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Best Lasagna

Want to know how to make lasagna for a casual holiday meal? You can't go wrong with this deliciously rich meat lasagna recipe. My grown sons and daughter-in-law request it for their birthdays, too. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 50 min. + standing
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1-1/4 pounds bulk Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (one 28 ounces, one 15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook sausage, beef and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking up meat into crumbles. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Drain.
  • Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, 3 tablespoons parsley, basil, fennel, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, mix egg, ricotta cheese and remaining parsley and salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 2 cups meat sauce into an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles and a third of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce and cheeses (dish will be full).
  • Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 25 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Lasagna Tips

What side dishes go with lasagna?

A simple side salad is a classic side for lasagna, as well as garlic bread.

Is lasagna better with ricotta or cottage cheese?

It's a personal preference! Some prefer the richness and creaminess of ricotta cheese, while others like the lower-in-fat cottage cheese option that is chunkier due to the curds. Try our traditional lasagna for the perfect combo of both. Be sure to check out our secret tricks to making the best lasagna ever.

Why is my lasagna watery?

To avoid watery lasagna, make sure your lasagna noodles are drained properly before layering. Once they are cooked and drained, do not rinse with water but immediately place in a single layer on a lightly oiled tray. Not rinsing in water will allow the sauce to cling to the starches on the noodle. If using cottage cheese, drain it for an hour or so before using. Simmer the sauce for at least 30 minutes uncovered to allow excess water to evaporate. Also, uncover the lasagna during the last 25 minutes of baking to release any extra moisture in the pan.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 519 calories, 27g fat (13g saturated fat), 109mg cholesterol, 1013mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 35g protein.