There’s something about winter that makes me crave pasta, in particular meaty pasta dishes. Italian lasagna is one of my favorites to make. I love the bubbly, meaty, and cheesy comfort of classic lasagna. It feels so warm and delicious going down. Perfect for a relaxed night for two, snuggling in front of the couch, or great for a family style dinner.
It’s also great for freezing, which makes meal prep easy for days when I’m super busy.
Look at all that cheese. So delicious!
Classic lasagna is super easy to make. It just starts with assembling all the ingredients, making the marinara sauce that goes in between the layers, and mixing the ricotta with egg and spices. It’s super simple. You can also buy dried lasagna noodles that don’t require pre-boiling. Personally, I like to boil my lasagna noodles first, so that they’re super soft once the lasagna is finished baking.
Meaty, Cheesy Classic Lasagna Recipe
For the Meat Marinara Sauce
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 1 lb ground beef or bison
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (6 ounce) tomato paste
- 2 cans (6.5 oz) tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme) if available (optional)
For Assembling the Lasagna
- 1 package lasagna noodles
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
First, Cook the Meat Marinara Sauce
- In a dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the ground beef and Italian seasoning over medium heat. (Don't add oil – the beef will render fat when cooked). Mix in the garlic powder to the meat.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until onion is wilted (about 5 minutes).
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato pasta, water, and sugar. Mix well.
- Add the dried seasonings (Italian seasoning, crushed fennel seeds) and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes until sauce is thickened slightly.
Prepare the Lasagna Noodles
- Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions and drain.
Assemble the Lasagna
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the egg and any spices you like (Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt and pepper).
- In a large baking dish (9×13), spread 2 cups of meat sauce on the bottom. Layer with noodles on top. Then spread a one-third of the ricotta mixture. Next, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top, followed by the Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat with the layers (meat sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan) until the dish is full. The final layer should have mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for a final 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and lasagna is bubbling. Enjoy!