If you love Italian food then you will love this easy lasagna recipe.
The recipe features flavorful ground beef, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese, plenty of sauce, and seasonings for a hearty and delicious meal for the entire family.
The Best Lasagna Recipe
I am a lasagna piggy. There, I’ve said it. The cat’s out of the bag.
I love Italian food in general. But, budget-friendly hearty homemade beef lasagna sits right there at the top.
And, it even tastes fantastic when it’s reheated.
I’m always looking for inexpensive meals to cook for the family, and this is a great example of one.
Simply because it’s not only inexpensive, but you will have leftovers for sure–that is, unless you’re feeding a few football players that just got done with their workout, and they’re starving. Even then, I’m guessing you’ll have some leftovers.
This is a bit of a long post, and it seems like a long and hard recipe, but it’s not. It takes a little while to make the lasagna, but it’s worth it.
In order to keep the homemade lasagna budget-friendly, we shop at Fresh Market for our ground beef.
They have a sale day each week with great prices and their meat tastes fantastic.
What Lasagna Ingredients Do I Need?
- Oven ready lasagna noodles
- Ground beef
- Pasta sauce
- Ricotta cheese
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Italian seasonings
Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
Mandy over at South Your Mouth has a delicious recipe for cheddar garlic drop biscuits that will go great with this lasagna.
I get a little crazy with the cheese and add plenty. Cheese is one of the greatest foods ever.
You could hand me a block of cheese and I could sit and gnaw on it and be perfectly happy.
When you buy the ricotta cheese, you can get it as whole milk ricotta, or part-skim milk.
I am firmly in the camp that if you’re eating lasagna, you need to do it big with whole milk. Gotta put that diet on the back burner long enough to eat the goods.
I generally put about a pound of meat in the lasagna, which is plenty.
We stock up on the sale meat and keep it in our freezer and take it out to thaw when we are ready to use it.
I like to cook, but for some reason, boiling lasagna noodles ain’t my thing.
I boiled them a couple of times, but they tore, stuck together, and created a nightmare situation where lasagna was not the end product.
Knowing me, I read something wrong on the noodle box and forgot to add something to the water.
I’m sure I am the reason these companies came up with oven-ready lasagna.
And, from then on out, I use oven-ready lasagna noodles. Most pasta companies sell it, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Step-By-Step Instructions For How To Cook And Layer Lasagna
Start by browning the ground beef. Drain the grease and pour it into a large bowl. Add the pasta sauce and mix the two ingredients together.
Next, mix the ricotta cheese, Italian seasonings, and the egg together in a separate bowl.
Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan and spread a little bit of the sauce and meat along the bottom.
Spreading the sauce along the bottom will help the lasagna not stick as much to the pan.
Line the bottom of the pan with the oven-ready lasagna noodles.
Do not worry about the gaps between the noodles as they are going to expand when they cook.
I happened to get flat noodles, but any oven-ready lasagna noodles will do fine.
Put a large spoonful of the cheese mixture on each of the noodles.
Then add a spoonful of the sauce on top. Spread it out, like in the picture above.
Sprinkle a small handful of mozzarella cheese in between each layer.
Next, add another layer of noodles.
Keep layering with noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce until you run out of noodles.
You should end the process with cheese mixture, sauce, and mozzarella cheese on the top.
I top it all off with mozzarella cheese.
When it is all said and done, I usually end up with about three layers.
Put some tin foil on top and pop it in the oven for 45-minutes.
Once it bakes for 45-minutes, take the tin foil off and bake for another 15-30 minutes.
You can test to see if it is done cooking by sticking a knife down into the noodles. If they feel soft, it is done. If not, stick it back into the oven for a little longer.
This is a great meal to make ahead of time and freeze.
I made a double pan of this and took it to a church function and fed a ton of people on a small amount.
I prepared it ahead of time, froze it, and took it to the church kitchen where they cooked it. It worked out great.
I will also split the pan in half and use two 8″ x 8″ pans and freeze one of them to use later.
An 8″ x 8″ pan feeds all four of us, and I have two teenage boys.
Easy Lasagna Recipe
- 1 pkg. oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 - 45 oz. jar of pasta sauce
- 2 - 15 oz. containers of ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Brown the meat and drain the grease off.
- In a large bowl, mix the meat and pasta sauce together.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the ricotta cheese, egg, and Italian seasonings and mix.
- Lightly cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" casserole dish with the sauce and meat mixture. This keeps the food from sticking to the bottom.
- Add a layer of noodles.
- Add a spoonful of the cheese mixture on each noodle.
- Add a spoonful of the meat and sauce mixture on top of the noodles and spread it out with the cheese.
- Sprinkle a handful of mozzarella cheese on top.
- Add another layer of noodles. Add more cheese and sauce mixture and spread it out. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
- Keep layering until you are out of noodles (I usually have 3 layers) - end with sauce and cheese mixture on top and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cover with tin foil and bake for 45-minutes.
- Remove tin foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until noodles are done.
- Let sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 562mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g
Nutrition is approximate.