This classic lasagna 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.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8


For the meat sauce:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (chuck)
  • 1/2 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 (half a 6-oz can) tomato paste
  • 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
  • Pinch of garlic powder and/or garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup sugar (to taste, optional)
  • Salt

To assemble the lasagna:

  • 1/2 lb dry lasagna noodles (requires 9 lasagna noodles - unbroken)
  • 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 lb (24 ounces) Mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced
  • 1/4 lb (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Special equipment:

  • 9x13 casserole dish, preferably pyrex or stainless steel (avoid aluminum pans if you can, they can react with the acidity of the sauce)
  • A couple large sheet pans to cool the noodles


1 Put pasta water on to boil: Put a large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp 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.

2 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.

lasagna ground beef in hot frying pan fully cooked ground beef in frying pan

Remove the beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Drain off all but a tablespoon of fat.

3 Cook the bell pepper, onions, garlic, add back the beef: Add the diced bell pepper and onions to 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.

bell pepper, onions, garlic being sautéed in frying pan lasagna ingredients in frying pan mixed together

4 Transfer to medium sized pot, add tomatoes and remaining sauce ingredients to build 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.

Sprinkle with red or white wine vinegar. 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.

lasagna filling ingredients being mixed together in hot pot close up of lasagna filling sauce on spoon

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.

5 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.

lasagna noodles being washed in strainer

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.

lasagna noodles laid flat on baking pan

6 Heat the oven to 375°F.

7 Assemble the lasagna: In a 9x13-inch casserole or lasagna dish, ladle a cup of sauce and spread it over the bottom of the dish. Arrange one layer of lasagna noodles lengthwise (about 3 long noodles, edge may overlap, depending on your pan) over the sauce. Ladle a third of the remaining sauce over the noodles.

lasagna sauce base on baking glass First 3 layers of lasagna in baking glass

Sprinkle a layer of a third of the grated mozzarella on top of lasagna sauce. Add half of the ricotta cheese, by placing cheese dollops every couple inches. Sprinkle half the grated parmesan cheese evenly over the top of ricotta cheese.

lasagna ingredients sprinkled with shredded cheese lasagna topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese

Apply second layer of noodles, top it with half of the remaining sauce. Add half of the remaining Mozzarella, the remaining ricotta cheese, and another the remaining Parmesan.

Finish with another layer of noodles. Spread the remaining sauce over the top layer of noodles and sprinkle with the remaining Mozzarella cheese.

Second layer of lasagna noodles over covering all other layers Final Lasagna layer made of meat sauce, assorted veggies and shredded cheese

8 Bake: Cover the lasagna pan with aluminum foil, tented slightly so it doesn't touch the noodles or sauce). Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Uncover in the last 10 minutes if you'd like more of a crusty top or edges.

9 Cool and serve: Allow the lasagna to cool at least 15 before serving. Leftovers will keep for about 5 days. May be reheated in conventional oven or microwave. Leave aluminum tent on for storage. (Try to keep the aluminum foil from touching the sauce.)

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  • Clara

    What is Italian Seasoning? I have never seen it in the Spices section at the store. I also stay away from product that are combined with others, because they always add salt. I am on a salt restricted diet ( per my doctor)so I watch very carefully what I use or add to my food.

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Clara! I’m Summer, an editor here at Simply Recipes. Italian Seasoning is a blend of different dried herbs. It is usually made up of oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme. Sometimes, you can find blends with garlic powder or chili flakes.

  • Tiffaney

    Absolutely delicious! Made the recipe exactly as shown. It was very flavourful and we will definitely make it again.


  • Nikita

    It was a fantastic dish will definitely be making it again

  • Amy

    It was GREAT. I will be making it again.


  • Daya

    Best recipe EVER.


  • Regina Newkirk

    I made this and it was delicious I used slice mozzarella and also added mild cheddar cheese. I did use a foil pan but it still came out delicious. Thank you. :) j will make again and bookmark to my phone. I paired with bagged salad and yeast rolls and fresh lemonade. My boyfriend and his family loved it! I took a picture but don’t know where to post it


  • Tahereh locke

    Not too hard to put together. Love the homemade sauce! Huge hit! Will definitely be making again.


  • Sandra

    Made this for my husband and his parents and I used gluten-free oven-ready noodles, and it was a hit! I did ricotta on one half and cottage cheese on the other side because I thought my mother in law didn’t like ricotta, but turns out she doesn’t like either (if it’s too much) and she noted that this recipe was better than others because it did not go overboard on the ricotta. Thanks for the recipe, I will make it again.


  • Fruitfulvine2

    Everyone loved it!


  • Dee

    It’s in the oven, so I can’t comment on the flavour as yet but I’m expecting good things. I am, however, confused about how long it needs to be in the oven. It says cook time, at the top of the recipe, of 90 minutes, but only half that time in the method. Which is correct?? And the prep time of 15??? On what planet? It took, with two of us browning/chopping/stirring and noodling, about 90 minutes and that was with minimal time to let the sauce cook out (I did do about 40 minutes but since the method said 15 – 45, I’ve used 15 mins in my calculation, to be fair), but there is NO WAY prep time is only a quarter of an hour.

    I did add some Worcester sauce for a little bit more depth, so yes, I’ve strayed from Italy a little, but that’s my only “touch”. The kitchen smells awesome!!

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Dee! I’m glad your kitchen smells delightful! That’s always a good sign! For this recipe, we calculate shredding the cheese and chopping the vegetables as prep time. We include cooking the meat and lasagna noodles in the total cooking time. It’s best to follow the time specified in each method step. For baking the lasagna we recommend 45 minutes in step 8.

  • Heather

    I haven’t made lasagna for years as I was never happy with the results for the amount of work. This recipe was amazing!! My son said it tasted better than a restaurant! I’ll guess I’ll be adding it to my staple recipes


  • Allison

    Amazing lasagna. My husband said it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. I think we would’ve just eaten the sauce with spoons too.


  • Karen

    My husband and I loved your recipe! Couldn’t resist, had to take a piece before taking a pic of the final product. It was delicious!


  • Steven Cohen

    Excellent, but a few nits: in step 3, the minced garlic is added at 2 different stages. I’m an efficient cook but this took way more than 15 minutes prep. Still delicious but I started later than intended. Lastly I used less than half the cheese and it was quite enough for our tastes. Thanks


  • Tiffany

    I made it and it’s a perfect lasagna recipe


  • Kelly

    This is the best lasagna recipe I’ve ever found. Such a perfect and proportionate amount of everything. I’ll never make another recipe. This is the one! Thanks!!!


  • Luis G

    Yes I made it !! Thank u Excellent


  • Jack

    1 lb. of beef not enough for 8 people, but overall a very good classic dish. I loved the adding of vinegar (balsamic) it brightened up the taste and enjoyment.

  • Audrey Austin

    Delicious BUT prep time 15 min? Hardly . Chop the pepper and onions, cook meat then the veggies for 5 min, then back together again. Add tomatoe products after opening 3 cans, scrapping interiors-.-.-, mix together in 15 min???
    Ok can grate cheeses while sauce is cooking, also use uncooked pasta but just assembling all together takes 15min.
    Be realistic please


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Audrey, glad you liked the recipe! I think of prep time as chopping the vegetables and slicing the cheese. I include cooking the meat and lasagna noodles in the total cooking time.

  • LDW

    Yum! Made it gluten free using GF lasagna noodles.


  • Dana

    I have made this recipe with ground turkey and ground beef. It’s fantastic either way. The only miss in my opinion is the vinegar. The first time I made the recipe I added the vinegar per the instructions and my entire family disliked it . What is the vinegar just did not belong. Now I just omit it and it’s a winner for us. When I can I use a high-quality organic ricotta and mozzarella and it’s really out of this world.


  • Chris

    This is a great recipe! The best lasagna I’ve made to date. I simply made it with 2 pounds of regular hamburger (removing the grease) and it was perfect! Thanks!!!


  • Sheena-Kay

    I have seen numerous recipes for lasagna but this seemed most doable for me. I tried it with a few minor adjustments as i could not locate some of the ingredients called for, but on checking a couple more recipes I felt better about the substitutions. I use mexican sausages and a 5 cheese blend, plus parmesan.Needless to say, it turned out great!
    It has actually become my signature meal to prepare when I want to make an impression.

    My husband considers himself the household chef but defers to me when it comes to lasagna.
    Similarly, my coworkers request it on special occasions.

    Thank you for this recipe! I am about to bake another 3 dishes today for my home and office!!!


  • Karyn R

    Made it!! Turned out great!! Followed the directions verbatim. I doubled the recipe and added 2lbs sweet Italian sausage and cooked it with the beef. Turned out lovely!!


  • Leslie Sison

    This lasagna recipe is always a BIG HIT each time I make it for my family! I have to make sure that the ingredients and measurements are always X2 because one pan would not lasts for my growing kids.
    Thank you Simply Recipes for sharing this to all of us! We truly appreciate it! Kudos to your Awesome TEAM!
    Yours truly,
    Leslie Sison
    Daly City, California


  • Stormwolf Martin

    I add zucchini, and yellow squash, so we have our veggies, too. Great way to ‘sneak ‘ extra nutrients in any casserole style dish, when you have picky eaters!

  • Rob

    Awesome, I substituted ground venison for the ground chuck, mixed the Italian spices with the meat previous to browning. Also used large curd cottage cheese instead of the ricotta cheese. We had thumbs up all around. It’s a good sign when there is no conversation during a meal!!!! Thanks!


  • Faye

    My fave lasagna recipe. Never fails


  • Louise

    Delicious! I’ve made this 6-7 times now! I like to add a layer of spinach (from a frozen bag, thawed then drained underneath the ricotta layer), mushrooms, double the garlic, and add red Chile flakes or cayenne for a kick!


  • Harry

    Hi. I’ve just made this recipe but I’m making a roux (cheese) sauce for the cheese layer as I find it made it so much creamier. Still used the same cheeses you said to and everything else and it was extravagant. Will definitely be saving this page. Can’t wait to make again
    Just want to check if this is freezer safe as I like to cook in bulk and then freeze?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Harry, I know that the recipe as written is fine for the freezer. Not so sure about the roux layer, but it should work.

  • Casi

    I Love this recipe. I recently made some spaghetti sauce and am wondering about how many cups of sauce I’ll need to make this? Thank you!!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Casi, good question! I don’t know what to tell you. I would just look at the photos in the recipe and eyeball it.

  • Jim S

    This is a very good basic recipe, with one major exception. When browning ground beef for any recipe, you really should season the meat before browning it. Otherwise, the meat will never absorb the seasonings properly. I learned this lesson many years ago when I participated in chili cook off competitions. Another suggestion, if you like tweaking recipes to make them your own, is to mix the cheeses together along with an egg or two and some fresh chopped parsley, reserving a little of the mozzarella and parmesan to sprinkle on top. The recipe is great as it is but I think my tips will make it even better. Thanks for posting it.

  • Daniela

    Made this today and everybody (husband, 2 teenagers and my 11 year old )absolutely loved it. Thank u


  • Neka

    This lasagna was absolutely deliciously the best. My family loved it!!! Thanks for the recipe, I will be using it again!!!


  • Angie

    It was amazing!!! Thanks so much!! You are a lifesaver!!! My husband is so happy!! Thank you!!!


  • Crystal

    My first time making lasagna and This came out so delicious thank you for sharing..


  • Maryjane

    If you have three pans of lasagna how long in the oven?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Maryjane! Emma here, managing editor. As long as your oven maintains a pretty consistent temperature, the baking time shouldn’t be TOO different. I’d start checking at 45 minutes, and continue cooking until the edges of the pans are bubbling and the cheese on top is melted. You might want to rotate the pans once or twice during cooking so they cook evenly; remove individual pans as they are done. Enjoy!

  • Racquel

    This recipe was great, it was my first time trying lasagna last year and it came out perfectly just modified it to Jamaican taste buds a little bit overall, wow. Wondering though if I can prepare overnight and refrigerate and then just pop in oven following morning


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Racquel! Emma here, managing editor. Yes, I think you could refrigerate overnight and bake it in the morning. Enjoy!

  • Mario

    Fabulous Lasagna

  • Gwen Duran

    It’s simple and easy step I’ll will try it for my birthday dinner on Saturday thanks .

  • Deonnejackson

    I make mine with whole grains noodles and ground turkey and it was so delicious! Thank you for your recipe.


  • Maureen

    I think this is a classic. Mine turned out very good. Thanks


  • chay

    Did this recipe and it came out fantastic! My first time to cook Lasagna. I modified some parts and ingredients to fit the Filipino taste, and still, it turned out well.


  • Danielle

    Have made this recipe may times after experimenting with others. I use ground turkey instead of beef and it is amazing ! I also broil it for a few minutes at the end to make the cheese a little brown ! Delicious !


  • Ms. F

    Take my opinion with a pinch of salt but this is the best one I’ve had although I never had actual homemade sauce, my family always used the jar spaghetti sauce. I have a relative that told me it’s easier to use the jar sauce than make it from scratch but since I’m curious I wanted to do this one. I’m going try to give her a piece and see if she will reconsider :)) I ended up using 1 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar and just a little extra parsley since I chopped more than I needed (1/3 cup). This went really well with friends, I’m very pleased and thank you very much for sharing this. I’m sure this will be my go to recipe now on. It would have been nice if you could include the calories per serving though. Thanks again for sharing.


  • Kelly K

    This is such a classic and it turns out perfect, every time. I like to broil it for a couple minutes at the end to give the cheese a little color and crispiness. So tasty!


  • Earl Durham

    In Mexico, so I used Panala cheese, (looks like Ricotti), instead of cottace and Chiwahua instyead of Mozzerella.Sauce made before hand Outstanding !~, – thank you

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Earl, what a great idea, to substitute with Mexican cheeses!

  • Alexis

    Just put mine in the oven! #christmas2018

  • Mommy

    My daughter, husband & I love . I do use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Comes out great .

  • Karen

    I also add cream cheese,eggs and cottage cheese to the ricotta and it comes out fantastic

  • Rashawn

    Just put my in oven , First Time Ever !!
    Happy Thanksgiving

  • Bree

    I ran out of mozzarella cheese. Since I started cooking at 1am, and there a no stores opened. I used cheddar cheese I already had. I guess we’ll see how it taste later for my nephew’s birthday party later.

  • Laura

    Hi! I’d love to make it with spinach in it too. Any ideas where/how I would incorporate it? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Laura, I use spinach in my vegetarian spinach lasagna here: We layer in defrosted, drained, chopped frozen spinach between the Mozzarella and ricotta cheeses when layering.

      • Laura

        Great, thanks! My hubby wants meat and spinach, so I’ll just follow your recipe and put the spinach as you described. I can’t wait to try it!!

        • Carolm

          We add cooked, chopped, well drained spinach to the ricoitta mix ! Comes out great! & Kids dont get that its spinach too!

    • Holly English

      Hi, Laura – I always use spinach in my lasagna. I use frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed to as dry as possible. Then I mix it right into my ricotta cheese. Perfect every time and we like the resulting texture done this way. Good luck!

      • Laura

        Thanks, Holly!! It turned out great!


      I like spinach too – as a side dish.

  • Amber

    I just made this, super easy to make. Though, I forgot to add the meat to the sauce so I put it on top. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Renee Sollars

    I love making lasagna but for sauce I use meat flavored prego, been making it with this for over 20 years always comes out great I also cook up ground chuck drain any grease, than I cook up jimmy dean sausage in the tubes regular drain than mix together, I also chop up sweet onions an put in with ground chuck I cook noodles with a little salt an olive oil than when it’s all done layer it than cook it

  • Julia AGARD

    You don’t have to cook noodles. Layer using uncooked noodles with other ingredients cover tightly with. foil. Bake for one hour. Uncover to brow . Too easy….

    • Neng

      Did you use no cook pasta or the regular one?

  • Amber

    Hello, I absolutely love this recipe. All time favorite to make. I was wondering how many calories are in one serving ?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Amber, we don’t keep track of calories here so I don’t know what to tell you.

  • Wes

    I just made it and forgot to put the ricotta cheese in it, I will find out in a bit if it’s edible

  • Greta

    Made without peppers and parsley. Really good recipe! My oven cooks fast so 45 minutes was enough time for it to bake. I like to take off the tinfoil for the last 10ish minutes to let the cheese brown a little on top. Would make this again!

  • Bonnie Shannon

    i dont like sugar in my recipe, maybe cuts down on acidity of tomatoes, but I like that. Don’t use sugar unless you like less acidity in tomatoes/peppers.

  • Colby Renfro

    Does the lasagna test better with the sugar or no sugar? I would really like to know.

    • Chandra

      The sugar help take away the acid tomato taste. It brings it to a balance.

    • Chandra

      Sorry, I just realized I didn’t answer your question.
      I would say yes. I add a lil sugar.. Let me know how it works for you Colby..

    • Lynn

      Always use sugar. Try either way. You’ll see the results.

  • Montse

    I loved this recipe! Everything was simple and clear! Times, temperatures and measures were perfect. Thanks

  • sarah

    had to cook for 1 1/2 hours. The temperature needs to be increased in this recipe!!!

    • Bree

      I agree with you. I’m making it now for my nephew’s birthday party later. I took it out after 45 mintues and it wasn’t melted all the way.

  • Alex

    Needed more bake time. Mines been in the oven for an hour now and top layer of cheese hasn’t all the way melted

  • Nelva

    Just put this lasagna in the oven. Did not have any parsley so made it without. Will let know how that worked out.

  • Pavel

    I never cook the lasagna pasta, just use it dry, and is much better flavor and taste.

    • Carol

      I agree. I never cook the pasta. It seems to taste better. Besides, it cuts out that extra step (cooking the pasta)

  • Traci

    Saw it today, made it today. I simmered the sauce for a few hours. My hubby tasted it and with big eyes, said, ‘I, my G–!,). He’ s tenting the foil now (I never can get that right). It is in the oven now! Can’t wait!

  • Sam

    Turned out great, I highly recommend substituting the ground beef with Italian sausage!

    • Tumi

      Neat to see some one suggest this. :) my first time making this I actually used roughly 50% ground beef, and 50% hot italian sausage for my grpund meat. I have done it the same way since.

      • Steff

        When I don’t have Italian sausage on hand, I’ll brown any ground meat (tonight I had some ground veal in the freezer, so that’s what I used) with the addition of oregano, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed. It ends up tasting the same. :)

  • Enrique Hernandez

    Not that it matters but im a texan/Mexican so im sure you can guess what my daily food consist of, anyways im currently baking this recipe to try something new :3 Cant wait to taste it

  • Joe Graves

    When you call for a 28 ounce can of tomato sauce are you referring to something like Prego or Classico? Or are you referring to something like Hunts Tomato Sauce? They are both tomato sauces, but quite different. I would appreciate an answer as soon as you can as I’m getting ready to make this.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Joe! For this recipe, best to use a basic tomato sauce like Hunt’s — something with minimal seasoning on the ingredient list. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • Thomas

      I actually used Classico garlic pasta sauce, and it came out great. I think you can’t really go wrong with either :)

  • Jashlyn h

    I loved this recipe. It was my first time making this and the step by step instructions helped so much . My whole family loved it . I give this 3 thumbs up

  • Mrs. Ruth Robinson

    Excellent recipe. I prepared it as instructed with all organic products and it was the best recipe my family has every enjoyed from me. It too 3 hours with the preparation and cooking of it. The next time I will prepare the chopped items one day then the sauce the next. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

  • Tonia

    I’ve been looking for a good lasagna recipe and want to try this for Sunday. Does the ricotta need an egg or two for the creamy texture? I’ve never NOT added eggs.

    • Carol

      I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and added an egg! I get requests for this lasagna at pot lucks and family functions! It’s great!

    • Karen

      I use eggs,ricotta,cottage and cream cheese I have request for mine all the time

  • nothando

    I loved the receipt we enjoyed it a lot thanks a lot and did l mention it was my 1st time to cook lasagne.

  • Leon Jensen

    Your lasagna was voted best in a dozen at a dinner party last week. See the story in our newsletter, the Westbriar Crier. By linking directly to your site, I hope I have fulfilled the credit requirements.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Leon, I’m so glad you liked it! Sure, sharing a link with a photo is fine. :-)

  • Evelyn McMillan

    Can I use the pre cooked lasagna noodles? I use those in my crock pot recipe and they work great.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Evelyn, I haven’t tried making this with the pre-cooked noodles, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

      • Tri Jessup

        I just made this with no boil lasagna noodles and it came out nicely. The key is to make sure that all the noodles are covered completely, especially the edges. Because of this, I would recommend making extra sauce to ensure that none of the noodles come out dry.


        • Elise Bauer

          Good to know, thank you Tri!

          • Tumi

            I second this. I have made it with “oven ready” dry noodles. Came out absolutely fantastic and kept it’s structure very well. I also use a little extra sauce. If you do have an area that is a little uncovered, it does indeed harden. Honestly it still tastes pretty good if it is just an edge, but I would suggest a complete layer.

  • Mary

    My daughter came home today and asked f I could please make lasagna for supper. I said I did not have all the ingredients. Well, when I checked, I did have most. No racotta, but did have cottage cheese, no 28 ounces of tomato sauce, but did have 28 ounces of puried and 8 ounces of sauce. This recipe is fantastic! Next time I will have all the correct ingredients. Definitely will make again. My daughter and my husband really liked it too. Thank you!


    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you and your family liked it Mary! And cottage cheese works well as a sub for ricotta in this lasagna.

  • meme

    Made it Christmas 2016..Loved family loved it !!

  • John Anthony

    Absolutely through all of its layers, a very cogent, delectable recipe. Never made lasagna before and my mom said she was in the mood for it, and rather than venturing out to a NYC restaurant which incidentally no one prepared in the Chelsea area, we consumed half the pan at our comfortable apartment. Loved it! Thank you very much.

  • Dee

    Can i pre make this. Put in fridge then Bake it the next day????

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dee, I think lasagna is pretty forgiving that way, so yes, you could assemble ahead and bake it the next day.

    • Robert Weibel

      Yes definitely! Even better because it marinates in the flavors.

      • tia stambaugh

        This is the question I was looking for! I want to make this for my husband tomorrow but we will be strapped for time. So glad to read I can premake and bake tomorrow! Thank you for asking this!!

  • William

    I’ve never made lasagna and haven’t seen it made since I was seven years old but after making this today everyone loved it best ever.

  • Sheryl

    Can I bake this part way and then finish baking the next day?

  • dawn sorge

    A quick easy add to your dish: line pan with parchment paper and the cleanup and storage is a piece of cake.

  • Alix Pulido

    I just made this and it was AMAZING! The instructions were simple enough to follow and the prep time wasn’t bad. I’m definitely making this again! Thanks!!!!

  • Lynda Dandurand

    I need to reheat the full plan of lasagna 9×13 that has been in the fridge since last night. What are the directions for reheating? What temperature and for how long? Any other directions? Add more sauce? Thank you!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lynda, when reheating casseroles like lasagna I just cover it with foil and put it into a 350°F oven until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Bree Raymond

    I made this last night for a family supper. I didn’t change anything. Huge hit all around!


  • Mari

    OK, seems to be tasty. I am confused on this receipt. Please read it and you will see what I mean. Yes, it’s the beginning. It says to “save the boiling water for the sause”. Except NOWHERE on your recipe does it say when, how to what do we add this water. Please correct this confusing part so no other person has to GET STUCK as I have. Thanks.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Mari, actually it says, “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.” This means to put a large pot of water on to a boil. Because it can take a large pot of water a long time to come to a boil start making the sauce using the directions that follow. In no place in this recipe does it say to save the boiling water for the sauce.

      • Amy Fields

        Lol. I understood exactly what this recipe offers and I have mine in the oven, waiting patiently! And Elise the sauce is perfect and very very good!! My family loves how the sauce taste.

  • Dan Robinson

    I have cooked this several times, with some substitutions. Instead of ricotta cheese, I use cottage cheese. Instead of cooking the lasagna noodles ahead of time, I use packaged rice lasagna noodles that I simply layer in the final assembly (we have a son who is a little sensitive to gluten). This eliminates the step of separately cooking the noodles. Instead of 24 oz of mozarella cheese, I shred three 8 oz blocks of any 3 different cheeses that strike my fancy: swiss, cheddar, colby, monterrey, whatever. This gives variety to the overall flavor depending on the cheeses used. I also may add a can of black olives to the sauce.

  • LaTasha

    Great recipe…directions a little confusing as wordy.

  • Sara

    I have been making this for years and finally had to comment. This is a HUGE recipe and a crowd pleaser. I make 2 pans to take for beach vacations (large multi-family dinner). I make this and freeze it for quick dinners later. This is my go-to when I have family at my place and I want to have a big hearty dinner with little prep at the time. Much of this you can do many steps in advance and assemble quick. Love this recipe!

  • Ginny

    can you use homemade lasagna noodles? if so do you pre-cook them or just cover with foil and bake?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ginny, great question! I’m guessing that you just cover with foil and bake, but I haven’t tried it. If anyone else has experience with this, please weigh in!

    • Victor

      Raw noodles as in still in dough form need to be placed in boiled water for 30-45 seconds then in cold water. This gives the noodle texture you want. Excess water should be removed prior to final assembly.

  • Kevin

    I’ve been wanting to make lasagna for years and finally got the chance to make it and this recipe is amazing. I was blown away by how great this is. This is my first time making something this elaborate, I know it’s not that bad but it is for me. Very very good.

  • sarah

    I never comment on anything! But this i just had to come on and give you a high five! Awesome recipe with delicious results, honest to God theee best lasagna recipe ever. Thank you!

  • Lena M

    Best lasagna I have ever had. No joke.
    I cook for a family of 6 and a 9 by 13 pan lasts us 2 dinners! I usually make it with a veggie and salad.
    Thank you so much for your recipes, Elise!

  • Val

    How could I freeze this without using aluminum disposable pans? Any suggestions? I can’t go without my Pyrex that long!

    • Elise Bauer

      Even though I recommend to not let the aluminum touch the sauce, plenty of people have made lasagna in disposable aluminum pans for years. If that’s what you have, then use it!

      • Mark

        I cook the lasagna fully, serve what I need that night, then wait for it to cool. After that, use a sharp knife to cut it into individual servings and wrap these in stretch wrap or foil before freezing. The stretch wrap gives a more airtight seal and lasts longer, but you may have trouble removing it from the frozen pieces. With the foil, you can just pop it back in the oven. Lasagna re-heats very well.

  • Edward Kane

    Hello, I recently seen a show on TV about a man who made the “World’s Best Lasagna” according to views and ratings online. Well it made me think of my go to recipe. I have cooked lasagna many times over the last two years and yours I would have to say is the best! After I seen the show I thought I would come by and rate yours. My grandmother critiqued about the peppers in the recipe, but she can be critical. Apparently color does mean the difference :-/.. BUT I just use red peppers in place of green and yellow peppers to blend in with the red sauce and the compliments go a flying even from the grandma! Thanks for the recipe… Everybody loves it.. 5 stars!


  • Tanya

    Hi Elise,

    Is the canned tomato sauce just regular tomato sauce such as ‘Prego’ or ‘Ragu’?

    Prego or Ragu will do fine. ~Elise

  • osheri

    This IS the best I have ever made. I used for the sauce (because it was what I had on hand) 28 oz of diced tomatoes with basil,garlic and oregano. 32 oz of tomato sauce, 4 oz of tomato paste, a capful of red wine vinegar, 1/4 c of white wine and about 3 shakes ea of the spices. and about 3 tbl of sugar to tatse.
    I used cottage cheese instead. Was very easy to layer.
    I have been trying different lasagna recipes for years and this is simply the best!!

  • yvonne

    When it comes to cheese, you can note on the package that 4 oz of cheese is a cup as opposed to 8 oz of liquid. This may be where their may be confusion as to pounds v. cups ratio.

  • susan

    Has anyone ever made lasagna without tomato sauce? My husband can’t eat tomatoes (medical condition), so I usually use a white sauce for everything. Sometimes I miss spaghetti and other meals that require a tomato sauce of some kind. But I refuse to make 2 meals.

    Check out our lasagna bolognese recipe. No tomatoes. Lots of work, but it’s the best lasagna I’ve ever had anywhere. ~Elise

  • bee

    Lasagna can be made with cheddar cheese! My mom likes to cook very “american” style dishes and never used ricotta or mozzarella in her lasagna, but rather cheddar & american cheese. The american cheese when layered on top always got fabulously toasty brown and delicious. It’s not at all the same as ricotta/mozzarella, but also delicious.

  • Alex

    Made this today, and it was splendid! I left out the sugar — the sauce really seemed plenty sweet without it — and used homemade pasta ribbons which I briefly boiled and placed in cold water as suggested. I also used a few teaspoons of coarsely chopped fresh basil in place of the Italian seasoning since I had it on hand. The result was a cheesy, gooey, yet wonderfully cohesive and savory lasagna. It’s a keeper.

  • Nahian

    Hi Elise,

    I have never made lasagna before, and i really wanna give it a try. But i am facing problem with the cheese. In my country we do not have Parmesan and ricotta cheese available. Is there any substitute for them? Please help me out if possible and please let me know how much the taste of the lasagna will be altered because of the cheese. Thanks, i would be very grateful.

    P.S can a cheddar cheese sauce be used instead?

    Hello Nahian, this classic lasagna recipe requires the cheeses listed in the ingredients. That said, you could always improvise with other cheeses and see which work best for you. ~Elise

  • Scott

    Elise- I had a friend suggest replacing the lasagna noodles with Won Ton wrappers and after trying it, I am a fan! Are the ingredients any different between the two?

    I don’t know Scott, I’ve yet to make it that way. ~Elise

  • Louise

    *lasagne, lasagna is singular, since there is more than one sheet its always lasagne.

    This recipe was brilliant though! amazing lasagne :) definitely making this again

  • cmajor

    This is a fantastic recipe, certainly for those who have a weakness for cheese. Made it for a family get together back around New Year’s and it was ravingly well received. Hats off to Mr Hoover indeed. And thanks Elise for a great food & photo blog. You just may be the perfect woman.

  • Amanda

    My husband and I tried this recipe last night and it was delicious. We followed the recipe rather closely, and I definitely recommend adding the sugar and spices to taste. We only used 2 tbs of sugar to make a less sweet sauce, and about half of the spice blend. We also used less parmesan and ricotta then the recipe calls for, but we do like our pasta to be a little lighter.

    It was delicious and easy to make personal adjustments.

  • Kei$ha

    This recipeeeeeeeeeeeee is the best all over the world it is simply delicious plz try at your home i love this [email protected]@@@@@@@

  • Penney

    This is the only way I make lasagna now! I usually “cheat” and use a jar of sauce, and add ground sirloin, so I don’t know how the sauce recipe turns out. But the layering of the cheese is the best, and so easy, no mixing the ricotta with egg or anything. I use good quality ingredients, fresh cheese, etc. I’m Greek, but everyone wants to know if I am Italian after trying this!

  • Jeremy

    Sounds like a good recipe. About four times a year I make lasagna. I add to this basic recipe about a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in place of sugar.I also use a bottle of good but reasonably priced Cab Sauv. over a 4 to 6 period. (hence, only four times a year) I’ve never tried the green peppers and vinegar bit. That’s sounds fun. I think we’ll give it a go.

  • Trixie

    Hello. This recipe sounds great–I’m excited to try it.
    Elise do you know, or does anyone else know, if I’m using no-boil noodles, do I need to put more sauce in the pan (than directed in the recipe) around the noodles in order for them to ‘cook’ correctly? Or should I stick with the amounts offered?

    Great question. I don’t think you need more sauce, but a little more wouldn’t hurt. Then again, I haven’t cooked with those no-boil noodles, so don’t really know. ~Elise

  • Tanya

    Okay Elise,

    I was looking for an easier way out as I can find no canned tomato products but ended up making your tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes and then the lasagna. It was time consuming (peeling a gazillion pounds of tomatoes!!) but definitely worth it! The lasagna is delicous. Thanks for all three recipes.

  • Kim

    LOVE IT!! I added finely chopped spinach to the ricotta for color and because my children love spinach. Thanks Alton & Elise. =)

  • Mary

    Another great recipe. Followed the recipe but added a of my own touches. Added some red wine to the sauce. Would cut down on the sugar a bit. Added 2 tbs. Don’t get me wrong…tasted great.

  • Shelly

    I have made this lasagna about a million times and I don’t usually alter any of the ingredients. I made this last night for a mini Thanksgiving gathering at a friends house. She is Hindu and can’t have beef, so I made this with ground turkey instead. Came out great! Thought I would share…

  • ridojiri

    We made this with homemade pasta sheets, and it was delicious. I added ricotta spinach, and some capers to garnish.

  • joe

    This sauce recipe is great for spaghetti too. I made this lasagna and had leftover sauce. That sauce went over great on spaghetti the next day!

  • karla

    Hi, I’ve been making lasagna for a long time and I’ve never come across a recipe with so much sugar in the sauce! I’m curious to see how it turns out, so I’ll make it this week.
    Just a comment, to drain out the fat when browning the meat, I just crumple a few sheets of paper towel, throw it in the pot, lift the pot so the fat collects in a corner, and just push the paper towel into it with my spoon until it absorbs the excess liquid.Voilá! Less mess to clean.
    Bear in mind that this liquid is not just fat but also water from the meat, and if you drain it all away, you’re also losing a lot of flavor. So don’t go and dry it out completely, no need.

  • Alton Hoover

    Well after 4 1/2 years it seems that the feedback is good on my recipe. I think I should share a few more.



    Indeed! Nice to hear from you Alton! ~Elise

  • Ralph

    I made this recipe for the family and it was a hit! The taste of this makes you never want to waste the money on stoffer’s again.

  • Lulu

    I do not have an oven, but I really love to try to cook lasagna. Is it possible to cook this on turbo broiler.

    No idea. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Elizabeth

    I’m making this lasagna tonight for my family and a friend’s family. Right now the sauce is on the stove and it tastes great. Although I won’t be adding any sugar bc it’s already plenty sweet enough. I used red bell pepper instead of green bc I already had one on hand. I wanted to offer a lasagna noodle cooking tip that I got from an issue of Southern Living some time ago. Layer the noodles in a glass baking dish. Pour boiling water, to cover, over them. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Let sit for 15 minutes. Separate as needed with a fork or paring knife. I’ve used this method many times now when making lasagna and I think it works great. I can’t wait to try the finished product!

    I love the recipes I’ve found on this site.

  • Cassie


    I want to make this lasagna. Is it possible to prepare up until the time it is ready to go in the oven? Want to prep, refrigerate overnight, then after work, pop it in the oven for the 45 mintes. Will the taste diminish or noodles go soggy?

    Great question, I don’t really know. I have made our other lasagna recipe in advance by freezing it, and then baking, which turned out fine. It should work okay to refrigerate I think. Lasagna noodles are pretty sturdy. If you go ahead with this, please let us know how it turned out. ~Elise

  • Maureen


    I’m confused. . . are the lasagna noodles cooked or not before layering into the casserole?

    Hi Maureen, there are two kinds of lasagna noodles, one you don’t have to cook first and the other you do. Just read the instructions on the box of pasta you buy. I use the old fashioned kind, the kind you need to cook first before you lay them in the pan. But others use the no-cook variety with perfectly good results. ~Elise

  • thepokerchef

    Sounds like a good recipe close to my own but I omit the peppers sugar and vinegar add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water and assemble the lasagna without cooking the noodles first. I have been doing this for more than 30 years before the so called no boil lasagna was around there is basically no difference between no-boil and regular lasagna except the price.

  • trish


    Not sure if you even get the comments on these older posts but I have to tell you I’ve made this many times. It’s the famiy favorite! I was looking for it yesterday as we’re getting together on Sunday. I couldn’t remember the source! As I was drifting off to sleep last night I remembered it was this recipe everyone loved – Whew! I’ve now saved it to my desk top recipe file folder so it won’t get forgotten again. As always, thanks for the great recipes!

    Trish Nelson
    Omaha, NE

  • Tom Turner

    I made this lasagna recipe last night. My kids loved it.
    I replaced the sugar with Splenda, it worked well.

    I have three lasagna recipes I use:
    This recipe on , the number 1 recipe on recipe and the Worlds Best lasagna recipe on

    I am looking for a great spinach lasagna recipe.

    All three recipes are slightly different.
    Elise thanks for your great web site!!

  • Mrs. Whitlock

    Very Tasty! My whole family love it. Easy to make. I used, like some of the others useres stated, “oven ready lasana” and it still turn out great. We make this again, because I certainly didn’t have any leftovers.

  • Randman

    Thanks Elise!!

    Just wanted to let you know that I followed this recipe (with a few minor tweaks) and won the Lasagna cook-off at work! For the tweaks i used: a spinach-ricotta mixture and added an extra 1 lb of ground pork for the sauce and half a glass of white wine. I also went with pre-cooked noodles and pre-shredded mozzarela. Next up for the cook-off is Cabbage Rolls. Hope I can keep my Crown!!

  • Shelly

    This recipe calls for both “garlic power” and garlic salt. I assume the former is a typo and meant to say garlic powder. I see where the garlic salt is added in the recipe, but when do I add the garlic powder? Do I really need both?
    Also, I am the one who posted the question about using the no-cook noodles. I went ahead and tried it and it worked fine. San Giorgio makes “no boil” lasagna noodles. You just lay the noodles width wise instead of length wise (these noodles come shorter than normal lasagna noodles anyway) and don’t overlap them. I guess they cook in the sauce when the lasagna is in the oven. This was my first time making lasagna and I think I would have messed up the noodles so this definitely saved me some time. I have made the lasagna about 3 times since and it gets better every time. Elise you are amazing!

    Hi Shelly – Fixed the typo, thanks. I think you can use either garlic powder, garlic salt, or both. Or even finely minced garlic if you put it in for a minute after the onions have cooked. Thanks for letting us know about the “no boil” noodles! ~Elise

  • Lynnette

    This lasagna recipe is excellent! I’m a great cook but I have never made homemade lasagna so this was my first time out the gate, so to speak. It has a lot of steps but it’s fairly easy and it came out great. I accidently bought the oven ready lasagna but the recipe still turned out great with those. My husband loved it!

  • beth

    I would also like to have the original recipe to feed an army at a party!

    Just double the recipe. ~Elise

  • David Edelman

    This is a great recipe! For those that have diabetes or eat low-carb, it’s possible to make this recipe using Dreamfields pasta noodles. They only have 5g of digetsable carbs per serving – but be careful not to overcook or the amount increases.

  • K. G. from jamaica

    Hello everyone. Well I tried this recipe today and my husband is still smiling. It was fabulous. I will defintely try this again. I just wish lasgana wasn’t so fattening. But it’s defintely enjoyable calories.

  • Michelle

    You can absolutely make this lasagna up to the point of baking and then freeze. Just allow enough time for it to thoroughly thaw before cooking. A great recipe!!

  • Vega

    I was cooking this for dinner tonight and it obviously turned out quite well.The only question I have is,there is so many juice came out from somewhere during baking it.Is it a common issue for lasagna?(This is my first lasagna ever).

  • Shelly

    What about using the no-cook lassagna noodles?

  • Jolanta

    This was my first time making lasagna. I’m a special occasion cook (have no time and energy on a daily basis). So I am very inexperienced when it comes to making anything in the kitchen. But I can follow directions very well.

    My Husband said this was the best lasagna he’s ever tasted, he wasn’t just tring to be nice. It really was the best I have ever tasted.

    He did take some to work to brag to his buddies.
    Hint to everyone making it for the first time: don’t skip any steps, do it exactly according to recipe.
    It can’t go wrong. Fantastic!

  • Yvette

    My family loved this recipe, especially my picky little girl. Will be making this again, tonight, along with your Chicken and Dumplings. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I’m one who definetly is benefitting from them as a cook, and my family enjoys eating the foods that I prepare. THANK YOU!!

  • Jules

    Nervously and excitedly tried this recipe for Christmas meal (my first lasagna ever!).. and nearly 3 hours later (yup, amateur I am) turn out soooo delicious. Thank you very much! Now we only need a recipe for shedding off those extra kilos (it served 2 in my case :p )
    Thanks again.. really appreciate it..

  • Jericho

    I am an excellent cook, and I knew how to make lasagna but the last time I made it, the noodles burnt to a crisp on the bottom of the pan. Now, when I say I am an excellent cook, I mean that at the age of 23, I can out cook the typical guy, and as long as I keep my creativity in check, most of my food is delicious. Well, I hate making the same mistake twice if I can help it, your recipe explained to me the importance of saucing the bottom of the pan, as well as using aluminum foil. Thank you, this advice solved both of my problems. Even cooking Elise, and please keep teaching us your secrets.

  • Leon

    For storage I substitute plastic wrap as aluminum foil always gets crushed onto sauce while stored in fridge.
    I also do not precook the noodles but make my sauce slightly thinner. I make enough sauce held in reserve in case the lasagna turns out drier than expected.
    Ps. I also tried sausage sometimes as substitute and other times in conjunction with hamburger.
    I agree, this is a great dish.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Fred – it’s definitely 3/4 pound of Parmesan. You wouldn’t get much impact from 3/4 of a cup in this recipe.

  • maria

    Fred–I don’t know how the original recipe has the proportions, but since the parmesan cheese is only used as an additional layer (as opposed to being an integral part of something, like a bechamel), I would just use your own discretion as to how much cheese you want to have on each layer. That way you can determine how much cheese you do or do not have to buy.

  • Becky

    Hi, it’s really nice but there are so many ingredients, and it takes a long time. Did anyone else find that?

    • Holly

      Of course there is. You’re making a lasagna from scratch lol

  • Nic Tenthorey (Orangevale, California)

    I just wanted to let everybody know that this lasaugna is EXCEPTIONAL!! Everybody who ate it loved it…Thank you for such a good recipe, I just finished up the left overs. The only thing I did different was used grated cheese instead of cheese slices of motzerella.

  • coco

    Thank you for the recipe. This is definitely an easy recipe for a first-time lasagna cook like me. The lasagna turned out really good and I will absolutely make it again in the future.

    The only thing I remind myself if i make it next time is to make sure that the lasagna pan is not filled too full with the red sauce before baking.

  • Michael Marchand

    Hey, I have a quick question. Is it possible to prepare a lasagna up to the point immediately prior to baking, freeze it, and then thaw and bake when ready?

    I’ve started to do all my cooking for the week on the weekend, and would really like to try this recipe and save it for a later day in the week. Any suggestions?

    • Eli

      We usually prepare the whole pan, cover it with some wrap (hope this is the right translation) and an aluminium layer over the wrap, and freeze it. You will defrost for at least a couple of hours in the fridge, take off wrap and aluminium (or you will eat plastic) and then cook in your oven at 200 °C for an hour.
      Seek for another recipe of ‘lasagne al forno’ or ‘lasagne alla bolognese’ on italian website, this recipe does not work. ‘Besciamella’ is a very easy milk and flour sauce.

  • Trish

    Thanks Elise! This was wonderful – I made it to take to a family dinner tonight (along with your garlic bread) six adults and a 14 mo. old (who loved the noodles!) polished off the whole pan! No leftovers – son & daughter both asked for the recipe which I just mailed. We will fix this again and again! Trish, Omaha, Ne

  • Cathy

    Well I tried this lasagne recipe last night and I have NEVER attempted to make lasagne before. I couldn’t believe how great it turned out! It was fantastic! My boyfriend took some to work today and was the envy of his workmates :-) Mind you we will be eating lasagne for the next week so perhaps next time I’ll halve the recipe. Thanks for a great site.

  • Zarah

    I made this lasagna recipe recently and it was definatley the best lasagna I’ve ever had!