We’ve got lasagna down to a science! There’s only one way to make lasagna and it’s with Italian sausage. This recipe calls for no-boil lasagna noodles, taking the extra hassle out of making the best lasagna every time!
Perfected over many, many years by my dad and me, we’ve aced the ultimate cheesy, meaty lasagna! What makes the best lasagna? It’s all about the layers! Crumbled sausage, creamy ricotta, stringy mozzarella, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, just enough tomato sauce, and an optional earthy mushroom blend are in perfect proportions for a lasagna masterpiece.
Serve with a simple salad with homemade dressing or Garlicky Broccolini!
- No-boil lasagna noodles – no-boil lasagna noodles cut out the extra step of having to cook lasagna noodles before layering your lasagna. They are such time savers!
- Italian pork sausage – cook and crumble your sweet or spicy Italian sausage out of the casing before layering your lasagna, so you get the perfect amount of sausage in every bite!
- Good-quality tomato sauce – smooth, simple tomato sauce is the best for lasagna!
- Whole milk ricotta cheese – whole milk ricotta cheese is the creamiest option.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese – mozzarella cheese will give you that delicious gooey, stringy finish.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – parmigiano will add delicious nutty, cheesy flavor to your lasagna.
- Eggs – eggs bind your lasagna layers together so it’s easily sliceable.
- Porcini and cremini mushrooms (optional) – a blend of dried porcini mushrooms add a rich mushroom flavor while cremini mushrooms add an extra touch of meatiness.
- Extra virgin olive oil (optional) – a touch of olive oil is used to cook the mushrooms.
- No-boil lasagna noodles – substitute regular lasagna noodles for no-boil noodles and follow the package instructions accordingly.
- Italian pork sausage – substitute chicken sausage, ground beef, ground chicken, or even ground turkey for Italian pork sausage.
- Tomato sauce – substitute homemade vodka sauce for tomato sauce.
- Whole milk ricotta cheese – substitute part-skim ricotta for whole milk ricotta.
- Mozzarella cheese – substitute provolone or asiago for mozzarella cheese.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano – substitute parmesan cheese (a less expensive option!) for Parmigiano-Reggiano.
How Many Layers In Lasagna
This lasagna recipe has about 20 layers of lasagna goodness! The flavor is within all those beautiful layers! Below, I’ve organized these small layers into 5 major layers.
What Temperature to Cook Lasagna
Lasagna baked at 375-degrees cooks lasagna through without drying out the layers!
How Long to Bake Lasagna at 375
Bake lasagna for about 1 hour and 25 minutes in total: 1 hour and 15 minutes covered with non-stick aluminum foil and 10 minutes, uncovered, to crisp up the top.
How to Layer Lasagna (Detailed Recipe & Video Below!)
- Prepare porcini mushrooms (optional)
Reconstitute porcini mushrooms in hot water.
- Cook mushrooms (optional)
Cook the porcini mushrooms with the cremini mushrooms.
- Remove sausage from casings
Use a sharp knife to remove meat from casings.
- Cook sausage
Cook and crumble sausage meat.
- Prepare ricotta mixture
Mix together ricotta with some parmesan cheese and eggs.
- Major layer #1
grease pan. Add tomato sauce, dried lasagna noodles, part of the ricotta mixture, and a portion of the sausage in that order.
- Major layer #2
Add some mozzarella cheese, more sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Major layer #3
Add more lasagna noodles, part of the ricotta mixture, all the mushrooms (optional), more sauce, and a sprinkle of parmesan.
- Major layer #4
Add another layer of lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining sausage, and more sauce.
- Major layer #5
Add a final layer of lasagna noodles, any leftover sauce, and mozzarella.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, covered. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes so the cheese browns and crisps.
- Rest and serve
Rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with extra tomato sauce and grated parmigiano!
- Measure and prepare all of the ingredients before layering your lasagna.
- Make sure you have a large working surface that you don’t mind getting messy!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes! Lasagna (or lasagne) originated in Naples, Italy as a baked pasta dish with alternating layers of lasagne noodles, ground meat, tomato sauce, cheeses (like ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan), and sometimes vegetables.
Ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan are the classic cheeses in lasagna, and those are the cheeses in this lasagna!
Cover lasagna while it’s baking until the very end, to lock in moist before crisping up the cheesy layer on the top in the last 10 minutes!
Lasagna is good for up to 5 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
How to Reheat Lasagna
Reheat lasagna, covered with foil, in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until hot.
You can also reheat a piece in the microwave, covered with plastic wrap, for about 90 seconds. The oven method is the best!
What to Serve With Lasagna
A few of my favorite veggie side dishes to serve with lasagna are:
- Simple salad with Homemade Dressing
- Sautéed Garlicky Broccolini
- Dijon Cider Coleslaw
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
More Cheesy Pasta Recipes on Tastefully Grace!
- Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)
- Chicken Penne Alla Vodka
- Spaghetti with Zucchini & Ricotta Pesto
- 9"x13" baking pan at least 2" deep
- 1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 ½ pounds Italian sausage spicy, sweet, or both
- 6 cups good-quality tomato sauce (48 ounces)
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese (16 ounces)
- 1 ¼ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (10 ounces) optional
- ½ cup dried Porcini mushrooms optional
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- More parmigiano and tomato sauce to serve if desired
- Optional (for mushrooms): place dried porcini mushrooms in a cup of hot water and let reconstitute (soften) for 15 minutes.
- Optional (for mushrooms): in a small pan, add a splash of olive oil. Add drained, reconstituted porcini mushrooms and cremini mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until mushrooms are hot and softened. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to slice open sausages and pop out the sausage meat into a dry pan. Cook and crumble the sausage with a slotted spoon over medium heat until fully cooked through. Drain excess fat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs and stir in ricotta and ½ cup parmesan cheese.
- Major layer #1: grease bottom and sides of a 9”x13” pan (needs to be at least 2 inches deep). Add 1 cup tomato sauce to bottom of pan and evenly spread. Add layer of dried lasagna noodles (overlapping slightly), about a third of the ricotta mixture, and half of the crumbled sausage (in this order, spreading evenly).
- Major layer #2: in this order (spreading evenly), add 2 cups mozzarella cheese, add 1 cup sauce and sprinkle with ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
- Major layer #3: in this order (spreading evenly), add another layer of slightly overlapping lasagna noodles, one-third of the ricotta mixture, all of the mushrooms (optional), 1 ½ cups sauce, and ½ cup parmesan cheese.
- Major layer #4: in this order (spreading evenly), add another layer of lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining sausage, and 1 cup sauce.
- Major layer #5: in this order (spreading evenly), add final layer of lasagna noodles, any leftover sauce, and 2 cups mozzarella. You might have leftover lasagna noodles!
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, tightly covered with nonstick foil, or until a knife inserted in the center of the lasagna feels hot to the touch. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes so the cheese browns and caramelizes.
- Rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with extra tomato sauce and grated parmigiano if desired!
- Measure and prepare all of the ingredients before layering your lasagna.
If I put everything together and put the lasagna in the fridge for a few hours before baking, does it need to bake longer than the 1 hour, 25 minutes?
I’d imagine it would take a bit longer, but I’d still follow the instructions in the post! Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, tightly covered with nonstick foil, or until a knife inserted in the center of the lasagna feels hot to the touch. If it’s not hot at 1 hr and 15 min, then I’d re-cover and keep cooking in increments of 10 minutes until it is hot in the center! Then uncover and cook for 10 more min. You can also keep the lasagna in a warm, low heat oven until ready to serve 🙂 I hope this helps!