Lasagna is the perfect easy recipe for busy weeknights! My delicious lasagna recipe features layers of lasagna noodles, meat sauce, and cheese resulting in a comfort dish that the whole family will love. I use a few tricks and a super simple recipe that yields sensational results. Lasagna doesn’t have to be reserved for weekends any longer! Complete your meal with our favorite dinner rolls and amazing broccoli salad.
Easy Meat Lasagna Recipe
There are many MANY nights that I am craving the cheesy goodness of lasagna. I mean, what’s not to love? All those layers of perfectly savory meat, cheese, and noodles….um, YUM.
I make this recipe A LOT. It’s just so quick to pull together and is perfect for busy weeknights. I use a trick my mom taught me, back when no boil noodles were not readily available, to cut down on time.
What Is the Best Cheese To Use For Lasagna
I always, always, always use mozzarella cheese. It melts so beautifully and is the perfect compliment to the other ingredients in this easy lasagna recipe. In addition to the mozzarella cheese, I use either ricotta or cottage cheese. For today’s recipe, I’ve made a few changes from my childhood including swapping out the cottage cheese for ricotta but honestly, both are so good.
What Ingredients Go Into Lasagna
- Lasagna Noodles
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Ricotta or Cottage Cheese
- Ground Beef or Pork
- Pasta Sauce
- Italian Seasoning
If you find yourself with a little extra time, go ahead and throw in some chopped onion and continue cooking until translucent after the meat has finished browning for some additional flavor and texture. One last thing, I used lean ground beef in this recipe but half beef and half pork make for a tasty combination.
You can also make your own pasta sauce. I do this just when I have extra time but homemade pasta sauce is definitely something special and a great way to add more flavor.
How Do You Make Homemade Lasagna
Lasagna is so easy to make at home and it’s just creating layers of different ingredients including long pasta sheets, a meat sauce and cheese. There is no end to the variations of homemade lasagna and the one I’m sharing with you today is very basic and a great place to start when making your own.
Please feel free to make any adjustments you like to suit your family’s preferences:
- Ground turkey, beef or pork can be used in this recipe, or a combination if you like.
- Try different types of cheeses.
- If you are buying your marinara sauce, pay attention to the label. There are a lot of great sauce flavors out there that will really add depth to this dish.
It’s super important to let the lasagna rest after it’s finished cooking. I say a minimum of 15 minutes in my instructions below but the longer you have the better, up to 30 minutes to allow for cleaner slices. You can garnish with fresh basil or parsley if you’d like for a pretty pop of color.
Easy weeknight dinners we love to make:
- Grandma’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- The Best Tater Tot Casserole
- The Best Turkey Meatballs
- One Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
How To Make Lasagna
Easy Lazy Day Lasagna
- 1 lb dry lasagna noodles (you'll use a little more than half the box)
- 1 lb lean ground beef (or half beef and half pork)
- 24 oz jar marinara or pasta sauce - your favorite brand
- 2/3 cup water
- 15 oz container ricotta or cottage cheese
- 12 oz mozzarella cheese divided
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Spread 2/3 cups of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Top with lasagna noodles.
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off the fat.
- Pour in the remaining marinara sauce. Add the water to the jar, replace the lid and shake to loosen up the remaining sauce. Pour into the skillet and stir in.
- Simmer the meat sauce for 5 minutes.
- Scatter about one-third of the ricotta cheese on top of the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle on 3 oz of the mozzarella cheese. Top with about one-third of the meat sauce.
- Add another layer of lasagna noodles and press down slightly.
- Repeat with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and meat sauce - two more times.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes until the noodles are fork-tender. (The additional water and the steam created by covering the baking dish will cook the noodles.)
- Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 7-8 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Originally published April 20, 2016.