Homemade Lasagna is a classic recipe that every cook should have in their rotation.

Tender sheets of pasta, a creamy ricotta cheese filling, and a rich meaty tomato sauce are all topped with more cheese and baked until browned and bubbly.

While there are a few steps to this lasagna recipe, it’s easy to make and has so much flavor. This dish can be made ahead of time and freezes well either before or after baking!

a slice of baked homemade lasagna on a white plate

Homemade lasagna may have a few steps, but each step is easy – and I assure you it’s worth the time; the perfect Italian meal!

The best lasagna recipe is made with ingredients that you know, and it’s not difficult at all! All you’ll need for this easy lasagna recipe is one pan, one bowl, and a 9×13 baking dish!

Lasagna Ingredients

ingredients for lasagna on a wood board
  • Cheese Filling: For this classic lasagna recipe, the filling contains ricotta and parmesan with seasonings and a couple of tablespoons of parsley. No ricotta? No problem, cottage cheese works just fine in this recipe!
  • Meat: I use both Italian sausage and ground beef for great flavor. If using all beef, add a ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds and some Italian seasoning to the meat mixture for flavor.
  • Sauce: To keep this sauce quick, I use pasta sauce or marinara sauce (it’s easy to make from scratch with crushed tomatoes and canned tomatoes if you’d prefer).

Spinach (variation): To make a spinach lasagna, squeeze out most of the moisture of defrosted frozen spinach and add it along with the cheese layer.

Lasagna ingredients don’t have to be limited to the ones you see here. Substitute meats or different cheeses, or try different meat sauce variations.

How to Make Lasagna

Homemade lasagna may have a few steps, but each step is easy – and I assure you it’s worth the time; the perfect Italian meal! This is a really easy lasagna recipe.

  1. Boil pasta: Cook in a large pot of salted water per the recipe below.
  2. Prepare meat sauce: Cook sausage and beef with onion and garlic. Drain well, add the pasta sauce & simmer it for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. Combine cheese mixture: Stir the cheese mixture together in a bowl.
  4. Layer & bake: Layer the meat sauce and cheese mixture with lasagna noodles and bake until browned and bubbly.

How to Layer Lasagna

  1. Spread about a cup of meat sauce into a 9×13 pan. Add a layer of noodles.
  2. Top the noodles with some of the ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of noodles and sauce
  3. Cover with foil and bake. Remove foil, top with mozzarella and parmesan, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Once you have prepared the meat sauce and the cheese mixture, you’re ready to layer. This is the order of layers:

  • sauce – noodles – cheese
  • sauce – noodles – cheese
  • sauce – noodles – cheese
  • noodles – sauce (bake) – cheese
Easy Homemade Lasagna in a serving dish

How Long to Bake

Bake this lasagna recipe for a total of one hour. To get a perfect browned cheese topping, you’ll need to bake it in two stages.

  1. Layer and cover it tightly with aluminum foil to retain the moisture.
  2. Once cooked, and heated through, remove the foil, top with cheese, and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the lasagna is bubbling.

Important: Let the Lasagna Rest

Let the lasagna sit/rest for at least 15 minutes once removed from the oven (even 30-45 minutes is fine). This will keep it from becoming runny and help it to keep its shape when cut. Resting is not required when reheating.

Serve with a big slice of Homemade Garlic Bread and garnish with fresh basil or a couple of tablespoons of parsley.

Finish the meal with a Caesar salad or Italian salad.

pan of the best baked homemade lasagna on a white plate

Make Ahead

Lasagna can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. It can also be frozen before or after baking.

To Freeze Lasagna

Lasagna is one of the best meals to make ahead and freeze. Double or triple the recipe and store it tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. If the lasagna is cold from the fridge, it may need an extra 20 minutes or so of cooking time.

How To Reheat Lasagna

If you’ve frozen leftovers, pop them in the oven at 350°F covered until reheated. This should take about 30 minutes! Of course, leftovers are perfectly heated in the microwave too!

More Baked Pasta Recipes

Did you enjoy this Homemade Lasagna? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

pan of the best baked homemade lasagna on a white plate
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Easy Homemade Lasagna

Homemade lasagna is a classic, delicious dinner that every family should have in their recipe rotation. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients  

  • 12 lasagna noodles uncooked
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded and divided
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded and divided

Tomato Sauce

  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 36 ounces pasta sauce *see note
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Cheese Mixture

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 egg beaten

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot of salted water, boil lasagna noodles until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown beef, sausage, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in the pasta sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • In a separate bowl, combine 1 ½ cups mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ricotta, parsley, egg, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce in a 9×13 pan or casserole dish. Top it with 3 lasagna noodles. Layer with ⅓ of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup of meat sauce. Repeat twice more. Finish with 3 noodles topped with remaining sauce.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining 2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Broil for 2-3 minutes if desired.
  • Rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Video

Notes

*Note on the sauce: In this recipe, each layer has about 1 cup of meat sauce. If you prefer more sauce in your lasagna, increase the pasta sauce to 48 oz. Salt needed may vary based on the brand of pasta sauce used. Taste and season after simmering.
Cheese Layer The cheese layers are thin; if you’d prefer a thicker layer of cheese, divide the cheese in half and put on the first two layers, and add just meat sauce to the third layer. We did test this with extra ricotta cheese and found it overpowered the lasagna. 
Time-Saving Tip:  Use fresh lasagna sheets found in the deli area and skip the boiling step! Fresh lasagna doesn’t need to be boiled first. 
Let the lasagna sit/rest for at least 15 minutes once removed from the oven (even 30-45 minutes is fine). This will keep it from becoming runny and help it to keep its shape when cut. Resting is not required when reheating.
Substitutions:
  • Ricotta cheese can be replaced with cottage cheese.
  • Use all beef (or even ground turkey) in place of sausage if needed. If using all beef, add ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning to the meat (and ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds if desired).
4.95 from 1573 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 377 | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 805IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 526mg | Iron: 2.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Casserole, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I love Lasagna; it’s always what I order at Italian restaurants. This is by far the best Lasagna I’ve ever had in my life!! My new go-to recipe!!!!5 stars

  2. The lasagna was good. I used sauce I made previously and frozen. That made assembling very easy. I USED THE OVEN-READY NOODLES WHICH WAS A BIG MISTAKE. It changed the taste and texture of the dish. I would have given the recipe five stars otherwise, but that was my own fault. I do not recommend taking this short cut.4 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Rylie, but other readers have with great success. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  3. Hello, I can’t wait to make this lasagna. I make so many recipes from ‘Spend With Pennies’ (all fabulous). Before I begin though, I would like to be sure about the cook time if I make the lasagna a day ahead. Other reviewers are saying to increase the cook time if it’s been made ahead and refrigerated before baking. Can you please tell me how long I should bake the lasagna for if it’s going into the oven cold from the fridge? Is it still 45 minutes and then an additional 15 with the added cheese or does that time change? Thanks so much!!!

    1. Hi Erica, I would remove the lasagna from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking if possible. Otherwise I would start by adding on an extra 15-20 minutes to the covered cook time. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  4. I served this lasagna to my family tonight and all 7 said it was delicious. I did add extra sauce and I used 1 cup of ricotta cheese and 1 cup of cottage cheese.5 stars

  5. This is a decent base recipe for lasagna but it needs some tweaks. When I make it I do double and freeze a tray. 2lbs of hamburger total, 1 pound of Italian sausage. I also use more sauce, 90ish oz and I make it homemade and let it cook for 6-8 hours in the crockpot. I also add a pack of cream cheese (per tray, so two total) to the ricotta/mozzarella mixture. Major game changer. Mushrooms are a must as well!3 stars

  6. This was the first lasagna I have ever made and it was delicious! Rave reviews from my husband and from me as well. Lots of leftovers to freeze for another day. Excellent recipe!5 stars

  7. We did not have the best luck with this recipe. First, even after resting 20 minutes, the lasagna did not hold its shape when cutting. The noodles slid off. It may need to rest 25 minutes or more. Also, the cheese filling totally overwhelmed the sauce taste. Not sure why I had these issues, but will experiment and look at fillings from other recipes to see if I can pinpoint my issues.3 stars

  8. It’s probably worth mentioning:

    You can assemble a lasagna the day before and put it in the fridge.

    BUT this increases cooking time. Lasagna recipes tend to assume the ingredients are going into the oven hot.

    I didn’t learn that lesson with this recipe, but I did learn it the hard way — trying to impress the in-laws.

    I couldn’t say how long it would take if you just set it and forget it. If, after the first 45 minutes, you keep nervously looking into the oven every 10 minutes, it takes about an hour and a half from cold until done.

    1. You don’t even say what temperature to bake this at. That may help people like me who would like to know what temperature to bake it at.

  9. I haven’t made lasagne in years and this turned out fantastically. Also made the garlic bread with it. All my family loved it and love the leftovers5 stars

  10. I just made this dish today, it was my very first time making lasagna. I just got engaged so I wanted to make this dish to impress my fiancé and he loved it so much! This was a success I’m definite making this dish again. Plus I love how much left overs there are.

  11. The cooking time might be off as I had to cook it for an hour and a half. It’s a hearty lasagne and smell wonderful.4 stars

  12. Thank woo for laying out a recipe in a way that makes sense. In a sea of recipes that are basically the same this one was great and easy to understand5 stars

  13. I made this for a friend before ever tasting it. A little risky but how bad can any lasagna ingredients be bad. She said it was delishious but could use more sauce and while putting it together I thought that. I will make this again. Also made a day ahead, refrigerated and went to reheat and it definitely needs more than 30 min to reheat. More like an hour plus. Next time I won’t make ahead