A Simple Meat Lasagna

Basic meat lasagna recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

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 is a layered dish with numerous levels of pasta alternated with sauce and ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and cheese, and usually topped with melted grated cheese. 

Once you learn how to make lasagna with this basic recipe, you can vary the recipe to suit your tastes. You can make it vegetarian by substituting spinach or roasted vegetables instead of the 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 believed to be 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."

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (preferably 90 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup onion (diced)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese (part-skim is okay)
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese (shredded, divided)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (26-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 12 lasagna noodles (oven-ready, no-boil)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meat lasagna
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    Spray pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  3. Brown ground beef and onion.

    Brown beef
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  4. Drain, if it's oily. Set aside.

    Drain
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  5. Mix ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup of the shredded Asiago cheese, the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper together. 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 pan.

    Sauce in pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  7. Top the sauce with a layer of four of the lasagna noodles in rows (it is OK to overlap the noodles, if necessary).

    Add noodles
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  8. Top that with half of the ricotta cheese mixture.

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

    Top with beef
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  10. Then add the remaining Asiago cheese.

    Add cheese
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  11. Top that with one-third of the remaining spaghetti sauce.

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

    Repeat layers
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  13. Put the final four lasagna noodles in a layer on top. Slather the top with the 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 aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes.

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

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

    Serve
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  18. Cut and serve with garlic bread and a Caesar salad.