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Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef

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This Classic Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef is such an easy way to make homemade lasagna. It’s the best lasagna recipe for busy moms with picky eaters.

A lasagna being taken out of a baking dish.

Once the family tastes this ground beef lasagna recipe, they’re going to be “patiently” waiting for seconds. Made with a ton of cheese and a cook time of only 30 minutes, you can bet that this easy lasagna recipe is going to be a family favorite dinner every time.

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Did I mention that my kids literally beg me to make this amazing lasagna? Full out beg (and I’m not gonna lie – I want it too but I just want to hear them ask for it!). 

Seriously. This may be easy, but it’s definitely the best lasagna!

This ground beef lasagna is easy to prep and even quicker to cook. I can promise you one bite of this simple lasagna recipe will have you hooked as well.

Who knew that lasagna could be so easy? No need to dread making this comfort food favorite.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Lasagna Recipe

  • Makes a large portion to feed a family or a large crowd
  • Lasagna is always a crowd pleaser
  • Hearty and satisfying
  • Can be made ahead of time
A piece of lasagna on white round plate.

🥘 Ingredients for Homemade Lasagna

  • Ground beef
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • San Marzano tomatoes
  • Sugar
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Egg
  • Lasagna pasta, you will only need about 15 noodles
Ingredients for Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef.

🔀 Substitutions

Ground Beef: If you want to cut down on the fat content, you can always use ground turkey instead. For added flavor, replace half the ground beef with ground Italian sausage.

Cheese: You can use provolone, fontina, or gouda instead of mozzarella. Cottage cheese or mascarpone can be used in place of the ricotta. And in lieu of parmesan, you can use pecorino romano, asiago, or manchego.

Tomatoes: If you don’t have (or don’t want to splurge on) San Marzano tomatoes, you can use canned roma (plum) tomatoes or any other high quality canned tomatoes. Of course, regular canned whole tomatoes will work too.

🌈 Variations / Options / Add-Ins

Go vegetarian: Replace the meat with sautéed vegetables. Zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach and eggplant are all great choices.

Make it creamy: Skip the tomato sauce and add a béchamel or alfredo sauce to the ground beef,

Spice it up: Add a dash of cayenne or some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce to give it a kick.

Add some crunch: Sprinkle some seasoned breadcrumbs or some pine nuts over the top layer before baking for texture.

🥄 Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

🔪 How to Make Lasagna

If you’ve ever been hesitant to make lasagna at home, this is the perfect recipe to try! The easy to follow steps below will help you make this lasagna effortlessly.

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.

Step 2: Brown the ground beef

Add olive oil to pan and sauté the meat over medium high heat. Continue cooking until the meat is fully cooked and no longer pink.

Step 3: Sauté the garlic

Drain the fat out of the meat and add in the garlic. Cook until you smell the garlic.

Step 4: Finish the sauce

Drain the tomatoes and add them to the ground beef. Add sugar and cook the mixture until it is bubbling.

Reduce heat to low and simmer while completing the remaining steps.

Ground beef and tomatoes in cast iron skillet.

Step 5: Cook the noodles

Cook your noodles according to the directions on the noodle package.

Step 6: Make the cheese mixture

Mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1 egg in a bowl until combined.

Cheese, egg and spices for lasagna in a mixing bowl.

Step 7: Assemble the lasagna

Put a layer of sauce in a 9 x 13 pan. Add a layer of lasagna noodles on top, then add a layer of the sauce.

Next put on a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture and then add on a lot of mozzarella cheese. Follow with another layer of noodles, then more meat sauce, then more ricotta cheese, and another layer of mozzarella.

Finish up with one more layer of noodles, followed by a layer of sauce, the rest of the ricotta mixture and then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

Adding the layers into the glass pan.

Step 8: Bake Lasagna

Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the sauce bubbling.

Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef in a glass dish on a wooden table.

How to Save Leftover Lasagna

Properly storing leftover lasagna is key to maintaining its taste and safety when you’re ready to enjoy it again. Here’s how to save your leftover lasagna:

Allow to Cool: Before storing, let your lasagna cool to room temperature. This should take about 30 minutes. Cooling it too long at room temperature can risk bacterial growth.

Refrigerate Promptly: Once slightly cooled, cover your lasagna dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer servings to airtight containers. Refrigerate within two hours of cooking.

Storage Time: Properly stored, cooked lasagna will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

How to Freeze Leftover Lasagna

Portion if Needed: If you have a lot of leftovers, consider dividing them into portions. This way, you only reheat what you’ll eat at one time.

Wrap Well: Wrap your lasagna portions tightly with plastic wrap. Then, add a layer of aluminum foil on top. This double-wrap will help prevent freezer burn.

Freezer Safe Containers: Alternatively, you can use airtight freezer-safe containers. If using containers, leave a small space at the top as food expands when it freezes.

Label and Date: Always label your lasagna with the date it was stored. Properly wrapped and frozen lasagna can last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

How to Reheat Leftover Lasagna

Refrigerated Lasagna: Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until it’s heated through, usually about 30 minutes. Cover with foil to prevent excess browning if needed.

Frozen Lasagna: It’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Once thawed, reheat as you would with refrigerated lasagna. If reheating from frozen, it will need more time in the oven, possibly up to an hour or more, depending on the size and thickness.

Safety Tips:

  • Never Thaw at Room Temperature: Always thaw lasagna in the refrigerator to keep it out of the temperature danger zone where bacteria can grow.
  • Avoid Repeated Reheating: Every time you reheat lasagna, its quality decreases, and the risk of bacterial growth increases. Only reheat what you’re going to eat.

How to Prepare Lasagna to Freeze and Bake Later

Freezing an unbaked lasagna is a great way to have a ready-to-bake meal on hand. Here’s how to do it properly:

Assembly:

Use a Freezer-Safe Dish: Either a disposable aluminum pan or a glass/pyrex dish that is both oven and freezer safe.

No-Boil Noodles: Consider using no-boil noodles as they absorb excess moisture and hold up better in the freezer.

Drain Ingredients: Ensure ingredients like cooked vegetables or meat are well-drained and not overly wet, as excess moisture can lead to a soggy lasagna when baked.

Freezing:

Cool Ingredients: If you’ve cooked any ingredients, let them cool completely before assembling your lasagna. This prevents ice crystals from forming and keeps your lasagna’s texture intact.

Wrap Tightly: Once assembled, wrap the entire dish tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure it’s snug against the lasagna to prevent freezer burn and ice crystals. Then, wrap it again in aluminum foil.

Label and Date: Always label your lasagna with the contents and date. Knowing when you froze it and what’s inside is crucial for proper rotation and consumption.

Baking from Frozen:

Direct to Oven: One of the benefits of freezing unbaked lasagna is that you can usually bake it straight from the freezer. Remove the plastic wrap and replace the foil, then bake. It will need a longer baking time than if it were thawed or fresh.

Baking Time and Temperature: Bake at the same temperature as you would fresh lasagna, but add additional time. A frozen lasagna may take approximately 60-90 minutes at 375°F (190°C), depending on its size and thickness. Check that it’s heated through and bubbling.

Tips for Success:

Avoid Raw Eggs in Ricotta Mixture: If your ricotta cheese layer includes raw eggs, consider cooking the mixture slightly before freezing, as the texture can change when frozen raw.

Consider Portioning: If you’re often cooking for a smaller number of people, consider making two smaller lasagnas and freezing one. This way, you don’t have to commit to a large lasagna each time.

Room in Freezer: Make sure there’s enough flat space in your freezer for the lasagna to sit until it’s frozen solid. Once it’s frozen, you can store it upright to save space if needed.

Thawing Option: If you prefer to thaw your lasagna before baking, transfer it to the refrigerator 24-48 hours in advance. It will reduce the baking time and can help it bake more evenly.

Use Within a Few Months: For best quality, use your frozen lasagna within 2-3 months.

By following these tips, you can have a delicious homemade lasagna ready to go into the oven whenever you need a convenient and comforting meal.

👩‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • Don’t overcook the noodles. They should be al dente. Pay close attention to the directions on the box to be certain.
  • Make sure to let your sauce simmer for at least 10 minutes to develop a deep, rich flavor.
  • Try to make your layers even so that they cook evenly.
  • Let your lasagna rest for 15-20 minutes after you remove it from the oven to make it easier to cut and serve.
  • Freshly grated cheeses will melt better and have superior flavor.
A lasagna being taken out of a baking dish.

🙏 Pairing

These are my favorite dishes to serve with lasagna:

A lasagna being taken out of a baking dish.

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📋 Recipe

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📋 Recipe

Lasagna being taken out of a baking dish in a Classic Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef.

Classic Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef

Corinne Schmitt
This simple lasagna recipe is packed full of flavor!
4.98 from 79 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12
Calories 302 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 30 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 24 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 16 ounce box lasagna pasta

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add olive oil to pan and sauté the meat.
  • Drain the fat out of the meat and add in the garlic. Cook until you smell the garlic.
  • Drain the tomatoes and add them to the ground beef. Add sugar and cook the mixture until it is bubbling.
  • Cook your noodles according to the direction on the noodle package.
  • Mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1 egg in a bowl until combined.
  • Put a layer of sauce in a 9X13 pan. Add layer of lasagna noodles on top, then add a layer of the sauce. Next put on a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture and then add on a lot of mozzarella cheese. Next another layer of noodles, then more meat sauce, then more ricotta cheese, and another layer of mozzarella. Finish up with one more layer of noodles, followed by a layer of sauce, and lastly more cheeses.
  • Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the sauce bubbling.

Notes

  • Don’t overcook the noodles. They should be al dente. Pay close attention to the directions on the box to be certain.
  • Make sure to let your sauce simmer for at least 10 minutes to develop a deep, rich flavor.
  • Try to make your layers even so that they cook evenly.
  • Let your lasagna rest for 15-20 minutes after you remove it from the oven to make it easier to cut and serve.
  • Freshly grated cheeses will melt better and have superior flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 20gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 346mgPotassium: 279mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 235IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 151mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Need to run to the store for a few ingredients first? Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can find it when you’re ready to cook!

A collage of 4 images showing the steps needed to make lasagna and text that reads classic lasagna recipe with ground beef.

4 thoughts on “Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef”

  1. I mixed the onions with the meat sauce and added a half can of water to the tomato mix.

    Reply
    • I hope it turned out well and that you and your family liked the lasagna. Thanks for letting us know how you prepared it – maybe some of my readers will want to try it that way also.

      Reply
  2. Where do the onions come in? Also it needs a lot more sauce. I did a can of whole tomatoes and I needed to add chicken broth because it was not saucy enough.

    Reply
    • The onions should be cooked with the meat. That’s the nice thing about recipes, you can modify them to turn out the way you prefer, like you did with the sauce.

      Reply

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