  2. Cool for 30-60 minutes at room temperature, then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 2 days.
  3. Continue with the baking instructions, adding a splash of water around the edges if the noodles appear to have soaked up a lot of the sauce.

How to freeze lasagna:

One of the best things about a good homemade lasagna is how easy it is to make ahead, and it still tastes just as amazing when you bake it later!

You can wrap and refrigerate the lasagna for 3-4 days before baking, or you can freeze it to enjoy it even later.

To freeze lasagna before baking, you can add the cheese before freezing or just before baking — I prefer to add it during the last ten minutes so it doesn’t get stuck to my foil!

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil, or use an airtight, freezer safe lid. Freeze up to 3 months before baking.

To bake, let thaw at room temperature throughout the day – 8 hours – or overnight in the refrigerator. Bake for 1-1.5 hours until heated through. Top with cheese and bake until melted.

What to serve with this Easy Lasagna Recipe:

Lasagna is a favorite here, and we love to serve it with a side of Garlic Bread, a basket of Homemade Breadsticks or some Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe and Garlic Butter.

Want something green to serve with it? Try these Roasted Green Beans, Broccoli Casserole or Easy Broccoli Salad!

More baked pasta recipes you’ll love!

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Easy Lasagna

5 from 21 votes
This Easy Lasagna recipe is made with oven ready lasagna noodles, jarred tomato sauce and a couple special ingredients that bring LOADS of flavor! Includes step by step recipe video so you can make this simple lasagna at home.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cuisine American, Italian
Course Main Course
Servings 12 servings
Calories 493cal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage loose packed or casings removed (5 sausages)
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3.5 cups jarred tomato pasta sauce about 1.5 jars
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese 450g
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry (100g)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese divided
  • 12 oven ready lasagna noodles

Instructions

  • In a large pan, cook ground beef, Italian sausage and onion until browned, stirring often. If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, drain it before continuing.
  • Stir in garlic, salt and Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in pasta sauce and water. Remove from heat to cool slightly. (This can also be made in advance and refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months)
  • In a medium bowl, stir together Ricotta, spinach, cream, egg and Parmesan and 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if baking right away) and lightly grease a deep 9×13" pan.
  • Spread just enough meat sauce in the bottom of the pan to create a thin layer.
  • Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread the noodles with ⅓ of the Ricotta mixture, and top that with ¼ of the meat sauce.
  • Repeat layers 3 times, and on the last layer of noodles spread only the remaining meat sauce.
  • Lightly grease a piece of tin foil or oven safe lid and place over top of the lasagna. Bake for 40-45 minutes until noodles are tender (this can take up to 60 minutes, depending on your brand of pasta) — it will still be juicy at this point and that's okay.
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes until melted and broil for 2 minutes if desired to brown the cheese.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes — there should not be any liquid remaining on the edges after this rest. Slice and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 493cal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1252mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1489IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 313mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords easy lasagna, lasagna recipe

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Jaime says

    I fixed your lasagna this evening, and IT WAS A HIT!! Easy to put together but yet loaded with flavor!! This is replacing my old recipe!! Thank you so much!!

  2. megan baldwin says

    Just like everything else Ashley makes, this was so delicious!! Definitely a permanent dish in the dinner rotation.

  3. Joi says

    I made this recipe for Christmas Eve dinner, and it was a hit. There was barely anything left. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

      • Frances Daku says

        We live in Fiji and the common milk is the box milk and it often comes as full cream milk. Could that work? Or should it be heavy cream?

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi Frances, you are looking for any kind of cream to cook with. Any percentage cream will work just fine as well! Hope you enjoy it!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      If you hover over or click on the number of servings in the recipe card, you can change the number of servings to any you want 🙂 You can also just make a few smaller lasagnas and put some in the freezer for another day.

  4. Priyanka G says

    How can I substitute cream cheese for the ricotta? Is it the same amount as ricotta? Do I still add the egg and the other ingredients?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You can probably substitute it without changing the rest of the recipe, but you might find it’s thick and difficult to spread and want to thin it with milk or cream.

  5. Bonnie Oleszkowicz says

    A fyi for to avoid your cheese sticking to the foil is to lightly pray your foil with pam before covering your pan with the foil. Walla no sticking!!\

  6. Shauna says

    This Lasagna looks yummy…definitely going to give it a try. Love that you add in spinach. Would you mind sharing where I can find that big pan you are using in the video? Thanks!

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