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World’s Best Lasagna

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Delicious layers of noodles, cheese, and the most lusciously rich meat sauce, steeped in deep Italian flavors all combine to create the World’s Best Lasagna! 

piece of lasagna on a plate

Happy Halloween! I know… sigh…it’s chili, taco soup, or pizza day! Anything you can fix that is quick and easy after all the Trick-or-Treating so why am I blogging about Lasagna for crying out loud?!!!

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I know what you’re thinking…”Are ya daft?” Well….Maybe? Or, maybe I just want to offer you an idea for later in the week! Or…maybe I already had this post written and I have a million bazillion things to do today cause it’s HALLOWEEN!!!

Whatever the reason, I’m still super excited to share with you…THE World’s Best Lasagna! Now I know someone has already claimed that ” name to fame”, and we shall quietly mourn for them for mistakenly thinking theirs was the best! They need not know. Shhhh… we have taken the title away from them! (Buwhahahaha…insert little scary Halloween laughter)

There’s good lasagna, there’s great lasagna, there’s fantastic lasagna, and then there is “THE BEST”! This is the BEST! I know because my friend told me so! lol (Never underestimate the compliment of a friend!)

piece of lasagna on a plate

So you’re looking at the pictures (and drooling…I hope you’re drooling?!) and you’re thinking to yourself…okay what makes your lasagna so much better than that other guys? I’ll tell you…two things…in my humble opinion.

Sauce, sauce, sauce! (That’s just one thing totally overstated!) The second, and I mean no offense when I say this…is NOT cottage cheese! When making lasagna please, save me from having a heart attack, and only use Ricotta!  (Gasp! Did she really just say that? How could she!)

You’re saying, “NORINE! Lasagna is an expensive dish to make. I’m just trying to save money.” I get that. However, some dishes you just don’t skimp on. Homemade Lasagna is one of them! You can’t cut costs and have a “GREAT” pan of lasagna. You can have an “okay” dish of lasagna, but it won’t be “the best”!

Raise your right hand and repeat after me…”I solemnly swear I will only use ricotta cheese when making lasagna!” Whew! We can now proceed.

Lasagna on plate

Let’s talk sauce. I’m going to share with you the secret to a really, really GREAT meat sauce. Are you ready?…You have to let it simmer for several hours!

You know those Italian movies where you see with the Italian Momma slaving over that pot of sauce all day long. There’s a reason for that!

As the sauce simmers and cooks down, it becomes thicker and richer, the sugars break down and caramelize and holy yum…you are on a whole new level of sauce of making! Bonus…your house smells like Italian Heaven!

How To Make GREAT Lasagna Meat Sauce

This sauce is pretty simple. Begin by browning your ground beef with your mild Italian sausage.

Add in canned diced tomatoes,tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, sugar, fresh chopped or dried onions, seasonings and garlic.

Turn the heat down to simmer and allow it to cook down for about 3 -4  hours. Stirring occasionally. (Why, YES! That is my Pioneer Woman’s Cast Iron enamel coated dutch oven that I L.O.V.E.!)

Rich Lasagna Meat Sauce in a big pot.

How To Make the World’s Best Lasagna

When the meat sauce is done, it’s just a matter of precooking your lasagna noodles and putting it all together.

TIP: I know some people don’t cook their lasagna noodles. I’ve done it both ways. There is a difference. I recommend cooking your noodles.

You will need 9 lasagna noodles for a 9 x 13 pan of lasagna, cook a couple extra to be safe.

Begin with a layer of noodles.  My pan was a little narrow so I over lapped them a tad. It worked out great. Then using a teaspoon dab the ricotta cheese over the noodles. A few rows is perfect.

Layer of cooked lasagna noodles with dabs of ricotta cheese

Next, add a layer of cheese. Don’t go super heavy on the cheese. Just enough to cover the ricotta and noodles.

Adding grated cheese to layers

After the cheese, add a layer of sauce. (I forgot the picture. Sorry folks! I just get too excited in the kitchen mid-project! I really have to work on that! Yikes!) 

Repeat with another layer of noodles, another dabbing of the ricotta cheese, more mozzarella and more sauce.

One more layer of noodles, ricotta, cheese, and sauce. Now sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. I use the green bottle one for this recipe. You can use which ever is your favorite.

Pop it into the oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly. Remove. Cut into 12 squares .

Can you see all the layers of deliciousness?! It has the perfect amount of cheese. The ricotta is so creamy. I love the texture and flavor with the meat sauce. It blends beautifully together.

close up photo of lasagna

I seriously wouldn’t make lasagna any other way. I realize it’s a taste preference, and it’s a personal choice, but I really love the combination and if you haven’t tried it…give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I serve this World’s Best Lasagna with a big tossed green salad and garlic bread!

I love this lasagna even more the next day! Best Leftovers EVER! Be sure to make extra! It’s like a fine wine, not that I  know because I don’t drink, but it get’s better with age! (Don’t we all!… Oh dear…I just realized my “food twin” is lasagna!)

Easy Additional Pasta Recipes

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you love this lasagna! It’s truly a classic dish.  

Happy Nesting My Friends!

Norines Photo and signature
Yield: 12 servings

World’s Best Lasagna

Lasagna on plate

A rich, thick, hearty Italian Lasagna filled with ricotta and mozzarella cheese's that truly is the BEST lasagna you will ever have!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours

Ingredients

Red Meat Sauce

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 pound mild Italian Sausage
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced petite tomatoes
  • 1- 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 - small, 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. crushed rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

Lasagna Ingredients

  • 15 oz. Ricotta cheese
  • 1 package Lasagna Noodles (cooked...about 12 noodles)
  • 2 cups grated mozarella cheese
  • grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pot brown ground beef and Italian Sausage. Sautee onions till tender. Drain. Add Tomatoes, Tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, sugar, and all seasonings. Simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours until reduced down and sauce is thick, rich and caramelized.
  2. Last 30 minutes of sauce cook time bring a large pot of water to boil and add lasagna noodles one at a time, so as not to break them. Cook for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and let set in cool water. Grate cheese.
  3. In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, layer noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sauce. Repeat layers again, noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sauce. Add one more layer of noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and meat sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Notes

The cook time includes the simmer time for the sauce to reduce and caramelize. Actual cook time for Lasagna is 40 minutes. Also, I place my pan of lasagna on a baking sheet just "in case" the sauce bubbles over. Less clean up!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 494mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 24g

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Bunnie

Thursday 17th of June 2021

Could this be put in a slow cooker for the 3 or 4 hours on low

norine@norinesnest.com

Monday 21st of June 2021

Hi Bunnie! I'm sure it could be! I have always baked it in the oven, but I'm sure it would work in the slow cooker. Great question. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a Great week and come back soon. Norine

Gina

Sunday 30th of June 2019

Dearest Norine, lasagna goddess,

This recipe changed my life this weekend. I doubled the recipe (I live with too many people I mean four teen boys and a husband hahaha!). I almost didn’t want to share. I’ve made lasagna for 15 something years, it never came out right and everyone always pretended to enjoy it. No. This. THIS RECIPE. I got to the ricotta part and was like like wait, what, I don’t have to add egg and five pounds of Parmesan? Your recipe is MUAH KISS THE AIR delicious, exquisite perfection. We have no leftovers for the first time in 15 years. Can’t wait to try your other recipes!!! A champagne toast to you!

norine@norinesnest.com

Monday 1st of July 2019

Hi Gina! Oh my goodness!!! I think this may be my favorite post of all time! Course I am being referred to as a "goddess" so that could have a LOT to do with it! lol You truly made my week. Last week was just "one of those weeks" and receiving your message lifted my spirits and brought a huge smile to my face. I'm going to share it with my kids who used to sit at the table on Lasagna nights pouting! That's right...I may be your lasagna goddess...but my kids did not feel the same way! LOL I may frame this and make them hang it in their homes! Thanks for making my day and I HOPE you come back again real soon! Happy Nesting! ~Norine

Shauna

Thursday 7th of February 2019

This sounds AMAZING and exactly what I'm looking for. My question would be... can I add chopped zucchini to this to bulk the veggie factor, or would that ruin this??? I'm going to use this recipe for lasanga roll ups, with homemade noodles, and of course ONLY ricotta. ?

norine@norinesnest.com

Thursday 7th of February 2019

Hi Shauna! I think you'd be fine to add the squash. I would just be careful not to add too much because of the moisture it will add to the sauce. You want a nice thick sauce with this lasagna. I love your email address too! So cute! Homemade noodles...amazing! I'd love to see a picture or have you write back and let me know how you liked this recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm excited to hear how this goes. Have a GREAT week. ~Norine

Terri Holloway

Sunday 21st of May 2017

Recipe was great, family love it and first time I made lasagna. That worlds Best Lasagna felt it could had use more sauce

norine@norinesnest.com

Tuesday 30th of May 2017

Hi Terri! I'm so glad your family loved the lasagna. Look at you go making it! Wooo Hooo! That is AWESOME! It can be a bit intimidating so I'm really impressed. The tricky thing with Lasagna is never knowing how much "sauce" those noodles are going to soak up! I always think this dish is so much better on day two or three. However with each passing day it become's less saucy than the day before. If you want it to have more sauce I suggest adding another small can of tomato sauce or doubling the sauce recipe. You can always use the extra sauce to pour over the top or another pasta dish. Thanks so much for sharing with me. Have a GREAT week and thanks for sharing! ~ Norine

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