The best homemade lasagna recipe includes thick layers of noodles, sausage, ground beef, ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses in a made-from-scratch sauce!
Servings 12 people
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (reduce to 2 tablespoons for a less sweet sauce)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella
- 9 oven-ready "no-boil" lasagna noodles
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and crumble the sausage, ground beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes; drain off the fat. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook and stir for 1 minute.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, parsley, basil, salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, ricotta, 1 ¼ cups of Parmesan cheese, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Spread 2 cups of the meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles and ⅓ of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
Cover with greased foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips if it bubbles over); bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until browned on top and bubbly. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Assemble the casserole in a deep 9 x 13-inch dish. You'll have thick layers that fill the dish to the top! I also like to place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet while it's in the oven, just in case any of the sauce drips over the edge.
- The brown sugar helps to balance the acidity in the tomatoes. We like a sweeter sauce, so I use 3 tablespoons of sugar. If you prefer a less-sweet sauce, you can reduce the brown sugar to 1-2 tablespoons. Just start with less and gradually add more, to taste.
- Use whole milk ricotta cheese for the richest, creamiest, smoothest texture.
- Cooking for Two? Divide the full recipe between two smaller 8-inch square baking dishes. That way you get two meals with the same amount of effort, and you can freeze one for a later date. Alternatively, you can cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare one lasagna in an 8-inch square dish. The baking instructions remain the same.
- Let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This will help the cheese set so that it slices cleanly and doesn't ooze out.
- Garnish with plenty of fresh parsley or basil for a bright addition to the baked casserole.
Serving: 1/12 of the casserole | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1406mg | Potassium: 930mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1269IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 464mg | Iron: 4mg