This Classic Beef Lasagna recipe is amazing every time we make it! The perfect amount of sauce and cheese makes this lasagna look as good as it tastes!
The Best Lasagna Recipe
We’ve been making lasagna for a long time now. Like, a really long time.
Making lasagna doesn’t have to be this huge chore that takes up your whole afternoon, just a few simple tips here will get your perfect lasagna in the oven in no time!
The first tip is following this recipe! That seems like a weird thing to say but one of the keys to a perfect lasagna recipe is that it doesn’t fall apart when you cut into it (too much sauce) or it’s too dry (not enough sauce).
Both things equal a not so great lasagna.
So we’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you and made this lasagna recipe over and over again until it was perfect! Nice slices, saucy, but not too saucy.
And the ricotta cheese filling stays in place, only oozing out a little when you cut into it.
Sounds pretty perfect, right? That’s because it really, really is.
Tips For Making Perfect Lasagna
A couple tips I already mentioned above, the ratio of ingredients is key.
Another tip is how you cook the noodles. The traditional way of boiling them is just fine, but make sure when you drain them that you drain the water off really well.
Because if you’re layering wet noodles into your lasagna pan it’s going to make your lasagna runny. Also, don’t overcook the lasagna noodles. Cook them just a minute or two shy of what the package recommends so that when the lasagna cooks in the oven the noodles will absorb some of the sauce.
Or you can try preparing the lasagna noodles a different way. Lay the noodles in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and cover completely with hot water. Let the noodles sit for 30 minutes, then drain and wipe the excess water off with paper towels.
The noodles aren’t going to be cooked through, and still will be firm but as the lasagna cooks in the oven, so will the noodles. This is the method we chose to cook this lasagna recipe and it does come put perfectly!
And not having to clean another big pot from boiling those lasagna noodles? That’s a win.
Probably one of the most important tips is to let the lasagna rest after it comes out of the oven. 10 minutes will do the trick, and it will make your lasagna cut into those perfect squares so it looks as good as it tastes.
Can You Make Lasagna Ahead Of Time?
Oh yeah, you definitely can. Some say it even tastes better if you make it ahead of time and let the flavors come together in the refrigerator, then bake it at dinner time.
You can also make this lasagna recipe and freeze for an easy dinner another time. I don’t recommend baking the lasagna and then freezing it because I think it makes the lasagna dry when you reheat it.
Freeze the lasagna by wrapping the top with plastic wrap first, then a layer of aluminum foil. Let the lasagna defrost in your refrigerator until thawed, then follow the directions for baking.
When we make this Classic Beef Lasagna recipe we always have leftovers if it’s just for the four of us. Leftover lasagna is perfect for an easy meal the next day. Just reheat in your microwave for a couple of minutes and dinner is done!
Looking For More Pasta Recipes?
For The Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup water
For The Lasagna
- 1 pound lasagna noodles
- 24 ounces ricotta cheese (part skim or whole is fine)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Boil the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, but draining a minute or two before the time given. Alternately, you can use the soak method as described in the notes section below the recipe.
Start by making the sauce in a large skillet or pot. Add the oil over medium heat, then add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic, cook for a minute more then add the beef to the skillet. Brown the beef by breaking up with a spoon until cooked through, drain any grease from the pan if desired.
Pour in the tomato sauce and add the salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Add 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced.
While the sauce is cooking, stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, salt, pepper to taste, nutmeg, parmesan cheese and parsley in a medium bowl.
Assemble the lasagna by spreading 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish.
Layer 4 noodles, overlapping to cover the bottom of the dish. Usually there's space at one end of the dish so I lay a noodle down to cover the end, cutting off the excess.
Now spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then cover with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup per layer).
Add about 1/3 of the sauce to the top of the cheese, making sure the cheese is all covered with sauce.
Next add another layer of lasagna noodles (4 overlapping across and one to cover the end, now on the opposite end of the dish) followed by the other half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
Spoon another 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese, then another 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Add the final layer of noodles to the lasagna, followed by the rest of the sauce and the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, then cover the baking dish and place the lasagna in the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes of baking, take the lasagna out of the oven. Remove the foil and place the dish back in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling on top and the lasagna is warmed through.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Another way to prepare the lasagna noodles is to lay them in a baking dish and cover with hot water for 30 minutes. Drain the noodles and dry off as much water as you can, the noodles won't be completely soft but they'll cook the rest of the way in the lasagna.
Serving Size:1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 63mg Sodium: 652mg Carbohydrates: 21g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 16g