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A Classic Lasagna recipe that everyone should have in their go-to recipe collection!

Lasagna - A Family Feast


Today’s Classic Lasagna recipe is from my husband Jack’s recipe collection!  It’s a delicious adaptation that marries an old family lasagna recipe with a version that he used to make many years ago during his food service career.  This is a wonderful, classic lasagna recipe – nothing too fancy, just layers of pasta, meat sauce, a ricotta cheese mixture, and mozzarella – and it’s one that everyone should have in their own recipe collection!

Lasagna - A Family Feast

Jack and I are both ‘old-school’ when it comes to making lasagna – we both prefer using the traditional dry ribbon noodles that need to be partially cooked before assembling all of the layers of the dish!  While we agree that you can’t beat the convenience of the pre-cooked lasagna noodles (or in food service, the frozen pasta sheets) – we both think that the best tasting lasagna with the best texture comes from using the dry pasta.  (You may, of course, use the pre-cooked noodles if you prefer!)

Lasagna - A Family Feast


We also use a mix of meats in our sauce – but if you’d prefer to keep things more simple, just use all ground beef or whatever combination of meats you like best.  Lasagna is a very forgiving dish – so you can adjust the meats, seasonings and even the proportion of cheeses and sauce used in each layer of this wonderful dish to make it exactly how your family likes it!

You may like these other lasagna recipes:

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Lasagna - A Family Feast

Classic Lasagna

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8-12 servings
  • Category: entree
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


Rather than using the mix ground beef and sausage listed in this recipe, you can use whatever kind of meat your family enjoys – just plan for about two pounds total.


  • 1 pound box of dry lasagna noodles (you will need 16 noodles. A one pound box contains 20 noodles so you will have four extra. Usually a few get broken so this usually works out)

For the Meat Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage meat (hot or sweet your choice)
  • 1 28-ounce canned crushed tomatoes (we use Cento)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dry basil or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

For the cheese mixture

  • 2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

Other ingredients you’ll need

  • 2 ½ cups tomato sauce (see recipe here)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced into 12 slices
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to box directions but keep them slightly undercooked (cook approximately 7-8 minutes). They should still have a good bite to them. Rinse and cool. Keep moist while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the onions for about two minutes over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the meat, stir and cook until there is no pink. Depending on the fat content of the meat you are using, you may need to drian off some liquid. There should only be a few tablespoons of liquid after cooking the meat. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and mint. Reduce to medium and simmer ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, beaten eggs, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and the chopped parsley. Mix to combine and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and put oven rack in center of oven.
  5. In a 9X13X3 glass baking dish, ladle in one cup of tomato sauce into the bottom and lay four lasagna noodles overlapping slightly. Add one third of these cheese mixture, one third of the meat mixture and half of the sliced fresh mozzarella. (The sliced mozzarella will not cover the whole pan, just spread as evenly as possible). Repeat with four more noodles, one third of cheese mixture, one third of meat mixture and the other half of sliced fresh mozzarella. Cover with four more noodles and top with remaining cheese mixture, remaining meat mixture and 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Finish with four more noodles, 1 ½ cups tomato sauce, 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella and ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Lay a piece of parchment paper over top and then cover tightly with foil. Cover a sheet pan with foil and place a rack in foiled pan. Now place the covered lasagna on the rack and place in the oven. The rack is to circulate heat and the lower pan will catch and drips.
  7. Bake for one hour covered. Remove foil and parchment and cook uncovered for 30 more minutes. Let rest 15-30 minutes before cutting.

Keywords: Classic Lasgna


Classic Lasagna

Classic Lasagna

Featured in this Classic Lasagna post

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  • Andrea Pellman wrote:

    In the picture it looks like there is cheddar on the top but not listed in ingredients?? I think I will add a little since I have some already shredded. Let you know how it turns out. It looks delicious.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Andrea – That is mozzarella on top – the tomato sauce seeping up turned the white mozzarella a yellowish color as it baked. (But adding cheddar won’t hurt it so if you’ve already added it, don’t worry!)

  • Claudette Cassidy wrote:

    Hi Martha Beautiful photo of you both! I also love Boston . I made your classic lasagna and love the sauce, can’t wait to bake it . Thanks for sharing . Have a good day!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Claudette! We hope you love both the lasagna and the sauce!

  • victor pizzi wrote:

    if you are using parmesan why add more salt parmesan salty enough

    • Martha wrote:

      I suppose we all have different tastes Victor…feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking!

  • Amy wrote:

    I made this lasagna two days ago for my husband’s birthday. It was a huge hit! It’s a delicious recipe that feeds a crowd. I actually put it all together the day before and then took it out of the fridge an hour before cooking and added about 15 minutes to the covered cooking time and another 15 to the uncovered cooking time. I also let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving. It couldn’t have come out any better. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you all enjoyed the lasagna recipe Amy!

  • Ga wrote:

    MY husbsnd challenged me to make this
    I did it and it was great. Thanks.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you! We’re glad you enjoyed the lasagna!

  • Beth Hoffman wrote:

    I have tried lots of recipes and often combines them to find what I like. This recipe, hands down, has the best cheese mixture of any I have tried. I have now perfected my lasagna! Thank you! Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Beth! Thank you for such a nice compliment! We’re very glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Serenity wrote:

    Wanted to thank you for this recipe. I’ve made it multiple times and people really love it. I’ve also made different variations of this, such as adding green chilli peppers and hot chilli powder for the spicy folks in my life 🙂
    I’ve also made it ahead of time by assembling it, waiting for it to come to room temperature, wrapping it a million times with parchment, foil, plastic wrap, and freezing it until needed. I defrosted it in the fridge but it was still pretty frozen, so the cook time was much longer for me. But hey that doesn’t matter when you can place it in the oven and go do something else!
    Oh and I also use disposable aluminum from the $ Store.
    Getting ready to make two of them today!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Serenity! You spicier versions sound delicious! So glad you are enjoying the recipe.

    • Serenity wrote:

      Just made this again and forgot to rate it! Wish I could give it more than 5 stars!

  • Catherine wrote:

    I thought no lasagne would ever come close to the one my mother makes, but oh boy, this one did! Amazing recipe which I will make again and again. Thanks and hello from the UK!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Catherine! We’re glad you found us – and we promise not to tell your Mom! 😉

  • Janessa wrote:

    I was just wondering if I could freeze this recipe? Or how long could i refrigerate it for do you think before it going bad?


    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Janessa, this is Jack. Lasagna freezes very well and should last at least three months covered tightly in the freezer. I would freeze it prior to baking. Just thaw it before baking. When it thaws, it may get a little watery but that should bake right out. As far as refrigeration, I wouldn’t feel comfortable keeping any dish more than four days in the refrigerator, baked or unbaked. Good luck!

      • Maggie wrote:

        Can you prepare the lasagna and refrigerate it 2 days prior? Trying to get a head start on Christmas Eve! BTW I have the sauce simmering now and it smells so yummy!! Can’t wait to serve!!

        • Martha wrote:

          Hi Maggie – You can although I would suggest assembling it when all of the ingredients are completely chilled. Also if you are cooking the lasagna right from the refrigerator, the cook time will be longer so plan for that. We hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • Marg wrote:

      I have made this wonderful recipe 3 times already. I cut remainder into portions and place on a cookie sheet and freeze individually. I than wrap each piece in parchment paper and place in freezer bags and return to freezer.when I want a few pieces I thaw in fridge overnight and put in cold oven and turn oven to 350 after about 10 -15 minutes it is perfectly heated through.

      • Martha wrote:

        Great idea Marg! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Jackie wrote:

    Hi Martha

    So I guess the no-boil noodles are out. for the shredded mozzarella, I usually buy the block and shredded it myself. for the fresh mozzarella are you talking about the more expensive round ball tha comes in a container of water.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jackie – We personally aren’t fans of the no-boil noodles – we don’t think the texture is the same! We used pre-shredded mozzarella from the supermarket – no need to buy the more expensive balls of mozzarella for this recipe. Hope that helps!

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