This easy lasagna recipe is a classic family dinner! Lasagna noodles are layered with a meaty tomato sauce, creamy ricotta, and lots of cheese for a delicious Italian meal everyone will love.
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Is lasagna a Christmas tradition for your family? I had no idea that was a thing, but I love the idea!
Lasagna is one of those recipes that my whole family enjoys, but I rarely think about making it for a weeknight dinner, so making it for a holiday celebration seems fitting. But if you do want to make this for a weeknight, don’t worry—my recipe is easy enough to pull off for a party or a typical family meal!
Easy Lasagna Recipe
Whether you serve it for Christmas or an ordinary school night, your family is going to love this lasagna recipe because it has extra helpings of all the things that make lasagna so delicious. Love a good meat sauce? Well, this lasagna recipe has ground beef and sausage in the sauce! Can’t decide between ricotta and cottage cheese? Why not use both! Have a family full of cheese-a-holics? This recipe has 4 cups of melty mozzarella, plus parmesan for good measure.
This is the perfect recipe for feeding a crowd, but if you make it for a weeknight, you can enjoy it for a few days (cook once, eat twice—love that!) or freeze the leftovers for another night.
(For a lighter take on lasagna, try my Zucchini Lasagna too!)
Ingredients for Easy Lasagna
- Lasagna noodles – Use traditional lasagna noodles, not the no-cook ones.
- Mozzarella cheese – You can use an Italian cheese blend if you like.
- Parmesan cheese – Parmesan cheese is used in both the cheese layer and to sprinkle right onto the noodles.
- Lean ground beef
- Italian sausage
- Garlic – If you love a garlicky sauce, feel free to add as much as you want!
- Pasta sauce – Use any variety you like.
- Ricotta cheese – I like whole milk ricotta which is much thicker than skim.
- Cottage cheese
- Veggie lasagna – Instead of making a meat sauce, sauté sliced mushrooms, onions, and green bell peppers and incorporate that into the sauce or use roasted vegetables.
- Cheese lasagna – Omit the meat from the sauce.
- Spinach lasagna – Fold thawed and drained frozen spinach into the ricotta mixture.
How to Make Easy Lasagna
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F and cook the lasagna noodles al dente, according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
- Make the meat sauce: Brown the beef, sausage, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then drain off the grease. Add the pasta sauce to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Make the cheese mixture: Stir together 1 ½ cups of mozzarella, ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, and a beaten egg in a large bowl.
- Assemble: Spread 1 cup of meat sauce onto the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, then layer with ⅓ of the cheese mixture and 1 cup of meat sauce. Repeat twice more, then finish with 3 noodles topped and the remaining sauce, followed by the remaining cheese
- Bake: Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned on the edges of the dish and the sauce is bubbly. Broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese even more, if desired.
- Serve: Let the lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes, then cut and serve.
If you want to make the lasagna even faster, you can buy a jar of meat sauce rather than make your own. I think homemade meat sauce is incredible and adds a lot of bold flavors, however there are some good pre-made sauces out there. Opening a jar of meat sauce rather than making it will definitely save you quite a bit of time in the kitchen, making this lasagna recipe even easier.
What to Serve With Lasagna
Lasagna is a meal by itself! I recommend keeping your sides light—a side salad with a simple Italian dressing is perfect, or pair lasagna with a vegetable like roasted Brussels sprouts. You can’t go wrong with garlic bread either!
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover lasagna covered in the refrigerator, or transfer it to an airtight storage container. It will keep for 3 to 4 days; reheat it in a 350ºF oven or in the microwave until warmed through. You can also freeze leftovers for 2 to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat.
The egg helps the cheese layer set up when cooking. Without an egg, the cheese would be watery and ooze out when you cut into the lasagna.
They both have their benefits, so I split the difference and use both in my lasagna recipe! This gives the cheese layer a nice, creamy texture without being too heavy or tasting like diet food!
I don’t recommend it! Unless you want to risk a crunchy noodle layer, boil them first.
- 12 lasagna noodles uncooked
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded and divided
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded and divided
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound Italian sausage
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 36 ounces pasta sauce favorite jarred sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While noodles are boiling,brown beef, sausage, onion and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
- Stir in pasta sauce and simmer 5 minutes.
- Make Cheese Mixture by combining 1 ½ cups mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, and egg.
- Add 1 cup meat sauce to a 9×13 pan.
- Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Layer with ⅓ of the Cheese Mixture and 1 cup of meat sauce.
- Repeat twice more.
- Finish with 3 noodles topped with remaining sauce.
- Top with remaining cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
- Broil 2-3 minutes if desired.
- Rest 10-15 minutes before cutting.