Best Homemade Lasagna

4.44 from 160 votes

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This is hands down The Best Lasagna Recipe Ever! Easy, cheesy, meaty and so so delicious! It’s the quintessential recipe for feeding a large family or bringing to a potluck. Layer up the hearty meat sauce, different cheeses, and lasagna pasta and then bake until hot and bubbly. This classic recipe is so delicious with some Homemade Garlic Bread or Cheesy Breadsticks.

Top down view of baked lasagna in a glass baking dish

THE BEST Lasagna Recipe Ever!

So happy to be sharing this epic Lasagna Recipe with you today! This recipe is easy, cheesy, can be made in advance or baked right away and comes out perfectly every time! My family will lick their plates clean when this is on the dinner menu. This recipe is not dry, not soupy, cuts perfectly, holds together, and tastes amazing!

Like I mentioned above, this is the quintessential lasagna recipe that you need in your recipe box. Make this once and never need another lasagna recipe again. It’s meaty, cheesy, decadent and the perfect Italian dinner.

Below are lots of tips and tricks for creating the best lasagna ever which are reflected in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Follow these guidelines and you too will have success with this easy lasagna recipe.

ricotta cheese and seasoning in a glass bowl

How to Make Lasagna 

Lasagna is essentially a layered Italian casserole made up of three parts: meat sauce, cheese mixture, and pasta sheets. Here is the process of how to make and assemble your lasagna. For full recipe details and ingredient measurements, see the printable recipe card down below.

1. Make Lasagna Meat Sauce

Give yourself a good couple hours (or more!) to make the meat sauce because this is a big part of why Lasagna is so good!

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in onion and saute.
  3. Add in garlic and ground beef. Break meat apart as it browns.
  4. Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, dried basil, sugar, Italian Seasoning and salt.
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
  6. Cook sauce 1-2 hours or until very thick. You may have to add more water as you go to ensure it doesn’t scorch which is totally normal.

2. Make Lasagna Cheese Filling

A classic Lasagna Recipe calls for ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. While meat sauce cooks, stir cheeses together in a bowl with basil, parsley and salt & pepper. Set aside.

3. Cook Lasagna Pasta Sheets

Regardless of the brand of lasagna you’re using, be sure to check out the packaging and boil noodles for two-thirds of the recommended time. Since you will be baking the entire lasagna in the oven after you layer it, your pasta will continue cooking, so give it a place to go! Overcooked pasta does not make a good lasagna.

lasagna noodles in baking pan

What is the correct order to layer lasagna?

Start with a bit of meat sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish or a plain 9×13 and line the bottom with pasta. Top with the cheese mixture and meat sauce. Add another layer of noodles, cheese, and sauce and then top with more pasta, more sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. So, basically, here are your layers:

  1. Meat Sauce (just a little so the noodles don’t stick to the bottom)
  2. Noodles
  3. Cheese Filling
  4. Meat Sauce
  5. Noodles
  6. Cheese Filling
  7. Meat Sauce
  8. Noodles
  9. Meat Sauce
  10. Mozzarella Cheese

4. Bake Homemade Lasagna

Cover your layered lasagna with aluminum foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake, being sure to pull the foil off the last few minutes of cooking to brown the top.

What Temperature Should You Bake A Lasagna?

Lasagna should be baked at 375° F. Some recipes might call for 350, some might go as high as 425, but I think 375 is perfect.

How long to bake lasagna?

1 hour/60 minutes total: 45 minutes covered with foil and 15 minutes uncovered.

World’s Best Lasagna Recipe Substitutions

While I love this homemade Lasagna Recipe as written, you may have other preferences! Here are some simple substitutions that you may want to try.

Ground Beef vs Ground Sausage

You can absolutely substitute Sweet Italian Sausage or even Spicy Italian Sausage in place of the ground beef if that is your preference.

Cottage Cheese vs Ricotta

Classic Italian Lasagnas are typically made with a blend of creamy Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese.

If you don’t like using ricotta cheese because of the taste or texture, you can definitely substitute cottage cheese in its place 1:1. Everything else in the recipe will stay the same.

Regular Lasagna Pasta vs Oven Ready (no boil) Pasta

I don’t recommend the oven-ready noodles for this particular lasagna recipe. While they may seem like a simple sub, they are partially cooked and dehydrated for packaging. Oven ready pasta is thinner than regular lasagna pasta and I find those give you a more starchy lasagna that doesn’t taste very good (in my opinion). Also, they soak up a lot of moisture because they are essentially cooking and softening in the oven as the lasagna cooks. It’s easy to get a dry lasagna because of this.

Best Lasagna Recipe Tips

The best lasagna you’ve ever eaten is only steps away. Here are my golden rules for creating the best-finished product.

  • Cook your meat sauce for a long time. This not only concentrates the flavors for a more flavorful meat sauce, but it reduces the amount of liquid. If you want to cut perfect slices and not have a soupy mess on your hands, cooking your sauce for an hour or two until its very thick is a big step in the right direction. Bonus points for making the sauce 12-24 hours in advance. Red sauces of any kind always taste better the next day…in my opinion. Reheat the sauce before layering it up in the lasagna for quicker baking time.
  • Boil lasagna noodles for two-thirds of the time, according to package directions. Most lasagna pasta will cook for 9-11 minutes. I pulled mine out at around 7 minutes. I don’t want to cook the pasta all the way through because once they hit the oven for baking, they can get mushier than al dente. So, draining them early means they will soak up any extra liquid in the sauce and after the hour in the oven, your pasta will be perfectly cooked, not mushy and help hold those beautiful layers together.
  • Don’t use fresh mozzarella. While I big puffy heart eyes love fresh mozzarella, I feel the added moisture isn’t worth the taste. Instead, reach for a block of sturdier mozzarella cheese and grate it yourself. If you think this is sacrilegious and would prefer the fresh mozzarella, be sure to cut it into thin slices and press it in between paper towels to get out as much moisture as possible. And please please please don’t use the pre-grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Let your Lasagna rest 15-20 minutes. Again, when trying to achieve those perfect slices, you have to let everything settle and rest before digging in. It will stay plenty hot, but the rest time really gives your lasagna those last few minutes to soak up that moisture and let the cheese firm up a touch. Garnish with dried or fresh basil.
cheese layer in lasagna

What to serve with Homemade Lasagna

Make your meal a full Italian feast with some of my most loved and favorite salad and side dish recipes!

How to store Homemade Lasagna

Half the fun of eating lasagna is being able to eat it AGAIN the next day. Store any extra lasagna in the fridge covered for up to 5 days. Whether that is in the same casserole dish or cut into individual slices in plastic containers, just ensure they are sealed airtight.

Individual slices can be reheated easily in the microwave. If you have more than a few slices in your casserole dish, cover with foil and bake at 350° F until heated completely through again.

Can I Freeze Lasagna?

Absolutely. Whether you are freezing lasagna before or after baking, the instructions mostly stay the same.

Unbaked Lasagna

Wrap casserole dish with assembled lasagna well with plastic wrap AND foil. Can stay frozen for up to two months. I like using a disposable 9×13 foil pan for freezing purposes.

Baking a Frozen Lasagna: unwrap lasagna completely. Cover with fresh foil and bake at 300° F for one hour and finish baking at 375° F for the last 30 minutes. Remove foil for the last few minutes of cooking to brown the cheese.

Baked Lasagna

Wrap casserole dish with assembled lasagna well with plastic wrap AND foil. Can stay frozen for up to two months.

Reheating Baked Lasagna: unwrap lasagna completely. Cover with fresh foil and bake at 350° F until thoroughly warm.

spreading meat sauce layer over pasta

Homemade Lasagna FAQs

Do you Have to Put Eggs in the Cheese Filling for Lasagna?

No, you do not have to put eggs into the lasagna! Eggs certainly help with binding the cheese together and overall stability, but I found it wasn’t necessary and I didn’t notice a huge difference. As long as you let your lasagna sit for 10-15 minutes after baking, it should hold its shape perfectly as you slice it.

Can I Use Fresh Mozzarella for Lasagna?

I don’t recommend using fresh mozzarella because all different brands have different moisture levels and it can negatively effect the finished product. If you DO want to use fresh mozzarella, be sure to slice it thin and press out all the extra moisture in paper towels.

baked Lasagna in Pan

More Homemade Lasagna Recipes to Try!

More Favorites from Lauren’s Latest

With all these helpful tips and the video below, you should be able to make the best lasagna ever! Printable recipe card is also below.

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

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4.44 from 160 votes

Best Recipe for Lasagna

This is hands down the Best Lasagna Recipe ever! Easy, cheesy, meaty and so so delicious! Layer up the hearty meat sauce, different cheeses and lasagna pasta and then bake until hot and bubbly.
servings 15 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes


For the meat sauce:

For the cheese layer:

  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 pound lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella cheese grated, for topping


  • Preheat oven to 375° F.

Make the Meat Sauce

  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in onion and saute 2-3 minutes. Add in garlic and ground beef. Break meat apart as it browns. Once meat has browned completely, pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, dried basil, sugar, Italian Seasoning and salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook sauce 1-2 hours or until very thick. You may have to add a little extra water as it reduces down to prevent scorching. This is normal.

Make the Cheese Filling

  • While meat sauce cooks, make the cheese layer: stir cheeses together in a bowl with basil, parsley and salt & pepper. Set aside.
  • Cook lasagna noodles 2/3 of the time marked on the package. About 7 minutes or so. Drain and place noodles in a large bowl of cold water.

Layering the Lasagna

  • Spread 1/2 cup prepared sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Layer in 5-6 noodles across the bottom to completely cover. Spread half of the cheese mixture overtop of the noodles and then one third of the sauce. Top with another layer of noodles, the second half of the cheese mixture and another third of the sauce. Final layer is the last of the noodles and the last of the meat sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 lb. grated mozzarella cheese. So real quick, here is the order of the layers:
    Meat Sauce (just a little so the noodles don't stick to the bottom)
    Cheese Filling
    Meat Sauce
    Cheese Filling
    Meat Sauce
    Meat Sauce
    Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cover lasagna with greased foil. Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes with foil on. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until cheese has browned and everything it hot all the way through. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil and rest 20-30 minutes before cutting and serving. Sprinkle with dried basil or parsley flakes, cut into squares and serve.



Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: best lasagna, classic lasagna, italian dinner, italian lasagna, lasagna, lasagna recipe, pasta

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Recipe Rating

173 Responses
  1. SA

    3 stars
    Not sure if I did something wrong but mine tasted quite dry. I tasted the ricotta cheese quite strongly but not the sauce as much. I did cook the sauce down for two hours and made 24 hours in advance and used fresh bars of cheese. Followed the recipe exactly.

    1. Jeff

      5 stars
      4.8 out of 5 for almost 70 people.There’s something you didn’t do correctly.It’s called “operator error”.Mine was perfectly moist

  2. Kelly LeCureux

    I’m dying to try this recipe! I have no doubt it will be wonderful. Every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been wonderful. Also I love that you have videos so that I can reassure myself that I’m doing it right.

  3. Katherine

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times, because it is so good!! I usually only cook my sauce for about an hour, but it’s always been nice and thick. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  4. Brittany Ackerman

    5 stars
    This was my first time making lasagna and it was delicious!! I struggled a bit to spread the cheese sauce without messing up the noodle placing, so If you have tips I would appreciate them! Will definitely be making again 😋

    1. Barbara J Kalter

      I don’t spread the cheese mixture. Instead I place rather large scoops of it about two inches apart, staggering it on each row of the noodles. It melts/spreads when it’s baked. Works every time!

    2. Grammasue

      Brittany: Try placing your cooked noodle on a piece of parchment and spread the cheese part on the noodle, and then place the noodle in the dish on top of the sauce. Might be messy but always works for me! Just a suggestions.

    3. Jase

      Hey Brittany,

      Try using your hands instead (use disposable rubber gloves for easy clean up, and you will find you have a lot more control and the noodles stay in place.

  5. Dawn Krenz

    I’m so excited to try your recipe! We are moving into a new house with lots of family hanging around. I want to make something yummy but that will also make a memory! A good lasagna can do that! 😊

  6. Kyle Osborn

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it with a salad and some fresh bread as a warm winter meal!
    Love your recipes!

  7. Carla

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve always struggled with lasagna but this recipe was simple and so good!! My husband who isn’t a huge fan even loved it. We used it as one of our first “test recipes” on our Traeger wood pellet grill we just got. It was perfect!

  8. Beth

    5 stars
    I made this for Christmas dinner at my parents’ house. It was a big hit! My mom is 80 now and a stroke and heart attack survivor. She has always been an amazing hostess, but can no longer physically do what she used to do. I had to very carefully keep her out of her own kitchen and do my thing. I know it pained her to not be in control, but I think the end result made her very happy. She insisted on cleaning up the mess I made though. 😉 Moms…

  9. Jennifer Johnson

    4 stars
    Made this last night and todayt with a few changes. I had a jar of garlic olive oil basil tomatoe sauce in the cupboard that I used. I used crushed tomatoes for the balance of the ozs of sauce. I subbed cottage cheese for the ricotta. Increased the herbs and added lots of crushed garlic to the sauce. I actually increased the ozs of tomato products by about 6 and totally left out the water. I used the 1 lb of organic hamburger plus 1 1/2 lbs of sweet italian sausage squeezed out of the casing. For extra zip in the sauce I added some red wine and cooked it down for about 3 hours so the sauce and flavors were a nice thick consistency. Extra garlic in the cheese mix. Then I used the oven ready (no need to pre-cook) noodles and it turned out to be the absolute perfect consistency. No water ran into the empty part of the casserole after removing some pieces.
    For those who don’t like red sauce, I would make a bechamel (white) sauce and add a jar of pesto to it for flavor. I would also add a package of frozen chopped spinach to it. Controlling the consistency might take some practice. I might also consider adding shredded chicken to the sauce to make it a meat sauce. (I might even shortcut it and use a costco rotisserie chicken!)

    1. Devi

      It’s so rude and annoying when people add so many changes to a recipe and then rate the recipe. Nobody cares what YOU did. Get your own blog and followers.

      1. Samantha

        I personally don’t think it’s rude – it’s great to get inspiration from people who iterate on recipes. Nobody who cooks well follows a recipe perfectly. This is cooking at its finest.

    2. Lydia Thames

      @Jennifer Johnson, how can you even rate this recipe when you clearly haven’t made it? It’s so frustrating when people are so arrogant as to not even try the recipe as written and down vote it. Maybe you should have your own blog.

  10. Kirk Johnson

    5 stars
    Made this twice! Fun. Easy. Delicious. First time I made it, I followed the recipe as published.

    Some tips I can share working for me. Get quality cheeses if possible… I was fortunate to get freshly made mozzarella at local cheese shop, and fresh ricotta and a superb Parmesan. Also fresh ground grass fed beef made the sauce excellent. Be sure to simmer slowly. Mine took one hour and 45 minutes before it was cooked down just perfectly for building the layers.

    The motivation to find a great recipe was for my best friend’s birthday. His wife taught me how to make a “table side Cesar salad” which we did together as the lasagna was resting from the oven. (I prepared it several hours and stored in frig before baking.)

    Thank you Lauren for the recipe. I’m not a great chef but this turned out fantastically for my guests.

    1. Lauren

      It doesn’t really matter. If you plan on cooking the sauce longer than an hour, I’d either mix the cheeses together and store in the fridge or just wait until I’m ready to assemble.

  11. Carla Apple

    I was super excited to make this recipe….I was however disappointed with the sauce….it just wasn’t anything special and didn’t have any real kick.

    1. Lauren

      Pre-grated cheese is coated in food starch to prevent it from sticking to itself. Cheese that you grate or cut yourself will melt a little nicer.

  12. Carolyn S Cheeseman

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. It quickly became my go to. It’s simple straightforward and foolproof. And obviously delicious!

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  14. Mischelle

    5 stars
    Lauren, girl this recipe is the “’”!! I really enjoyed making this dish. It’s been years since I made a homemade lasagna dish and it turned out this good. Thank God for cast iron cookware.! Let me just say this, the no boil lasagna pasta worked really well. The taste is soooooo good!! I will be checking out more of your recipes. Thank you so much😊

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  16. Hélène Bilodeau

    4 stars
    Not crazy about the lasagna – I think I just don’t like ricotta cheese – but I love, love, love the sauce. I have been using it on my spaghettis and it’s a bit hit.

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    1. SBakas

      3 stars
      Followed the recipe and had it last night. Waited about 30-40 min before serving but it was very difficult to serve without falling apart. Tasted great but first three servings were messy. I suspect it will be better tonite.
      Wondering if the filling layers are two thick and if it will stay together better with an extra pasta layer, tho fewer noodles and less filling so it retains its structure better.

  19. Robyn D

    5 stars
    I made this tonight & it was awesome! I used fresh lasagna sheets, but other than that made as directed. My family said it was their favourite hands down!!!

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  21. Sunnie

    Would love to know if cheese substitutes work with all the great recipes that use cheese . Dairy doesn’t work for my sinus issues at all.

  22. Sara

    5 stars
    So delicious! Made this last night.. first night was a little sloppy but after it had 24h to set, it’s so yummy! This recipe is a keeper, thank you! 😁

    1. Lauren

      They cook down in the sauce quite a bit. Try petite diced tomatoes to make sure there aren’t any chunks. My only concern with using another can of sauce is it would be too liquidy.

  23. Kathy

    5 stars
    I made this tonight! It was great, not soggy at all (lasagna usually turns out too wet when I make it). This was perfect. Thank you!

  24. Lauren

    5 stars
    I made this for my family last night, and without knowing what you titled the recipe my husband, unprovoked, said “this May be the best lasagna I’ve ever had!” Awesome recipe, it was delish!

  25. Amy

    This looks and sounds delicious!!! Even though I have my go to lasagna recipe, I’m always up to try a different one. I’m wondering though, I’ve always used oven ready lasagna noodles, and curious if you ever do or if there’s a difference in taste?

    1. Destiny W

      5 stars
      Used raw oven ready noodles in mine and omitted the sugar. Added a little bit of extra water and my noodles cooked perfectly. The top layer got a bit crispy. But still really good. Would add black olives next time. Also topped ours with sour cream. Boys said they liked it. 9/10.

      1. Kate

        I use regular noodles and cover them in very hot water. They soften but you don’t have to worry about them being overcooked and very easy to handle. Turn out great

  26. Karen H

    The one time I tried to make lasagna for my family, it was a terrible soupy mess—and I’ve never tried it again. But I LOVE lasagna, and have been wanting to give it another go. Super excited to try your recipe! (Especially with your handy tips.)

    Can’t wait to give this one a go!