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Best Homemade Lasagna – Made with Italian sausage, ground beef, three kinds of cheeses, and plenty of herbs and spices for the BEST homemade lasagna that your friends and family will LOVE! Easier than you think to make and everything is spelled out in detail for lasagna-at-home that tastes like it’s from a fancy Italian restaurant!
Best Homemade Lasagna Recipe
I don’t know how I’ve been blogging since 2009 and didn’t have a classic recipe for homemade lasagna on my site until now.
It’s worth the wait folks because this lasagna is the best!
Made with Italian sausage, ground beef, three kinds of cheeses, and plenty of herbs and spices for the best homemade lasagna that your family and friends will beg you to make!
It’s crave-worthy classic comfort food thanks to the richness of the meats, the gooey cheeses, the perfectly cooked pasta, all layered together for bite after bite of indulgent restaurant-worthy lasagna at home.
If you’ve never made lasagna, don’t worry because it’s not as hard as you may be thinking.
I walk you through all the steps from making your meat and tomato sauce, the quick and easy stir-together three cheese mixture, and then how to assemble the layers, and bake off you Italian masterpiece.
Ingredients in the Best Classic Homemade Lasagna
In order to make the best homemade lasagna, you’ll need to following easy-to-find and very common fridge and pantry ingredients including:
- Lasagna noodles
- Ground Italian sausage
- Lean ground beef
- White onion
- Red bell pepper
- Tomato sauce
- Diced tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Fresh parsley
- Dried oregano
- Italian seasoning
- Granulated Sugar
- Dried basil
- Garlic powder
- Dry white wine, optional
- Mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Sour Cream
- Parmesan cheese
How to Make The Best Homemade Lasagna
Classic lasagna is easier than you think to make!
Follow these straightforward steps for everyone’s favorite pasta recipe:
Step 1: Soak the lasagna noodles in very hot water.
Step 2: Make the sauce by browning the sausage, ground beef, and then add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic.
Step 3: Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir.
Step 4: Add all the herbs and seasonings, sugar, optional wine, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Separately, mix together 1 cup of the mozzarella, ricotta, sour cream, Parm, and egg.
Step 6: Add some meat sauce to the bottom of your baking dish, layer noodles over the sauce, spread the cheese mixture over the noodles, and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Tip: The layers will be:
- meat sauce
- cheese sauce
Repeat this process forming a total of 3 layers.
Step 7: To finish, top with the remaining meat sauce and mozzarella.
Step 8: Tent with foil, bake covered for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for 30 minutes.
Step 9: Rest the lasagna for at least 15 minutes before digging in and serving!
What Kind of Meat is Best in Homemade Lasagna?
In the sauce for my classic homemade lasagna, I use both ground beef and ground Italian sausage. Combining both kinds of proteins make this sauce absolutely perfect.
However, you can use all ground beef, or all ground sausage, based on your preferences.
When selecting ground beef, I aim for lean ground beef in the 90% lean range. If it’s too fatty or too lean, flavor is sacrificed.
For the sausage, I just regular Italian sausage but you can select a spicy sausage if you prefer.
Can I Use No-Boil Lasagna Noodles in Homemade Lasagna?
I don’t recommend using no-boil lasagna noodles. They tend to have a weird gummy texture and can taste odd to me.
Instead, use regular lasagna noodles, not the no-boil ones.
Classic lasagna noodles can be soaked in hot water while you are making the sauce. Just make sure they soak a minimum of 30 minutes.
Once baked in the lasagna, classic lasagna noodles will be perfectly cooked every time.
Should I Use Fresh or Dried Herbs for The Best Lasagna?
I use a combination of dried and fresh herbs and seasonings. For example, I use fresh parsley but dried oregano, basil, and Italian seasoning.
The general rule of thumb in cooking is the use about half the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh.
For example, you’d want 1 teaspoon of dried basil if the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of fresh.
Sauces of any kind are flexible and forgiving so I wouldn’t worry too much if you are using all dried or all fresh herbs in your homemade lasagna.
What Kind of Pan Should I Make Homemade Lasagna In?
You will need a 9×13-inch pan or baking dish to make homemade lasagna.
The difference between regular 9×13-inch pans for say baking a cake or a pan of brownies versus a lasagna pan is that lasagna pans are deeper to accommodate for all the layers.
I like to use a ceramic baking pan rather than metal but use what you have provided it’s tall or deep enough to accommodate all those juicy lasagna layers.
If you make lasagna or casseroles with any kind of frequency, it’s nice to have one sufficiently deep baking dish.
Sometimes pans like this are sold in quart (just to make things more confusing). Look for something in the 4 to 4.5-quart capacity.
Do I Have to Add Wine to the Red Sauce?
No, you don’t have to add wine to the red sauce for your homemade lasagna.
It adds a nice extra boost of flavor but if you don’t have any open or don’t want to add wine, then don’t.
You can replace it with chicken stock, water, or just omit it.
We are only talking about two tablespoons of liquid after all in a very large quantity of food!
Serving and Storage Suggestions for Homemade Lasagna
Most pasta recipes keep very well in the fridge or freezer and this easy homemade lasagna recipe is no exception.
The lasagna will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Lasagna is lovely with a fresh green salad and a slice of garlic bread.
How to Freeze Homemade Lasagna
You can freeze uneaten portions of lasagna in airtight freezer-safe plastic containers in individual sized portions.
This for me is easiest, makes efficient use of my freezer space, and when you’re ready to consume it, individual portions thaw faster.
However, if you want to make and prep lasagna ahead of time, and freeze it before baking, go ahead and do so.
Before you bake it, cover your baking pan very tightly with plastic wrap.
When you’re ready to bake it, remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil.
Tips: You can thaw lasagna on the counter before baking. This will take hours.
Or, you can simply cook the lasagna straight from frozen by adding an additional 15 to 30 minutes to the covered baking time.
Tips for the Best Homemade Lasagna
I add a bit of sugar so my meat sauce mixture to neutralize the acidity of the three tomato products.
Make sure to taste your meat and red sauce to see what it needs such as more sugar, some salt or pepper, additional herbs and seasonings, and so forth. Always taste as you go!
The reason I add sour cream to the cheese sauce mixture is to prevent the ricotta cheese from turning grainy. Sour cream keeps the sauce smooth so don’t skip it!
When you’re assembling the lasagna layers, obviously making sure that there are plenty of luscious layers makes for the best lasagna. My lasagna repeats three times.
Meaning it has just the right amount of noodles, meat sauce, then cheese sauce, then mozzarella – three times over – creating the perfect bite every time!
When you are getting ready to bake the lasagna, make sure you sprinkle it with a nice thick layer of mozzarella cheese on top.
This will give you the classic lightly golden browned and cheesy look and taste everyone craves in lasagna.
Homemade lasagna needs to bake for 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered, give or take.
To do this, cover it with foil, but make a domed tent in the middle because if the foil touches the lasagna, the cheese will stick and might come off.
- 1/2 pound dry lasagna noodles (use classic noodles, do not use no-boil)
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef (about 90% lean)
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced small
- 1/2 large bell pepper, diced small (red, yellow, or orage)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 33.5 ounces canned tomato sauce
- one 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- one 3-ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine, optional (sub with chicken broth, water, or omit)
- 1 1/2 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup sour Cream
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- Place the lasagna noodles in a 9×13-inch baking dish, pour very hot water over them, making sure they are fully submerged. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes while you make the sauce.
- Meat Sauce – To a large, high-sided skillet, add the sausage, ground beef, and cook over medium-high heat to brown. Crumble as the mixture cooks to ensure even cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until nearly done.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and cook for about 3 minutes; stir frequently.
- Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir to combine.
- Add the parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, sugar, basil, garlic powder, optional wine, and simmer uncovered over medium heat for about 15 minutes; stir intermittently.
- Cheese Sauce – Separately, to a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, ricotta, sour cream, Parmesan, egg, and stir to combine; set aside.
- After at least 30 minutes, remove the noodles from the pan, dump the water, dry the pan, and spray it with cooking spray if desired to prevent sticking.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Assembly – Add 1 1/2 cups meat sauce to the bottom of the pan, spread it out over the bottom of the pan, add approximately 3 lasagna noodles over it, add a layer of cheese sauce, and sprinkle with a layer of mozzarella.
- Repeat this process 3 times – Meat sauce, noodles, cheese sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella.
- To finish, top with the remaining meat sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Tip – The cheese should be quite generous or thick here so that when it bakes, it melts to give you the classic cheesy lasagna everyone loves. If you need to use more than is indicated in the recipe to do this because you added more in between the layers, do so.
- Baking – Cover with foil, making a domed tent in the middle. Tip – Take care that the foil doesn’t touch the cheese because the cheese could stick to it and you’ll rip off the cheese when you remove the foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, uncover, and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is as lightly golden browned as desired.
- Allow the lasagna to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Extra lasagna will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.* (See Notes below for Prepping in Advance and Freezing)
*Prepping in Advance and Freezing – You can freeze uneaten portions of lasagna in airtight plastic containers in individual sized portions. This for me is easiest, makes efficient use of my freezer space, and when you’re ready to consume it, individual portions thaw faster.
However, if you want to make and prep lasagna ahead of time, and freeze it before baking, go ahead and do so. Before you bake it, cover your baking pan very tightly with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to bake it, remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil.
Tips: You can thaw lasagna on the counter before baking. This will take hours. Or, you can simply cook the lasagna straight from frozen by adding an additional 15 to 30 minutes to the covered baking time.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 635Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 1489mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 42g
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Cheesy Chicken Artichoke Pasta Bake — Imagine spinach and artichoke-flavored PASTA spiked with juicy chicken, red peppers, and TWO types of melted cheese!
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