The Ultimate Lasagna Recipe
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The Ultimate Lasagna Recipe is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. Combining three different kinds of meat and three different kinds of cheese with lasagna noodles and an easy homemade sauce, this one will be your go-to lasagna recipe. So good!
I’m obsessed with a good lasagna. In fact, I don’t shy away from ordering lasagna at a good Italian restaurant because I’m always looking for inspiration to make mine better. Which is why this recipe just got a necessary makeover. I decided to use my homemade marinara sauce along with the meats, because I feel it really is the best (and super easy too). My seasonings also got adjusted slightly, and the end result? 10/10 – in my opinion! 😀
What are your requirements in a good lasagna? Meaty? Saucy? Cheesy? Well, this one is all of that and more.
Ingredients needed for The Ultimate Lasagna Recipe:
The Meat Sauce:
- Olive Oil – Used to sauté the onion and garlic.
- Onion and Garlic – These will be sautéed for the sauce.
- Meat – THREE meats…ground beef, ground sausage, and pepperoni.
- Tomatoes – You’ll need crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and some tomato paste. All of these will help make the perfect sauce!
- Broth – Some broth for additional flavor. You can use either chicken or beef.
- Seasonings – Dried Italian Seasoning, basil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Sugar – Just a pinch to balance the tomatoes.
The Cheese Layer:
- Ricotta – Use full-fat or at least 2%.
- Mozzarella – Buy a good quality cheese so it melts. I usually prefer to buy a block of cheese and grate it myself.
- Parmesan – Use a wedge of parmesan and grate it fresh!
- Egg – This helps keep the cheese layer in tact.
Pasta: 15 Lasagna noodles!
Warning: This lasagna feeds a crowd. If you have a smaller family or don’t like a lot of leftovers, I suggest making it in two smaller dishes. Enjoy half now, and then pull the other half out of the freezer on a rainy day.
How to make The Ultimate Lasagna Recipe:
- Make the meat sauce. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, or 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so. Then add the ground beef, ground sausage, salt, and pepper – and cook until completely browned, breaking it apart as you go. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, sugar, and seasonings, and simmer on medium-low for 20-30 minutes, or until partially reduced. Remove from heat, and add pepperoni. Let cool slightly.
- Cook the pasta. While the sauce is cooking, cook the lasagna noodles until al dente. You want the noodles to be a bit under-cooked. Spread the noodles on a towel to dry flat.
- Mix the cheese layer. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, about 10 oz. of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan cheese, and the egg. Stir to combine.
- Assemble. Add about 1/2 cup of the meat sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Then add 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, and 1/3 of the cheese mixture. REPEAT three times, and then top with extra mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake. Bake the lasagna on 350 degrees, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake another 10 minutes, or until top is nice and bubbly.
Make-Ahead Instructions: You can prep this lasagna a day ahead of time. Just wrap tightly with wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Freezing: You can also freeze this lasagna by wrapping tightly and freezing for a month or two. Set it in your refrigerator for a few days until it’s completely unthawed. Then bake for a bit longer than instructed below.
What to serve with the ultimate lasagna:
- A simple green salad, or Arugula Caprese Salad.
- My Mom’s French Bread or some Whole Wheat Honey Bread!
- For dessert? How about French Silk Pie (my fav), White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, or some Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies.
Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: (Affiliate Links)
Make this pasta recipe next: Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.
The Ultimate Lasagna Recipe
- 15 lasagna noodles
For the meat sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper – to taste
- 1 pound Lean ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz. diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 3-4 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 3/4 cup broth – chicken or beef
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 5 oz. pepperoni
For the cheese layer:
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 16 oz. mozzarella cheese – divided
- 4 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese – divided
- 1 egg
- Boil noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse. Lay flat on clean dish towel.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 10 oz. of mozzarella cheese, and 2 oz. of parmesan cheese. Add egg and mix well. Keep in refrigerator until ready to assemble lasagna.
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft. Add garlic, ground beef, sausage, salt, and pepper (to taste) – and cook until browned. Drain excess fat and return meat to pan.
- Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, sugar, and seasonings. Simmer on medium low for 20 – 30 minutes, or until reduced slightly. Remove from heat, add pepperoni, and cool slightly.
- To assemble lasagna, add a small amount of sauce to bottom of pan. Layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture. Repeat three times, and add remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese to the top.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake lasagna (covered) for 30 minutes or so. Then remove cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until top is slightly browned.
- Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving, so it has a chance to set up.
We added some chopped bacon and a small can of mushrooms and OMG this was well worth it! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
Thanks for your feedback, Krystal!
Definitely going to make this! What can I substitute for the fire roasted diced tomatoes?
Hi Mona. You can use regular diced tomatoes or just some tomato sauce, if preferred.
Out of this world , the pepperoni adds the perfect tang to the sweet sauce, I used spicy pepperoni! Definitely enough for myself , hubby , two sons in college and our 3 year old daughter! My son took extra to his study group!
I’m so happy to hear this, Nadiya! Thank you!
Can you please tell me how big your casserole dish was for this recipe?
My casserole dish is about 10×14. I bought it at World Market.
I just recently found your site, and I am glad I did! Last Sunday I had dinner guests and I served this lasagna and your Chewy French bread.They are both great recipes! Thank you for them!!
Hi Virginia! That sounds like an excellent dinner. Thank you for trusting in my recipes!
Made his for my family tonight. HUGE HIT! Will be making this again very soon. I added a little more seasoning and instead of putting pepperoni in sauce i added it as a layer in the lasagna. This will be my go to recipe. Thank you
I’m so glad you enjoyed the lasagna, Drea! Thank you for your feedback! 🙂
We don’t make casseroles for just the two of us, but we had family and I wanted to try a new lasagna recipe. It was very good and we loved the sauce. I did use extra sauce and will add even more the next time. My husband likes it saucy. It is a big recipe, perfect for company. We had salad and homemade French bread. Oh, and dessert.
Loved making this lasagna, the lasagna is great for meal prepping as it freezes great for meals to save for later. Love the amount of pepperoni!
We had a young male visitor from Germany staying with us for a few weeks, and I thought I needed to step up my game a little to cook for more than just my husband and I (especially since I tend to cook lean and mean). I decided to look for a great lasagna recipe and found it. Our young friend enjoyed eating this for three days (with no complaints), although I did cook something different in between. My husband commented that Jan needed to visit more often. He totally enjoyed the carbs and calories, and he will get to enjoy it again, I’m sure. 🙂 Anyway, this is a delicious recipe and you should try it!!!
Meat lovers anything is always good at my house!! This is so yummy and filling!!
This is a top ten meal! If you want a special meal, take the tip and make the French Bread and get a bottle of wine!
Will definitely try your version the next time we cook lasagna!
I hope you love it! 🙂