This meat lasagna recipe has outstanding flavors and textures. Foodie friends say this is the best lasagna recipe they’ve tried. When it comes to memorable home-cooked meals, this savory homemade lasagna is legendary!
ABOUT MEAT LASAGNA RECIPE
The magic begins with a luscious, flavorsome meat sauce that simmers on the stovetop for 2-1/2 hours. The rich, creamy filling boasts a beautiful combination of Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses. This lasagna recipe has 3 layers of noodles, sauce and filling. This is truly a legendary meat lasagna!
LASAGNA RECIPE: INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
A hearty meat sauce is the foundation for this savory lasagna recipe! These are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Lean ground beef
- Italian sausage
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Green bell pepper
- Cloves of garlic
- Italian parsley
- Crushed tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Beef broth
- Organic apple cider vinegar or red wine
- Granulated sugar
- Sea salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- Bay leaves
LASAGNA INGREDIENTS: RICOTTA CHEESE FILLING
These are the ingredients for a fabulous ricotta cheese filling:
- Ricotta cheese
- Large eggs
- Fresh Italian parsley
- Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
- Mozzarella cheese
- Box of lasagna noodles (15-17 sheets of noodles)
HOW TO MAKE LASAGNA
Here’s how to make lasagna:
- Add beef and sausage to a heavy pan with a lid.
- Brown the meat over medium heat until there is no pink.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Drain off the fat.
- Transfer the meat to a bowl.
- Add olive oil to the pan.
- Saute onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic until tender.
- Transfer the meat back to the pan.
- Mix the veggies and meat together.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pan: parsley, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, ground cloves and bay leaves.
- Bring the meat sauce to a light boil.
- After two minutes, cover the pan with a lid and dial down the heat to low.
- Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
BEST LASAGNA RECIPE
Making homemade lasagna is very easy!
- In a large mixing bowl, add Ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, and half of the grated Mozzarella cheese.
- Blend the mixture until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.
HOW TO MAKE MEAT LASAGNA
This is how to layer noodles to make the best meat lasagna:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously butter a 9X13 lasagna pan or casserole dish.
- Prepare lasagna noodles according to directions on the box.
- Ladle meat sauce on the bottom of the pan to create a base.
- Place a flat row of lasagna noodles over the sauce.
- Add a layer of meat sauce over the noodles.
- Spread Ricotta cheese filling over the sauce.
- Arrange another layer of noodles on top.
- Continue until 3 noodle/sauce/filling layers have been completed.
- Evenly sprinkle the remaining Mozzarella cheese over the top of the lasagna.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK LASAGNA?
- Bake lasagna for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Allow lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Enjoy lasagna with a crisp salad, and wine or sparkling apple cider.
EXPERT COOKING TIPS: HOW TO FREEZE LASAGNA
Keep your lasagna fresh and delicious when meal prepping a frozen dinner. Here’s how to freeze lasagna:
- Meal prep lasagna in a freezer-friendly way. Use fresh meat that has not been previously frozen. Refrozen meat will have diminished flavor!
- Lasagna can be frozen before or after being baked. This is a personal choice. Either way, the quality of your lasagna will not be affected.
- Assemble lasagna in a freezer-safe dish. For long-term storage, an aluminum tray is not the best option as it may give your meal a metallic taste. If needed, bake lasagna in an oven-safe dish, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container.
- Cool lasagna before freezing. To protect taste and texture, allow baked lasagna to shed all heat and cool down to room temperature.
- If desired, divide lasagna into serving portions. Place smaller portions in their own freezer bag.
- Cover dish with several layers of plastic wrap. To prevent freezer burn, make sure there are no gaps around the sides where air can get in.
- Tightly cover the top with aluminum foil. Stretch the foil over the plastic. Do not allow it to touch the surface of the lasagna or it can leave a tinny taste.
- Label lasagna with a date. This will keep your frozen foods organized.
- Freeze for up to three months.
HOW TO THAW AND REHEAT FROZEN LASAGNA
- Thaw frozen lasagna overnight in the refrigerator. This method ensures your lasagna reheats evenly and maintains its best taste and texture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. This is the ideal temperature for reheating frozen lasagna.
- Prepare lasagna for baking. Remove all plastic wrap. If needed, transfer lasagna to an oven-safe baking dish. Tent the baking dish with foil to protect the surface from over browning.
- Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. Lasagna is done when the middle section is heated all the way through. If desired, remove the foil tent during the last 10 minutes of baking. This will give the noodles a nice crispy top.
- IMPORTANT: Never put a metal tray or aluminum foil in the microwave! This can result in a fire.
KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MEAT LASAGNA RECIPE
These are helpful kitchen tools when making homemade lasagna:
Legendary Meat Lasagna Recipe
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 14 servings 1x
The magic of this lasagna recipe begins with a luscious flavorsome meat sauce just like those served in rustic Italian restaurants. The rich, creamy homemade filling is made with Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. This is the absolute best homemade meat lasagna recipe. It’s legendary!
INGREDIENTS – MEAT SAUCE
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2–3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 14.5 ounce can beef broth
- 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar (or good Italian red wine)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
INGREDIENTS – RICOTTA FILLING + NOODLES
- 1 32-ounce container of Ricotta cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 cups freshly-grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
- 1 pound grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 box lasagna noodles (16–17 noodles), cooked according to package directions
DIRECTIONS FOR MEAT SAUCE
- In a heavy pan with lid, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage over medium heat until there is no pink. While browning the meat, use a wooden spatula to break it up into small pieces. Drain off the fat. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
- Add olive oil to the pan. Saute onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender. Add meat back to the pan. Add Italian parsley, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, sugar, all of the spices and the bay leaves. Stir to mix ingredients. Once the meat sauce begins to boil lightly, wait about two minutes then cover the pot with a lid and dial down the heat to low. Allow meat sauce to simmer and reduce for 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
DIRECTIONS FOR RICOTTA FILLING
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Ricotta cheese, eggs, Italian parsley leaves, Parmesan cheese, and half of the mozzarella cheese (reserve the second half of the mozzarella cheese for topping the lasagna later). Mix well.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper then mix again.
DIRECTIONS FOR LASAGNA ASSEMBLY
- Adjust oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9X13 baking dish with butter.
- As a base foundation for the lasagna, ladle a bit of meat sauce onto the bottom of the lasagna pan and spread it out evenly. Your legendary lasagna will be created with 3 layers of noodles/sauce/filling. Place an even layer of lasagna noodles over the thin base layer of sauce. Spread meat sauce on top of the noodles. Spread Ricotta filling on top of the meat sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients have been used and there are three nice layers. Evenly sprinkle the remaining Mozzarella cheese over the top of the lasagna.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once your lasagna is removed from the oven, allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Lunch, Dinner, Potluck, Party
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian, American
Keywords: how to make lasagna, lasagna recipe, meat lasagna recipe, lasagna with ricotta, homemade lasagna recipe, easy lasagna recipe, lasagna ingredients, best lasagna recipe
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24 thoughts on “Legendary Meat Lasagna Recipe”
This lasagna looks incredible – sometimes there’s just no shortcuts on the best food, you know?
Legendary is right! I LOVED the delicious cheesy filling and the cheesy topping is amazing!
It really was legendary! One of the best lasagna recipes I’ve made in a long time. YUM!
Delicious! There is nothing quite like lasagna to keep a family lingering around the table. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Lovely photos make this one easy to pin!
This recipe truly is legendary! It was so meaty and delicious!
Oooh I love lasagne! You just reminded me that I have to make it again soon! What a lovely recipe, thanks for sharing :)
Now I am starving!! My family loves lasagna!!!
This looks absolutely heavenly! Lasagna is always a popular dish with my family.
That looks so delicious! I am definitely bookmarking this.
Your recipe looks so good and hearty – a perfectly classic lasagna!
That sauce sounds amazing! I never think so far ahead to make a sauce like that so much ahead of time haha.
The sauce is delicious! It does take a little time but it is worth every second.
Lasagna is a regular at our house. My daughter loves this the most.
I love it too! It has always been a staple at our house too. I’d love to hear how your daughter likes this recipe.
I love that you’re calling this legendary and it totally does look legendary!! Yum!
Thank you! It truly is legendary. There’s never a single piece leftover.
Oh, this is a dish that my whole family will love and we could eat for several meals. I love a sauce that simmers for hours because the flavors as so robust! It’s going in the oven!
This just made my entire week! Thank you for the sweet words.
OH, MY GOODNESS! This looks too good to be true! My mouth is watering scrolling your page! SO GOOD!
I promise you it tastes as amazing as it looks. You’ll have to let me know how you like it!
The ‘legendary’ caught my eye, and the pictures make me hungry! This sounds delicious.
Thank you! I am so glad the pictures are doing their job :)
This is incredibly delicious, but here’s a tip for people that want to make this–take it seriously when the post said skim the fat from the meat sauce. I forgot to do that, and all the fat from the sausage and beef made it WAY too rich and heavy. Skim the fat!!!
Hello James! Thank you so much for this important feedback. I really appreciate it. Because of your very helpful comment I immediately went into the post AND the recipe card and bolded the wording about draining off the fat. I’m so glad you enjoyed this legendary lasagna recipe. When hosting family gatherings, it’s one of my most requested dishes! Have a great weekend. :-)