Homemade lasagna is a classic comfort food that brings together some of the best flavors in Italian cooking. However, with all those decadent layers of rich sauce and gooey cheese, making one yourself might feel intimidating.
Making your own noodles and sauce from scratch is time-consuming and difficult, especially for new cooks. Using high-quality pre-made noodles and sauce is a handy shortcut that saves you time without sacrificing flavor.
Follow this easy lasagna recipe to get the meal you crave in record time, whether it's your first lasagna or your hundredth!
- Ingrdients for Lasagna
- Steps in Making Lasagna
- Tips to Make an Easy Lasagna Recipe Exceptional
- Enjoy Handmade Dagostino Pasta
Ingredients for Lasagna
- 12 oz box of Lasagna noodles
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 24 oz jars of chunky tomato sauce
Steps in Making Lasagna
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF, and lightly grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with olive oil. A pan with a depth of at least 3 inches is best.
- Add the beaten egg, the Italian seasoning, half the mozzarella, all of the ricotta, and all of the parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl. Stir gently to combine, then set aside.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the minced garlic and diced onion and saute over medium-high heat until fragrant--about 30 seconds.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until the meat is browned and cooked through, breaking the meat up into small pieces.
- Reserve one cup of tomato sauce, and set aside. Add the rest of the sauce to the skillet with the ground beef and mix until combined. Turn off the heat under the skillet.
- Pour the reserved cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the greased pan, spreading into an even layer.
- Cover the sauce in a single layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping the edges of the noodles if necessary to create a solid layer. Don't overlap more than an 1/8th inch, or the noodles might not cook properly at the edges.
- Spread a thick layer of the cheese mixture over your noodles, covering the noodles completely.
- Add a layer of the beef and tomato sauce over the cheese, covering the cheese completely.
- Repeat the noodle, cheese, and sauce layers. Then add another noodle layer and finish with a sauce layer. You should have three noodle layers, two cheese layers, and three sauce layers. If you have extra ingredients and room in your pan, feel free to add additional layers, but make sure to end with a sauce layer to keep the noodles from drying out.
- Cover the final sauce layer with the other half of the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the noodles are tender and the mozzarella cheese is melted.
- Let stand for five minutes before serving.
Tips to Make an Easy Lasagna Recipe Exceptional
While the word lasagna has been in use to describe various pasta dishes around Europe, the familiar lasagna on family tables and restaurant menus nowadays comes from Naples, Italy in the Middle Ages. Since then, the recipe has developed and changed, adding cheese and tomatoes until the final result started to look like the lasagna recipe we see today.
Over these centuries, chefs have added personal touches and so can you. Use this easy lasagna recipe as a starting place to create delicious meals that blend the time-honored tastes of a classic Bolognese lasagna with all of your favorite flavors.
No matter how you bake it, these tips will help you make the tastiest lasagna you've ever made.Substitutions and Variations
If you're not a fan of ricotta cheese, try swapping it with a small-curd cottage cheese. It will give you a similar texture but with a milder cheese flavor. For a richer cheese mix, try adding a bechamel sauce to your cheese blend.
Italian seasoning from your spice cabinet will work wonderfully for an easy weeknight dinner, but if you have access to fresh herbs, you can use them to elevate your lasagna. Fresh basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram are the usual suspects in Italian seasoning, but you can mix any herbs you wish in with your cheese mixture.
You can also swap the ground beef for another meat, like pork, lamb, or turkey. For a more flavorful dish, try a blend of ground beef and crumbled Italian sausage.Make It Vegetarian
If you want to know how to make lasagna meatless, it's easy. Swapping the meat for an assortment of veggies will still get you a tray of hearty and filling pasta. You can also sneak an additional serving of vegetables into a meat lasagnga.
Try roasting mushrooms, zucchini, or carrots with a little salt in the oven for 10-20 minutes at 425°F. This will remove some of the excess water. You don't want your veggies too wet, or they can make your lasagna soggy.
Once your veggies are roasted, mix them in with your sauce and layer away!
Be Careful of Overbaking
When it comes to lasagna, overbaking is worse than underbaking. If you bake it too long, the noodles will fall apart and the whole layered structure comes undone. Instead of neat slices, you'll get a soupy mess.
You can always put the lasagna back in the oven if your noodles are too crunchy, so check on your lasagna after the first 15 minutes. Poking a toothpick or a fork into the top noodle layer will give you a sense of how cooked the pasta is.
If your cheese is starting to burn, but your noodles aren't done yet, you can always add another layer of foil to the top of your tray.Don't Be Afraid of Leftovers
Don't worry if you can't finish your whole lasagna in one meal. Unlike many pasta dishes, lasagne reheats well. The sauce and cheese layers keep the noodles from drying out, so you can warm up a square in the oven or microwave for a slice of comfort all week long.
Enjoy Handmade Dagostino Pasta
The best way to turn an easy lasagna recipe into a masterpiece is to use good ingredients. Dagostino Pasta uses the best ingredients to make our small-batch handmade pastas so that you can have the taste of homemade pasta at home, no matter what your level of cooking experience is. If you enjoyed this dish, check out our other pasta recipes for more delicious Italian home cooking.