Classic Lasagna

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Classic but elevated, this is the lasagna you’ll want to make for big festive family dinners and special occasions.

When I was growing up, my mother made lasagna whenever there was family in town or a crowd to feed. The lasagna was always delicious, but since my mom never used a recipe, each time there was a moment of nervous anticipation at the dinner table before slicing the lasagna — would it be too soupy, too dry, or (hopefully) just right?

I’m not one to wing it with a dish like lasagna, so I came up with this surefire recipe based on my mother’s version. It is classic but elevated and also relatively simple to prepare. The key is using no-boil (or oven-ready) lasagna noodles, which not only save a lot of time but also taste similar to fresh pasta. The noodles are layered with a flavorful meat sauce — full of Italian sausage, veggies, and crushed tomatoes, and enriched with cream — as well as creamy ricotta and melty mozzarella cheese.

What you’ll need to make lasagna

lasagna ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Make the Sauce

Begin by placing the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in a food processor. You need to give them a rough chop first, otherwise, they won’t chop evenly.

vegetables in bowl of food processor

Pulse until minced but not puréed, so that they melt into the sauce.

minced vegetables

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and add the sausage.

raw sausage in pot Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the sausage into small pieces, until slightly browned but not cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the partially cooked sausage to a plate. Set aside.

browned sausage

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and add the minced vegetables.

minced vegetables in potCook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.

Cooked vegetablesAdd the wine and continue cooking, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is mostly absorbed by the vegetables, a few minutes.

wine in the pot

Add the tomatoes, cream, salt, pepper, sugar, thyme and bay leaves.

adding crushed tomatoes, cream, and seasoning to pot Stir and bring to a boil.

stirring lasagna sauce

Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.

sauce after simmering

Add the sausage back to the pot.

adding sausage to the potContinue simmering until the sausage is fully cooked and the flavors all meld together, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Fish out the bay leaves and discard.

lasagna sauce

2. Make the Ricotta Filling

Combine the ricotta, cream cheese, egg, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

ingredients for ricotta mixture in food processorProcess until evenly combined, then add the basil.

adding basil to ricotta mixture

Pulse until the basil is finely chopped.

finished ricotta mixture

3. Assemble the Lasagna

Spread about 1-1/2 cups of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.

sauce in baking dishArrange 3 noodles over the sauce, and dollop a third of the ricotta filling over the noodles.

noodles and ricotta over lasagna sauceSpread the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles.

spreading ricotta mixtureSprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

adding mozzarella cheeseRepeat layering of sauce, noodles, ricotta filling and mozzarella 2 more times. Top with the remaining 3 noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

lasagna ready to bake

Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the lasagna tightly with the foil, sprayed side down. Bake for 40 minutes in a 375°F oven. Carefully uncover and increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake, uncovered, until the noodles are tender, the sauce is bubbling, and the edges are golden and puffed, about 20 minutes.

baked lasagna

Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

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Classic Lasagna

Classic but elevated, this is the lasagna you’ll want to make for big festive family dinners and special occasions.

Servings: 8
Total Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds Italian sausage (bulk or removed from casing)
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Ricotta Mixture

  • 1 (15 oz.) container whole milk ricotta (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil

For Assembling

  • 12 oven ready (no boil) lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
  • 16 ounces shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Instructions

For the Sauce

  1. Place the onions, garlic, carrot and celery in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse until finely minced but not puréed.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the sausage into small pieces, until slightly browned but not cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the partially cooked sausage to a plate. Set aside.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and add the minced vegetables. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
  4. Add the wine; continue cooking, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is mostly absorbed by the vegetables, a few minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, cream, salt, pepper, sugar, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, transfer the sausage to a cutting board and chop into smaller pieces (big chunks don't work well in lasagna).
  7. Add the sausage back to the pan and continue simmering, covered, until the sausage is fully cooked and the flavors meld together, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Fish out the bay leaves and discard.

For the Ricotta Mixture

  1. Combine the ricotta, cream cheese, egg, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until evenly combined. Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped.

For Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread about 1-1/2 cups of sauce in the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over the sauce. Dollop a third of the ricotta filling over the noodles, then spread evenly to cover. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layering of sauce, noodles, ricotta filling and mozzarella 2 more times. Top with the remaining 3 noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  3. Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the lasagna tightly with the foil, sprayed side down. Bake for 40 minutes. Carefully uncover and increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake, uncovered, until the noodles are tender, the sauce is bubbling, and the edges are golden and puffed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.
  4. Make-Ahead Instructions: The lasagna can be assembled and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead of time.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The lasagna can be frozen for up to 3 months. If freezing it prior to baking, when you’re ready to cook it, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then proceed with the baking instructions in the recipe. If the lasagna is already cooked, you can either put it in a freezer-safe container that just fits the leftover piece, or you can cut into individual pieces and wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Reheat it, covered with foil, in a 325°F oven until hot.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 776
  • Fat: 45g
  • Saturated fat: 23g
  • Carbohydrates: 47g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 46g
  • Sodium: 1812mg
  • Cholesterol: 158mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jen. I have some Manicotti that has been in my pantry for a while and I want to use it. I know the sauce would be amazing, but do you think the cheese mixture in this recipe could work to stuff Manicotti?

    • — Grace on October 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Grace, I think that should work. I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 14, 2020
      • Reply
      • I made it tonight and it was delicious!! Thanks, Jenn!

        • — Grace on October 18, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi – Can I make the sauce ahead? We’re going out of town and it would be easier to prepare that part of this dish two days ahead. I made this last week and my husband announced it was the best lasagna he has ever had!

    • — Tracy on July 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad it was a hit! Yes, it would be fine to make the sauce 2 days ahead. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    Can I make this in 3 loaf pans then freeze before baking?
    Thank you!

    • — Pam on June 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Pam, I’ve never made a lasagna in a loaf pan but I suspect it would work (but bake time may be different. And you can definitely freeze it before baking. See the bottom of the recipe for freezer-friendly instructions. Please LMK how it turns out if you prepare it in loaf pans!

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • I am unable to get the Italian sausage at this time but do have brats that I can remove the casings from. Can they be used if seasoned? How much of what seasonings would be best?
    Thanks!

    • — Linda on May 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, I think it will definitely lend the taste of bratwurst so it’s not an optimal substitute, but it would work with some Italian seasoning (like a pinch each of oregano, parsley and garlic powder). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious. Made this twice in one month. A lovely dish enjoyed by the whole family.

    • — Iqbal Dhadda on May 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, this was so delicious, thank you! I have some extra sausage that needs to be cooked- can I make another batch of sauce and freeze it until I’m ready to make another lasagna? Thanks, Stephanie

    • — Stephanie on May 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • Definitely! And glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn, this is an amazing recipe! Not sure how something can be rich and light at the same time, but this pulls it off. My husband has been hungry for lasagna and I was finally able to get some ricotta, well woth the wait.
    BTW, I mentioned to my better half that I wished the Food Network would pull the plug on Pioneer Woman and give you a show, which would be a HUGE improvement.
    Thank you for so many wonderful recipes.

    • — Mary Ward on May 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on May 5, 2020
      • Reply
    • I so agree. Great suggestion Try writing them, to the Corporate office. Maybe we all write🤞😉.
      Sunny

      • — Sunny on December 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can white wine be substituted for the red? Also, was thinking of 1 lb Italian sausage and 1/2 lb ground beef, would that work? Love your recipes, your Thanksgiving sausage stuffing is the best! And your quiche lorraine is super easy and delicious! And your meatball recipe from the Italian wedding soup is a hit with the family to use in any dish!
    Katie

    • — Katie on April 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Katie, Yes, white wine will work. And regarding the sausage versus beef, I prefer it with all sausage but it will also work with well-seasoned ground beef. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Just made your wonderful lasagna. It was sooooo awesome! I have made a lot of your other recipes: lemon bars, Caesar salad, cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, cauliflower fried rice, Thai chicken soup, to name a few. 😊. You are the best! ☺️

    • — Renee on March 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Jen,
        Making this recipe for the first time. I could not find no bake lasagna noodles. Can I use the boiled noodles?

        • — Thilini Fernando on October 15, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Thilini, I think it will work with those with no other adjustments. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on October 15, 2020
          • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Can I use chicken broth instead of the heavy cream and also can I use marinara sauce instead of the crushed tomatoes? That’s what I have on hand for now.

    Thank you

    • — Janelle on February 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Janelle, yes, I suppose you could use chicken broth in place of the cream but the filling won’t be as creamy. And marinara sauce should work in place of the crushed tomatoes but you may need to cut back on the salt a bit. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Is it ok to leave out the heavy cream? If not, do you have any suggestions for substitutes?

    Thanks

    • — Janelle on February 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Janelle, You can replace the heavy cream with 1/2 and 1/2. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • My family loves this recipe! Thank you!

    I use regular lasagna noodles, but I don’t boil them ahead of time. Instead, I fill a pot with very hot water, then let the noodles soak in there while I make the ragu and the cheese mixture. By the time I’m ready to assemble the lasagna, they’ve softened slightly. They are just right by the end of the baking time.

    Another tip: the food processor is already out and being used, so the simplest way to break up the sausage chunks is to give them four or five pulses in it. Boom, you’re done!

    • — MrsT on February 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Made this a few weeks ago for company and we are still talking about it! That’s how good it was! Highly recommended!

    I love the presentation on your site – from the pics of ingredients to the write-ups and notes. I’ve made so many of your recipes (most of the shrimp recipes, White Chicken Chili, Mexican Lasagna and the delicious Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Torte just to name a few) and they have all been wonderful! Your passion and dedication are illustrated in every recipe you post. Also, I received your cookbook for my birthday and find myself on your site all the time just perusing what “our” next creation will be. 🤗

    Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

    • — Jackie on February 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jackie, so glad you enjoyed the lasagna and have had good experiences with other recipes on the blog and the cookbook! I appreciate you taking the time to write-you made my day! ❤️

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made the recipe as written, froze it (unbaked), defrosted it, baked as directed and it was SO GOOD! Everyone loved it. Served it with your caesar salad and bread. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • — Deb on January 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this for Christmas and it was absolutely delicious! Everyone loved it. I made it ahead of time, froze it uncooked, then thawed in the fridge overnight. It was still fairly frozen when I cooked it, so I added 10 min of cooking time with the foil on. Then followed the cooking directions the rest of the way. It came out perfect – not dry or runny at all, and full of flavor. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers! Thanks for this great recipe!

    • — Francesca on December 26, 2019
    • Reply
  • Amazing and authentic Italian flavors. This recipe truly deserves more stars and reviews. Unfortunately when you google search “sausage lasagna” this site does not come up on the first page and to me this should be the first site as this recipe is perfect!

    • — Val on December 24, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hello! I’m planning to make 2 pans of this for Christmas, and I’m wondering if I can make the sauce and cheese filling a few days ahead of time, and then assemble and bake the day of?

    • — Francesca on December 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Francesca – that’s fine. You could even assemble the lasagnas and then just bake the day of. 😊

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hello! I am planning to make 2 pans of this for Christmas dinner. Can I make the sauce and cheese mixture this weekend, refrigerate them until Christmas (Wed), and then assemble and bake that day?

    • — Francesca on December 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Francesca, I think you could do the sauce this weekend but I’d probably wait until Monday to do the cheese mixture since it contains eggs and dairy. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I am making this lasagna for Christmas Day and trying to get everything done ahead of time. I was thinking that I read that you could bake it entirely ahead of time and freeze it whole – then reheat the entire dish. I now see that you said to freeze it prior to baking. I wanted to serve it whole and not heated individually. Can I reheat whole?

    • — Linda on December 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, you can freeze it baked or unbaked. (Read a little further down in the freezer-friendly instructions for guidance.) Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2019
      • Reply
  • To make this vegetarian, would you just omit the sausage, or would you need to replace with something else?

    • — Lisa on December 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, instead of making this vegetarian, I’d recommend this lasagna instead. It’s delicious!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • I look forward to making this recipe; however, I’ll need to use gluten free noodles. Will I still be able to make it according to your directions or should I boil the noodles?

    • — Kathy Mehal on December 2, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I think it really depends upon the brand you buy (I’d check the box) as I believe that some gluten-free lasagna noodles are no-boil. One reader mentioned that she used Catelli gluten-free no-boil lasagna noodles if you can find those. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2019
      • Reply
  • This was by far the best lasagna I’ve ever made. However, it’s a little misleading to be labeled under “quick and easy.” It definitely wasn’t quick. It took me a good hour to prep, there are just a lot of steps and moving parts. Was worth it though!

    • — Jacque Schwarz on November 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jacque, Glad you enjoyed this! And I completely agree that it should not be in the quick and easy category – – just updated it. Thanks!

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this tonight for the first time and it was incredible! I used ground beef instead of sausage based on the family request and I used pecorino romano cheese and a mix of mozzarella and a five cheese Italian blend since that’s what I had in the fridge. I used a red wine blend for the sauce since I had a bottle open on the counter. The smell of the sauce simmering on the stove was enough to make me want to hide in the closet and eat the whole lasagna myself! The finished dish was everything that I’ve come to expect from Jenn’s recipes… exceptional! It’s perfect the way it is, but it’s also so easy to tweak each time based on what you have on hand. This is now my go to lasagna recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
    P.s. I’m hoping that you have plans for a second cookbook.. Im hoping all the recipes I’ve come to love on your blog will make their way to paper!

    • — Kia on October 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hello. I just came across your website and your recipes look fabulous. I am planning on trying this recipe this weekend and was wondering if cherry tomatoes would work as the “crushed tomatoes” component or is the canned variety better? I have a ton of cherry tomatoes from the garden but if that would be too sweet, I’ll just pick up a can at the market. Thanks in advance!

    • — Dinah on August 8, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Dinah, I think canned will work best here. Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on August 9, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Can I use zucchini instead of noodles? Thank you!

    • — Turtle on July 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi, I haven’t tried this with zucchini in place of the pasta, so I can’t say for sure, but I think it would work. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • Wonderful! Made this and a butternut squash for my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner and it was loved by all. My old recipe was not done with a bolognese, so this will be my go to recipe from now on. So much more flavor with the carrots and celery.

    • — Rochelle on May 16, 2019
    • Reply
  • As with all of your recipes, this did not disappoint! Made this and a butternut squash for my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner and it was loved by all. My old recipe was not done with a bolognese, so this will be my go to recipe from now on. So much more flavor with the carrots and celery.

    • — Rochelle on May 16, 2019
    • Reply
  • I had given up on finding a lasagna recipe that was delicious and didn’t take all day to make. This is now my go-to lasagna recipe. It still takes a little time, but is so worth it. Everybody loves lasagna and this recipe makes a lot (think leftovers and even a couple of portions in the freezer). Add a simple salad of mixed greens and it’s a complete meal.

    • — Ruth W Freeman on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • This is the best lasagna I have ever tasted. I have prepared it three times with some minor variations from the original recipe because of what is available in the pantry or refrigerator. If you follow the recipe exactly as written, you will not be dissapointed. I am sure many of us, don’t always have everything on hand so here are some of my variations.

    For the meat sauce:
    I don’t usually have celery so I left it out twice.
    The way sausage is packaged, and what I had available, I have been using one package (little over a pound) sweet and the balance spicy. Our family likes spicy, so I will continue making it this way but I would be reluctant to use too much spicy.
    I have been using half and half.
    I have been using more noodles than the recipe because of the way my pan is shaped. The first time, the lasagna was a tad dry. The next time I added some good quality premade sauce to supplement the recipe and it was perfect.
    I use the food processor with short pulses to break the cooked sausage up into smaller pieces.
    The bolognese sauce is really good. (I would never omit the wine) I have been making the sauce the day before I assemble and bake. This helps me with time management and I think gives the sauce some extra time to develop especially if I have added some jar sauce.

    For the ricotta mixture:
    I have been making this exactly as written. I think the fresh basil is really important. I love my food processor, I splurged on a Breville with all the attachments.

    For the assembly:
    Three noodles don’t fit the bottom of my pan perfectly so I have been arranging the noodles long ways for one layer, cross ways for another layer (as the pan widens) breaking some noodles to make them fit. (they are difficult to break without shattering) I have also been using most of the 9 oz box of noodles. The no boil noodles, I have been using the Barilla, are excellent. Making lasagna takes some time so not having to boil the noodles saves a step and another pot to wash.

    Freezer-Friendly Instructions:
    I have not tried freezing before baking, but always freeze individual cooked pieces according to the the instructions. So good.

    • — Gregory Chandler on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • This is the best lasagna recipe ever. My whole entire large family agreed on this. Thank you so much!

    • — Valerie on February 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    One more question on this recipe that I’ll be serving to a crowd on my daughter’s birthday. Can I substitute half and half for the heavy cream?

    Thanks!
    Linda

    • — Linda Lomele on February 9, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yes, you can get away with half and half here. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • This lasagne is great and we make it often for our family.

  • I’m a huge fan of your recipes, but this one fell short, which I know is contrary to all of the other reviews. I just didn’t like the addition of the cream- the tomato sauce was not as robust. It felt heavy, and I feel like the cream dulled all of the wonderful fresh herbs

  • Delicious! My guests raved about this lasagna! I made it exactly as written and would not change a thing. I will be serving it again on Christmas Eve with your Big Italian Salad. So handy that I can make it ahead and freeze. Yum!

  • HI Jenn, just wanted to say that this dish has become a tradition for Christmas dinner. This will be the 3rd year I am serving. It is hard to find that one dish that everyone in the family will eat and this is it! I make it the day before and just let it get close to room temperature before baking it. Comes out perfect each time. Love every recipe of yours that we have tried.

  • I love your recipes! I want to make this lasagna for Christmas Eve, but a day ahead. The day before – would I prepare the lasagna, bake, and refrigerate? Or would I prepare it and refrigerate it without baking? On Christmas Eve – how long before baking would I take it out of the fridge? And how long would I bake it and at what temp? Thank you!

    • Hi Laura, You really can go either way here, but I’d probably prep it a day ahead and refrigerate, and then bake it before serving. Hope your family enjoys it and Merry Christmas!

      • Thank you so much, Jenn! So excited to make this! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • I am a big fan! Love your recipes. This is a delicious lasagna! Quick question- can I add ground beef to this recipe in addition to Italian sausage? Thank you!

    • So glad you like the recipes, Regan! If you feel like you want a meatier dish, you could add a bit of ground beef to this as well.

      • Hi, I have made this recipe and it was fantastic! Next time I make it I wanted to use ground beef instead of sausage. Would this change the flavour?

        • — Cindy on December 22, 2019
        • Reply
        • Glad you enjoyed it! I honestly think this is best with sausage but it should also work with well-seasoned ground beef.

          • — Jenn on December 23, 2019
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn can you use ground beef instead of Italian sausage

    • Hi Melissa, I think it’s best with sausage but it should also work with well-seasoned ground beef. Enjoy!

  • Best thing I’ve ever eaten.

  • This is the best lasagna recipe. Look no more! I didn’t change or added anything as it is perfect the way it is. A real comfort food and a family approved recipe. Thanks!

  • Hi Jenn,

    Live the new website, but I cannot seem to find the “pairs with” feature. I’m sure I am missing it somewhere? I even tried the sample recipe-sausage lasagna.

    • — Debbie Brackenbury
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, It is underneath the recipe, right above the nutritional data. Sorry for the confusion!

  • Trying new receipes every time, they are great! Can I substitute the sausage for ground turkey? Also is there a substitute for red wine?

    • Glad you’re enjoying the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend ground turkey for this one as the sausage adds a ton of flavor. You could use turkey sausage, however, if you’d prefer that. Hope that helps!

  • Just made this and wow did my husband love it. He is Italian, and very picky about any pasta dish. He asked me if I was making garlic bread for dinner, but I thought he was already having his dinner, as he had eaten two large ‘samples’. I did cut back on the salt, because I think I shredded my parm/reg cheese rather fine, which is salty already. I used 1/2 tsp in the sauce and none in the ricotta mixture. It was perfect. Another great recipe. I was thrilled to see no boil noodles, because boiling and separating lasagna noodles is right up there with ironing. Thanks again for another great recipe.

  • If you don’t drink alcohol, is there a good substitute for the red wine?

    • Hi Jenny, it’s perfectly fine to leave the wine out – the dish will still be delicious.

  • I like to add spinach to my ricotta mixture when I make lasagna. I use frozen spinach squeezed dry. Would that work here? Thanks!

    • Hi Kelly, I do think that’d work well here. Please lmk how it turns out. 🙂

  • Sausage lasagna is such a successful recipe from your collection! I use so many of your recipes and always give you credit when I get rave reviews. One question concerning the sausage lasagne recipe please. How do you grate soft cheese such as mozzarella? I use my box grater for most cheeses but soft cheeses clump up.
    I never buy preshredded cheeses so I am interested in how you shred both soft and hard cheeses. Thank you for making me a better cook for my family. They thank you also!

    • Hi Jennie, glad you like the lasagna! I’d stick the mozzarella cheese in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes before shredding it. It will be firmer right out of the freezer and easier to grate.

  • I made this lasagna last night. It was delicious. Made a few changes. Used half mild Italian sausage and hot. Because we like our food a little spicy I added more pepper + some red pepper flakes. Also to help break up the sausage meat into smaller pieces I used a food processor instead of my fingers! Worked way better. Turned out perfectly – thank you!

    • — Aileen Jo-Anne Kruzynski
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  • I got your cook book yesterday. I must say I haven’t found a recipe I don’t like. Your steakhouse burgers are some of the best I’ve had. Have you ever considered a recipe that is cooked on a smoker? I would love to see one.

    • Hi Ron, so glad you’re enjoying the recipes (and thanks for purchasing the book)! I haven’t developed recipes using a smoker because I don’t have one (but never say never)! 🙂

  • Hi Jenn,
    Haven’t had a bad recipe from you yet…very excited for the cookbook!
    My husband is not a ricotta fan…do you think substituting cottage cheese would work??

    • Your husband may enjoy this ricotta a bit more as adding cream cheese definitely makes a difference. That said, although I haven’t tried this with cottage cheese, I think it should work. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you make it with cottage cheese!

  • Hi
    Do you drain or discard after cooking some of the fat from the sausage before adding the additional Tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onions, garlic celery and carrots? Seemed like a lot of grease.
    Also I did not have carrots on hand while making this- I know shocking :)- I also cook for my pups so had used all my carrots over the weekend -:)
    Curious if it will make a difference for the Bolognese ?
    I also substituted half and half for heavy cream
    Thanks for a great recipe

    • Hi Marsha, I typically don’t drain the fat from the sausage as it adds a lot of flavor, but if you’d prefer to, you can. And the lack of carrots shouldn’t make a significant difference. I’d love to hear how it turned out!

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