This easy Lasagna Recipe is meaty, cheesy, and packed with flavor in every bite. Homemade lasagna is better than any restaurant version and it feeds a crowd for way less than going out to eat.

We love lasagna around here and have gotten creative over the years with Lasagna Soup and even Chicken Lasagna, but we’ve heard again and again from our readers that this is the best lasagna recipe they’ve ever made.

Piece of lasagna being lifted from baking dish

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Best Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is the perfect meal, and of all of the recipes I’ve tried over the years, this is the perfect lasagna. We loved it so much, we even turned it into Lasagna Roll Ups. It’s flavorful and satisfying, but also easy to make. It’s delicious as-is, but you can make it your own by swapping in your favorite ingredients.

In our house, lasagna is a staple for busy school nights because it keeps, reheats, and freezes so well and it’s nice to have something in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week. I even use it for kids’ lunches—I pack a serving in my son’s thermos to keep it hot and that thermos comes home empty every time.

Lasagna Video

Watch Natasha make this classic Lasagna Recipe. It’s the best lasagna we have tried, with the perfect balance of meat sauce to the three cheese sauce and noodles. That golden cheese crust seals in all the flavor and makes it irresistible. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Meaty, cheesy, and saucy – Everything you want in a lasagna recipe.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep – It’s simple enough that you can make it on a weeknight, but you can also make it over the weekend to enjoy it throughout the week. Or double the recipe and freeze one lasagna for later.
  • Everyone approves – this is a family-friendly meal.

Ingredients

This 3-cheese lasagna is the ultimate comfort food and the ingredients are refrigerator and pantry staples. See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.

  • Ground beef – We used 80/20 beef (20% fat content) for a juicier lasagna.
  • Onion – we use yellow onion, or sweet onion works well
  • Garlic cloves – you can add more if you love garlic
  • Red wine (or beef broth) – This amps up the flavor of your sauce (avoid using cooking wine).
  • Marinara sauce – Use homemade marinara or store-bought.
  • Dried thyme – Italian seasoning, basil, or oregano can be substituted
  • Sugar – balances the acidity of the tomatoes
  • Parsley – flat-leaf or curly parsley works well
  • Lasagna noodles – Cook these al dente; they’ll continue to soften as the lasagna bakes.
  • Cottage cheese – adds great texture and moisture
  • Ricotta cheese – we use low-fat or part-skim ricotta
  • Mozzarella cheese – An Italian cheese blend works, but mozzarella is definitely the classic choice
  • Egg – helps hold the cheese layer together
Overhead view of ingredients for lasagna

Pro Tip: Use a very large pot of salted water to boil the lasagna noodles and stir them several times, especially right after adding them to the pot. This will keep them from sticking to each other and tearing.

How to Make Lasagna

If you’d like to get a head start on this recipe, you can make the meat sauce a day or two in advance. That said, it’s still easy enough that you can make it all in one go, even for a weeknight dinner.

  1. Brown the beef – Add oil to a deep pan and sautee onion and beef until browned, 5 minutes then add garlic and stir another minute.
  2. Finish the sauce – Pour in 1/4 cup of wine and stir until almost evaporated. Add marinara, salt, pepper, thyme, sugar, and parsley; bring to a simmer, then cover and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Make the cheese filling – Combine all of the cheese sauce ingredients and 1 cup of mozzarella in a mixing bowl (reserve the rest for later).
  4. Prep – Preheat your oven to 375ºF and cook the lasagna noodles in a pot of well-salted water until al dente.
  5. Assemble – Spread 1/2 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Add 3 noodles, followed by 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella, and half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat, then for the top layer, add 3 noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, and the remaining mozzarella.
  6. Bake – Cover with foil and bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.
  7. Rest – Let the lasagna rest for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving. 
Dish of cheesy meat lasagna

Pro Tip: There’s nothing worse than having the top portion of cheese stuck to the foil. To prevent this, I poke 8-10 toothpicks evenly around the top of the lasagna, pushing them in halfway to keep the foil from touching the cheese. Just be sure to count and remove every toothpick prior to serving.

Common Questions

Which is better for lasagna, cottage cheese or ricotta?

I use both; cottage cheese is healthier and ricotta is creamier, so you get the best of both worlds by using both of these cheeses in your lasagna.

Can I use no-boil lasagna noodles?

This lasagna recipe was developed with traditional lasagna noodles, but several readers have reported great results using no-boil noodles.

Can I substitute the red wine?

If you don’t have red wine, or prefer not to use it, you can substitute with beef broth or beef stock. The red wine adds great flavor but the lasagna will still be delicious with beef broth.

What is “al dente”?

Cooking al dente pasta means it should be “firm to the bite.” The package instructions will provide the cook time for pasta to reach al dente. Keep in mind, the lasagna will be baked for 45 minutes so do not overcook your lasagna noodles.

What is the best marinara sauce for lasagna?

Homemade marinara is definitely best, but if you don’t have time to make it, use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can easily double this recipe, but you’ll need to bake the lasagna in two pans.

Piece of lasagna being lifted from baking dish

What to Serve with Lasagna

Lasagna is a satisfying meal on its own, but if you’re feeding a big crowd, you can stretch it out by serving it with:

Make-Ahead

Here’s everything you need to know about storing lasagna for later.

  • To Refrigerate: You can assemble the lasagna and store it covered in the refrigerator for a day or two until you are ready to bake.
  • Freezing: Lasagna can be frozen before or after baking. Either way, it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months when wrapped well or stored in an airtight container.
  • To Reheat: Frozen lasagna should be thawed in the refrigerator first; this reduces the time needed for baking and ensures more even heating. Bake according to the recipe instructions; if your lasagna was already baked and you’re simply reheating it, cover the baking dish with foil and reheat at 350ºF until warmed through.
  • Slow Cooker Lasaga – this is one of our favorite ways to make dinner ahead of time.
Lasagna on plate with fork

With its meaty sauce and layers of cheese, we think you’ll agree that this is the best lasagna recipe ever!

More Pasta Recipes

If you love this lasagna, then you won’t want to miss these pasta recipes.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Lasagna Recipe

4.98 from 978 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Homemade Lasagna recipe in casserole dish
With 3 cheeses and a meaty ground beef sauce, it's easy to see why so many of our readers have proclaimed this the best lasagna recipe they've ever had.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients for Lasagna

  • 1 lb ground beef, (15-20% fat content)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine, or beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 24 oz Marinara Sauce , (3 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:

  • 16 oz low-fat cottage cheese
  • 15 oz reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided

Instructions

How to Make Meat Sauce:

  • Place a deep pan or dutch oven over medium/high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 lb ground beef and diced onion. Saute, breaking up the meat, for 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Add pressed garlic and sauté another minute until fragrant. 
  • Add 1/4 cup wine and stir for 2 minutes or until wine is nearly evaporated. Add 3 cups marinara, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp parsley. Bring to a simmer then cover and cook 5 minutes. 

How to Make Cheese Sauce:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 16 oz Cottage Cheese, 15 oz Ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 egg and 2 Tbsp parsley. Mix well.

How to Make Lasagna:

  • Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and 9 lasagna noodles. Cook until al dente according to package instructions.
  • Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce in the bottom of a deep 9×13 casserole dish. Add 3 noodles, spread on 1/3 of the meat sauce, and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon on and spread the top with 1/2 of your cheese sauce. 
  • Repeat until you have 3 layers of noodles:
    Add 3 noodles, 1/3 meat sauce, 1 cup mozarella cheese, 1/2 cheese sauce
    Add 3 noodles, remaining 1/3 meat sauce, remaining 1 cup mozarella. 
  • Poke 9-12 toothpicks over the surface of your lasagna (to keep the foil from sticking to the cheese). Cover with foil and bake at 375˚F for 45 minutes. 
  • Remove foil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese turns golden. Let lasagna rest 30 min before slicing. 

Nutrition Per Serving

368kcal Calories23g Carbs29g Protein16g Fat8g Saturated Fat77mg Cholesterol858mg Sodium482mg Potassium1g Fiber5g Sugar705IU Vitamin A6.1mg Vitamin C437mg Calcium2.1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Lasagna Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
368
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Cholesterol
 
77
mg
26
%
Sodium
 
858
mg
37
%
Potassium
 
482
mg
14
%
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
8
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
29
g
58
%
Vitamin A
 
705
IU
14
%
Vitamin C
 
6.1
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
437
mg
44
%
Iron
 
2.1
mg
12
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: best lasagna, easy lasagna, lasagna recipe
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 368

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Laurie
    March 3, 2024

    Hi Natasha, I have made your lasagna many times and again for dinner tonight!
    It is a family favourite!
    Love, love all your recipes!! Truly enjoying your cook book!
    Thanks for all you do!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 3, 2024

      Hi Laurie! I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you for the feedback. I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes.

      Reply

  • Rosemary
    March 3, 2024

    I love this recipe and made it several times! So easy and sooooo delicious!!
    Can you clarify the cheese measurements? Is it oz as in weight? Thanks ☺️

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 3, 2024

      Hi Rosemary! I’m so glad you loved it. Yes, the cheese is measured by weight.

      Reply

  • Irene Hahn
    February 20, 2024

    I made this lasagna recipe last night using ground turkey and chicken broth instead of the red wine. It turned out beautiful and everyone loved it! Will definitely make again soon.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 20, 2024

      I’m so glad to hear it was a hit!

      Reply

  • Chris
    February 18, 2024

    Haven’t made this yet but I will today. Do we still need to add the sugar and spices if we use your marinara recipe?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 18, 2024

      Hi Chris! Yes, I still do even when I use my homemade sauce.

      Reply

  • Celia Bray
    February 6, 2024

    I made this lasagna over the weekend and it was so delicious. My son and I loved it.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 6, 2024

      That’s wonderful to hear, Celia!

      Reply

  • Sara
    January 27, 2024

    Made this lasagna tonight. So good! It really is a great recipe.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 27, 2024

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

      Reply

  • LeAna
    January 15, 2024

    The only recipe I will make for Lasagna! Marinara Sauce is AWESOME! Thank You so very much!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 15, 2024

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, LeAna!

      Reply

  • Sarah
    January 14, 2024

    Delicious recipe! I made it with a meat substitute (Beyond Ground) so my vegetarian son could enjoy it as well, but we all loved it. In fact, you are my go-to for trying a new recipe because they never disappoint. Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 14, 2024

      Hi Sarah! That’s great. Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Danielle
    January 13, 2024

    Can I omit the cottage cheese? I do not like cottage cheese at all. My company doesn’t as well. I think it should be fine without?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 13, 2024

      Hi Danielle. Some of my viewers have made this with extra ricotta and omitted the cottage cheese. We like the blend of both.

      Reply

  • Emmary A Simpson
    January 7, 2024

    The amount of meat and sauce was not enough for a 9×13 with 3 layers. At least 1.5 pounds of beef.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 8, 2024

      Hi Emmary, normally this fills the casserole almost completely full. Are you certain you weren’t using a larger casserole or maybe omitted something in the meat sauce or cheese sauce?

      Reply

  • Pam Thomas
    January 6, 2024

    Hi Natasha! I recently discovered your blog and now am a huge fan! 🙂

    I tried your lasagna recipe for my family on Christmas and they absolutely LOVED it!! So moist and delicious! The only problem.. it wasn’t enough. I will have to make a larger batch next time.

    Thanks so much and I truly enjoy your comical videos!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 6, 2024

      I’m so happy to hear this was a hit with your family, Pam! That’s so great! Thank you for your great review!

      Reply

    • Pam Thomas
      January 6, 2024

      Sorry! I was SO excited that I forgot to rate the recipe, LOL!

      Reply

  • Silvana
    January 3, 2024

    It was delicious!. I used oven-ready noodles. Next time, I will try your book’s lasagna recipe that I know it will be good as this one.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 3, 2024

      Hi Silvana! If you loved this one, I’m sure you’ll love the version from the cookbook! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Kory L Legette
    December 25, 2023

    Amazing recipe. I’m a cheese person so I doubled the cheese. I’ve never had a pasta this delicious. I used the marinara recipe. Better than any sauce ive made on my own. Must be the wine. I’m afraid to serve it because I don’t want to be known as the Lasagna person. I’m already the go to guy for mac&cheese. Thanks for sharing. This belongs In a 5-star restaurant.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2023

      Your review made me smile and laugh. I love that! I suspect you’re about to become known as the Lasagna guy.

      Reply

  • kew
    December 22, 2023

    Delicious! I made this as written for holiday guests, and it was terrific! Made it again the following week for more guests adding a few ingredients 1/2 lb Italian sausage and Italian seasonings in the cheese filling.
    A trick that I use to get around the toothpicks/sticky cheese, is to spritz the aluminum foil lightly with an olive oil mister/ non-stick cooking spray before covering the lasagna.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 22, 2023

      Hi Kew! Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m glad you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Elena Zadniprovskiy
    December 21, 2023

    So excited make this!!! I don’t like a lot of meat so I might omit that and add mushrooms instead. Thank you for this recipe 😍😍😍

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 21, 2023

      You’re welcome, Elena! Enjoy.

      Reply

  • Edward Tonart
    December 19, 2023

    Can I use slices of eggplant instead of noodles ?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 19, 2023

      Hi Edward, I haven’t tested this recipe with eggplant, but I bet that could work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Claudia
    December 14, 2023

    Hi Natasha. The recipe in your cookbook is different than this recipe. I can’t decide which one I should use. The one in your book doesn’t use cottage cheese and uses heavy cream. Is the one in your book a newer better lasagna?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 14, 2023

      Hi Claudia, it is the improved version of our lasagna. 2 different versions but both are delicious but it’s really up to you which one you’d like to try.

      Reply

      • Trisha
        February 9, 2024

        Made this several times and always a big hit! I made this ahead of time and put it in the freezer but forgot to take it out and thaw in the fridge and need it tonight. Do you have the cooking time if it hasn’t thawed yet?

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          February 9, 2024

          Hi Trisha! I do not have the exact time but you can expect it to take over a hour to heat through (75-90mins). I would check it at 70 mins and then add increments of 5-10 more mins as needed. It will be done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

          Reply

  • Lindsey
    December 13, 2023

    Is it possible to substitute ground beef for ground turkey or Italian chicken sausage?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 13, 2023

      Hi Lindsey! It would be fine to use another meat if you prefer. Just keep in mind, the more lean the meat is, the drier it will be.

      Reply

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