Meat Lasagna
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Best Recipe for Homemade Italian-Style Lasagna

November 24, 2021
min read

When it comes to homemade lasagna, or any recipe for that matter, one thing to keep in mind is that not every dish will necessarily turn out looking perfect, especially the first time. It’s the taste that counts. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to make the best lasagne and answer some lasagna FAQs. But first, a note on cheese:

Table of Contents

This recipe uses two types of cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan, which are standard ingredients to lasagna. It includes four layers: noodles, meat sauce, white sauce – technically called béchamel – and a sprinkling of both kinds of cheese. If you prefer not to make the white sauce, you can use ricotta cheese or cottage cheese in its place. We explain the difference further in this article, but first, take a look and see if the white sauce is something you’d like to try. It calls for common ingredients that you may already have in the kitchen.

Italian lasagna recipe

This recipe makes six servings, takes 35 minutes to prepare, and one hour and 30 minutes to cook, with a total time of two hours and five minutes.


Meat sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups tomato puree, also known as passata
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1-2 pinches hot pepper flakes, optional

White sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1-2 dashes of pepper, optional
  • 1 3/4 cups milk


  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 16 lasagna noodles, oven-ready or regular

Note: In place of the white sauce, you can use ricotta cheese.


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To cook the meat sauce

  1. Add the olive oil, meat, diced vegetables, and salt to a large saucepan and cook over medium heat.
  2. Once the meat has cooked, add the rest of the ingredients. Continue to cook for 30 minutes to an hour until the mixture thickens. If preferred, you can reduce the burner to low heat and simmer your sauce for one to two hours.

To make the white sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the flour and salt until combined. Add the pepper if you’d like.
  3. Gradually add the milk and stir consistently until the mixture thickens.

Note: Be extra attentive when cooking the white sauce, as these ingredients burn easily on the stovetop.

Layering your lasagna

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Spread a thin layer of meat sauce out into the bottom of a 10-by-10-inch baking dish.
  3. Add a layer of noodles, then meat sauce, white sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan.
  4. Continue layering your lasagna in this order, but leave the white sauce off the top layer. To divide your ingredients equally, keep in mind you’ll end up with three or four layers.
  5. Place the lasagna in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Ovens vary in temperature, so if you think it needs more time or you’d like the cheese to melt further, allow it to bake for an extra 10 minutes.
  6. Let the lasagna stand for five to 10 minutes.

Notes: Grating your cheeses ahead of time will help when it comes time to layer the lasagna. If you’re using regular noodles that require boiling, prepare them ahead of time by adding them to boiling water, following the recommended cook time on the box, and draining and rinsing with cold water once cooked. Additionally, stirring the noodles as they cook will help keep them from sticking to each other.

Nutritional values per serving

  • Calories: 307 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 18 grams
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Saturated fat: 9 grams
  • Cholesterol: 58 milligrams
  • Sodium: 577 milligrams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 10 grams

Original recipe: An Italian In My Kitchen

Can I reheat my lasagna?

Yes, and some folks even say leftover lasagna is tastier. You can store baked lasagna in the fridge in an air-tight container for one to two days. Once cooled, it can also go in the freezer for up to two months. After it’s thawed in the fridge, you can reheat it in the oven or microwave.

Also, you can prepare your lasagna ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake, preferably no later than the following day. Let it sit out of the refrigerator for a half-hour before following the baking directions. Alternatively, you can freeze your unbaked lasagna and thaw it overnight in the fridge, following the same directions.

Non-traditional lasagne recipe alternatives

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With so many lasagna recipes available, you can explore different ingredients outside of the classic ones. For example, you can replace the vegetables in this recipe with other vegetables like spinach, zucchini, or asparagus. You can also try substituting the ground beef with ground pork or leaving the meat out of the recipe entirely. 

Homemade lasagna FAQs

Is lasagna better with ricotta or cottage cheese?

For this recipe, the béchamel or white sauce is the ideal choice. However, if you’d prefer a store-bought option, you can use either ricotta or cottage cheese. Ricotta is preferable, as it’s the creamier of the two and requires no extra preparation. Cottage cheese is the lighter option with fewer calories. However, it requires a few additional steps. To prevent your lasagna from becoming watery, you’ll need to drain the liquid from the cottage cheese in a strainer and squeeze the moisture out with a clean towel. Full-fat cottage cheese is less watery, while low-fat options tend to release more liquid.

What are the correct layers for lasagna?

This recipe starts and finishes with a layer of meat sauce. The sauce on the bottom helps prevent sticking, and the sauce on top helps keep the noodles from burning. After adding the bottom layer of meat sauce, the order for this recipe is noodles, meat sauce, white sauce, shredded cheese, and repeat. Sprinkling the cheese on top of the sauces is more manageable than trying to spread the sauces over the cheese, which can wind up messily.  

Why do you put eggs in lasagna?

Not every lasagna recipe calls for eggs, including this one. However, eggs occasionally appear in lasagna recipes, as they are an excellent binding agent for ricotta or other cheese mixtures. While eggs are unnecessary for your lasagna to turn out deliciously, they can help the cheese stay in when you go to cut the perfect slice.

It’s not ‘impastable’

Your homemade lasagna is sure to satisfy everyone’s palate, especially when paired with Caesar salad and a glass of red wine (here’s a guide on choosing one). If you and your dinner guests decide to linger tableside for dessert and coffee, as you would if you were in Italy, – one of these roasts will do perfectly.

If you’re set on making lasagna and realize you’re missing an ingredient, you’re out of wine, or you need a hand with dessert, you need not cancel your plans. Gopuff can get groceries and other daily essentials to your doorstep in a matter of minutes.

Buon appetito!

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