Classic Lasagna


This lasagna recipe is a Better Homes & Gardens favorite.

Classic Lasagna
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 35 mins

Our classic lasagna recipe features your choice of ricotta or cottage cheese, plus mozzarella and Parmesan for all that cheesy goodness. Read through this easy lasagna recipe and we'll walk you through how to make the meat sauce, creamy filling, and noodles. We're also sharing step-by-step instructions for layering homemade lasagna. After baking, let the dish stand for 15 minutes before serving. Don't forget the garlic bread!


  • 8 ounce bulk Italian or pork sausage or ground beef or turkey

  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ - ⅓ cup dry red wine

  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed (optional)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 12 dried lasagna noodles

  • 1 beaten egg

  • 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese or 2 cups cottage cheese, drained

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 3 cup shredded mozzarella (12 oz.)

  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Snipped fresh basil (optional)


Meat Sauce

  1. cooking ground meat and onions in pot

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    In a large saucepan cook meat, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is browned, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain fat.

  2. adding red wine to cooked ground meat

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Stir in dry red wine; bring to boiling.

  3. adding tomato sauce to meat sauce

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds (if desired), and black pepper into meat mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


  1. cook lasagna noodles in colander

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

  2. lasagna ricotta mixture in bowl

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    For filling, combine egg, ricotta, and the ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

  3. meat red sauce added to the bottom of baking dish

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Spread about ¼ cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish.

  4. layering noodles and ricotta mixture for classic lasagna

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Arrange three of the cooked noodles lengthwise over sauce. Spoon one-fourth of the filling over noodles.

    Test Kitchen Tip: For mess-free assembly, spoon the filling into a resealable plastic bag. Snip off one corner of the bag; squeeze the bag to pipe the filling over the noodles in the baking dish.

  5. Top with one-fourth of the remaining sauce and one-fourth of the mozzarella cheese.

  6. layered classic lasagna with cheese

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Repeat layers three more times, starting with noodles and ending with mozzarella cheese (cover top layer of noodles evenly with sauce). If desired, sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over top.

  7. baked classic lasagna

    BHG / Ana Cadena

    Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes or until hot in the center (160°F). Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with basil.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare as above through step 5. Cover unbaked lasagna; chill for up to 24 hours. To serve, bake, covered, in a 375 degree F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Quick Lasagna Variation

Substitute 6 no-boil lasagna noodles (one-third of a 9 ounce package) for the regular lasagna noodles and skip step 3. Omit the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and pepper. For sauce, stir a 26-ounce jar pasta sauce into the browned meat mixture. Do not simmer. Continue as directed in step 4.

Vegetable Lasagna Variation

Prepare Classic Lasagna as directed, except omit beef or sausage. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered, and 1 yellow or red sweet pepper, cut into strips, with the onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped zucchini and/or yellow summer squash; cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Continue as directed.

Lasagna with Bechamel Variation

For Béchamel sauce, in a 3-quart saucepan melt 3 Tbsp. butter with 3 cloves minced garlic over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. black pepper. Gradually whisk in 2½ cups milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Cook and whisk 2 minutes more. Stir in ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese into finished sauce. Remove from heat.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

441 Calories
20g Fat
37g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 441
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 97mg 32%
Sodium 695mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 8.3mg 42%
Calcium 343.3mg 26%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 233mg 5%
Folate, total 68.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.7mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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