This beef lasagna is the ultimate Italian comfort food to serve on any occasion. It combines ground beef, a homemade pasta sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese to make a hearty meal that will leave you and your guests satisfied every time! Plus, what's even better is that it's so, so easy to make. In fact, just a handful of steps are all you'll need to follow to whip it up.
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The Best Beef Lasagna Recipe
There's nothing like making a hearty lasagna for a big family dinner - or when you're hosting guests - and this classic beef lasagna is by far one of the best ones I've ever had! I might be a little biased though as this is my Grandma's recipe for it and I grew up eating it on almost a monthly basis.
It features a homemade tomato sauce that is rich in meat, perfectly cooked lasagne noodles, and just the right amount of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Gah, it's just so good, and my friends and family are obsessed with it! Honestly, after one bite, you'll be finding excuses to keep making this recipe again and again.
Now, you might think that it's difficult to make lasagna from scratch. And I'm not going to lie, it is a process, but it's an easy one. And it really breakdown into just five straightforward steps.
Honestly, it's so simple to make that you'll even be able to whip up this air fryer garlic bread while you're waiting for the lasagna to bake in the oven!
Another reason I love this beef lasagna recipe is that it's made almost entirely out of kitchen/pantry staples. Honestly, I can almost guarantee that you have most - if not all - of them at your house already.
Anyway, here's what you'll need to make it:
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp. dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes (or marinara sauce)
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tbsp. basil, thinly sliced
- 12 lasagna noodles (pre-cooked, the ones that you place directly in the oven, if you are working with dried ones, you can boil them for 5 minutes before using them)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley
Not too bad, eh?
By the way, this incredible meatball soup uses many of the same recipe ingredients, so it's perfect if you have any leftovers of them. In fact, a lot of times at our house, we'll even make the soup to serve alongside the lasagna itself. So, definitely think about giving it a try as well.
Ingredients Substitutions and Suggestions
While I recommend making this lasagna with the ingredients listed above, there are some really easy ways to customize this classic beef lasagna recipe. So with that said, I have a few suggestions for how you can do that.
Add Sweet Italian Sausage
Now, although this is a beef lasagna, sweet Italian sausage can add a great flavor to this dish. You can use a mix of both types of meat or just use Italian sausage instead.
Add Cottage Cheese To The Ricotta Cheese Mixture
Cottage cheese can also be an excellent replacement for ricotta cheese if you aren't a big fan of it. If you go this route though I recommend using a hand blender to smooth out the curds before adding it to your lasagna.
Add Italian Seasoning For Extra Flavor
Italian seasoning has dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and garlic powder so it can be a perfect all-in-one seasoning for a classic beef lasagna. With that said though, I recommend tasting the sauce continuously to check and see if it's tasting the way you want it to.
How to Make Beef Lasagna
As I mentioned, making this lasagna recipe is actually really simple.
I mean, all you really have to do is cook the beef, make the sauce, and then make the cheese mixture. Then, the rest is just letting the oven bake this classic beef lasagna to perfection.
Anyway, with all of that said, let's not waste another second and jump into the recipe!
Step 1: Cook the Ground Beef
So, to get started, you'll want to heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add olive oil and ground beef to it. Then, cook the beef for a few minutes, breaking it apart until it's browned on all sides.
Once the beef is browned, add the onion, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook for a few minutes or until the onion is translucent.
STEP 2: Make The Sauce
Now you'll want to reduce the heat to medium and add the crushed tomatoes to the pot.
Then, you can cook the pasta sauce with the rest of the ingredients for about 30 minutes, stirring them occasionally until the sauce has reduced by about half. This reduction is really important because it is going to give your tomato sauce the right texture and also intensify the flavor.
When it's almost done reducing, check the seasoning in the sauce to see if it needs a little more salt and pepper.
Step 3: Make the ricotta mixture
Before moving on to making the cheese mixture you'll want to preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
Then, once you've got the oven preheating, you can add the ricotta cheese, eggs, basil, and parmesan cheese to a large bowl and give them a good mix until they're nice and smooth.
Step 4: Create The Lasagna Layers
Ok, now that all of the lasagna components are prepared, it's time to assemble the lasagna. Before you do that though, you'll want to coat a 9x7-inch baking dish with some nonstick cooking spray.
Then, you can add a layer of the lasagna noodles to the baking dish, spread half the meat sauce mixture on top, followed by the parmesan and ricotta mixture, and finish it off with ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Next, you'll want to add another layer of lasagna noodles and then repeat the layering process until you run out of ingredients. Finish with a final layer of ricotta cheese and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Step 5: Bake The Lasagna
So, now that the lasagna is all prepped you can bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes - or until the cheese on top is bubbling and golden.
Then, after your lasagna is cooked to perfection, you can take it out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and then top it with fresh parsley.
All that's left to do after that is slice it, serve it, and enjoy it!
How to Store Beef Lasagna
This recipe for beef lasagna will make about 6 large servings, so there should be plenty for everyone. You might even have some leftovers to enjoy throughout the week!
Speaking of leftovers, if you have any leftover lasagna, you can either put a lid on the baking dish you cooked it in or you can transfer it to an airtight container. Stored either of these ways, it'll last in the fridge for about for 3-5 days.
Alternatively, if you want to store your lasagna for even longer, you can freeze it in an airtight container for about 2-3 months.
How to Reheat Beef Lasagna
Whenever you're ready to enjoy your leftover lasagna, it's definitely best warmed up.
To reheat your leftovers, just put them back in a baking dish and heat them in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts again and it's warmed through.
Alternatively, for a quicker method, you can microwave single portions of the lasagna in 30-second increments until it reaches your desired temperature.
FAQS About This Beef Lasagna Recipe
What can I do if my meat sauce is too thick?
If your meat sauce gets too thick when you reduce it, you can add a splash of water to get the right consistency. A little water will thin it out, but make sure you only add a small amount at a time.
How can I add extra flavor to my meat sauce?
To add extra flavor to your lasagna sauce, add a tablespoon of tomato paste, some diced red chilis, and a little black pepper to create a more intense sauce flavor. You can even add a little bit of sugar to the sauce to make it a bit sweeter. My grandma loved adding sugar to her sauces for some sweetness to balance out all of the flavors so I like to add some to mine a lot of times too.
Can I use lean ground beef for my lasagna?
Yes, you can definitely use lean beef in this lasagna recipe. Really any fat-to-lean ratio will work, and it's all up to your preference.
Can I use frozen lasagna noodles?
Yes, you can use frozen lasagna noodles for this classic beef lasagna. You'll just want to make sure that you allow the noodles to thaw before using them. With that said, I definitely recommend that you use fresh noodles whenever possible.
Wrapping It Up
Well, that's how to make beef lasagna in just a few simple steps!
There really is no lasagna quite like this one. The noodles are smothered in the most delicious homemade meat sauce with layers of cheese and flavor throughout.
Honestly, it's one of my favorite pasta recipes, and I swear it tastes better every time I have it. And, honestly, my friends and family who I've made this think so too. In fact, my wife and daughter love this beef lasagna recipe so much we've been making it almost every Sunday lately.
Anyway, I hope you like enjoy this recipe as much as I/we do.
As always, if you give it a try, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!
If you're looking for some more delicious Italian-inspired recipes, we have a ton on the blog that you can check out next!
Here are some of our most popular recipes:
- Meatball casserole
- Trenette Al Pesto
- Manicotti crepes
- Panko breaded chicken
- Grandma's chicken noodle soup
- Cheesecake Factory four Cheese Pasta
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My Grandma's Secret Beef Lasagna Recipe | So EASY and So GOOD
This beef lasagna is the ultimate Italian comfort food to serve on any occasion. It combines ground beef, a homemade pasta sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese for a hearty meal that will leave you and your guests satisfied every time!
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
About 2 cups (400g) crushed tomatoes (or marinara sauce)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tbsp. basil, thinly sliced
12 lasagna noodles (pre-cooked, the ones that you place directly in the oven, if you are working with dried ones, you can boil them for 5 minutes before using them)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heat a pot to medium-high and add olive oil and ground beef to it. Cook until the beef browns on all sides, then add the onion, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced in half.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
- In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, basil, and parmesan cheese.
- Grease 9x13 inch baking dish and put a light layer of the sauce on the bottom, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Then put meat sauce on top, followed by the ricotta mixture, ½ cup of mozzarella, and lasagna noodles on top of that. Repeat until you reach the top, and finish it with the ricotta layer with more mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve with fresh parsley.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 640
- Fat: 31
- Carbohydrates: 44
- Protein: 47
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