Our Best Lasagna


All of the effort you put into this dish is worth it.

Our Best Lasagna

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

Active Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins

Let’s face it: Everybody has a lasagna recipe that they believe is the best. Chances are that even within your family, you have different relatives claiming that their go-to recipe is the meatiest, the cheesiest, the richest, or the most delicious.

So when we set out to create a recipe for the Best Lasagna for the least amount of work, it was no easy task—but believe us when we say we succeeded. Read on for how to make Our Best Lasagna.

What Makes Our Lasagna the Best? 

The Best Lasagna not only tastes delicious, but the recipe is also simple and streamlined. Here’s what makes it stand out from the pack.

Simple Preparation Methods

You do need to make a homemade Bolognese sauce for this lasagna, but it’s as easy as adding all the ingredients to a pot in turn and finishing with a quick simmer—no leaving the pot on the stove for hours required.

You don’t need to make a cheese sauce or even dirty an extra bowl to make the cheese layers either, as the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan are used in their store-bought form.

Minimal Leftover Ingredients

There are few things more frustrating than a recipe that calls for half a jar of sauce or three-quarters of a pound of ground meat, so you’ll find none of that in Our Best Lasagna. The recipe uses two full pounds of meat, a jar of marinara sauce, a container of ricotta cheese, a whole bag of shredded mozzarella, and an entire box of lasagna noodles. 

Optimal Noodle Texture

Lasagna noodles that are limp in the middle, chewy on the outsides and crunchy on the edges? Not in Our Best Lasagna. We use uncooked (regular, not no-boil) lasagna noodles, which gently cook in the oven to a perfect al dente texture.

Meanwhile, thanks to the order in which the sauce, noodles, and cheese are layered and the amounts of each, there are no noodle corners sticking out to turn hard and crunchy. 

building a lasagna in a casserole pan

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

How To Serve Lasagna

Despite the pop of brightness from the fresh basil and parsley, this lasagna is still very rich and filling. Serve it with a peppery arugula or radicchio salad to balance out and cut through some of that richness. And don’t forget some soft, thick Italian bread to sop up any extra sauce and a bottle (or two) of red wine for sharing.

How To Freeze Best Lasagna

This lasagna is an excellent candidate for a make-ahead meal to keep in your freezer. Simply prepare the components and build your lasagna, then wrap it tightly in foil and freeze for up to one month.

If you don’t want to lose your baking pan to the freezer, line it with heavy-duty aluminum foil before building your lasagna, freeze until firm, then use the foil to remove it from the pan, wrap it completely, and freeze it sans-pan.

Then the day before you’d like to serve it, remove it from the freezer, unwrap it and place the frozen lasagna in a baking dish. Thaw it covered overnight in the refrigerator, then bake according to the recipe. You could bake it from frozen, but you’ll need twice as long in the oven. 

Editorial contributions by Alyssa Sybertz.


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 large (12 oz.) yellow onion, finely chopped (2 cups)

  • 3 medium (2 oz. each) carrots, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)

  • 2 medium (1 1/2 oz. each) celery stalks, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 lb. ground sirloin

  • 1 lb. mild Italian ground pork sausage

  • 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 (40-oz.) jar marinara sauce

  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, divided

  • 15 uncooked lasagna noodles (from 1 [1-lb.] pkg.)

  • 1 (32-oz.) container whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 4 cups pre-shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (16 oz.)

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. pre-shredded Parmesan cheese (2 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 375℉. Place a 4-quart (14-x 10-inch) baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

    onion, carrots, celery, and garlic cooking in pan

    Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

    Add wine; cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes. Add milk; cook, stirring occasionally, until milk is mostly absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes.

    milk cooking down with onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic

    Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

  3. Increase heat to medium-high; add ground sirloin, sausage, Italian seasoning, and salt; cook, stirring often, until meat crumbles are no longer pink, 8 to 9 minutes.

    ground beef and ground pork cooked with aromatics

    Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

    Add marinara sauce and 2 tablespoons each of the chopped parsley and basil. Cook over medium-high, undisturbed, until mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, 15 to 17 minutes.

    marinara and meat sauce cooking in dutch oven

    Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

  4. Spread 2 1/4 cups meat sauce in bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer 5 lasagna noodles over sauce to cover bottom of dish, breaking as needed to fit. Dollop half of the ricotta cheese over noodles, and spread gently using the back of a spoon to cover noodles. Sprinkle ricotta evenly with 1 1/3 cups of the mozzarella and 1 cup of the Parmesan.

    building lasagna in a casserole dish

    Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

    Repeat layers once, starting with meat sauce and ending with Parmesan. Top with 2 1/4 cups meat sauce, 5 noodles, 2 1/4 cups meat sauce, and 1 1/3 cups mozzarella. Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray, and place foil, coated side down, over prepared lasagna dish.

    folding aluminum foil over lasagna to go into oven

    Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

  5. Bake on foil-lined baking sheet in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil, and continue baking until noodles are tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon each chopped parsley and basil.

To Make Ahead

Prepare Lasagna through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375℉, and let lasagna stand at room temperature while oven preheats. Bake as directed in Step 5, increasing covered bake time to 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Additional reporting by
Alyssa Sybertz
Alyssa Sybertz

Alyssa Sybertz has nearly a decade of experience writing about food, cooking, and cookbooks for print and digital publications, developing recipes, and cooking for her family.

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