Looking for an easy lasagna recipe that tastes like it simmered all day in an Italian kitchen? You will love this simple lasagna that is full of flavor and will be your new go to casserole for family dinners or company alike.
Easy Lasagna Recipe
I’ve always loved lasagna. The rich, hearty meat sauce between layers of noodles and cheese all stacked up to make a stunning presentation. It is both satisfying, hearty, and now – EASY!
Whether you want to impress guests, take an make ahead dish to a new Mom or family in need, or simply want to whip together this Italian recipe for your family – this easy lasagna recipe is exactly what you’ve been looking for!
As good as it is the first day, my husband actually thinks it is even better the second day! Which makes it perfect for potlucks or making ahead for busy weeknights or to throw in the oven after Sunday morning church. Ready to whip up your families new favorite dinner?
Meat Lasagna Recipe
There are 3 basic steps to making lasagna: making the sauce, mixing up the cheese, and assemblin your masterpiece. It’s not hard, I promise! In 30 minutes you will have this dish ready to go!
In a large saucepan cook your meat. I put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan to keep it from stickinng and then add in 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork. You can also make it with all beef, less meat, or no meat and just cook in vegetables. Cook over medium high heat, breaking it up into chunks as it cooks. As it cooks add in 1/2 cup chopped onion and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic to cook with the meat.
NOTE: We use grass fed and finished meat because we prefer the flavor and health benefits, but you can use whichever kind your family likes, can afford, and you have on hand. It will taste delicious either way!
Easy Lasagna Recipe
Once your meat is cooked thoroughly it’s time to turn it into a robust Italian sauce! (If you used fatty meat, drain fatty liquid before adding tomato sauce – with lean, organic grass fed beef we didn’t need to do this step.) Stir in large 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, medium 12-16 oz can of tomato paste, medim 16 oz can tomato sauce, and 1/2 cup water. Mix carefully until well blended.
Now add your seasoning. We add in sugar, basil, fennnel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley, and smoked paprika. Now allow your sauce to simmer over low to medium heat to blend flavors as you move on to the cheese sauce.
Best Lasagna Recipe
In a medium bowl mix together 2 large eggs, one 16 oz cartoon of ricotta cheese, 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Stir together until well blended.
In traditional lasagna, the kind your grandma use to make, you had to do an extra step. Boil a large pot of salted water with 1 tablespoon of olive oil so that the pasta doesn’t stick together. Now add the lasagne noodles and boil for 11 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water.
NO NEED! We used Barilla Oven Ready Lasagne that doesn’t require that extra step. Yahoo! So you are ready for the next step with the pasta noodles right out of the 9 oz box.
Simple Lasagna Recipe
In a rectangular 9 x 13 pan, you will layer the meat sauce, uncooked oven ready lasagna, and cheese. Repeat 3 times ending with the cheese layer. Always start with the meat sauce. I like to use a ladle and I use 2-3 cups full – spread on the bottom of your lasagna dish.
Now lay out a sheet of lasagna noodles over the meat sauce. they can overlap slightly, but keep them to a single layer for each noodle layer. You can also break the pasta sheets to fit the size you need.
Use a spoon to plop dollups of the cheese mixture on top of the pasta and spread out over the noodle. It will be a light layering. No need to perfectly cover every square inch – it will all mix together when you cook it.
Repeat 2-3 more times (it depends on how deep your dish is and how big each of your layers are). End with the cheese layer. Now sprinkle with an additional 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes covered. Covering the entire time ensures all your pasta is nice and soft and cooked. My kids don’t like “crunchy” noodles =)
Now pull of the foil and allow the top to brown for the last 10 minutes. You can always put broil on to quickly brown the top, but you have to watch it like a hawk so it doesn’t burn and to ensure it browns evenly. So I prefer to allow it the extra 10 minutes to brown carefully, slowly.
Pull it out of the oven, sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and parsley if you like, and allow it to rest 10-15 minutes while you put the garlic bread or tossed salad on the table. This resting time allows the liquid to be absorbed so it cuts neatly. Plus hot cheese can burn little mouths – you’ll be glad for the resting time!
Now cut slices with a small spatulat and serve. Your dinner guests will be impresed with the beautiful presentation – aren’t the layers so pretty! But the real WOW moment is when they bite into the layers of hearty delight! The robust sauce, melty cheese, and italian dish cooked to prefection!
If you have any leftovers, cover with foil and store in the refrigerator. To reheat, simply leave covered and pop it in a preheated 350 F oven for about 30 minutes. My husband actually prefers it the 2nd day. I think it’s because the noodles absorb more flavor.
And remember, you can always make the dish and put it in the fridge immediately to save for a meal 1-3 days away or to take as a meal for a family friend. If you do that, just add 10-15 minutes of cooking time as all the ingredients will be cold. So 60 minutes cooking under foil at 375F and 15 minutes without foil getting the top golden brown.
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Here are your lasagna ingredients at a glance along with instructions so you can print and go to the grocery store and make your yummy casserole. Buon Appetito!
Mom's Easy Lasagna
- 1 pound sweet Italian Sausage optional
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, minced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons sugar (or honey)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 9 oz package Oven Read Lasagna Noodles
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 3-4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- In a large skillet over medium-high brown meat in 1 tablespoon olive oil while breaking meat apart. Add minced onion and garlic and cook 2 additional minutes. Add cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water; stir. Add in seasoning an mix thoroughly. Allow sauce to simmer over low-medium heat.
- In a medium bowl mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, eggs, and 1/2 cup parmesan.
- In a 9x13 pan ladle in about 2 cups of sauce. Add oven ready lasagna noodles to cover meat sauce. Pasta should form a single layer (you can break the noodles if you like). Dollup cheese mixture on top of noodles and spread with a spoon. Repeat above twice so you have 3 layers finishing with a cheese layer. Now sprinkle the casserole with an additional 1-2 cups mozzarella.
- Top casserole with foil. Cook covered for 50 minutes. Remove foil and allow it to brown lightly for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 16 pieces. Serve with garlic bread and side salad.
- **HINT: Instead of cooking the lasagna, you can put the covered casserole in the fridge for 1-3 days. When you are ready to eat, simply cook at 400 F for 60 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge. I suggest reheating any leftovers covered at 350 for 35 minutes.