This Easy Lasagna Recipe is one of my family’s favorite comfort foods! It is packed with flavor, but it’s so simple that I don’t mind making it at least once a month! Lasagna noodles are layered with meat, marinara, and three types of cheese for the ultimate Italian meal. Serve it alongside a simple Italian salad and garlic bread for a cozy dinner that’s perfect this time of the year!

scooping out a serving of classic lasagna from a casserole dish

This lasagna turned out amazing!!! It was super tasty and I love how easily it came together.

— Jocelyn

I crave cheesy pasta-based recipes during the winter season because they’re so comforting and taste SO good. This easy lasagna recipe is cozy, flavorful and can be a make-ahead meal. It’s absolutely perfect for a special dinner party or it’s something you can easily prep for a weeknight after work.

You may be thinking that homemade lasagna is too complicated with all of the layering and such. But in this recipe we’re using no-boil noodles and a jar of store-bought marinara and it’s sooooooo easy. Having simple dinner recipes, like this one, that I can make during the week and that reheat well to make a few meals is a complete game changer. This is the only lasagna recipe you’ll ever need! Let’s cook it up and I’ll show you just how easy it is!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy. The methods are super simple and the ingredients are basic. Nothing too complicated with this recipe!
  • Everyone loves it. Adults, kids, and even picky eaters enjoy this dish. It will become a family favorite for sure!
  • Versatile. There are plenty of ways to make this recipe right for any dietary preferences. See the list of ingredients and substitutions below.
  • Delicious. Once you try this flavorful recipe, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis. It’s just that good!
woman's hand scooping a serving of lasagna out of a large white dish

Ingredients needed

You’re going to fall in LOVE with this easy lasagna recipe! It requires simple, easy-to-find ingredients and comes together with very little effort. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need:

  • Ground meat. We recommend using 90% lean ground beef. It has plenty of flavor, but is not overly greasy. Ground turkey will also work well. For best results, use the 94% lean ground turkey. 99% lean will not be as flavorful or moist.
  • Cheese. The cheese filling between the noodles is a mix of mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan. Mozzarella gets nice and melty, ricotta is rich and creamy and parmesan complements the other two with its sharpness. The flavor combo is wonderful!
  • Parsley. Fresh parsley adds freshness and flavor to the dish!
  • Egg. One egg binds the three cheeses together and helps them not to separate into the other layers while baking.
  • Marinara sauce. We highly recommend Rao’s® marinara sauce (not sponsored). This marinara has a deep, intense flavor, tastes homemade, and is thick and hearty. A good marinara sauce makes the biggest difference in this recipe. By using Rao’s, we greatly cut down on ingredients required, because it has so many additions included (olive oil, onions, garlic, fresh basil, pepper, oregano, etc.). Whatever marinara you choose, make sure it has plenty of flavor and you love it.
  • Water. Added to the sauce to help cook the noodles during baking, so you don’t have to cook them beforehand. This will save you 15 to 20 minutes of prep time.
  • Noodles. No-boil lasagna noodles work great! They cut out an extra step in prep and they taste just like regular lasagna noodles. You can also substitute gluten-free lasagna noodles, if needed.

How to make this recipe

Just a few steps of prepping ingredients and then layering, and you’re well on your way to the most delicious lasagna!

This could not be easier and it’s super quick to put it all together. Grab a skillet to brown the meat, a bowl to mix up the cheese and egg and a 9×13″ baking dish!

For the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Brown meat. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat.
  2. Prepare the cheese filling. While the meat is cooking, mix the cheeses, parsley and egg in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the meat sauce. Once the meat is cooked, drain it and add it back to the skillet with a jar of marinara; stir to combine. Add 1 cup water to empty sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Pour into meat mixture; stir until blended.
making meat sauce for lasagna

Layer the ingredients

Now that the meat sauce and cheese filling are prepped and ready, it’s time to for the layering.

  1. First, spread about a cup of the meat sauce onto the bottom of your 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  2. Next, top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat the layers twice.
  3. End with the layer of lasagna noodles, meat sauce and cheeses.
  4. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until heated through, removing foil after 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand at least 15 minutes before cutting to serve. This sitting time will keep the lasagna from being too watery and will help it keep its shape when cut. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes for a cleaner slice.
making an easy lasagna recipe by layering the ingredients in a lasagna dish

Tips for recipe success

  • Make ahead. You can make the lasagna in advance and bake it when you are ready to serve it. The unbaked lasagna will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 24 hours. You may have to add about 10-15 minutes covered cooking time to allow for starting with a cold dish.
  • Freshly grated cheese. If you have the time, try grating your cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese usually contains stabilizers and anti-caking agents and won’t melt as well.
  • Room temp ricotta. It’s way easier to stir ricotta with the other cheeses if it’s at room temp. I recommend letting the container of ricotta and the egg sit out a bit to come to room temp.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between lasagna and baked ziti?

The flavors are very similar, but lasagna noodles are long and flat, while ziti noodles are small tubes. And instead of carefully layering lasagna noodles, ziti layers can be heaped in the baking pan, which takes less time to assemble. Both bake in a casserole dish until golden with melty cheese.

Should I cover the lasagna while it’s baking?

This dish gets covered with tin foil for 45 minutes while baking. It will then bake for 15 minutes without the foil to allow the cheese to get melty and the top to get nice and golden.

How long does lasagna take to cook?

This easy pasta recipe needs to bake for 1 hour. Be sure to wait about 15 to 30 minutes before serving after it comes out of the oven, to avoid the sauce being overly runny.

lasagna fresh out of the oven

Variations

This lasagna is so easy and packed with flavor, but feel free to change it up and make it your own. Here’s some options:

  • Vegetables. Add in your favorite veggies. Chopped mushrooms or onion would be great in the meat sauce. You could also add a thawed 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach to the cheese mixture. Be sure to squeeze out as much water from the spinach as you can.
  • Meat. Try using Italian sausage instead of ground beef or turkey in the sauce.
  • Sauce. For a white sauce lasagna, replace the marinara with a creamy Alfredo sauce.
  • Cheese. You can mix the mozzarella with other cheeses that melt well, such as fontina or provolone.

Storing and freezing

  • Storing leftovers. Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Freezing before baking. Make the recipe in advance by preparing it according to the instructions in the recipe card. However, instead of baking it, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and make sure that it sticks to the cheese on the top layer. Then add a layer of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let the lasagna thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Be sure to take the plastic wrap off and bake according to the instructions in the recipe card. You may need to add an extra 10-15 minutes to the covered cook time, for the lasagna to completely cook through.
  • Freezing after baking. Sometimes when I’m making this, I actually make two pans, and save one for another day. After the baked lasagna has cooled completely to room temperature, either divide it into several portions and pack it in freezer safe containers, or freeze the whole pan. If you’re freezing the whole pan, cover with the plastic wrap and then the foil. It will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Take the plastic wrap off and bake, covered with foil only, for about 30 minutes. You can also heat leftovers in the microwave.
serving of lasagna on a white plate with a fork

If you want major comfort and flavor, you’ve got to add this delicious easy lasagna recipe to your meal rotation. A classic lasagna dinner is a MUST make winter meal that will warm you from the inside out.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

scooping out a serving of classic lasagna from a casserole dish
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Easy Lasagna Recipe

An easy lasagna recipe that's packed with flavor! Lasagna noodles are layered with meat, spaghetti sauce, and three types of cheese for the ultimate Italian meal. Serve it alongside a simple salad and garlic bread for a cozy dinner that’s perfect this time of the year!
Author: Kim

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese,
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish, if desired
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup water*
  • 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13" baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix 1-1/4 cups mozzarella, ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, parsley and egg until blended. Set aside.
  • Drain meat; return to skillet. Add marinara sauce in with meat and stir to combine. Add 1 cup water to empty sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Pour into meat mixture; stir until blended.
  • Spread 1 cup meat sauce onto bottom of baking dish; top with layers of 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining noodles, meat sauce and cheeses. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake 1 hour or until heated through, removing foil after 45 min. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes before cutting to serve. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Notes

*Adding water to the sauce helps cook the traditional noodles during baking, so you don’t have to cook them beforehand. This saves you 15 to 20 minutes of prep time.
**See post for details on storage and freezing.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 593mg, Potassium: 471mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 697IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 323mg, Iron: 2mg

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