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Easy Lasagna

Easy Lasagna

Easy Lasagna - a classic hearty dinner made with layers of cheeses, lasagna noodles and rich meaty saucy baked until golden brown and bubbly. A fantastic casserole dish for family dinner  on regular or special nights. And it's a great make-ahead meal, too!

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy lasagna, homemade lasagna, lasagna recipe
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Lasagna Noodle Soaking Time 30 minutes
Servings 9 -12 slices
Calories 556.89 kcal
Author Imma

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
  • ¾ pound (340 g) ground beef , lean
  • ¾ pound (340 g) ground pork or Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion , diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon (5 g) Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley , chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil , chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) fennel seeds
  • ½ bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes with juices
  • 6 tablespoons (96 g) tomato paste
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (17 g) Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup (118 ml) water
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) chicken bouillon

Cheese and Layers

  • 1 package lasagna noodles , uncooked
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (16 oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons (8 g) fresh parsley , chopped
  • 1 cup (100 g) shredded dried parmesan cheese , store bought
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.50 g) nutmeg
  • 1 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot with olive oil over medium heat, add in ground beef and pork. Use a spoon to break up the meat into small pieces. If there’s any excess fat, remove with wooden spoon and discard.

  2. Add in onion and garlic and cook until meat is well browned, stirring constantly. Stir in Italian seasoning, parsley, basil, fennel, bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Pour in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, water, and chicken bouillon. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce gets too thick, add ½ cup water. Make sure sauce doesn’t get too thick. If mixture gets too dry, add ¼ cup tomato sauce.

  3. Meanwhile, place lasagna noodles into the bottom of a large. Pour boiled hot water directly over the noodles (they can be stacked), making sure each noodle is covered with water.. Let them soak for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, 2 tablespoons parsley, dried parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and nutmeg. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  5. Preheat oven to 375 °F and spray a 9x13 casserole dish with olive oil.

  6. To start, divide ricotta mixture and meat sauce into thirds. Spread about 1 ½ cup of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place noodles on top, lengthwise. 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. Repeat this two more times for a completed three 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. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

  7. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, taking out after 25 minutes to remove foil, then reinserting into oven or until cheese on top is golden brown.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you use Italian pork sausage instead of ground pork, feel free to omit the fennel seeds since it's already present in the Italian pork sausage.
  2. You my replace meat sauce layer for this recipe with your favorite Bolognese sauce (check my homemade HERE).
  3. Here I use slices of mozzarella instead of shredded ones for easy and even distribution. 
  4.  For leftover lasagna, store it in the fridge for  5 days. Then reheat the slices in the microwave or pop the whole casserole covered with foil in the oven at 350 F until hot and bubbly .
  5. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.