Basic Lasagna With Meaty Sauce

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  • 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 105 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings (58)

This classic recipe is one of my favorites. It's made with a homemade meaty tomato sauce and layers of cheese and lasagna noodles. 

If you prefer a vegetarian lasagna, try this tried-and-true spinach lasagna. This spicy chicken lasagna is another excellent alternative featuring Tex-Mex flavor and chicken instead of beef.

What You'll Need

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chuck (or round)
  • 1 large can/28 ounces tomatoes (crushed)
  • 1 can/6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water
  • For the Lasagna:
  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (low fat)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (sliced)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

How to Make It

  1. Start the sauce about 30 to 45 minutes in advance.
  2. In a large deep saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until onions are soft. Add the ground beef and brown, stirring frequently. Pour off excess fat. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of salt, cayenne pepper, sugar, basil, bay leaf, and 2 cups of water; stir well.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the sauce has thickened.
  1. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted boiling water as package directs, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Drain; toss gently with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Heat the oven to 325 F.
  3. Spoon some of the sauce into a large 3-quart baking dish, just 4 to 6 tablespoons, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of noodles. Spoon about one-third of the remaining sauce over the noodles. Spoon about half of the ricotta cheese evenly over the layer of sauce, then sprinkle a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over that. Add and about one-third of the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Repeat with another one-third of noodles, another one-third of the sauce, the remaining ricotta, another one-third of the mozzarella and a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  5. Finish with the last layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake the lasagna, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

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Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 609
Total Fat 38 g
Saturated Fat 17 g
Unsaturated Fat 17 g
Cholesterol 132 mg
Sodium 1,376 mg
Carbohydrates 25 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 43 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)