This hearty Classic Lasagna recipe features layers of meaty red sauce, rich goat cheese ricotta filling and melty mozzarella cheese which creates the ultimate recipe done right!
If you wander into my kitchen and take a peek into the freezer, you might be a little taken aback. You see, I’m a bit of a leftovers hoarder. Years of constant recipe testing have taken hold of my freezer in the form of cakes, crusts and berries. It’s out of control!
But, I will say that a well-stocked freezer is never a bad thing to have. On nights where I can’t be bothered to cook or on weekends when my sweet tooth is raging, sneaking away to dig for a frozen treat is a Godsend. I mean, who knows what I might find?
Perks and Highlights of the Best Lasagna Recipe
Today, I’m sharing a recipe inspired by a recent freezer find: Homemade Classic Lasagna. Made with layers of tender pasta, tangy cheese filling and flavorful red sauce, this lasagna is decadent and oh-so comforting. The addition of goat cheese layers adds zesty flavor and extra creaminess. Once baked, the melded flavors and bubbling cheese make for a meal of epic proportions!
Let’s get to layering, y’all!
There are three major components to this recipe: sauce, cheese filling and noodles. Simple, efficient and delicious. Choosing to use my Southern Spaghetti Sauce was a no brainer; it’s savory, rich and aromatic. What more could you ask for?
Next up, the absolute best part, is the rich, cheesy filling. Made with Montchevre Goat Cheese, ricotta, parmesan and basil, this filling is of epic proportions! With each bite there are bursts of herbaceous basil, zippy goat cheese and sweet ricotta. The added mozzarella cheese gives us the necessary melty goodness that we associate with any luscious lasagna.
When it comes to the noodles, I recommend using what you got! No-boil, traditional or homemade, they’re all insanely yummy and robust.
How to Make Lasagna
- Sizzle & Simmer:
- Fire up oil, brown your meat mix, and throw in veggies.
- Jazz it up with garlic, then pour in all things tomato, plus wine, stock, and spices.
- Simmer until it’s saucy-perfect.
- Cheese Medley:
- Whip goat cheese, ricotta, egg, Parmesan, and seasonings together. Stand by.
- Layer it Loud:
- Heat oven to 375°F. Prep baking dish.
- Start the sauce symphony, lay noodles, spread cheese mix, layer mozzarella, and encore with meat sauce. Repeat and finish with cheese.
- Bake & Bravo:
- Cover with sprayed foil. Bake 25 min, uncover, then bake 25 more.
- Cool 15-20 min, garnish, serve, and take your applause!
Homemade classic lasagna is always good, unless it’s bad. From mushy noodles to burnt cheese, there are more than a few ways to succumb to the classic pasta pitfalls. Let’s not do that today.
Don’t Overcook the Noodles
If you’re strapped for time, no-boil noodles are a great, time-saving alternative. Now, it won’t be the same, but we all deserve a break sometimes. With that being said, if you’re gonna go with traditionally boiled noodles, it’s crucial to slightly undercook them.
Remember, these noodles will be cooked twice and overcooking them will only make for a chewy, mushy mess. I find that a 5-6 minute boil will do the trick!
Avoid Clumpy Pasta Sheets
Once your noodles have been cooked, do not just dump them in a colander to drain. Those noodles are destined to become dry, sticky, clumpy messes. Instead, oil a baking sheet and lay each noodle flat on top. Yes, it’s an extra step, but one worth trying.
Utilize the Broiler
If you leave your lasagna uncovered in the oven, it will dry out. We fight that by covering the pan with aluminum foil for the first half of the baking period. Once the foil is removed, the magic happens: cheese melts, sauce bubbles and flavors marry.
Personally, I love a bubbled, deeply browned and slightly crisp top layer. To achieve that, I crank the broiler on high for the last 5 minutes of cooking. But keep an eye out; these babies burn fast!
On the rare occasion there is leftover lasagna in my house, I like to cut it up in individual-sized portions and store them in airtight containers. Storing individual pieces makes for a quick lunch, dinner or maybe even a light snack? Properly stored, cooked lasagna will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
To further extend the shelf life, tightly wrap the lasagna in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze it. Frozen lasagna will maintain its best quality for 2-3 months.
You’ve put in all that work to make a rich, ooey-gooey classic lasagna and you’re just gonna let it go to waste? I don’t think so. Take the extra few minutes to properly reheat your leftovers!
I’d highly suggest choosing the oven to reheat the lasagna rather than the microwave. This method requires a bit of patience, but the payoff is worth it. The oven works for both individual slices and partially ravaged casseroles; the slower cooking process creates that ideal bubbly, cheesy deliciousness.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and drizzle a few tablespoons of water around the edges of the pasta.
- Tightly cover the lasagna pan or casserole dish with aluminum foil and throw it in the oven.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the leftovers.
Again, I’d recommend using the oven to reheat frozen lasagna. If you have the time, it’s best to thaw the lasagna overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. But you can also reheat lasagna straight out of the freezer! Follow the steps above and add an extra 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.
What to Serve it With
Best Pasta Recipes
At least once a week, a pasta dish sneaks its way into my weeknight dinner rotation. Comforting, easy-to-make and great for leftovers, pasta is an undeniably foolproof meal choice. With a delicious lasagna under your belt, it’s time to expand into a few of my other favorite noodle-y nibbles!
Check ‘em out:
- Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Summer Brown Butter Pasta for Two
- Chicken Stuffed Shells
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Baked Ziti
- Baked Spaghetti
- Sausage Stuffed Shells
Classic Lasagna Recipe
For the Sauce
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
- Seasoned salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 42 oz crushed tomatoes 1 1/2 (28 oz) cans
- 29 oz tomato sauce 1 29 oz can
- 2 tbsp red wine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar plus 1 tsp or more to taste
For the Filling
- 4 oz Montchevre Plain Goat Cheese
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp basil chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Stella Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
For the Remaining Ingredients
- Lasagna noodles can use no boil or make sure they are already boiled and prepared
- 3 cups Stella Fresh Mozzarella or Italian blend shredded cheese Up to 4 cups or more if desired
- Stella Shredded Parmesan Cheese for garnish
- Parsley for garnish
For the Sauce
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium high heat on the stove.
- Add ground beef (or turkey), Italian sausage, onion, green pepper and salt and pepper. Brown until cooked.
- Next add garlic and cook for 1 minute continuing to stir.
- Then add in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened about 30-40 minutes then set aside.
For the Filling
- Combine goat cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, basil, parmesan cheese, salt and garlic salt in a large bowl and mix until combined.
- Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- This is where I give you a little more freedom. Feel free to add as much of the sauce and cheese as you want!
- Spread about 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Place 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce, then spread some of the goat cheese mixture over the noodles. Layer with the mozzarella, then add more meat sauce, then repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients finishing with mozzarella and parmesan.
- Bake the lasagna: Cover the lasagna with foil. Spray the side of the foil facing the lasagna with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
- Bake for 25 minutes, remove the foil, then bake for another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let lasagna cool and rest for 15-20 minutes then sprinkle with parsley and serve.