A Simple Meat Lasagna

Basic meat lasagna recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Rest Time: 15 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 lasagna
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
641 Calories
28g Fat
51g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 641
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 146mg 49%
Sodium 1523mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 606mg 47%
Iron 5mg 31%
Potassium 1126mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lasagna is the perfect dish to make when serving a crowd because it can be made in advance, and just about everybody loves it. It's a layered dish with numerous levels of pasta alternated with sauce and ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and cheese, and it's usually topped with melted grated cheese. For a complete meal, serve it with garlic bread and a Caesar salad.

Once you learn how to make lasagna, you can vary this basic recipe to suit your tastes. You can make it vegetarian by substituting spinach or roasted vegetables instead of ground beef. You can make it meatier by adding sausage. You can make it leaner by using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef.

Not only can you change up the meat and vegetable ingredients, but you can make it creamier by using an alfredo sauce or vodka sauce. You can make it Mexican-style by using seasoned taco meat, enchilada sauce, and pepper jack cheese. The possibilities really are endless.

The flat, wide lasagna pasta noodles are considered one of the oldest types of pasta in the culinary world. The dish is believed to have originated in the Naples region of Italy during the Middle Ages. Although in ancient Rome, there was a dish similar to a traditional lasagna called lasana or lasanum, which is Latin for the words "container" or "pot."

"My great-aunt made a to-die-for lasagna every Easter. Although I never got her recipe, this one comes closest and is my hands-down favorite lasagna recipe to make instead. Layers of toothsome noodles, paired with vibrant sauce (I add a tablespoon of sugar), robust cheeses, sautéed meat and onions, and the well-seasoned ricotta cheese are heavenly." —Victoria Heydt

Basic Meat Lasagna Recipe
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (preferably 90% lean)

  • 1/2 cup diced onion

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese, full-fat or part skim

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese, divided

  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 (24-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

  • 12 oven-ready, no-boil lasagna noodles

  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meat lasagna
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

    Spray pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the ground beef and the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 7 minutes.

    Brown beef
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  4. Drain, if necessary. Set aside.

    Drain
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  5. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup of the shredded Asiago cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside.​

    Mix cheese and eggs
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  6. Place about 3/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the prepared dish.

    Sauce in pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  7. Top the sauce with a single layer of four lasagna noodles (it's OK if they overlap).

    Add noodles
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  8. Spread half the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the noodles.

    Top with ricotta cheese
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  9. Top the ricotta cheese mixture with half of the ground beef.

    Top with beef
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  10. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Asiago cheese over the ground beef.

    Add cheese
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  11. Top that with 1/3 of the remaining spaghetti sauce.

    Top with sauce
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 
  12. Then, repeat the layer: four lasagna noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture, the remaining ground beef, the shredded Parmesan cheese, and 1/3 of the remaining spaghetti sauce.

    Repeat layers
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  13. Put the final four lasagna noodles in an even layer over the spaghetti sauce. Slather the top with any remaining spaghetti sauce.

    Add noodles
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  14. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top.

    Sprinkle cheese on top
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  15. Cover with foil and bake until the noodles are cooked through, about 40 minutes.

    Cover with foil
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  16. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

    Remove the foil
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  17. It's important to let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. It needs to set, otherwise, it'll be a gloopy mess when you cut it.

    Tray of lasagna with a portion missing

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt