Beef
Lasagna

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The BEST classic and simple lasagna recipe, made with ground beef gravy, no-cook noodles and ricotta for extra protein!

lasagna

Lasagna recipe

If you're Italian and you're thinking, ricotta in lasagna? I understand you perfectly! I've always been stumped by that idea. But with the big brands of ricotta available these days, I recently made these ricotta lasagna roll-ups and my family went crazy for them! So, I decided to make a ricotta version of my favorite Italian lasagna with meat sauce, and I won't make it any other way. It doesn't change the flavor or texture of the final dish, it just adds more protein – my family devoured it! So if you're reading this and thinking, “Ricotta in lasagna?” I swear it works. You can't say that at all! Other lasagna recipes you might love include this lasagna soup recipe, lasagna with spaghetti squash sauce, and chicken parmesan lasagna.

lasagna

Because you'll love this lasagna recipe

  • Delightful: Lasagna is a classic for a reason. Layered with meat sauce, noodles and three types of cheese, what's not to like? It's so good!
  • Suitable for families: This cheese lasagna recipe is sure to be a hit with your whole family.
  • Freezer safe: This pasta dish is perfect for freezing, baking, or raw.
  • Simple: No-boil noodles means the noodles cook in the oven, which saves you a step.
  • High protein content: This healthy ricotta lasagna has more protein by replacing the ricotta mixture with ricotta.

Ingredients for lasagna

  • Ground beef: I used 93% lean ground beef.
  • Onion: Dice half of a medium onion.
  • Garlic: Chop three cloves.
  • Tomatoes: You will need one 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes. My favorite brand is All red.
  • salt to season the tomatoes
  • Noodles: Buy oven-ready lasagna noodles, such as That of Barillato make this very easy lasagna with fewer steps.
  • Egg: The eggs help bind the cheese mixture in the lasagna so it doesn't run out during cooking.
  • Cottage cheese: Use a good quality part-skim ricotta, for example Good Culturefor extra protein.
  • Mozzarella cheese: Stir a little grated part-skim mozzarella into the lasagna filling and sprinkle the rest on top.
  • Grated cheese: You will need a quarter cup of grated pecorino romano or parmesan.
  • Parsley: Add chopped fresh parsley to the cheese mixture and garnish with more.

How to make the best lasagna recipe

  1. Prepare the tomato sauce: Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic to a large skillet or large pot and cook over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Pour in the crushed cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  2. Prepare the cheese mixture: Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the ricotta, half a cup of mozzarella, the pecorino romano and the parsley.
  3. How to layer lasagna: Spread one cup of ragu in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish, followed by four lasagna noodles, one-third of the cheese mixture and one cup of sauce, and repeat. Next, pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella.
  4. How long to cook lasagna: Cooking time is approximately 1 hour. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil to create the steam needed to cook the noodles and bake for 55-60 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Uncover and cook for another five minutes until all the cheese is lightly browned.
  5. Serve: Garnish the lasagne with parsley and leave to rest for five minutes before cutting into eight pieces.
Meat lasagna

Variations

  • Is lasagna better with ricotta or with ricotta? Both are good in lasagna, but the ricotta adds a protein boost. If you prefer to prepare a ricotta-based mixture you can replace equal quantities of ricotta.
  • Pecorino cheese: Replace the pecorino with parmesan.
  • Sausage: Use Italian sausage instead of ground beef.
  • Add the meatballs: Use turkey or beef meatballs.
  • Protein: Sub-lean ground turkey for beef.
  • Vegetarian Lasagna: Omit the beef and add thawed frozen spinach or sauteed diced zucchini.
  • Gluten-free lasagna: Use gluten-free noodles.
  • Egg allergy? Skip the egg. The cheese filling may be a little thinner, but it will still taste good!
  • Herbs: Swap the parsley for fresh basil.

What to serve with lasagna

This homemade lasagna recipe pairs well with some French bread, garlic bread or garlic knots and a Italian salad or vegetables, such as roasted broccoli and cauliflower or Brussels sprouts with cheese and pepper.

How to prepare lasagna meals

  • Meal preparation: Assemble the casserole, cover it with aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, cook the lasagna as directed.
  • Freezing without cooking: Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to three months. Thaw uncooked lasagna in the refrigerator and cook according to directions, or cook from frozen for about 90 minutes until fully cooked. (Don't forget to remove the plastic first!)
  • Leftovers: Leftover cooked lasagna can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To thaw, refrigerate overnight and microwave or cook until hot.
lasagna
lasagna

More ground beef recipes you'll love

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Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooked: 1 Now 30 minutes

Total: 1 Now 45 minutes

Product: 8 portions

Portions: 1 /8

  • 1 lb 93% lean minced meat
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into cubes
  • 3 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 one ounce can crushed tomatoes, I swear by Tuttorosso Green Label
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, taste
  • 12 lasagna without boiling, like Barilla or gluten-free tagliatelle
  • 24 ounces partially skimmed ricotta, from 1 1/2 16-ounce containers, Buona Cultura (or use ricotta)
  • 2 great egg, beaten up
  • 1 1/2 cups partially skimmed mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

  • Heat a large pan, when hot add the minced meat, onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until there is no pink left.

  • Add the crushed tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper, to taste, cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring 3 times.

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs and combine with 1 1/2 cups ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, pecorino romano and parsley. Set aside.

  • In a 13 x 9 casserole dish, spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the pan. Layer 4 uncooked lasagna noodles in this order (it's OK if they overlap), then 1/3 of the cheese mixture, 1 cup of the sauce.

  • Repeat next layer using 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1/3 part cheese mixture, and 1 cup sauce. For the top layer, add the remaining sauce and finish with 1 cup mozzarella.

  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.

  • Uncover and continue cooking until all of the cheese is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

  • Garnish with fresh parsley and let rest 5 minutes before cutting. Cut into 8 pieces.

Last step:

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Variations

  • If you prefer to prepare a ricotta-based mixture you can replace equal quantities of ricotta.
  • Pecorino cheese: Replace the pecorino with parmesan.
  • Sausage: Use Italian sausage instead of ground beef.
  • Add the meatballs: Use turkey or beef meatballs.
  • Protein: Sub-lean ground turkey for beef.
  • Vegetarian Lasagna: Omit the beef and add thawed frozen spinach or sauteed diced zucchini.
  • Gluten-free lasagna: Use gluten-free noodles.
  • Egg allergy? Skip the egg. The cheese filling may be a little thinner, but it will still taste good!
  • Herbs: Swap the parsley for fresh basil.

Serving: 1 /8, Calories: 394 kcal, Carbohydrates: 36.5 G, Protein: 37 G, Fat: 11.5 G, Saturated fats: 5.5 G, Cholesterol: 107.5 mg, Sodium: 840 mg, Fiber: 3.5 G, Sugar: 7 G

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