Absolute Best Ever Homemade Layered Lasagna Recipe

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Do you want to make the absolute best classic lasagna dish? Then you have come to the right place! This amazing, layered lasagna recipe is going to become your go-to recipe the whole family will beg for you to make.

slice of layered lasagna recipe on a white plate

This recipe is a Dined and Dashed Level 2 recipe, which means it takes 30 minutes or less to prepare and isn’t a challenge for an average weekday.

Lasagna is a classic Italian dish enjoyed by people worldwide. Its layers of pasta, meat, sauce and cheese make for a hearty and satisfying meal perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion that calls for comfort food.

While making homemade lasagna can seem daunting and time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be. Our layered lasagna recipe is easy to make and quick too! But with so many recipes out there, it can be hard to know which ones make good lasagna. Look no further, as we present to you the ultimate best layered lasagna recipe ever that will have your taste buds singing.

This comforting and filling meal is perfect for any occasion, and our recipe is so easy to make that you will not have to slave over it but can instead enjoy the special occasion. (Even if it’s not a special occasion, with this scrumptious dinner, it will be!)

We’ll walk you through the simple steps below.

By the way, this dish is infinitely better than frozen lasagna! That stuff doesn’t compare at all.

How to make the absolute best ever layered lasagna recipe:

To start, gather your ingredients. There is a generic list right below, see the recipe card at the end for the full description. The kitchen tools you will need are common ones: a pan to brown the meat, a lasagna pan or 9″x13″ baking pan, a mixing bowl and a large wooden spoon. That’s it!

Ingredients needed

  • ground beef
  • lasagna noodles
  • marinara sauce
  • ricotta cheese
  • sour cream
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese

One of the reasons this absolute best ever layered lasagna recipe is a go-to recipe is that you do NOT need to be a gourmet cook to make it right! It takes advantage of the pasta and sauce that you can purchase at your grocery store. (They got something right, or they wouldn’t be making and selling lots of pasta and sauce, right?)

We use a 1 lb. box of regular lasagna noodles and 24 oz. jar or can of classic spaghetti sauce, but if you want to make your own noodles and sauce, knock yourself out! If you’re looking for the lasagna hack that makes this seemingly complicated recipe only a Dined and Dashed Level 2 recipe, this recipe really works with those ready-made ingredients. The good thing is it’s guaranteed to be a hit whether you’re a seasoned chef or a first time cook!

Do you need to boil the lasagna noodles first?

A lot of people wonder if you need to boil lasagna noodles before backing lasagna. You can if you want to. Just follow the package directions, then rinse in cold water and set aside. Some people like to par-boil them, so they are less sticky and easier to handle without tearing as you assemble the layers. There’s also something out there called oven-ready noodles.

uncooked lasagna noodles on a blue and white striped towel

But we’ve found that you can actually use the noodles uncooked for our layered lasagna recipe, and they will absorb enough moisture from the sauce while cooking and come out just fine.

We’ve saved you time and mess already. Gotta love it!

Brown the meat

That tip about not cooking first won’t work with the meat, however. You definitely want to cook that before adding it to your lasagna. We recommend browning it in a large pot so that the grease doesn’t splatter out, and then you can add the sauce directly in the same pot once the meat is cooked.

Unless the ground beef is lean, drain off the excess fat before adding the tomato sauce. An option for the meat – some people also like to add small pieces of spicy Italian sausage, sweet Italian sausage, or even hot Italian sausage to their meat sauce. Once you’ve got your meat mixture cooked, add the spaghetti sauce. There are many to choose from – just pick the brand and type you think has the best flavor. You will want to add 3 cups of sauce (24 oz.) or more.

Combine sour cream and ricotta

Next, mix the sour cream and ricotta cheese together. Some have asked if you can substitute cottage cheese for ricotta. The short answer is yes. There is a slight difference, and you’ll want to use small curd. They taste pretty much identical to one another, but since cottage cheese is a little more solid and slightly thicker than ricotta, you need to blend it lightly into a texture similar to the ricotta. 

Put it all together

Now you’re ready to assemble your classic layered lasagna recipe for baking!

  • The first layer to go in the bottom of the pan or baking dish is some of your meaty sauce. Use a thin layer, maybe less than a cup of meat sauce. Having this as your bottom layer will make it easy to remove from the pan – you do not need cooking spray.
  • Next, add a layer of noodles.
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  • Next, put a thin layer of ricotta mixture, followed by a layer of mozzarella cheese. You can use mozzarella cheese slices, or shredded cheese.
  • Repeat with a layer of rich meat sauce, layer of noodles, etc. in the same order until you’ve used all your ingredients.
layered lasagna recipe 9
  • Reserve a cup of the meat sauce as the final layer to keep the other ingredients from drying out.
  • Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan.
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  • Cover with aluminum foil.

Once you have your layered lasagna recipe assembled, it can be refrigerated or frozen to bake later, so it’s a good one to take to a family with a new baby, etc. Paired with a salad and loaf of Italian bread, it’s a ready meal.

When you’re ready to bake it, just pop the lasagna in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 40-50 minutes. If you like a toasted brown look, remove the foil for the final few minutes of baking, and if you like, another sprinkling of mozzarella on top. Fresh herbs, a few parsley flakes or fresh basil on top dresses it up. Let it cool for a few minutes, then cut and serve.

We think this classic layered lasagna recipe is the absolute best you’ll ever try and will become your go-to lasagna recipe. The hearty meat sauce, layers of noodles, different cheeses, and ricotta cheese mixture make for a delicious and satisfying meal.

This delicious Italian dish makes a hearty and comforting meal that everyone will love and enjoy any night of the week! Give it a try and see for yourself why it’s the best!

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Absolute Best Ever Lasagna Recipe

Author: Dave Paukner
This easy dinner recipe is a family favorite! Bon appetit!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8


  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 16 oz. package lasagna noodles
  • 1 large jar spaghetti sauce 24 oz. or more
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ to 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • Grated parmesan cheese


  • Cook noodles.
  • Brown meat and add spaghetti sauce.
  • Mix sour cream and ricotta cheese together.
  • Arrange ingredients in layers in 9”x13” pan: Meat sauce, Cooked noodles, Ricotta and sour cream mixture, Mozzarella cheese, Noodles
  • Repeat in layers until all ingredients are used up. Best to end with sauce on top.
  • Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes.


See detailed description above for tips and information to make sure your baked lasagna recipe turns out perfectly!
Keyword dinner, easy, favorite, lasagna

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