The Best Lasagna Recipe
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This classic Lasagna Recipe is cheesy, saucy and full of flavor! Make this easy lasagna recipe for a family dinner or to feed a crowd.
Lasagna is the best comfort food, made with noodles, ground beef, sauce and cheese. This lasagna is a hearty main dish that you can make ahead or bake right away.
This lasagna recipe is my all-time favorite, and it’s the one that I make most often for my family. This recipe uses a secret ingredient that saves time while still making a delicious lasagna with layers of flavor.
If you’re at all intimidated by making homemade lasagna, don’t be. This easy lasagna recipe is simple to prepare. Below I’ve outlined the steps so that you can make the best lasagna at home.
We love to make lasagna for Sunday dinner. It’s also perfect for entertaining or for when you need to bring a meal to a friend or family member. Serve it with garlic bread, garlic knots or dinner rolls and an Italian salad for a delicious Italian feast.
Best Lasagna Recipe
My secret for making the best easy lasagna? Use store-bought marinara sauce. As long as you use a good quality sauce that you love, your lasagna will turn out so flavorful, and you’ll have saved a lot of time and effort in the kitchen.
When you take a little help from the grocery store, you won’t have to simmer your lasagna sauce for hours to get the rich, deep flavors that you crave. The best store-bought sauces are perfectly seasoned and will add lots of flavor to your lasagna.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this lasagna recipe:
- Lasagna Noodles: This recipe uses regular (not no boil) lasagna noodles.
- Onion: Adds flavor to the sauce.
- Ground Beef: My go-to for a lasagna meat sauce. If desired, you can add 1/2 pound of Italian sausage along with the ground beef. The Italian sausage will add even more flavor.
- Garlic: You can’t beat the flavor of fresh garlic!
- Marinara Sauce: You’ll need 48 ounces (two 24-ounce jars) of store-bought sauce. If you want to use homemade marinara sauce, you’ll need 6 cups of sauce.
- Salt, Pepper and Italian Seasoning: These add the perfect amount of seasoning to the lasagna. You can also add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
- Fresh Parsley: Brightens up the flavors; you can omit it if you don’t have any on hand.
- Egg: Helps to bind the ricotta cheese, which thickens it and prevents it from getting soupy as it bakes.
- Ricotta Cheese: Adds creaminess and cheesy flavor. If you don’t care for ricotta, you can omit the ricotta and egg from the recipe. You can also substitute cottage cheese if needed and omit the egg.
- Mozzarella Cheese: A classic ingredient in traditional lasagna, the mozzarella melts wonderfully as it bakes. Look for a ball of part skim or whole milk mozzarella, not fresh mozzarella.
- Parmesan Cheese: Brings more bold cheesy flavor.
How to Make Lasagna
The steps to making lasagna are:
- Boil the lasagna noodles.
- Brown the ground beef with onion and garlic.
- To the pan, add the marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and fresh parsley. Simmer the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and an egg. Shred the mozzarella cheese.
- Layer the lasagna.
- Bake until hot and bubbly.
How to Layer Lasagna
- Spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish.
- Make a layer of 3 noodles over the sauce.
- Spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the noodles. Spoon on half of the ricotta and egg mixture. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat the noodle, sauce and cheese layer one more time.
- For the top layer, use the remaining 3 noodles and spread on the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan.
Make Ahead & Reheating Instructions
You can assemble the lasagna ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. If you are baking a lasagna that is fully chilled from being in the refrigerator, add about 15 minutes to the covered baking time.
Leftover lasagna can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a covered dish in the oven until it is steaming hot.
How to Freeze Lasagna
You can assemble the lasagna and then freeze it before baking. Wrap the lasagna tightly before freezing, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook the lasagna, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then bake as directed in the recipe, adding about 15 minutes to the covered baking time since a lasagna that is cold from the refrigerator will take longer to heat through.
You can also freeze lasagna after baking, for up to 3 months. I like to wrap individual servings of lasagna and freeze them for a quick meal. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Lasagna Recipe Tips
- Slightly under-cook the lasagna noodles. They will absorb some of the sauce as the lasagna bakes, and become more flavorful. I usually cook the noodles for the minimum time given on the package, or one minute less than the time for al dente noodles.
- Drain the cooked noodles into a colander and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. To keep the noodles from sticking together, lay them in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper while you prepare the meat sauce.
- Use a good quality store-bought marinara sauce that you love the flavor of to save time when preparing lasagna. The fresh Italian parsley, dried Italian seasoning and fresh garlic in this lasagna recipe boost the flavor of store-bought sauce.
- When the lasagna comes out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This makes it much easier to serve.
More Lasagna Recipes
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Instant Pot Lasagna
- Crockpot Lasagna
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Lasagna Soup
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 pound ground beef*
- salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 48 ounces marinara sauce, about 6 cups of sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, about 4 cups
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions for the minimum cook time. Then, drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. You can lay them out on parchment paper to keep them from sticking together.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, until the beef is browned. Drain off excess grease. Season with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and parsley to the skillet and stir. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the temperature to low. Cook at a low simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce simmers, crack the egg into a medium bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the ricotta cheese and stir to combine. This is also a good time to shred the mozzarella cheese.
- To assemble the lasagna, put about 1 cup of the sauce into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Lay 3 noodles in an even layer over the sauce. Spread ⅓ of the remaining sauce over the noodles. Place small spoonfuls of the ricotta and egg mixture on top of the sauce, using ½ of the ricotta. Sprinkle ⅓ of the mozzarella and ⅓ of the Parmesan over the top.
- Repeat the same layer one more time: 3 noodles, ½ of the remaining sauce, the rest of the ricotta, ½ of the remaining mozzarella and ½ of the remaining Parmesan. For the top layer of the lasagna, use the remaining 3 noodles, the rest of the sauce, and finally the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Cover the lasagna with a piece of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray on the underside (to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil).
- Bake the lasagna, covered with foil, for 35 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the lasagna is hot and bubbling on the sides and the cheese is lightly browned on top. Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- You can add 1/2 pound of Italian sausage in addition to the ground beef, if desired. Remove the sausage from the casings and brown it with the ground beef, crumbling it as it cooks.
- Leftover lasagna can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days after baking. You can also freeze lasagna after baking, in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat in the microwave or in a covered dish in the oven until it is steaming hot.
- To Make Ahead: You can assemble the lasagna ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. If you are baking a lasagna that is fully chilled from being in the refrigerator, add about 15 minutes to the covered baking time.
- Freezer Instructions: You can assemble the lasagna and then freeze it before baking. Wrap the lasagna tightly before freezing, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook the lasagna, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then bake as directed in the recipe, adding about 15 minutes to the covered baking time since a lasagna that is cold from the refrigerator will take longer to heat through.
This came out so great. I followed the recipe and had a really nice dinner that I was proud of. Just a really good lasagna. I want another slice. Thanks for posting this!!
Let me start by saying that I have never cooked Lasagna in my whole life but when I saw this recipe I had to try it. My whole family loved and it made me looked like a pro. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe if I could give it 10 stars I would.
Is there a store bought marinara sauce that you recommend? Which is your favorite? Thank you!
My favorites are Mia’s Kitchen and Mezzetta.
I made last night! It was great. All of them love it.
This exactly how I make it. I do use the sausage with the hamburger. The only thing I do different is i don’t cook the noodles! After I assemble it I pour a little water around the sides. Probably a half to 3/4 cup. Cover and bake. It really works.
For 12 servings, the recipe says 48 ounces of marinara sauce. Is that correct? I plan to make this and freeze. Thanks!
Yes, that is correct. Most grocery store jars of marinara sauce are about 24 ounces, so I use two jars. Enjoy!
I followed the recipe except instead of using shredded mozzarella between the layers, I used sliced mozzarella. I used shredded on top. I like the slices between the layers because it gives a little more bite. I used regular Ragu marinara and the lasagna still tasted like restaurant quality.
The lasagna was successful and was devoured. It is a very good recipe. This was my first time making the dish. I only have one negative thing to say, and its not about the ingredients or the outcome. The subtitle ‘Making the layers’ in #3, has no mention of the meat. I had to go back and add it after I realized that fact. It might help beginners such as myself to include when the meat should be added. Again, it is an excellent recipe.
I’m so glad that the lasagna turned out well! I’m not sure which subtitle you’re referring to, but when the recipe says to add the sauce, it’s the meat sauce you’re adding (recipe step 4 says to add the marinara sauce to the pan with the meat). Glad it turned out well anyways!
I feel like an idiot asking this question but I am not an accomplished chef, and typically just follow recipes to the letter. Your recipe for lasagna sounds amazing but does not say whether or not you should drain the ground beef before adding the sauce. Should it be drained first?
If there is some extra grease after cooking the ground beef, I would recommend draining it. This might not be necessary if you are using lean ground beef because there won’t be much extra grease. I hope you enjoy the lasagna!
I made this for dinner tonight and it is AMAZING and SO DELICIOUS! My husband and I loved it! It is the best lasagna I’ve ever had! Thanks for sharing!
Does the baking time and temperature differ if using a foil pan? Thanks !
Use the same temperature and the bake time will be about the same for a foil pan. Enjoy!
My grocery store is always out of ricotta cheese.. Is it possible to use cottage cheese instead? If so, would the egg be necessary?
Yes, you can use cottage cheese instead and you won’t need the egg. I’ve also made this without the ricotta and egg and it’s delicious that way, too!
I had some precooked sauce,
I made last week, par-boiled my noodles tonight, and assembled. Can’t wait to taste it for Thanksgiving Dinner to honor my recently diseased brother John. This was his contribution annually.
This is such a delicious recipe for lasagna! I just made it and it was a hit for our family. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!!
This is the very best lasagna recipe EVER!!! My family loves it and heating the leftovers for a week day meal is a gamechanger! Thank you!!
This recipe was so easy to follow and quantities of the ingredients was perfect!. So delicious! Thank you 🙂
If you use 1/2 lb sausage, would y0u reduce the ground beef tto 1/2 lb. ?
You can do either, depending on how meaty you like your lasagna. 🙂 Enjoy!
Made this last night with Raos tomato basil marinara sauce. Made it to recipe and it was loved by all! Going to try it with half sausage next time.
This lasagne recipe is so delicious, probably the best tasting one I’ve tried. It’s so easy to make. Will definitely stick to this recipe!
Will turkey work in this recipe?
Yes, I have made this with ground turkey and it’s delicious!
Do I need to adjust cook time if I want to make this in a 9×9 pan instead? Thank you!
You would want to halve the recipe, but the cook time should stay about the same. I hope you enjoy the lasagna!
Have made it for the family and for friends, always a hit! I’m signing up for your emails!
I made just like the recipe called for. But I also added goat cheese. It was amazing
Very easy recipe to follow as written. Added 2 sweet Italian sausage links (broken up) and an extra teaspoon of Italian seasoning. This recipe makes lots of sauce so use deep baking dish. This is a keeper..
This recipe sounds delicious! One question: Why wouldn’t you use no boil lasagna?
When I’m making a classic lasagna, I prefer the texture of regular lasagna noodles and I find that they give a more reliable result. No boil can vary in the amount of extra liquid needed.
Made this tonight and I can truly say its the best!!! Even my picky six year old ate it. My husband said it was the best meal I “ever made.” Will definitely be making it again soon. The only thing I did differently was I added one Aidelis chicken sausage, italian flavor. I just diced it up and added it to the beef. Delicious. Thanks, Kristine!
This was the best comment to wake up to this morning! I’m SO glad you and your family enjoyed this so much!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.
I have tried a lot of lasagna recipes and nothing was ever “great”; made this last night and we loved it!! A few of our 7 kids LOVE lasagna (was making it for my son for his birthday) and my guy and I aren’t usually big fans but we both had for lunch today too! This will definitely go in my recipe box as our go-to lasagna! I was short on time so used no- cook noodles and it still turned out great!! I also sautéed the garlic with the onion and put half the parsley in the ricotta mixture.
I omit the egg and added some freshly diced tomatoes and some some sun dried tomatoes to the sauce. Got rave reviews. This is a tasty and easy recipe.
This lasagna recipe was so easy to make. My family loved it. I will definitely be making it again.
What is I use no boil lasagna noodles. Any changes to the time or recipe?
No boil noodles sometimes require additional water to be added to the sauce, since they soak up the liquid as they cook in the lasagna. I haven’t tried this recipe with no boil noodles, so can’t advise on exact measurements but you could see if the package of noodles offers any tips/directions. You would keep the baking time the same.
So good!! Added a few extra pasta strips to each layer (overlapping) which made for a great structure and ratio of noodle to sauce!
Made this yesterday for my daughter and her family since she just had surgery. It was a great hit and they loved the taste. Definitely will make again,
I am about to try this recipe but wondering could it be split into two 8×8 pans?
Yes, that will work fine. Enjoy!
Yum !!! I was apprehensive about making lasagna because it looks complicated . This recipe was easy to follow and very flavorful . We really enjoyed it . Paired it w a salad and garlic bread …
Loved the recipe! My family and I enjoyed it!