As a home chef who loves throwing parties, I’ve found that one of the best ways to bring people together is through good food. And when it comes to comfort food, there are few dishes that rival the classic lasagna.
In this recipe article, I’m excited to share with you my take on the best lasagna recipe. This recipe is easy to make, super cheesy, and guaranteed to be a hit at any gathering.
Whether you’re a fan of traditional meat sauce or prefer a vegetarian twist, lasagna has something for everyone. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover ingredients like pasta and cheese.
So gather your friends and family and let’s get cooking! It’s time to make some amazing lasagna that will have everyone coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds!).
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Ah, lasagna – the ultimate comfort food that brings people together for an unforgettable meal! If you’re looking for a dish that will leave everyone absolutely satisfied, look no further than my lasagna recipe. Trust me; it’s the best lasagna recipe you’ll find, and once you try it, you’ll never look back.
So why will you love this recipe? Well, for starters, it’s incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re not much of a cook or haven’t made lasagna before, this recipe is beginner-friendly and foolproof. Just follow my step-by-step instructions, and you’ll have a delicious homemade lasagna in no time.
Another reason why you’ll love this recipe is because it’s super versatile. You can customize it to suit your taste preferences or dietary requirements. Don’t like beef? Use chicken instead. Want to make it vegetarian? Simply omit the meat or substitute it with your favorite veggies such as zucchini or eggplant. You can even make a seafood lasagna if that’s your thing!
But what really sets my lasagna apart from others is the combination of meats and cheeses I use. A blend of ground beef and Italian sausage makes the meat sauce super flavorful and rich, while the cheese mixture – made with part-skim ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese – is pure heaven. Plus, fresh parsley adds a pop of vibrant color and freshness to the dish.
Finally, this recipe makes enough to serve a crowd, so it’s perfect for parties or large family dinners. And trust me; everyone will be coming back for seconds!
In conclusion, my lasagna recipe isn’t just any old classic lasagna recipe; it’s the best version out there! So whether you’re looking to impress guests or just enjoy a comforting meal at home with loved ones, give this recipe a try – your taste buds will thank you!
Here is everything we will need to make this delicious and super cheesy hometown lasagna:
- Lasagna noodles: You’ll need 9 lasagna noodles to make this dish.
- Ground beef: You can use either 1 pound or 2 pounds of ground beef, depending on your preference.
- Italian sausage: One of the secrets to a great lasagna recipe is using Italian sausage. You’ll need 1/2 pound of sausage for this recipe.
- Onion: Finely dice one medium onion.
- Garlic cloves: Mince 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.
- Water: Use 1/4 cup of water to cook the meat and onions.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: Use two 28 oz cans of canned crushed tomatoes for the meat sauce.
- Tomato paste: Add one small can (6 oz) of tomato paste to thicken the meat sauce.
- Fresh parsley: Don’t forget to add some fresh parsley for extra flavor!
- Salt and pepper: To taste.
- Egg: One egg is needed to bind the cheese filling ingredients together.
- Ricotta cheese: Use 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese in this recipe.
- Cottage cheese: Instead of using ricotta, you can switch it out for cottage cheese if you prefer.
- Low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese: Shredded mozzarella cheese is a must-have ingredient in any classic lasagna recipe. Use 3 cups in this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese: Top off the lasagna with grated parmesan cheese before baking it.
The Recipe How-To
First, we will cook our Lasagna noodles. Boil 6 to 9 lasagna noodles in salted water for eight to ten minutes until they are firm yet tender. When done, rinse with cold water and keep aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Then add one diced onion and cook until golden brown for about five minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute. Now add one pound of ground beef to the pan and cook for five to seven minutes until browned properly (crumble the beef as it cooks). Strain any excess fat from the pan, stir in a 24-ounce can of tomato sauce, half a cup of water, salt and pepper to taste. Allow it to simmer on low heat for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Ricotta Cheese Mixture
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) while you make the ricotta cheese mixture.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together 15 ounces of part-skim ricotta cheese, one beaten egg, two tablespoons of fresh parsley leaves finely chopped, half a teaspoon salt and a quarter teaspoon black pepper.
Assembling the Lasagna
Start by spreading an even layer of meat sauce at the bottom of the casserole dish. Then place a layer of cooked lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce. Spread an even layer of Ricotta cheese mixture onto the cooked lasagna noodles. Add another layer of meat sauce, followed by another layer of lasagna noodles.
Repeat the layers twice more ending with a top layer of mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle parmesan cheese generously on top and then sprinkle some parsley leaves on top for presentation purposes.
Place your assembled Lasagna in your preheated oven for about thirty-five to forty-five minutes or until it’s heated through properly and bubbling around on top with some lovely golden patches.
Substitutions and Variations
As versatile as it is, there are tons of ways to switch up a lasagna recipe to cater for different tastes or preferences. While the traditional recipe usually calls for ground beef, you can replace this with chicken, seafood or even sausage to add a different flavour to your dish. Vegetarians can substitute the meat with mushrooms or zucchini, and those who love veggies may use eggplant or spinach instead.
If you’d like to keep things light, swap out the classic meat sauce for marinara sauce with an addition of fresh basil, or simply leave the meat out for a vegetarian version. For those who love cheese, try adding a layer of bechamel sauce in between the noodles or top it off with salmon slices for extra protein.
If you’re watching your dairy intake or just want to make healthier adjustments, go for low-fat or skimmed cheese and cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese. You can also mix them together to balance out the flavour while still maintaining that creamy texture.
Adding some garlic cloves minced and along with some fresh parsley on top would give this classic lasagna recipe an Italian twist, and if you want a little kick in taste try finishing off with olive oil drizzle before serving.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to lasagna variations. Don’t be afraid to experiment and adapt this recipe into something that perfectly suits your tastebuds!
Serving and Pairing
Once your lasagna is ready, it’s time to enjoy your masterpiece. I suggest letting it cool down for a few minutes before serving. The aroma of bubbling cheese and herbs will make everyone eager to dig in, but patience is key here! You don’t want to end up with a runny mess on your plate.
Lasagna is definitely a hearty dish, so when serving it, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. I usually portion out enough for each person to have one or two pieces, as this dish can be quite filling. Don’t forget to sprinkle some extra grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley on top before serving.
Now let’s talk about pairing. Lasagna pairs well with many different beverages, depending on your taste preference. If you’re feeling fancy, try pairing it with a full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. If you prefer something lighter, a Pinot Noir or Chianti would do the trick.
If wine is not your thing, you can never go wrong with an ice-cold beer. A light lager or pilsner will balance out the richness of the lasagna and refresh your palate between bites.
For non-alcoholic options, lemonade or iced tea would be perfect to cut through the richness of the lasagna. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing it with a sparkling water with lemon or lime slices for some added freshness.
In conclusion, serving and pairing your homemade lasagna is all about personal preference and experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations until you find what works for you. Remember to enjoy every bite and savor the flavors of this classic Italian dish.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Let’s face it, one of the best things about lasagna is the leftovers. It makes for an easy and satisfying meal that you can easily heat up and serve for days to come. That being said, if you plan on making lasagna for a party or gathering, it’s important to know how to store and reheat it properly.
If you want to make lasagna ahead of time, it’s actually recommended! Lasagna is one of those dishes that gets better as it sits in the fridge. You can prepare the entire dish up to two days in advance and then refrigerate until ready to bake. This not only saves time but also allows the flavors to meld together.
Lasagna should be stored in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. It can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re storing leftover lasagna, make sure you remove any remaining meat sauce from the bottom of the pan as it can cause bacteria growth.
When reheating your lasagna, there are a few methods:
Oven: This method is preferred because it will keep your lasagna moist and help prevent overcooking. Preheat the oven to 350°F, cover the lasagna with foil while baking for 20-30 minutes depending on how much is left.
Microwave: This method is quick and easy but may result in a less appetizing texture. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and heat on high for 1-2 minutes per slice or small portion. Be careful not to overheat and keep an eye on the cheese as it may burn.
Stovetop: You can reheat leftover lasagna on a stovetop by placing slices of lasagna into a pan coated with olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until hot throughout.
Now that you know how to store and reheat your delicious homemade lasagna, enjoy!
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to learn some tips for making the perfect lasagna. As someone who has made many lasagnas in my time, I’ve learned a few things along the way that will help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your dish comes out delicious every time.
1. Use Good Quality Cheese
The cheese is one of the most important components of lasagna, so using high-quality cheese will make a big impact on the flavor. Make sure to buy fresh mozzarella and grate your own parmesan, as pre-shredded cheese can often be dry and lacking in flavor.
2. Don’t Overcook Your Noodles
Cooking your noodles until they are overly soft will result in a mushy lasagna. Make sure to cook them al dente, which means they should be cooked but still slightly firm to the bite.
3. Let The Lasagna Rest Before Serving
Although it may be tempting to dive right into your piping hot lasagna straight from the oven, it’s best to let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing it. This allows your layers to settle and avoids a soupy mess when serving.
4. Build Even Layers
Make sure to spread all ingredients evenly throughout each layer of the lasagna, including sauce, cheese, and filling. This will ensure a consistent flavor experience with every bite.
5. Experiment with Different Substitutions
While everyone loves a traditional lasagna recipe, don’t be afraid to get creative with some ingredient substitutions. Try swapping out beef for turkey or chicken, adding some spinach or zucchini for an extra nutrient boost or even adding some seafood for an unexpected twist.
By following these tips and tricks, you are sure to make a lasagna that not only looks spectacular but will taste amazing too!
Before we wrap up, let’s take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions about this lasagna recipe. You might be wondering about substitutions, storage options, or ingredient swaps, and I’m here to provide answers that’ll help you make the best version of this dish possible. So, read on!
What is the correct order to layer lasagna?
Let’s kick things off by spreading a delicate coating of pasta sauce across the bottom of a baking dish, then placing a foundation of cooked lasagna noodles on top. Next up, we want to evenly glaze a layer of the dreamy ricotta cheese mixture, followed by evenly distributed meat sauce. We’ll repeat these stunning layers twice through for maximum effect. To finalize this top-notch recipe, we will add a final layer of noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Are you ready to create a masterpiece? Let’s do this!
Is cottage cheese or ricotta better for lasagna?
When it comes to lasagna, the choice between ricotta cheese or cottage cheese is a matter of personal preference. Interestingly, both cheeses will deliver equally mouthwatering results. Depending on your preference, cottage cheese will give your lasagna a lighter texture while ricotta cheese will lend a thicker, richer taste.
How many layers should there be in lasagna?
Lasagna is a beloved pasta dish made up of layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese. Three layers is the typical standard for making a proper lasagna, as anything less may not be considered an authentic version of the dish. This is a widely accepted practice among cooking enthusiasts, as it allows for ample opportunity to build flavor and texture throughout the dish.
In conclusion, this lasagna recipe is truly the best of the best. It’s easy to make, super cheesy, and absolutely delicious. With its perfect balance of meat sauce and cheese mixture, this homemade lasagna is sure to impress even the pickiest eaters. And with a few simple substitutions and variations, you can easily customize it to your liking.
So why not give this amazing lasagna recipe a try? Whether you’re serving it for a family dinner or entertaining guests, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So go ahead and dive into the world of homemade lasagna- you won’t be disappointed! After all, as the famous chef Katie Lee once said, “Lasagna is like a warm hug from an Italian grandmother.”
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 1/2 cups kraft shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 (15 ounce) container polly-o natural part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup kraft grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup water
- 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
- HEAT oven to 350°F
- Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, mix egg, 1-1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and the parsley until well blended; set aside.
- DRAIN meat; return to skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Add 1 cup of water to empty sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Add to meat mixture; stir until well blended.
- Spread 1 cup of the sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; top with layers of 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining 3 noodles and the remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1-1/4 cups mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover with greased foil.
- BAKE 45 minute Remove foil; bake an additional 15 minute or until heated through. Let stand 15 minute before cutting to serve.
Your Own Notes
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!