Classic Beef Lasagna is one of those things to make for dinner when everyone is craving awesome, traditional Italian food!
I think it’s safe to say that most everyone loves a good lasagna. And this Classic Beef Lasagna is a good one. It has a homemade meat sauce and plenty of cheese. And you do not even have to cook the lasagna noodles in this recipe. Yep, the sauce has enough liquid that the noodles will soften up in the lasagna as it cooks.
Ingredients needed for Classic Beef Lasagna:
- ground beef
- tomato sauce
- tomato paste
- Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper
- ricotta cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- lasagna noodles
- fresh parsley
How to make Lasagna:
Lasagna is put together in a series of layers. So you’ll make the homemade meat sauce first, and then combine ingredients for the ricotta cheese mixture.
Spread ¾ cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Place lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spoon ⅓ of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles. It’s best to put spoonfuls all around and then spread it to cover. Spread ¼ of the remaining meat sauce to cover the cheese layer. Repeat this process TWO more times.
Lasagna noodles go on top. Then spread over the noodles all of the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top. Then cover the whole dish with foil, and bake for 50 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake for about 10 more minutes.
Remove the foil from the pan, and let the lasagna sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. It needs some time to cool off a bit before you try to cut into all of those luscious layers of pasta!
If you give the lasagna ample time to cool, you’ll be able to get nice, clean slices out of it. If you cut it while it’s still majorly steaming hot, it tends to fall apart as you scoop it out. Be patient.
And there it is… a perfect slice of Classic Beef Lasagna. It’s a really great recipe, and it’s one that everyone will love you for when you make it for dinner. If you prefer not to have beef, try my very popular recipe for Garden Vegetable Lasagna. If you like chicken, try this White Chicken Lasagna instead. Enjoy!
Classic Beef Lasagna
- 1½ pounds 85 to 90% lean ground beef
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 medium garlic cloves, crushed
- One 28-ounce can tomato sauce
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons granulated white sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 30 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 16 ounces lasagna noodles
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
PREPARE MEAT SAUCE:
- In a large, nonstick skillet, add the ground beef and onion and sauté over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat is browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the meat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, dried Italian herb seasoning, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, and then put a lid on the skillet, keeping it ajar. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
PREPARE THE RICOTTA MIXTURE:
- In a large bowl, stir together all of the ricotta ingredients.
ASSEMBLE AND COOK THE LASAGNA:
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Spread ¾ cup of meat sauce evenly in the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Arrange 4 to 5 lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Spread ¼ of the meat sauce on top of the ricotta layer. Repeat this layering process 2 times.
- Arrange 4 to 5 lasagna noodles on top. Spread the remaining ¼ of the meat sauce on top of the noodles. Sprinkle the 4 ounces shredded mozzarella and 2 tablespoons parmesan on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and sprinkle fresh parsley on top, to garnish.
Before making the lasagna per instructions, line the pan with bacon to make this a bacon-wrapped lasagna, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
By far the best
Do you drain the ground beef? Also, my Italian friend says she simmers her sauce 5 hours. I’d like to do the same with this sauce. Will simmering it that long be okay or will it reduce the volume of the sauce too much? This recipe sounds amazing! Thank you!
If you have a good amount of accumulated fat, then you can spoon out the grease. It’s tough to say what a long simmer time would do… but if it thickens too much then you can add in some beef broth, water and/or red wine!
This was a huge hit! I make my own pasta sauce and have it simmer in the crockpot all day so that the flavors really meld and develop. I also parboiled the noodles just to make certain they’d be perfectly cooked. Everyone loved it, was wonderful! Thank you for the recipe!!
This looks amazing. Did you cook your lasagna noodles before layering? Cannot wait to make this for Sunday lunch. Will start the sauce Saturday so it can mingle mingle. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Connie, There is enough liquid in the sauce to soften the noodles as they cook. So no need to cook the noodles first. Enjoy!