This classic meat lasagna recipe is the best lasagna that we have tried! We have modified this several times to our liking, and the lasagna turns out perfect every time.
This recipe shown could easily make a double batch (unless you have a deep lasagna dish that could handle more layers).
Our second batch was frozen and it turned out just as wonderfully as our first batch! This classic family meal is perfect for freezing and the time you put into assembling either one batch or two, is definitely worth the effort.
Heat a deep pot or Dutch oven to medium heat and cook the sweet Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic until the meats are well browned.
Add a 14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, 29 oz can of tomato sauce, and a 12 oz can of tomato paste and stir into the cooked meat until well combined. Then add sugar, dried basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil. Stir again and reduce heat to low.
Cover the sauce and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When the sauce is almost done, and you a ready to assemble your lasagna. Cook the lasagna noodles by boiling them in a large pot of lightly salted for about 8 minutes.
Drain the noodles and rinse, then set aside. Combine the ricotta cheese mixture in a medium mixing bowl, add the ricotta, beaten eggs, the remaining 2 Tbsp fresh, chopped basil, and salt and stir them together.
Layering Your Lasagna…
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and gather everything to assemble the lasagna. Layer your lasagna in a lasagna pan or a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Start by spreading 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Arrange six noodles in a layer on the meat sauce, then spread half of the ricotta mixture onto the noodles.
Top the ricotta cheese mixture with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated), then spoon 1 1/2 cup of the meat sauce over the mozzarella. After the meat sauce layer add a 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and repeat layers. Once done with both layers, use the remaining cheeses to top off the lasagna.
Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, or make sure that the aluminum foil does not touch the top cheese layer so it wont stick. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the aluminum foil and allow the lasagna to finish baking for another 25 minutes.
The lasagna is done when the sauce is bubbling around the edges, and the cheese topping is completely melted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
If you like Italian Dishes you will like these!
Classic Meat Lasagna Recipe
- 1 lb (16 oz) sweet Italian sausage
- 3/4 lb (12 oz) lean ground beef
- 1/2 c (113 g) white onion (minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 14 1/2 oz cab diced tomatoes (we prefer fire roasted tomatoes)
- 1 12 oz can tomato paste
- 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp (30 g) sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 g) dried basil
- 1 tsp (5 g) fennel seeds
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) Italian seasoning
- 1/4 Tbsp salt (wait until the sauce is nearly done cooking to add more salt, if needed)
- 1/2 Tbsp (7 g) ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp (60 g) fresh basil (chopped, reserve 1/2 for the ricotta mixture)
- 12+ lasagna noodles
- 3/4 lb (12 oz) mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated)
- 3/4 lb (12 oz) Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp (5 g) salt
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- In a deep cooking pot or Dutch oven, cook the sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Add tomato products (crushed or diced tomatoes, paste and sauce) and stir into cooked meat.
- Add seasoning (sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper) and 2 Tbsp fresh basil. Combine ingredients thoroughly and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Bring a large pot of water (lightly salted) to a boil, add lasagna noodles and cook 8-10 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
- Combine ricotta mixture in a medium/large mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, eggs (beaten), the remaining 2 Tbsp fresh basil, and 1 tsp salt.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Layer your lasagna in a lasagna pan or a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, start by spreading 1 1/2 c of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Arrange six noodles lengthwise on the meat sauce, then spread 1/2 the ricotta mixture onto the noodles. Top ricotta cheese mixture with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated), then spoon 1 1/2 c of the meat sauce over the mozzarella. After the meat sauce layer add 1/4 c Parmesan cheese and repeat layers. Once done with both layers, use remaining cheese to top off the lasagna.
- Cover with foil (use non-stick spray on underside of foil, or make sure that the foil does not touch the top layer of cheese).
- Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake another 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling at pan edges. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma’s kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!