Easiest Lasagna Ever — Damn Delicious

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Easiest Lasagna Ever

Nothing beats classic lasagna. And this is the easiest recipe you will ever make. It can be made ahead and it’s freezer-friendly too!

I have a friend on bedrest for the next few days and his only request from me was homemade lasagna.

I mean it’s a true classic and all but I asked him if he wanted anything else – maybe something fancier? He said no. Just lasagna.

So here it is. Classic homemade lasagna, made the easiest way of all. 20 min prep time. That’s it. And the end result?

Well, it’s perfection.

Easiest Lasagna Ever

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Nothing beats classic lasagna. And this is the easiest recipe you will ever make. It can be made ahead and it’s freezer-friendly too!

Ingredients:

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef*
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 (15-ounce) package whole milk ricotta
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and onion and cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drain excess fat. Stir in tomatoes and Italian seasoning until well combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and egg; set aside.
  5. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat with a second layer. Top with remaining noodles, tomato mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.*
  6. Place into oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbling. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until top is browned in spots.
  7. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.

*Italian pork sausage can be substituted.

*MAKE-AHEAD: Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

*TO FREEZE: Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover and bake for 90 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

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86 comments

Chungah, you’ve done a great job ! I’ve made lasagna thousands of times for our Italian family. Yesterday I used your recipe. Everyone loved it with the meat in the sauce. A big hit with us all. Thanks, maria

I use to cook my lasagna noodles too, but I started using uncooked noodles to assemble my lasagna. I otherwise make mine just like yours. This is a real time saver and works just as well

It looks delicious. I’m not sure I’m getting it, though. You top the noodles with the ricotta mixture, right? AND you add additional mozzarella? I had to read it several times before I caught that. I just never understood where the mixture went until I noticed it contained all the ricotta so it could only be at that point.
Have a nice sunday.

That’s exactly right!

The easiest way to make it is with out cooking the noodles first. I just use regular noodles and not boil then.Cook at 350% for about 1hr and check it.You may want to use a little extra sauce in it.

I have always added one cup of water to a recipe with dry lasagna noodles. It works!

I run the noodles 1 at a time when I’m putting them on the dish through a small narrow stream of water on both sides of the noodles quickly and just put them in there as directed! Came out great!

When you make ahead or freeze, do you bake and then bake again? Thanks!

Surleen, you can make-ahead and/or freeze in its uncooked state.

Your picture looks like you have tomato mixture on the very top layer, but your recipe doesn’t list that.

Susie, yes, you can top with the tomato mixture and cheeses.

It will be so nice for dinner. Excuse my misurderstood…. I’m french, so maybe i miss something. When you doing your lasagne ….can you describe more where i have to put sauce and where i have to put the ricotta/ mozza mix. I love your recipes ! Ate you putting sauce on each layer with cheese? Thanks im waiting for yr answer.

Sylvie, here is the order of the layers, from bottom to top:

1. Tomato mixture
2. Lasagna noodles
3. Ricotta cheese mixture
4. Mozzarella cheese
5. Repeat with a second layer
6. Lasagna noodles
7. Tomato mixture
8. Mozzarella cheese
9. Parmesan

5. Repeat with a second layer means repeat 1. to 4. Is that correct?

Yes. Even if you mix up some of the layers, it will be fine. There’s a lot of room for forgiveness here.

Where is the third layer, and what is the order?

Robert, please refer to step 5.

5. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat with a second layer. Top with remaining noodles, tomato mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.*

This really confused me, too, especially because in the video the “repeat” stage doesn’t show any meat sauce going on! I ended up using it anyway because of the comment, but it threw me off. Definitely needs better step by step directions that match the video exactly!

I need to preface this comment with the fact that I have absolutely no cooking intuition. I am sure this recipe is perfect and I am the problem. Nevertheless, it is supposed to be easy. In your comment in #5 you say repeat second layer–Second layer of what? Second later of everything that was just done? 2nd layer of #4? In the end, I just layered how I HOPE it’s supposed to turn out. It’s cooking now–we shall see. Also, with only what seems to be 2cups of meat tomato mixture used, I had a ton of that left. I dumped the remaining on the top, and once again will hope for the best! With people like me drawn to “easy” recipes, really need instructions to be geared toward my six year-old 🙂

Yes, a second layer of everything that was just done:

Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

Step 1. Might be better said as Tomato-Meat mixture! Instead of just tomato mixture!

Ahhh, now that IS damn delicious…best meal ever! Thank You!

Oohh.. I agree with your friend. This lasagna would be perfect for bedrest 🙂

What can I substitute for the meat? I am kosher and do not eat meat and dairy together.

You can substitute veggies of your choice – mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, carrots, etc. It’s up to you!

What a perfect dish for large gatherings. I always need a simple go-to dish when the nephews are coming over.

Will try this soon! Thank you for sharing!

One of my kids favorite recipe. Thinks ingredients have some more ideas over here. Thanks for the recipe. Love it

Chungah,
I have been cooking difficult lasagnas for years. I tried yours last nite and it was a HUGE HIT!!
I will never slave in the kitchen for hours again! Yours is the only recipe needed from now on!

Thank you!
Amanda

Your friend sounds exactly like me, if I were on bed rest I’d request Lasagna or something along that line. I think anything Italian is always a pretty safe bet with me.

This lasagna looks delicious by the way!

This is the way I have always made my lasagna and it is so easy. I like to serve it garlic bread and toss salad and a nice red wine. By the way I’m really enjoy your site I made your Swedish meatballs tonight (03/31/16)and they were so Damn delicious I put them on a bed egg noodles and they were a hit . Thanks and I will be returning. 🙂

How long would I cook it if using no boil noodles? Would I have to cover it with foil?

Holly, cooking time can be significantly reduced by using no-boil lasagna noodles but as always, please use your best judgment. Foil is not needed.

I’m out of eggs! Can this be made without the egg or is it a crucial part to the cheese mixture?

Yes, you can omit as needed.

I hope they are the tastiest lasagna ever too :p

I made this about a month ago for a house full of kids and adults. It was a HUGE hit! It really is the easier lasagna I’ve ever made!

In that past, when I have used no boil noodles, I found the lasagna too dry. For this recipe, I used regular noodles and boiled them first. If I were to try no boil noodles again, I would make the meat sauce twice as saucy to compensate.

Your recipe is wonderful but I must comment on the title “Easiest Lasagna Ever”. I realize this is a tag line to get people on your website, but I am weary of that phrase because everyone uses it even tho it’s just not true. No boil noodles, Italian diced tomatoes, just to name a few easier substitutions. Now a days everything is the easiest, best, mind blowing, life changing thing and most of the time it’s something most people already know. I just hate wasting my time on sites like that. Love you and your website, just had to get in my two cents.

This truly is THE EASIEST Lasagna EVER! Thank you Chungha for the AHHHmazing recipe. I served with your Mini Garlic Monkey Bread and the Winter Pear Salad w/ Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, and my girlfriends loved it.

Made it twice this week. 1st time with whole milk ricotta (as directed), and the 2nd time with low fat ricotta (only b/c Sprouts ran out of the whole milk ricotta). I highly recommend not going for the low fat ricotta cheese, it was hard to spread and just not as creamy in taste as the whole milk version. The extra fat is all worth it!

My brother hates all lasagna but I made him this and he loved it!! First meal that I got no complaints from!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

I put this together saturday morning but don’t plan on cooking it till monday evening. Was not planning on freezing it. Is that ok?

Methods for optimal food storage and shelf life should be based on good judgment and what you are personally comfortable with.

Can I substitute ground turkey for the ground beef? If so, do I need to change anything? Thanks for posting this! Can’t wait to try it.

Yes – no need to change anything else! 🙂

Amazing and easy. Second time I made it and came out perfect. Only lyrics difference is I added a little garlic with the onions. (I love garlic though) thanks for the great recipe!

How many people does this recipe serve? Thanks!

This recipe yields about 12 servings.

Ya know.. this recipe is perfect. I’ve been trying so many of my own variations for years and, having found your blog, decided to begin anew with your basic recipe.

I make my own tomato sauce; not to be fancy shmancy, only because I have to control my sodium. This results in 210 mg per 1 of 12 of your servings – or 315 mg per 1 of 8 of my servings.. I like mine a bit larger.

The largest contributor to the lower sodium in my version is due to not using all the ground beef in one lasagna. I use the whole 1lb of ground chuck in making about 3 QTS of sauce, but only 3 Cups of that mixture in your lasagna recipe. This worried me at first, I wasn’t sure there would be enough of that tasty beef mixture to chew on, but it worked perfectly And I have enough sauce left over for two more lasagnas at least.

I had forgotten how much difference just a small amount of freshly grated Parmesan/Romano makes. The best topping.

Thank you!
_____________________________________

Here’s my recipe for the low sodium sauce – this will make about 3 QTS:

3 lbs Fresh Tomatoes – whatever’s on sale
2 6-oz Cans Tomato Paste
1 Head of Fresh Garlic
Olive Oil – not extra virgin

Pre- Heat oven to 400-F

Cut round tomatoes into quarters – plum tomatoes in half length-wise.

Separate garlic cloves – do not peel.

Completely coat tomatoes and garlic with oil and place all on shallow baking pan. Turn each tomato slice so the skin side is down.

Roast for 1 Hour on center oven rack.

Let cool for 5 minutes on top of stove.

Place half the tomatoes, half the garlic, 1 can tomato paste, and 2 Cups of water into blender. Start on low for a few seconds then high for 30 seconds. Add additional 1 Cup water if needed to thin so it will liquefy and spin into a vortex. Using fine mesh strainer, strain into large bowl, discarding the leftover pulp. Repeat.

Pasta takes longer than 20 mins to boil/cook, the meat sauce looks rather bland, needs at least minimum 30 mins to absorb flavours and really have the dept… I can’t see how this dish takes 20 mins only.

This recipe has a 20 minute prep time with a 45 minute cook time.

I cook the noodles for 7 minutes, assemble the lasagna, then bake the dish for 35 min @ 350. I like the extra firmness and chewiness of the finished product. The corners get nice and crunchy, but still chewable.

I reserved some of the pasta water from cooking the noodles and added it to the meat sauce. There’s never enough sauce ever, ever in anything. I love sauce.

I don’t have Italian seasoning so I also used salt, pepper, basil, oregano, a tiny bit of thyme, and a few good shakes of paprika.

If I made this dish again I’d probably use a little more pasta water and make more of the ricotta/mozzarella mixture. I also cooked more than nine noodles but in reality I actually only used 9. Good call. I didn’t realized how much the noodles would expand.

I can see why someone might want to not cook the noodles and instead have them cook in the sauce and I’d love to sometime try both methods side by side and do a taste test- however, I found it just as fine to reserve the water and cook the noodles simultaneously. The timing of the recipe is really good. Next time I might try garlic with the meat sauce. Thanks for sharing!

Can I use block mozzarella instead of shredded??

Omg I am so in love with this recipe. Thank u so much!! I was worried bc for one I have part skim ricotta… and my husband is a meaty guy so I used 2 lbs of beef..in which it turned out greasy. However it taste amazing.

I made the lasagna & I baked it accordingly & put it in the freezer-I took it out of freezer & did what it said to do,but worried that it would be Ok-,bcause I had planned on having it for dinner 7 days later. After you take it out of the oven,do you let it cool in room temperature before you serve it & then you shouldn’t have to warm it again in microwave before you serve it Is this alright? Hope so!

This recipe was excellent. It came out great and everyone loved it! Can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

If I cook one day ahead, do you mean I cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes? Then uncover the foil and cook 10-15 more??

Yes, that’s exactly right.

I already have a can of stewed tomatoes – could I substitute that instead?

I’ve made this several times now, and it’s a hit every time. My husband even says that it’s the best lasagna he’s ever had! Thanks for the great and easy recipe!

Heya, if it’s helpful to anyone, I’ve never been a big fan of ricotta and I found a recipe which replaces it with tofu – https://www.recipestroupe.com/recipe-vegan-tofu-and-spinach-lasagna-51076.html. I’m not vegan, but I was thinking of using tofu instead of ricotta in this recipe. Would it work ok?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

My first one is in the oven. We’ll see how it turns out because I had to substitute for gluten free noodles and they were not a standard lasagna shape, which meant breaking some in pieces. Not to mention that I’m constantly scatterbrained worrying about cross-contamination. 😉

I have to say though that it was frustrating starting to use my large skillet because by the time I was ready for the tomatoes, there was no room. I had to switch to a pot. The video was rather misleading about that. It really doesn’t look like a pound of ground beef was used. Also the recipe doesn’t mention whether or not it needs to be covered if you make and bake it fresh.

Okay, how do you measure the small bowl of mixture that you’re saying before the tomatoes mixture? I’ve read it ten times and is still confused….

Hi Vicki. Sorry, I am a little confused by your question. Are you referring to this step?

4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and egg; set aside.

may I ask how you record these videos without holding the camera or shaking? haha
Looks delish though!!

I am using a tripod.

Just made this using my homemade sauce and noodles! delish! Thank you!

Can I use cottage cheese instead in recipe?

The lasagna is in the oven as I’m writing this comment. It smells and looks great, however I would argue that it doesn’t take 20 minutes to prepare this. Maybe I’m a slow cook, but a 30 minute prep time would be more accurate.

Hi there, I am eager to cook this and freeze, once assembled and cooked, and then frozen, do you put in the overn frozen for 90 minutes to heat or defrost first, thank you.

Natalie, to freeze, place the lasagna in the freezer uncooked. There is no need to defrost when ready to bake.

Thank you very much x

Could I use “no-boil noodles” instead?

On your nutrition facts, it doesn’t say how much is a serving size. I have to track my macro nutrients. Do you know about how much is a serving size? Thanks!

Hi Sydnee, you would have to divide the lasagna into equal 12 pieces, since the recipe yields 12 servings. Then you’d have your serving size and corresponding nutrition facts. I hope that helps!

Taste bland and not enough flavour maybe it needed a cheesy sauce?
I think you should change your prep time to an hour.

Hi Keira! Thanks for trying my recipe, but lasagna typically does not have a “cheesy sauce” – perhaps you were expecting a different kind of dish?

I have never made lasagna before and always just cooked the premade freezer kind. This was a lot easier than I was expecting! I tried to use what I had on hand so I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a big scoop of tomato paste to try and make the sauce thicker like if I used crushed tomatoes. It turned out really good. I’ll have to try it again with the crushed tomatoes to see if it made that much difference in the end.

Great! So happy it turned out so well for you!

Really like many of the recipes and live in London. Just wondering would it be possible to give the measurements in metric for European cooks ?

Hi Lizzy! There are many metric conversion calculators available online. 🙂

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