This classic meat lasagna recipe is the perfect dinner the whole family will love. It's perfect for serving a crowd and it makes great leftovers throughout the week!
This lasagna recipe is made with the best meat sauce layered with a cheesy spinach mixture between lasagna noodles. It's always a huge hit, you will want to make this again and again!
How to Make Lasagna:
Cook the noodles:
Boil the noodles in salted water for 4-5 minutes, until slightly undercooked. If they cook fully before baking they will get overcooked in the oven and become mushy. Place the noodles in a single layer on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place more parchment paper between additional layers so they don't stick to one another.
For the cheese mixture:
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, eggs, chopped spinach, and black pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.
Make the meat sauce:
I recommend using ground beef that is 80-90% lean.
Heat some olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the ground beef and chopped red onions and cook until the beef is browned and no more pink remains. About 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté an additional minute. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, red wine, salt, and pepper.
The wine adds a perfect depth of flavor, it is a finishing touch to the sauce that is highly recommended. Use a drinking quality dry red wine such as cabernet, pinot noir, or merlot.
How to Layer Lasagna:
Spray a 9 x 13" casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add enough meat sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Top with a single layer of noodles. Then the cheese mixture, then more sauce. Repeat twice more.
So your layers should look like this:
Spread shredded mozzarella cheese over the top, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.
How to Reheat Lasagna:
This lasagna recipe makes great leftovers- actually even better than the original! Bake leftover lasagna at 375° for about 30 minutes, sprinkle a little water or marinara over the top to prevent it from drying out. To reheat a small amount of lasagna you can sprinkle with water or marinara and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More Italian Favorites:
- 12 lasagna noodles
For the meat sauce
- 1 lb. ground beef, 80% lean
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 tbsp. dry red wine
For the cheese layer
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Boil the lasagna noodles in water for 4-5 minutes until just under al dente
- Drain the noodles and set on a pan lined with parchment paper. Add parchment paper in between layers so they don't stick together.
Make the meat sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the chopped red onion and ground beef and sauté until cooked through and no longer pink. Add the minced garlic and sauté an additional minute.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, red wine, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
For the cheese layer:
- In a medium bowl combine ricotta cheese, 3 cups of shredded mozzarella, chopped spinach, eggs, and pepper and stir to combine.
Assemble the lasagna
- Spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add 1 and ½ cup of meat sauce to the bottom of the pan.
- Arrange the lasagna noodles in a single layer on top of the meat sauce. Top with 1 cup of the cheese mixture and another 1 and ½ cup of the meat sauce. Add another layer of noodles, cheese, and sauce. Repeat this once more, ending with the sauce.
- Top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Serve warm.