Welcome to the only lasagna recipe on the Internet that’s made from scratch, yet can still be considered Lazy Lasagna!
This Homemade Lasagna Recipe comes together with a magical, quick-fix marinara meat sauce, a simple ricotta mixture, and an assembly process that kisses all those pesky layering questions goodbye.
WHAT MAKES THIS LAZY LASAGNA THE BEST
Homemade Lasagna (done right) is a time-consuming dish. If you’ve ever made one from scratch, you 100% know this to be true.
Luckily, the steps within this particular lasagna recipe have been methodically broken down to both simplify and speed up the prep work! Still made from scratch, only now, with way more efficiency.
Below, you’ll find four simple factors that make this Lazy Lasagna Recipe the absolute best.
1. THE LAYERS
Ya know how you can never get those lasagna ricotta layers to spread just right across that bump meat sauce, and the two end up being some kind of homogenous blend despite your best efforts?
This over-the-top simple layering method solves that problem entirely.
2. MAGIC MARINARA MEAT SAUCE
The sauce is really where the magic happens. It tastes as though it simmered for hours, yet comes together in less than 15 minutes.
All of those saucy flavors are going to meld while baking in the oven, which means we don’t have to worry about simmering it on the stovetop for an extended period of time.
3. FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE
You can use block mozzarella or fresh mozzarella for this recipe but avoid the pre-shredded stuff. Freshly grated cheese is a big difference-maker when it comes to both texture, and flavor, not to mention looks.
If you use fresh mozzarella cheese, count yourself down for one massive treat. Working with fresh mozzarella requires no grating and it just so happens to melt down gorgeously, making for one beautiful Homemade Lasagna!
4. JUST SAY NO TO NO-BAKE NOODLES
Now, if we were being the absolute laziest, we would use oven-ready lasagna noodles. But, these noodles bake into mush and we just can’t have that.
So instead, we are going to use good, old fashion lasagna noodles…and it’s going to be entirely worth it.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE LASAGNA
- Preheat the oven, grease the casserole dish, and get the pasta water boiling.
- Make the sauce.
- Make the Ricotta mixture.
- Boil the noodles.
- Layer the lasagna.
- Bake and cool.
LAZY LASAGNA PREP WORK
To kick off this Lazy Homemade Lasagna recipe, preheat your oven to 350°F and have the rack centered in the oven.
You’ll also grease a large casserole dish or lasagna pan. When it comes to picking the dish you bake your lasagna in, it’s not so much the length and width that matter — it’s the depth. Deep-dish casserole dishes make for the very best lasagna pans!
Lastly, fill a pot with water for boiling the lasagna noodles, and go ahead and give it a great big pinch of salt as well.
Place it over high heat, and while you’re waiting on your water to come to a boil, you can go ahead and knock out the sauce!
HOMEMADE LASAGNA MEAT SAUCE
The marinara sauce begins by sautéing a diced yellow onion in olive oil that has been heated in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Once the onion has softened, add in a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and stir for about one minute, just until the garlic is fragrant. Then, you’ll add in the meat, break it apart, and cook until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
After the meat is fully cooked through, you can add in the remaining sauce ingredients which consist of canned tomatoes, sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh chopped basil. Fresh herbs make a huge difference when it comes to a great marinara. Don’t skip that basil!
Once you’ve got all your sauce ingredients in the pot, consider the sauce done for your Homemade Lasagna done!
BEEF OR TURKEY LASAGNA | YOU PICK!!!
You can use either a low-fat ground turkey or ground beef for your lasagna. By using low-fat ground meat (such as 90/10), you can skip the added step of spooning grease out of the pan.
You could even use Italian sausage if you’d like, but as mentioned above, you would need to spoon away any excess grease before adding in the remaining ingredients.
HOW TO MAKE A KILLER RICOTTA MIXTURE
For the ricotta mixture, you can use grated low-fat mozzarella cheese or fresh mozzarella cheese. You’ll also want to have one 16-ounce container of low-fat or whole milk ricotta cheese.
To make it, add all of the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, half of the grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of chopped basil, an egg, and a generous pinch of salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix together until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed with one another, and set aside.
WORKING WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA
If you are using fresh mozzarella cheese in the place of grated mozzarella, it’s very important that you take the time to remove the excess moisture from the exterior of the cheese.
To do this you would slice the mozzarella into 1/4″ slices (if it’s not already sliced), lay each slice down on a layer of paper towels, then add another layer of paper towels on top of the cheese and gently press down on the cheese slices to absorb the excess water.
To add fresh mozzarella to the ricotta mixture, tear it into small pieces and then add it to the bowl.
NOODLES FOR PERFECT HOMEMADE LASAGNA
At this point, the water should have hit a rolling boil, and you’ll add your lasagna noodles and cook them for about 4 to 5 minutes.
You are looking for a texture that is just under al dente. This means that the lasagna noodles will be bendy, but will still have a fairly firm texture to them.
You’ll need to cook about 8 to 10 lasagna noodles, which is about half of the package. Once they’ve reached the right texture, drain them well, and it’s time to assemble that Lazy Lasagna!
HOW TO LAYER LAZY LASAGNA
Now here is where we’re going to get a little lazy!
Instead of stacking the lasagna with an insane amount of complicated layers, this Homemade Lasagna Recipe features only three layers of meat sauce, two layers of noodles, and one great big glorious layer of ricotta and mozzarella. Yes, please.
Here’s how to layer the lasagna:
- A thin layer of sauce (about a cup of meat sauce)
- A layer of pasta noodles
- A generous layer of sauce (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of meat sauce)
- All of the ricotta mozzarella cheese mixture
- A layer of pasta noodles
- A thin layer of sauce (about a cup of meat sauce)
- Topping of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
BAKE YOUR LAZY HOMEMADE LASAGNA TO PERFECTION
To bake the lasagna, you will cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 350°F preheated oven for 40 minutes. Once that baking time is up, you can remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Once the sauce is bubbling up the sides, and the cheese is irresistibly melted, you can remove the lasagna from the oven and set it aside to cool.
Allow you or was your lasagna to rest for at least 25 to 30 minutes before you cut into it. If you don’t allow the lasagna to set up, your layers will run all over the dinner plate!
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The best EVER Lazy Homemade Lasagna Recipe with a magically fast marinara meat sauce, a swoon-worthy ricotta layer, and a super simple layering process!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound low-fat ground beef or turkey
- 1 (24-ounce) bottle tomato puree
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher, plus a pinch separated
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped basil, plus 2 tablespoons separated
- About a 1/2 package lasagna noodles
- 1 (16-ounce) container low-fat ricotta
- 16 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated and separated (you could also use fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4" slices, if you'd like -- see notes if using)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan separated
- 1 egg
Preheat the oven to 350°F and have ready a large, greased casserole dish or lasagna pan. Also, place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
Add the oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Then, add the ground meat and break it apart. Cook through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the pureed tomatoes, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper and stir. Add 1/4 cup of chopped basil, stir, and remove from the heat.
As soon as your water has reached a rolling boil, add your lasagna noodles and cook for about 4-5 minutes. You want them to be just under al dente in texture. Drain and set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, make the ricotta cheese mixture. Add the ricotta cheese, half of the grated mozzarella, 2 tablespoons parmesan, 2 tablespoons basil, egg, and a generous pinch of salt. Mix until evenly combined.
To assemble the lasagna, add a thin layer of meat sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish. Lay down a layer of noodles (about 3 to 4) across the sauce to cover, followed by about 2-3 ladlefuls of sauce. Spread the sauce to the edges and gently dollop all of the ricotta mixture across the top. Spread the ricotta to the edges, and top with another layer of noodles. Add a thin layer of meat sauce across the top of the noodles and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Lastly, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese across.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about 15 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and allow to set up for at least 25 minutes before cutting and serving.
If using fresh mozzarella, lay the slices down on a double-layer of paper towels. Then, add another layer of paper towels on top and gently press to absorb any excess moisture from the cheese.
To add fresh mozzarella to the ricotta mixture, tear it into small pieces and add directly to the bowl.
As for the top layer of cheese on the lasagna, you can either lay your remaining fresh mozzarella down in slices or you can tear it into chunks.