Easy Homemade Lasagna Recipe

The Best Homemade Lasagna

This classic lasagna recipe is made with an easy meat sauce as the base. Layer the sauce with noodles and cheese, then bake until bubbly! This is great for feeding a big family and freezes well, too.


For the meat sauce :
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
    1/2 large bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce)can good-quality tomato sauce
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (half a 6-ounce can)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    (preferably flat leaf), packed
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch garlic powder and/or garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup sugar (to taste, optional)
  • Salt
To assemble the lasagna:
  • 1/2 pound dry lasagna noodles (requires 9 lasagna noodles – unbroken)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced
  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method :

Put pasta water on to boil:
  • Put a large pot of salted water (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water) on the stovetop on high heat. It can take a while for a large pot of water to come to a boil (this will be your pasta water), so prepare the sauce in the next steps while the water is heating.
Brown the ground beef:
  • In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until it is lightly browned on all sides.
  • Remove the beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Drain off all but a tablespoon of fat.
  • Cook the bell pepper, onions, and garlic; add back the beef:
    Add the diced bell pepper and onions to the skillet (in the photo we are using yellow bell pepper and red onions).
  • Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the peppers softened. Add the minced garlic and cook half a minute more.
  • Return the browned ground beef to the pan. Stir to combine, reduce the heat to low, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Make the sauce:
  • Transfer the beef mixture to a medium-sized (3- to 4-quart) pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to the pot.
  • Add the parsley, oregano, and Italian seasonings, adjusting the amounts to taste. Sprinkle with garlic powder and/or garlic salt, to taste.
  • Stir in sugar, a tablespoon at a time, tasting after each addition, to taste. (The amount of sugar needed will vary, depending on how acidic the tomatoes are that you are using.)
  • Add salt to taste, and note that you will later be adding Parmesan, which is salty.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 15 to 45 minutes, stirring often. Scrape the bottom of the pot every so often so nothing sticks to the bottom and scorches.
  • Remove from heat
  • Boil and drain the lasagna noodles:
    By now the salted water you started heating in step one should be boiling. Add the dry lasagna noodles and cook them to al dente, per package directions. (Note noodles may be cooked in advance.)
  • Stir often to prevent from sticking. Make sure that water remains at a full rolling boil during the entire cooking to prevent noodles from sticking.
  • When ready, drain in a colander and rinse with cool water, gently separating any noodles that may be sticking together.
  • Spread a little olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet, and lay out the cooked noodles on this sheet, turning them over so that they get coated with a little of the olive oil. This will prevent them from sticking together.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.

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