Homemade Lasagna

This BEST Homemade Lasagna is rich and cheesy and packed with meat. Create perfect layered lasagna with these easy-to-follow steps!

Homemade Lasagna is comfort food at its finest! Finish the meal with a side of Garlic Bread, Fried Zucchini, or a Wedge Salad.

Close up of a baking dish filled with baked homemade lasagna topped with fresh herbs.

Best homemade lasagna

We love pasta and all Italian food at our home. We eat it at least once a week. One of our favorites is Lasagna, and this Homemade Lasagna is our go-to!

Lasagna does require some time for both prep and chilling, but the end result is so worth it. If you’re going to be putting in the effort I would recommend making a double batch – it’s perfect for freezing!

Pair it with a salad and maybe a side of Garlic Bread and you’ve got “chef’s kiss” perfection!

Ingredient options

This best Homemade Lasagna recipe includes all the traditional ingredients:

  • meat (beef and Italian sausage)
  • cheese (parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese)
  • seasonings (minced garlic, basil, fennel seeds, parsley, garlic salt, salt, and pepper)
  • tomato sauce
  • lasagna noodles

Cheese. Substitute equal amounts of ricotta for cottage cheese. Ricotta cheese tends to be richer with a thicker texture while cottage cheese is lighter. Use whichever you prefer.

Meat. If you don’t like Italian sausage, use all ground beef instead of half and half. Or substitute the ground beef and pork with a browned ground turkey or chicken. For a vegetarian option, omit the meat altogether.

Noodles. 3-4 regular lasagna noodles are needed per layer. Noodles do not need to be boiled but will be softened by soaking in hot water.

  • Place the noodles in a deep-sided pan and add hot water.
  • Soak for 30 minutes and drain.
  • The pasta will finish softening as the dish chills in the fridge and then while it bakes in the oven. 

Vegetables. Adding veggies is an easy and delicious way to add flavor and texture to the dish. Some suggestions include zucchini, eggplant, onion, baby spinach, or bell pepper.

Fresh herbs. If you don’t have fresh parsley or basil, use dried herbs. One tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

Mixing the cheese layer for homemade lasagna in a glass bowl.

How to Make Homemade Lasagna

This classic Lasagna Recipe is so simple to make. Start by making the layering ingredients.

MEAT. In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, and garlic until brown and no longer pink. Drain fat.

SAUCE. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes.

PASTA. While the sauce simmers, prep noodles by soaking them in hot water for 30 minutes.

CHEESE. Make ricotta mixture while the sauce is simmering by combining ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and chopped parsley.

Layering method

LAYER. Now it’s time to layer! Layer Lasagna as follows in a deep 9×13 baking dish:

  1. 2 cups of meat sauce (prevents the lasagna from getting dry, and the noodles from sticking to the pan)
  2. 3-4 lasagna Noodles
  3. 2 cups of meat sauce
  4. half of the ricotta cheese mixture
  5. half of the mozzarella cheese
  6. 3-4 lasagna noodles
  7. 2 cups of meat sauce
  8. last half of the ricotta cheese mixture
  9. 3-4 lasagna noodles
  10. last of meat sauce
  11. last of the shredded mozzarella

CHILL. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

BAKE. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake with foil on for the first 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Sprinkle with fresh basil if desired.

Recipe Tips

Cook covered. Uncovered Lasagna will become dry. Cover with a foil-topped tray for a portion of the baking time. Once the lasagna has baked at least halfway through, remove the foil so the top can brown.

If, once it’s fully cooked, the top still looks pale, turn on the broiler to help move things along. But keep an eye on it as it can burn quickly. 

Soupy Lasagna. A few things can cause too much moisture in the Homemade Lasagna. If using a really thin tomato sauce, or non-fat sour cream and cottage cheese, there will be more water content in your ingredients, causing the Lasagna to be soupy.

Also, if you live at a higher altitude, it may require a longer baking time than listed in the recipe.

Homemade lasagna toped with a layer of mozzarella and ready to be baked.

Storing Info

Make ahead of time. Prepare the Lasagna according to the recipe, but don’t bake it. Store it in the fridge or freezer for later. 

  • Refrigerator: Cover the dish with plastic and keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days. Remove the plastic before baking.
  • Freezer: Cover the dish with plastic and then again with aluminum foil. Freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove plastic and foil before baking. 

STORE leftover Homemade Lasagna recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

Depending on the amount, store it all together or divide it into individual portions. 

Reheat leftover Lasagna in the microwave or the oven. I recommend adding a bit of marinara sauce to keep it from drying out.

If reheating in the oven, pour about ¼ cup of marinara sauce over the Lasagna and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 425°F, or until the lasagna is hot and bubbly.

A close up of homemade lasagna baked and topped with fresh herbs.

For more Lasagna Dishes:

Homemade Lasagna Recipe

5 from 6 votes
This BEST Homemade Lasagna is rich and cheesy and packed with meat. Create perfect layered lasagna with these easy-to-follow steps!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 652 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt divided, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • extra basil chopped, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, and garlic until brown and no longer pink. Drain fat.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes.
  • While the sauce simmers, prep noodles by soaking them in hot water for 30 minutes.
  • Make ricotta mixture while the sauce is simmering by combining ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and chopped parsley.
  • Layer lasagna as follows in a deep 9×13 baking dish:
    1. 2 cups meat sauce
    2. 3-4 noodles
    3. 2 cups meat sauce
    4. ½ ricotta mixture
    5. ½ of the shredded mozzarella
    6. 3-4 noodles
    7. 2 cups meat sauce
    8. Last half of ricotta mixture
    9. 3-4 noodles
    10. Last of meat sauce
    11. Last of the shredded mozzarella
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Bake with foil on for the first 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Sprinkle with fresh basil if desired.

Video

Notes

Make ahead of time. Prepare the Lasagna according to the recipe, but don’t bake it. Store it in the fridge or freezer for later. 
  • Refrigerator: Cover the dish with plastic and keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days. Remove the plastic before baking.
  • Freezer: Cover the dish with plastic and then again with aluminum foil. Freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove plastic and foil before baking. 
STORE leftover Homemade Lasagna recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Another great pasta recipe. Who doesn’t like lasagna? It’s another great prepare ahead time meal. It’s something I look for in recipes. This is a great one. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of our favorite Sunday meals!! We pair it with your fried zucchini. Lasagna is one of those meals that most people love & this is my go-to recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I have a lasagna recipe that I love, but my kids never really have so I’ve been on the hunt for a new one. This recipe was a winner. YAY