The Best Lasagna Ever
Although I am sure everyone has had a good lasagna and maybe even made a good or great lasagna, this is absolutely the best lasagna ever, in my opinion. This lasagna has the perfect balance of cheese, pasta and sauce. It does take a bit of time but I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you’re short on time, then you can substitute a really good jarred pasta sauce for the tomatoes and herbs, but try the original recipe if you have the time.
This is a go to for a family gathering or pot luck. It serves a crowd and can be doubled easily if you have big enough pans. The sauce is tasty and simple and with the addition of ricotta and spinach layered in between, the result is a cheesy and delicious lasagna that bakes up to bubbly perfection. If you are adventurous you can even make your own ricotta. You can find my recipe for homemade ricotta here.
This lasagna freezes well and reheats well. If you don’t need it for supper tonight, you can make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two days, then just bake as directed and enjoy! Leftovers (if there are any) can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days, or alternatively you can also freeze them. I like to cut the lasagna into serving sized pieces then freeze each piece in a microwave safe dish so that it can be pulled out of the freezer the night before for a quick dinner. You could also defrost it in the microwave, then reheat and enjoy on the same day as well.
I like to serve the lasagna with a side salad, my go to is Caesar Salad, but feel free to make whatever salad you and your family like. Sometimes a basic green salad with ranch dressing is perfect. If you want an easy and delicious recipe for homemade ranch dressing, here is the link to mine.
The Best Lasagna Recipe Ever
- 1 saucepan
- 1 large pot
- 1 casserole dish
- 12 lasagna noodles about 10 ounces or 1 package
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 750 grams ground beef
- 350 grams ground italian sausage (optional)
- ½ small onion finely diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 cans whole tomatoes (15 oz/443 ml)
- 1 tbsp dried basil (or 6 leaves fresh, chopped fine)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional) or honey
- 500 grams ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, divided finely grated (fresh if you have it)
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese grated
- 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling, salt it NOT BEFORE
- when the water is boiling, salt it then add your lasagna noodles and cook according to directions or until él danté. (8-10) minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water, pat dry.
- While your water is coming to the boil, begin the sauce
- In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, diced onion, ground beef, Italian sausage. Season with salt and pepper and fry until no longer pink. Drain off excess oil when cooked.
- Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until fragrant and the onion is translucent.
- to this add the tomatoes, breaking up the whole tomatoes, with your hand or a masher.
- Add the basil, oregano and sugar and let simmer to reduce and combine flavours, about 30 minutes. If you prefer to use a pre made pasta sauce then by all means do, but choose a good one. Then just omit the tomatoes. Taste for seasoning and adjust the basil and oregano as needed.
- in a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg and ½ cup grated parmesan cheese.
- meanwhile, chop the spinach add it to a saucepan with 1 T olive oil and 1 clove of minced garlic and sauté until soft (1-2 minutes).
- once cooled a bit, add the chopped spinach to the ricotta mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large casserole dish, cover the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of your sauce. Then a layer of noodles, overlapping if necessary to cover the bottom.
- spoon half of the ricotta mixture over top of the noodles spreading evenly, then some of the shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup) followed by a generous amount of sauce, then another layer of noodles and repeat ending with the meatsauce.
- sprinkle the top layer of meat sauce with the final cup of grated mozzarella and the remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese.
- At this point you can either refrigerate the lasagna (covered) for up to 2 days, or freeze it (up to a month) or cook and enjoy right away!
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes to "set" before slicing to prevent it from running.
How to make lasagna
- start by making the sauce – a delicious tomato based sauce with ground beef and Italian sausage as the headliners along with some seasonings and herbs.
- Let the sauce simmer while you cook the noodles and prepare the ricotta filling – which is a delicious blend of ricotta, and parmesan cheese and spinach with some seasonings.
- assemble the lasagna – traditionally 3 layers of noodles with a sauce and cheese layer in between. All topped off with more cheese and baked to perfection.
How to store Lasagna
- Store it unbaked in the refrigerator for up to two days, then bake and enjoy when you want it.
- Freeze it unbaked in the casserole dish for up to a month, just take it out the day before you want to serve it and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then bake as directed and enjoy.
- Store it in the refrigerator after you have baked it for up to 5 days. Just reheat in the microwave or in the oven covered in foil, for 30 minutes until bubbly.
- Store it in the freezer after you’ve baked it. I like to freeze individual portions in microwave safe dishes so they can go from the freezer to the microwave to thaw and then reheat when you want it.