Real Easy Italian Lasagna

This Real Easy Italian Lasagna is the perfect homemade recipe for lasagna you’ll ever need. So, get ready to say goodbye to store-bought or frozen versions. I think you’ll enjoy this version better!

This article will cover a few secrets to making this dish come together so easy. The sauce, the cheeses, and the noodles layered together into one casserole is what gives this dish a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts across the globe. It’s a culinary tradition celebrated for its simplicity.

No dish captures the essence of Italian comfort food quite like this Easy Italian Lasagna recipe. The combination of silky pasta, hearty meat sauce, creamy cheese sauce, and a generous sprinkling of cheese is what makes this dish such a crowd-pleaser.

The History and Origins of Lasagna

Lasagna is a dish that resonates with history, tradition, and the essence of Italy itself. Its roots can be traced back to ancient Greece, where they made a flat pasta dough known as “Laganon.” This pasta was later introduced to the Romans, who adapted it into what we now recognize as lasagna.

For centuries, lasagna has evolved in response to various cultural influences and regional differences in Italy. In the north, béchamel sauce is preferred, while in the south, ricotta cheese is favored. Each region has put its unique spin on this classic dish.

square piece of easy Italian lasagna on a blue plate

Ingredients for Easy Italian Lasagna

  • 12 lasagna noodles (uncooked)
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded and divided)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (divided)
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 36 ounces pasta sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Cheese Mixture the Easy Way

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cooking Instructions for Easy Italian Lasagna

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare the Lasagna Noodles:
    In a large pot of salted water, boil the lasagna noodles until they are “al dente” according to the package instructions. Drain them, rinse them under cold water, and set them aside.
  3. Make the Tomato Sauce:
    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef, Italian sausage, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat. Next, stir in the pasta sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer the sauce uncovered over medium heat for up to an hour, or until it thickens.
  4. Prepare the Cheese Mixture:
    In a separate bowl, combine ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, chopped fresh parsley, beaten egg, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Instructions For an Easy Meat Sauce

  1. Heat a little oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté until softened and fragrant.
  2. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned and slightly caramelized.
  3. Stir in the pasta sauce, season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the sauce simmer for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The slow simmering allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

The Layering and Baking Process

layering process of easy Italian lasagna recipe before baking

Assembling the Easy Italian Lasagna

  • Layer the Lasagna
  • Bake the Lasagna
  • Add the Cheese Topping
  • Rest and Serve

This Easy Italian lasagna recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or a casual gathering with friends, this lasagna is sure to be a hit. Enjoy every cheesy, saucy bite of this comforting classic!

Making Homemade Pasta for Easy Italian Lasagna

The allure of homemade pasta in Italian cuisine is undeniable. It’s a labor of love that elevates any Italian dish, including lasagna. While store-bought pasta is convenient and readily available, you just can’t beat the taste, texture, and authenticity of homemade pasta.

Your Guide to Making Fresh Lasagna Sheets from Scratch

You’ll need 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 3 large eggs for the pasta dough. A pinch of salt can enhance the flavor.

  1. Mixing the Dough: Create a well with the flour on a clean surface, crack the eggs into the well, add a pinch of salt, and gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs. Knead until the dough is smooth, then cover and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Rolling and Cutting: Divide the dough into smaller portions. Roll each portion into thin sheets using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. For lasagna, aim for sheets that are about 1/16-inch thick. Cut the sheets to fit your lasagna dish.
  3. Cooking: Boil the fresh pasta sheets for 1-2 minutes before layering them in your lasagna. They should be slightly undercooked, as they’ll continue to cook in the oven.

Time-Saving Tips for Busy Cooks

If you need more time, you can still enjoy the benefits of homemade pasta. Prepare the pasta dough in advance and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can also consider no-boil lasagna noodles, which can be layered directly into the lasagna without boiling. While they may not offer the same homemade texture, they are a convenient alternative.

easy Italian lasagna in a 9x13 casserole dish

Serving and Enjoying Your Easy Italian Lasagna

As you prepare to savor your freshly baked Italian lasagna, remember that the presentation is the first step in the culinary experience. Your lasagna masterpiece deserves to be showcased and celebrated.

Place a slice of lasagna on a warm, inviting plate and garnish it with a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil or parsley for a burst of color and freshness. The layers should be visible, showcasing the harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Pairing Suggestions: Wine, Salad, and Bread

Complement your lasagna with a simple Side Salad with a balsamic vinaigrette and a basket of Freshly Baked Bread or even a nice Focaccia Bread add balance and variety to your meal.

Conclusion

This Easy Italian Lasagna isn’t just a dish; it’s also a celebration of food, family, and togetherness. So, invite your friends and family to the table, relish in the layers of flavor. You’ll also relish in the joy that comes from sharing an authentic Italian meal that you’ve prepared with care and passion.

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you think!


Happy cooking and bon appétit!

easy lasagna in a 9x13 casserole dish

Quick and Easy Lasagna

homemadefoodfromscratch
This quick and easy lasagna recipe is easy and delicious!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 1 9×13 casserole dish

Ingredients
  

Noodles

  • 12 lasagna noodles you’ll use a little more than half the box

Meat Sauce

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or half beef and half pork
  • 24 oz jar marinara or pasta sauce homemade or storebought
  • 2/3 cup water

Cheese Mixture

  • 15 oz container ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 12 oz mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375.

Noodles

  • Boil 12 lasagna noodles until al dente. Set aside.

Meat Sauce

  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off the fat.
  • Add the jar of marinara sauce to the cooked meat. Use 2/3 cup water to clean sauce stuck in jar. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cheese Mixture

  • In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and Italian seasoning.

Layer

  • Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Layer 2/3 cups of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Layer of lasagna noodles.
  • Layer of cheese mixture.
  • Layer meat sauce. Repeat layers until all ingredients used.
  • Last layer is 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

Bake

  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes until the noodles are fork-tender.
  • Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 7-8 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.
  • Let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

NUTRITION INFORMATION: YIELD: 8 SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 642TOTAL FAT: 37gSATURATED FAT: 16gTRANS FAT: 1gUNSATURATED FAT: 16gCHOLESTEROL: 172mgSODIUM: 1585mgCARBOHYDRATES: 25gFIBER: 4gSUGAR: 12gPROTEIN: 50g
Keyword lasagna, quick and easy lasagna

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