Our recipe streamlines the process, but doesn't skimp on taste—and our visual step-by-step guide makes putting this classic dinner dish together a breeze.
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Lasagna with slice taken out

Our ultimate lasagna recipe, the one we make on the regular and to great acclaim, calls for two fillings. The meat sauce is made with both Italian sausage and ground beef simmered in tomato sauce. The other is a cheesy mixture of mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmigiano-Reggiano speckled with parsley. Each shines on its own, but together they soar like an aria between layers of lasagna noodles. 

ultimate lasagna slice on plate with fork
Credit: Justin Walker

Grocery List

Most of the ingredients needed for our Lasagna with Meat Sauce are standard. We prefer to use a can of whole peeled tomatoes and blitz them in a food processor, rather than use store-bought crushed tomatoes.

This recipe calls for low-moisture mozzarella, but we use whole milk ricotta and whole milk; together, these dairy ingredients create the rich cheese filling that shines in the lasagna. Using no-boil lasagna noodles speeds up the process. Our recipe includes covering the lasagna while it bakes, which means there's no need to pre-cook these pasta sheets. 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 85 percent-lean ground beef
  • Sweet Italian sausage
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Red-pepper flakes
  • Tomato paste
  • Canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • Low-moisture mozzarella
  • Whole-milk ricotta
  • Whole milk
  • Eggs
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • No-boil lasagna noodles, such as Barilla

Tools and Pans

You'll need a large saucepan and a wooden spoon to make the meat sauce, a food processor or blender for puréeing the canned tomatoes, and a large mixing bowl for combining the cheeses.

Use a 9 x 13-inch ceramic or enameled cast-iron baking pan for the lasagna. These pans help the lasagna cook evenly and promote crisp, browned edges more than a glass iteration does.

How to Make the Ultimate Lasagna

Once you have your ingredients and equipment assembled, it's a straightforward process. This recipe requires about 45 minutes of prep and 1 hour 10 minutes to bake. Here's what you need to do to make the lasagna.

Preheat

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

lasagna meat sauce in pan
Credit: Justin Walker

Make the Meat Sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the beef, sausage, onion, carrots, celery, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up meat into bite-size pieces, until vegetables soften and meat has browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, oregano, and red-pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomato paste; cook two minutes more. 
  3. Purée the tomatoes in a blender or food processor; add to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened slightly but still very loose, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
lasagna egg and cheese mixture
Credit: Justin Walker

Mix the Cheeses

In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, eggs, 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 1/2 cups mozzarella, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

lasagna layers with cheese mixture
Credit: Justin Walker

Assemble the Lasagna

  1. Spread 2 cups of meat sauce evenly in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange three lasagna noodles over the sauce (space noodles evenly and slightly apart; they will expand as the lasagna cooks).
  2. Spread 2 cups of the cheese mixture over the noodles; top with three more noodles. Repeat layering of meat and cheese mixtures between noodles twice more.
  3. Spread 2 cups of meat sauce evenly over the top layer of noodles. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Loosely cover with parchment-lined foil and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake

  1. Transfer lasagna and baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake until the noodles are tender but still al dente (easily pierced with the tip of a knife), 40 to 45 minutes. 
  2. Uncover; continue baking until bubbly and puffed slightly along the edges and golden brown in places on top; 20 to 25 minutes more. (There may be a lot of liquid in the dish. It will be absorbed as the lasagna cools.

Serve

Transfer dish to a wire rack and let cool slightly and set, about 20 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Pro Tips

Make Ahead

This lasagna can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. 

Storing Leftovers

Should you have any leftover lasagna, it holds up well in the freezer: Package individual slices in parchment-lined foil and store in a freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, bake, still wrapped in foil, at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.

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