Your search is over! You’ve found the best homemade meat lasagna recipe. The three layers of pasta, homemade Bolognese, creamy ricotta, nutty Parmesan, and melty mozzarella cheese easily gave this away. Super rich, packed with so much flavour, unbelievably satisfying, and comforting. One bite of this meaty, cheesy, and saucy lasagna and you’ll fall head over heels!
PREP TIME: 30 MINS | COOK TIME: 1 HR 30 MINS | SERVINGS: 12
1 lb mild Italian sausage bulk or casings removed
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 carrot diced
1 stalk celery diced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
6-8 garlic cloves minced
1 28-ounces can crushed tomatoes
2 15-ounces cans of tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried
1 1/2 tbsp dried parsley or ¼ c. fresh
1 tbsp beef bouillon
1 tbsp sugar more or less to taste
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon EACH dried thyme, salt, pepper
1 whole bay leaf
3 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb shredded mozzarella (4 c.)
15 classic lasagna noodles (NOT no-boil)
HOW TO MAKE LASAGNA
Step 1: Into the bottom of a long pan, place the lasagna. Over the noodles, pour the hot tap water, making sure the noodles are completely submerged in the water. Soak the noodles for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, brown the ground beef, sausage, onion, carrots, and celery in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Adding the garlic and red pepper flakes once the ground beef is browned and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. Then, drain the grease.
Step 3: To the pot, add the rest of the Bolognese ingredients. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Take the lid off, adjust the heat to low, and gently simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes while occasionally stirring until the Bolognese has reduced but still saucy.
Step 4: In the meantime, prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F.
Step 5: To a large bowl, add the cheese filling ingredients and mix well.
Step 6: Ready a deep 9 x 13-inch pan, lightly grease, and start assembling the lasagna. In the bottom of the pan, spread 1 1/2 cups meat sauce, place 4 noodles over the sauce lengthwise and to cover, add part of the 5th noodles on top. Over the noodles, spread a third of the ricotta cheese mixture, top with a cup of mozzarella cheese, then 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Do the same layers twice to make three layers in total. For the final layer, spread the rest of the meat sauce, top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. At this point, the pan will be brimming. Using foil, cover the lasagna, securing the edges tightly.
Step 7: On a baking sheet, place the lasagna, shift in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Step 8: Remove from the oven and allow the lasagna to rest for at least 15 minutes. Before serving, garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
I never skip Italian sausage when it comes to this recipe as it offers authentic Italian flavour because of the fennel. In case you are skipping the Italian sausage, ensure to add fennel to your meat sauce.
To make sure that the sauce doesn’t end up greasy, I recommend using 93/7 lean ground beef. After cooking, drain the excess grease from the meat.
For this recipe, I always use shredded mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella balls are too watery for lasagna and sliced mozzarella are not easy to distribute. However, if using sliced mozzarella, ensure to slice them very thinly.
It’s a million times better to use freshly grated Parmesan as it tastes amazing and melts so much better compare to powdered or pre-shredded.
TO PREP LASAGNA AHEAD OF TIME:
Make this lasagna a day ahead and simply refrigerate. You can even make the sauce three days before, just store it in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months. When baking lasagna with cold, thawed sauce, add 15 minutes or so to the baking time.
TO FREEZE UNCOOKED LASAGNA:
Following the recipe steps, assemble the lasagna in a freezer-safe dish.
With two layers o plastic wrap, tightly cover the lasagna.
And with a layer of aluminium foil, tightly cover the lasagna.
Put a label and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw the lasagna in the fridge the night before. Uncover and bake as directed, adding 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time.
TO FREEZE COOKED LASAGNA:
In a freezer-safe dish, bake the lasagna following the same steps above.
Allow the baked lasagna to cool for at least an hour.
Using plastic wrap, tent the lasagna and chill in the fridge.
Once chilled, cover with another layer of aluminium foil.
Put a label and freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw the lasagna in the fridge the night before.
The next day, remove the cover and bake as directed, adding another 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
TO FREEZE INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS OF LASAGNA:
Start by baking the lasagna as directed.
Allow cooling completely before slicing into individual servings.
In freezer-safe plastic bags, place the portions and freeze.
When ready to eat, reheat the servings for about 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees F.
TO COOK LASAGNA FROM FROZEN:
Uncover the lasagna and replace the cover with foil, making sure to tightly cover the lasagna.
Place in a 350 degrees f preheated oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the cover and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.