The Most Amazing Lasagna Recipe is the best recipe for homemade Italian-style lasagna. The balance between layers of cheese, noodles, and homemade bolognese sauce is perfection!
Homemade lasagna is the best. It tastes nothing like the ones from the frozen food aisle. This recipe is so good—it’s the kind of lasagna people write home about! It brings together all of the things we love in a good pasta dish: noodles, cheeses, fresh herbs and a delicious meat sauce. If you’ve never made lasagna before or haven’t found a good recipe, you have come to the right place. Invite a friend because you won’t want to keep this dish to yourself!
Lasagna Pasta Sheet Trick
Boiling lasagna sheets is an extra step that we would all love to avoid. No-boil lasagna noodles, in our opinion, have an unpleasant texture and often turn out soggy. A hack to skip boiling is to place regular lasagna sheets in a 9×13 pan and pour hot water over them. Let them soak for 30 minutes, and they’ll be tender enough to use in the recipe. Don’t worry, they will finish cooking in the oven. Give them a gentle shake every few minutes to prevent them from sticking together.
Tomato Paste Can Trick
You’ll notice that two cans of tomato paste are used in this recipe. It may seem like a lot, but tomato paste has a super concentrated tomato flavor. By adding in so much, we’re able to get a nice, strong tomato flavor, without adding too much liquid to the sauce.
If you open the tomato paste cans from both ends, you can use one of the lids to push the paste through the other side of the can, which is easier than scraping it out with a spoon (see how it’s done in the video below).
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of cheeses do you use? Any substitutes?
There are three kinds of cheese in this recipe:
- Whole milk ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella – 24 thin slices, sliced at the deli counter
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
For those who don’t like ricotta cheese, cottage cheese can be used in its place. For a more authentic Italian experience, you can also use a simple bechamel sauce instead of the ricotta mixture.
This recipe uses thinly sliced mozzarella as it is the easiest to use in assembly and provides the most even coverage of cheese. You can also use an equal amount of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Freshly grated parmesan cheese is highly preferred in this recipe. Pre-grated or shelf stable parmesan cheeses can also be used, but may not melt as well.
Why fennel seeds?
The blend of herbs included in this bolognese is perfect. The fresh herbs all combine to produce the best flavor, and the key to bringing it all together: fennel seeds. You need the fennel seeds for that meaty, Italian flavor.
Why is there sugar in the sauce?
Sugar is added to balance the acidity of the tomato. If you prefer to not use sugar, finely chopped carrots are another option, as they are naturally sweet and add another vegetable and flavor to your sauce. Use about 1 cup in place of the sugar.
Why does the sauce simmer for so long?
The sauce develops flavor as it simmers. It needs to be simmered for a minimum of 1 hour to give you the most amazing lasagna, but you can simmer it up to 4 hours for maximum flavor results. It’s worth every second and doesn’t require much effort at all. If you don’t want to leave it simmering on the stove, you can always transfer it all to a slow cooker and simmer it in there on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
Can I use dried herbs?
Yes. We love the flavor that comes from the fresh herbs, but we know that it isn’t always an option. If you need to use dried herbs, use them in a third of the amount of fresh herbs called for.
What is a lasagna pan?
Lasagna p’ans are not the same as 9 x 13 casserole pans. Lasagna pans are deeper in order to accommodate for the layers in the dish. A true lasagna has four layers of noodles, which usually fit pretty nicely in a lasagna pan. If you like lasagna, it is a great investment
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in an oven preheated to 350 degrees until warmed through or reheat individual portions in the microwave in 45 second increments until heated through to the center.
If you enjoy this recipe, you may also be interested in these other lasagna recipes:
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
The Most Amazing Lasagna Recipe
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 large white onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 pound lasagna noodles
- 30 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese about 24 slices
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot over medium heat, add in ground sausage and ground beef. Use a spoon to break up the meat into small pieces. Add in onion and garlic and cook until meat is well browned, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar, fresh basil, fennel, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Pour in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and wine*. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, place lasagna noodles into the bottom of a pan. Pour hot tap water directly over the noodles, making sure the pasta is completely immersed in the water. Let them soak for 30 minutes, then drain and discard water.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg. Refrigerate until ready to assemble lasagna.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a deep 9×13 pan.
- To assemble, spread about 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Place 4 noodles on top. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/4 of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Repeat layering two more times to create three complete layers. To finish, place a final layer of pasta, topped with another 1 cup of meat sauce to cover the pasta. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes to allow cheese to brown. Serve hot.