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.
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.