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How to Make Lasagna Step by Step

How to make lasagna step by step with pictures and instructions. An easy lasagna recipe for beginners to make this layered cheese pasta dish. Not quite as simple as our lasagna casserole but if you want to know how long to bake lasagna the traditional way I will walk you thru it.

Use beef, sausage or lower fat we have used ground turkey or chicken as well. They are all great! Cheesy with every bite there is even a way to make a batch dairy free too.

How to Make Lasagna Step by Step

Hosting Christmas dinner and want to know how to make lasagna step by step with pictures? We’ve got an easy way for you to make your first batch today. Choose your favorite ground meat or make vegetarian if you like and let’s get started. (affiliate links present)

How to Make Lasagna Without Ricotta Cheese

There in fact is a great alternative to ricotta and that is cottage cheese! I have actually found it without lactose in it too which would be great if you needed dairy free lasagna (like my husband). Once it is baked with all the other ingredients together, you likely will never know the difference.

That is right, it is still salty and offers a ton of flavor. Want to make a lower carb version? You can follow our no noodle lasagna that uses slices of zucchini instead! There are tons of ways you can alter the original but we will share the traditional method and how to layer it.

How to Make Lasagna Sauce

How to Make Lasagna Step by Step with Pictures

Let’s move on to the meat that you could use, there are a few options. Ground beef is probably the most popular but I will say that 1/2 spicy ground sausage and 1/2 ground beef is probably my favorite combo. Gives you just a bit of spicy heat to it, and there are already quite a bit of seasonings in it already.

  1. First thing you want to do is boil your noodles in a large pot.
  2. Wait until it reaches a rolling boil without stopping and add some salt in there too.
  3. Lay inside and once they soften a bit gently push down so the whole piece is submerged.
How long does it take to boil lasagna noodles?

As little as 10 minutes, to 15 depending on how hot your water is. You don’t want them to be put into water that isn’t boiling rigorously or they will get soggy. Turn water off when they are still a bit al dente as they’ll continue softening once you layer your ingredients and bake.

While this is happening, chop your onions and mince the garlic. Put into a large frying pan, then add your ground beef and pork sausage together on medium high heat until no longer pink. Pour in your bottled or homemade Instant Pot spaghetti sauce and heat. Then set aside.

How to Cook Lasagna Sheets

NO Boil Lasagna

This was kinda’ a dream at first. I love this dish but hate the initial prep work where my hands get way too hot with those floppy noodles. I first bypassed this with our Instant Pot lasagna soup. Was able to just throw them in without boiling and I was hooked!

You can actually skip the boiling by using this box of noodles, below! Same recipe from there after. Shred your mozzarella cheese, set aside. In a bowl blend together your cottage or ricotta cheese and egg together so that is ready too. Spray olive oil into dish to not stick. Now you are ready to start layering.

  • You will see the first layer here, actually you’ll want to spread about 1 cup of sauce at the very bottom of the pan to keep it from sticking.
  • Then your softened layer of noodles will be layed in your pan so it covers the whole surface.
    • or use baked frozen ravioli instead of traditional noodles for that layer, filled with cheese or meat
  • Use the back of a spoon to smooth your ricotta mixture on top of those.
  • Your sauce is poured and smoothed over that.
  • Topped with 1/3 c of your shredded cheese (there will be 5-6 full layers in your 9×13 baking dish so divide up accordingly)

How Long to Cook Lasagna in Oven

This takes about the same amount of time as our 3 ingredient beer bread, so you could make them at the same time. 40 minutes is about what you want to set aside for this. Not bad since it’s going to feed a crowd y’all.

Lasagna Recipe for 4

How to Make Lasagna Easy

There are a number of ways you can make this easier than from scratch if you don’t have as much time. I will go over a few of them here. Follow as directed below as the “old fashioned” traditional method or swap out one of these to turn out just as good;

  1. Use bottled spaghetti sauce
  2. Chop up some of your leftover quick meatloaf instead of fresh meat you have to precook
  3. Buy bags of already shredded cheese
  4. Biggest prep saver would be to skip the boiling by using this box of no boil noodles!
  5. And of course you could buy frozen garlic bread instead of making it from scratch

Once you have everything prepped and set out next to one another though it is easy to layer everything. The prep time is mostly at the beginning. You’re going to need;

shredded cheese

Lasagna Ingredients

What you’ll need to make our easy Crockpot lasagna or how to make lasagna step by step in a pan are below. To make this entire batch you’ll need a 9×13″ pan, I like to use a glass or porcelain casserole dish. If you did want to make this dairy free just buy lactose free cheese and other dairy products, I do that for my husband.

  • 1/2 ground beef and half ground sausage
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese can be substituted (I have found lactose free for dairy free lasagna too)
  • Mozzarella shredded, Daiya has a great dairy free plant based blend
  • 1 egg and some shredded or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
    • other seasonings of your choice like Italian seasoning and/or pepper can be used as well
  • Aluminum foil

Spray the inside liberally with non stick spray if you want the slices to come out cleanly sliced and pretty. Another tip to get them staying in tact is to allow it to rest for a good 15 minutes once it is done to solidify. The biggest issue to it falling apart is the cheese being melted, resting will allow it to cool and stay together.

How Long to Cook Lasagna in Oven

Lasagna Recipe for 4

Let’s stay you want a small batch lasagna to feed fewer people, no problem. If it is just the 4 of us I will either cut everything in half and prepare in a 9×9″ pan instead, or make Instant Pot lasagna casserole. This other version is deconstructed with smaller noodles, no boiling needed, and takes a really short time to cook.

Another yummy version that is looser but still uses all the same ingredients, just a smaller amount is lasagna soup. OH yes this one is amazing too and feeds fewer people. I mean there are so many ways to tweak the traditional recipe but still get the same flavors you love.

I will say that you could make as directed below, but separate into two pans. Then you can freeze one and eat the other. It is best to freeze when it is not yet cooked. That way you basically cook the 2nd from frozen as if you bought it that way in the store.

How to Make Lasagna Without Ricotta Cheese

Can You Make Lasagna Ahead of Time

Yep, that is what I am talking about. You could do this two ways. Make as explained and freeze for later. You’ll want to wrap a few times in foil for this method.

  • OR you can prepare, cover with foil and keep in the fridge overnight. This is helpful if you have a big get together the next day. You can prep the day before.

Then when you’re ready to bake, remove it and allow to sit on countertop for an hour to get it closer to room temperature. Follow the temp. and timing below but you may need to add a few minutes until warmed in the center since it was cold.

Can you cook a homemade lasagna from frozen

Yes, you’ll want to preheat oven to 350 F first. Then cover the top with foil and bake for 70-90 minutes. Once it is warmed in the center remove the foil and turn heat to 400 for just a few minutes to brown the top layer of cheese. This is how to reheat lasagna if it is thawed a few different ways.

How to Reheat Lasagna in Oven

How to Cook Lasagna

Set aside a good hour to get this done. THIS is how to make lasagna step by step below. There will be a slight difference because all ovens are a bit different but for the most part 45 minutes in a 9×13 pan will do it.

  • Heat water to boil noodles in a large pot (skip for no boil noodles).
  • Chop onions and mince garlic, set aside. In a large frying pan, cook ground beef and pork sausage together with chopped onions and minced garlic, at med-high heat, until fully cooked.
  • Meanwhile, blend together ricotta cheese and egg in a small bowl. Drain excess grease from cooked ground beef and pork sausage mixture.
    • Add spaghetti sauce to meat, stir to combine. Cook on low, covered, until hot. Turn off and set aside.
  • Boil noodles according to instructions until just slightly al dente. Drain, and assemble quickly.
  • To assemble lasagna: Top a small amount of the meat mixture into the bottom of the 9×13” pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles along the length of the pan.
  • Spread ricotta cheese along noodles (this will be repeated so try to divide it between 5 or 6 layers. Spread meat mixture onto ricotta cheese (repeated between 5 or 6 layers so divide out).

Top with mozzarella cheese, approximately 1/3 cup. Repeat with a layer of lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, meat mixture, mozzarella cheese until you get to the top layer. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until warm in center and cheese is melted. This is how to reheat lasagna in oven if you don’t finish this.

Lasagna with Ricotta Recipe

If you want to brown top remove foil and increase to 400 for 3 minutes before serving. For a faster prep, try our lazy lasagna casserole that requires no layering at all but the same ingredients.

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How to Make Lasagna Step by Step

How to make lasagna step by step with pictures and instructions. Easy lasagna recipe for beginners to make this layered cheese pasta dish.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked, homemade, lasagna
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 569kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat water to boil noodles in a large pot. Chop onions and mince garlic, set aside. In a large frying pan, cook ground beef and pork sausage together with chopped onions and minced garlic, at med-high heat, until fully cooked.
  • Meanwhile, blend together ricotta cheese and egg in a small bowl. Drain excess grease from cooked ground beef and pork sausage mixture. Add spaghetti sauce to meat, stir to combine. Cook on low, covered, until hot. Turn off and set aside.
  • Boil noodles according to instructions until just slightly al dente. Drain, and assemble quickly.
  • To assemble lasagna: Top a small amount of the meat mixture into the bottom of the 9×13” pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles laid horizontally along the length of the pan.
  • Spread ricotta cheese along noodles (this will be repeated so try to divide it between 5 or 6 layers. Spread meat mixture onto ricotta cheese (this will be repeated as well, so divide between 5 or 6 layers).
  • Top with mozzarella cheese, approximately 1/3 cup. Repeat with a layer of lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, meat mixture, mozzarella cheese until you get to the top layer.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and parsley. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.◦ Slice and serve.

Video

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Lasagna Step by Step
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 569 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 120mg40%
Sodium 919mg40%
Potassium 570mg16%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 819IU16%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 325mg33%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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Kimberly

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Great tutorial! My kids are learning how to cook and this step-by-step guide made it super simple, thank you!

Sara Welch

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Was hearty and delicious; my whole family loved it!

Brandi

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

I love the step by step instructions. This turned out great and everyone loved it!

Nathan

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

I've never made a lasagna before, but this guide really breaks it down and makes it easy to understand! :)

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