Easy Lasagna Recipe
This easy lasagna recipe is one of my family’s favorite comfort foods! It is packed with flavor, but it’s so easy that I don’t mind making this lasagna 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!
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!
How Do You Make This Easy Lasagna Recipe?
Just a few steps of prepping ingredients and then layering, and you’re well on your way to the most delicious lasagna!
This lasagna recipe 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!
- Start off by browning the meat in a large skillet.
- While the meat is cooking, mix the cheeses, parsley and egg in a medium mixing bowl.
- Once the meat is cooked, drain it and add it back to the skillet with a jar of marinara.
- Add 1 cup water to the empty sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Pour the water into the meat and marinara mixture; stir until blended. The water that’s added to the sauce will help to 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.
How Do You Layer Lasagna?
Now that the meat sauce and cheese are prepped and ready, it’s time to for the layering.
- First, spread about a cup of the meat sauce onto the bottom of your 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Next, top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat the layers twice.
- End the layering with the remaining noodles, meat sauce and cheeses.
- Cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- 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.
This lasagna is so easy and packed with flavor, but feel free to change it up and make it your own.
- 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.
How to Freeze Lasagna
Before Baking: Lasagna is one of those meals that always freezes so well. Make this easy lasagna 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, if needed, for the lasagna to completely cook through.
After Baking: Sometimes when I’m making lasagna, 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, as instructed above. Lasagna 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.
Tips For Making Lasagna
- You can make the lasagna in advance and bake the lasagna 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.
- My favorite store-bought marinara sauce is either Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce or Organico Bello Marinara Pasta Sauce. I can find both at Kroger, Target and Walmart.
- 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.
If you want major comfort and flavor, you’ve got to add this delicious lasagna recipe to your meal rotation. A classic lasagna dinner is a MUST make winter meal that will warm you from the inside out.
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If you try this easy lasagna 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.
Easy Lasagna Recipe
- 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 egg,, lightly beaten
- 1 (26 ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup water*
- 12 lasagna noodles,, uncooked
- Heat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, 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!