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This classic homemade lasagna recipe is all-out comfort food! It has three kinds of cheese and an irresistible tomato and meat sauce for an Italian-American favorite at home.

Try my Creamy Chicken Lasagna or Lasagna Roll Ups for a fun twist next.

closeup of lasagna on a metal spatula

Why you’ll love it

There’s no need to be intimidated when making this easy lasagna recipe. I’m going to walk you through it in this step-by-step and straightforward guide so you’ll feel confident and have success every single time for those cozy, cheesy layers of flavor!

Making lasagna really isn’t complicated, and there’s just no substitute for homemade. It’s a good idea to set aside enough time, but it’s not a fancy dish and you don’t need to be perfect in assembling it. You’ll feel so accomplished when you make lasagna from scratch.

What you’ll need

For the meat sauce

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion and garlic – I like using Vidalia (sweet) onion, but yellow or white works as well.
  • Italian sausage and lean ground beef – using a 50/50 mix enhances the flavor. I used mild Italian sausage and 90% lean ground beef
  • Crushed tomatoes – I find they give the best consistency for the sauce
  • Beef broth – to create deeper, richer flavors and adds moisture
  • Italian seasoning – it’s a blend of dried herbs that comes in a single jar so you don’t need to fuss with individual ones
  • Sugar – it’s an old chef’s trick to cut the acidity of tomatoes and balance the sauce
  • Red pepper flakes – they’re optional but add a nice dimension. It’s not enough to make this spicy!
  • Salt & pepper – it’s important to be generous

For the cheesy filling

  • Egg – it’s important to bind everything together
  • Ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan – make sure to use whole milk ricotta and freshly grated mozzarella and parmesan for maximum taste and the right texture
  • Italian seasoning, salt, fresh parsley – for seasoning and a pop of freshness


  • Lasagna noodles – get the uncooked variety
  • Mozzarella – additional mozzarella for the cheesy and golden top layer

Pro tip

Measuring and laying out all the ingredients in the order you’ll need them makes this recipe go so much smoother.

ingredients for homemade lasagna on a marble surface

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • Be sure to use a deep 9×13 casserole dish (or lasagna dish) rather than some of the very shallow ones that are out there so that it doesn’t overflow. This lasagna has 3 noodle layers and is quite tall, so you don’t want the cheese to stick to the foil when you bake it.
  • For the garlic, this press makes mincing it super quick and easy, and I store the rest of the cloves in a garlic saver.
  • I use this Dutch oven for the sautéing steps.

How to make lasagna

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

making meat sauce and cheese filling for lasagna

In a soup pot, make the meat sauce. While it’s simmering, mix the three cheese filling in a large prep bowl. Preheat the oven, and boil the noodles until just al dente, and place them individually on parchment paper.

adding meat sauce and noodles to a lasagna dish

Assemble the lasagna. In the recipe card below we get super specific, and you can also look at this gif showing how to layer lasagna with every single step if you’re a more visual person!

adding cheese layers to homemade lasagna

Finish up with the mozzarella layer. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Broil carefully if you’d like it a little more golden on top. Let it sit for a bit so it sets, and enjoy.

Helpful tips

  • It’s a good idea to boil an extra noodle or two in case one of them ends up tearing.
  • Don’t rinse your noodles. Not rinsing them after they’re boiled will help the lasagna stay together since the starch makes the noodles more sticky and the sauce clings better.

Substitutions and variations

  • This recipe has only been tested as written, so use careful judgement for any substitutions. Subs for any of the major components (type of canned tomatoes, other liquid quantities, cheeses, meats, etc.) may change how the lasagna works out (texture, flavor, etc.). Small changes like adding more garlic are fine!
  • Can I use no-boil lasagna noodles? Our kitchen has not tested this, but you’re welcome to try. There is a chance that cooking time may vary and the lasagna may end up more dry, however.
  • Want something in one pan? Try my Easy Skillet Lasagna instead.
a plate with a slice of lasagna

How to make lasagna ahead

  • Follow the instructions up to the baking step. Cover the uncooked assembled lasagna and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days ahead.
  • You can also freeze for up to 3 months, defrost in the fridge overnight, and bake as instructed in the recipe card below. It may need a little longer if it’s cold from the fridge.

What to serve with lasagna

Leftovers and storage

  • Lasagna will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • To reheat in the oven, cover an oven-safe baking dish with foil and heat at 350F until hot, about 30 mins, until it’s 165F in the middle. You can add a couple tablespoons of water to the lasagna if it’s looking dry. Microwaving in intervals until warmed works too.
  • Cooked lasagna leftovers can be stored for 2-3 months in the freezer. I like to freeze it individual portions. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
a spatula lifting a portion of lasagna from a baking dish

Did you make this lasagna or have any questions? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! You can also tag me on Instagram if you made this or any S&L recipe.

closeup of lasagna on a metal spatula
5 from 9 votes

Classic Homemade Lasagna

This classic homemade lasagna recipe is all-out comfort food! It has three kinds of cheese and an irresistible tomato and meat sauce for an Italian-American favorite at home.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10


Meat Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage see note
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • Pepper to taste

Cheese layer:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella for topping the lasagna
  • Garnish: fresh basil, chopped parsley optional, to taste


  • In a pot/Dutch oven, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 4 minutes over medium-high heat, then stir in the ground beef and sausage meat, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along, and cook until the meat is browned (about 8-10 min.). Spoon out most of the fat, but leave a few tablespoons in for flavor. Add in the remaining meat sauce ingredients. When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat (medium-low to low), cover the pot with the lid slightly open, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce should be quite thick.
  • While the sauce is cooking, gather the remaining ingredients. Add the egg to a fairly large prep bowl and beat it with a fork. Add in the rest of the cheese layer ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Preheat your oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
  • When the meat sauce is about 15-20 minutes from being done, boil a large, salted pot of water for the lasagna noodles. Cook the noodles al dente (about 7-8 minutes) – be careful not to overcook. Stir them occasionally to prevent sticking. Once they're done, drain them (do not rinse). When they're cool enough to handle after a couple of minutes, lay them out individually on a sheet of parchment paper so they don't stick together.
  • To assemble the lasagna: spread about 1 cup of the meat sauce evenly on the bottom of a deep 9×13 casserole dish. Add 4 noodles to the bottom of the casserole dish (they will overlap a bit). Spread half of the cheese mixture over top, and then spoon about 1/3 of the meat sauce on top of that. Add another 4 noodles, the rest of the cheese mixture, another 1/3 of the meat sauce, and then the final layer of 4 noodles. Spoon on the rest of the meat sauce, then top with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and then bake for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Optional: broil for a few minutes to make the cheese extra browned (watch it closely so it doesn't burn!).
  • Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes. This is important as it helps it set. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and basil if using. Cut into squares (I use my chef's knife and then a spatula to scoop it out) and enjoy! Season with extra salt & pepper if needed.


  • Some of the prep time is counted within the cook time for this recipe as some prep steps are completed while the meat sauce is cooking.
  • Use either ground sausage meat or buy sausages and take the meat out of the casings.
  • I caution against making substitutions on any of the major components (type of canned tomatoes, other liquid quantities, cheeses, meats, etc.) as it may change how the lasagna works out (texture, flavor, etc.). Small changes like adding more garlic are fine.
  • Serves 8-12 depending on portion size and what else it’s served with.
  • See blog post for more tips including process photos, storage info, etc.


Calories: 654kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 147mg, Sodium: 1291mg, Potassium: 732mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 912IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 467mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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5 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Karen says:

    5 stars
    Invited friends over for dinner and made this recipe. Everyone loved it!! This is our new go-to lasagna recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      Lovely!! 😀 I’m thrilled to hear that, Karen. Thanks for your review!

  2. Georgia Zagaros says:

    5 stars
    My first lasagna! This recipe was absolutely delicious. I wasn’t sure how the Italian sausage would work, but it added a lot flavor. I’d skip the sugar next time, but this dish was wonderful.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you liked it!! Thank you!!