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

Lasagna - A Family Feast

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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

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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

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

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Classic Lasagna

Classic Lasagna

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    Comments

  • Aniya wrote:

    Can this be made without the Italian sausage, or do you suggest a substitute ? I love this recipe but my family’s doesn’t eat pork so i’d have to adjust it.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Aniya – You can swap in the same amount of ground beef or chicken/turkey if you prefer. Since the sausage has so much flavor, you’ll probably want to add some seasonings of your own if you swap in the other meats.

  • Annie wrote:

    Wow. I made your lasagne recipe last night and it is the best one I’ve ever tried! Its the perfect blend of sauce, meat and cheese and the idea to partially cook the noodles was brilliant. I was pleased that when It was ready to come out of the oven, it even looked just like your pictures. I never need to look for a new lasagne recipe ever again. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Annie! So glad the recipe was a success!

  • Thomas Heath wrote:

    Hi Martha. For many years I thought my lasagna recipe was the best in the world. I am humbled. You and your husband win. I followed your tomato sauce recipe to a T as well. Outrageously delicious! Thanks! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow Thomas – you’re very welcome! So glad you enjoyed our lasagna!

  • Lisa Kneer wrote:

    This is the best Classic Lasagna recipe I have ever made!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa!

  • Bernard J Moss wrote:

    Martha, Your Classic Lasagna recipe. You have a meat sauce recipe and a Italian tomato sauce recipe. I am confused to what the Italian tomato sauce recipe used for? Is the Italian tomato sauce recipe to be used as a base for the meat sauce recipe?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Bernard – Yes – We shared our Italian Tomato Sauce recipe as a standalone (meatless) recipe – but you may have noticed that our meat sauce recipe in our Classic Lasagna is essentially the same recipe – just with meat added.

      (And to make things even more confusing 🙂 we also have a marinara sauce recipe AND a Sunday Gravy recipe on our site too!) All a little different, but each delicious in their own way. Hope that helps clarify!

  • Dennis wrote:

    Can you freeze classic lasagna before you cook it

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Dennis – You can, but I would suggest thawing it most of the way before baking so that it cooks evenly. Enjoy!

  • Claire Connolly wrote:

    This recipe is DELICIOUS! I actually use Italian flat lasagna noodles from Napoli and always put them in uncooked. It turns out absolutely perfect! I find pre-cooking them makes them too mushy for my liking 🙂 Everyone whom has ever eaten this lasagna falls in love! Thank you so much for sharing, I’ve wanted a non soupy lasagna recipe for such a long time. I suppose putting the noodles in raw also helps with the soupy-ness 🙂 Thanks again!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Claire! So glad the recipe is a hit!

  • Chris McKinney wrote:

    I made this lasagna however instead of pasta I used crepes as I think it is better then the pasta, I also just used ground beef and pork and veal mice which I found over the years works best. I would suggest you try making lasagna with crepes and you’ll find that it tastes better you also never get that half cooked pasta either

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds delicious Chris! We’ve often thought about trying the recipe with crespelle (Italian crepes) after seeing Lydia Bastianich do that on one of her cooking shows…thanks for the suggestion!

  • James Whelpley wrote:

    Super easy! Tate was spot on! Sadly there were no leftovers!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks James – So glad the recipe was a hit!

  • Liz Nichols wrote:

    Hey I have a big family we are 8 in total. So when I cook I have sometimes double or triple the recipe in order to get enough to go around the table. I made your recipe and WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I made it again and added a few things here and there. We made one that was a 3meat lasagna. We used beef, sausage and ground pork and sometimes we swtich it up and use ground turkey or chicken. We have also mixed ricotta chesse and cottage chesse together and added shallots and chopped basil to the mix. We have done a mixture of three cheeses mozzarella, parmesan and parmigiano. Just thought I would share our mixtures and flavours. But the original recipe was the best we have found. Tha ks for sharing your amazing recipe. Hugs from The Nichols and Dimes…

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Liz! So glad the recipe was a hit – and your changes sound delicious! Hugs back from the Pesa family. 🙂

  • Les Gabriel wrote:

    This recipe remined me of mamas when I was a little boy. I had my daughter and son -in-law over for dinner that night and he would not leave without the recipe. Thats pretty darn good since neither of them can cook yet.

    • Martha wrote:

      Aww…thank you for taking the time to write to us Les! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe (and it brought back some happy memories too)!

  • Liz wrote:

    Awesome recipe! I did add cottage cheese instead of ricotta. My kids loved it and that was the true test! Thanks for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Liz! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe!

  • Maria Esparza wrote:

    I made three Lasagna for my son’s Birthday. It was a hit, everyone who was there loved the lasagna. I am so glad I tried this recipe, I would strongly recommend using this lasagna recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Maria! So glad you all enjoyed the lasagna!

  • Jane wrote:

    When i make this i use egg rool wraps in place of the pasta to mak it low carb

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Jane!

  • Sherry Burnett wrote:

    The cooking time is way off. I have made lasagna for years and decided to try this recipe. I liked that it included fresh mozzarella. I baked it at the recommended time and temp. I have ended up with a scrambled egg cheese casserole. I will go back to my tried and true recipe. Sorry I wasted my time and money!

    • Martha wrote:

      I’m sorry you were disappointed in the recipe Sherry.

  • Tommie Sue Bianchi -Rossi wrote:

    How many eggs…? Am I overlooking that on ingridents list?
    Thank you…

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes – 2 eggs beaten 🙂 (It’s under the “For the Cheese Mixture” section)

  • Lisa wrote:

    my husband wanted me to cook him some lasagna and I looked it up on the internet and I really was impressed with this recipe and he loved it to thank you for leaving that there for me to look at and now I know how to make lasagna thank you

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Lisa! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Claudette wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your Classic Lasagna recipe it is delicious I give it a 5 star.

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Claudette! So glad you enjoyed the lasagna!

  • Stephanie G wrote:

    I’m not gonna lie this was my first time ever making Lasagna n I must say, if it wasn’t for your delicious well detailed n easy instructed recipe I don’t know how it would’ve came out. Thank you so much for providing this recipe. I followed every detail and added all ingredients including mint which i was a little hesitant about. But then i thought to myself…what do u know just follow the instructions lol My family loved it. They couldnt believe I made it. Especially having to double up on the servings. I made 2 huge trays and not one bite was left. Thanks again.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Stephanie! You are very welcome, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment! Jack and I are glad that you had great success with the recipe, and that your family loved it! Congrats – I have a feeling your family may ask you to make lasagna again! 🙂 Have a great weekend! Martha

  • Bern wrote:

    What meat can I use to make a difference in taste. I am usually use ground beef and pork. I would to have a great more richer combo do you have a good suggestion?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Bern – Great question! You may have noticed that we put sausage in our meat mixture vs just ground pork so different types of sausage would add different flavor. In place of the ground beef, you could buy a chuck roast and grind it yourself — this way you’ll know for sure that you are getting high quality, flavorful beef. (You could do the same with a pork shoulder/pork butt too!). Bison is another alternative but you’d also need to add some fat to the mix since it such a lean meat. Finally, we’ve noticed that grass fed ground beef is much more flavorful than the typical ground beef at the supermarket – Verde Farms is our favorite brand and that could be another option. Hope this helps!

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