Mom’s Fabulous Lasagna
My mom’s lasagna is simply the best. It is easy to make and so delicious! Choose between regular or no-boil noodles. It’s a tried-and-true favorite!
My mom would deny to her death that she is a great cook. But she is. And many of my tried-and-true recipes are none other than hers!
My mom’s lasagna is no exception. Using no-boil lasagna noodles speeds up the whole throwing-together process but overall, this lasagna is easy peasy.
The simple sauce simmers while you whip together the creamy filling and all the flavors blend into one of our favorite lasagnas of all time. Enjoy!
A Few Notes: I do a couple things differently than my mom.
1) I use oven-ready lasagna noodles although you can definitely use regular lasagna noodles – boil them for a couple minutes less than the package directions so they don’t soften too much while baking. For no-boil noodles, I use the Barilla or Target Whole Wheat brands. I personally don’t think I’ll ever revert back to the lasagna noodles that need to be boiled. Whether that makes me inherently lazy or not, I’m not sure, but either way, no-boil lasagna noodles are where it’s at.
2) My mom always used just two layers of noodles but I firmly believe a good lasagna needs at least three layers of noodles. So. Three layers of noodles it is.
FAQs for Mom’s Fabulous Lasagna
The filling probably won’t hold up quite as well (it will likely be a bit runnier) but its not a deal breaker if you need to leave out the egg.
I always start with a layer of noodles – it seems to cook fine because there is a lot of liquid/sauce that permeates that bottom layer. If you’re really nervous about it (or really want that bottom layer to be nice and tender) you can throw a little sauce down in the pan- either way will work!
What To Serve With This:
Divine Breadsticks or Cheesy Garlic Bread
Steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Simple green salad (or something more fancy like this Gourmet Green Salad)
Mom’s Fabulous Lasagna
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese or a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese (see note)
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Noodles and Cheese:
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 9 no-boil lasagna noodles (see note)
- For the sauce, in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook the ground meat and onion until the meat is cooked through. Drain any excess grease. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, dried basil, salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.
- For the filling, in a medium bowl mix the ricotta, egg, basil, parsley, salt, and Parmesan cheese.
- To assemble the lasagna, lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan. Spread 1/2 cup or so of the sauce over the bottom into a thin layer. Layer as follows: 3 noodles, red sauce, creamy filling, mozzarella, 3 noodles, red sauce, creamy filling, mozzarella, 3 noodles, red sauce, remaining mozzarella. (Basically, all layers – the noodles, red sauce, mozzarella – are split into three layers and the creamy filling is divided among two layers.)
- Cover with greased foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, bake 20-30 minutes more until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my mom, Michel W.
62 Comments on “Mom’s Fabulous Lasagna”
My husband says this is his favorite lasagna recipe. Thank you Mel!
This is one of my family’s favorites. We have learned that we like it with half the meat subbed with diced up mushrooms!
My husband loves the Stouffers lasagnas and I just don’t. But this. On my goodness this recipe is AMAZING. We all love it. I make extra so I can freeze one and still have the Stouffers experience of just pulling it out of the freezer to easily bake in a few hours.
I don’t make lasagna much, and I was surprised that this recipe didn’t have garlic. But it was so delicious! This will be my go to lasagna recipe! Loved it!
Made it tonight, was my first lasagna I’ve made. Turned out great. I did go 1.5lbs of ground beef and like 3 Italian sausages. Fit in my casserole dish well. Was a little low on sauce after having that much meat so I’ll be adding some more tomato or something next time I believe
Do you think things would work out well if I doubled the ground beef? I usually do that in most recipes but just concerned about that throwing off the layers here. Also wondering if that will require a bigger dish. Note, I am doing the original version you had with 12oz of tomato paste.
Yes, I think you could do that just fine! This makes a pretty full dish – how tall are the sides of your 9X13-inch pan?
Thanks! Not that tall, maybe 3 inches. We’ve used it many times to make your garlic fontina spaghetti, with double the chicken (2lbs) and it leaves a little room to spare.
Part of me is thinking this one with double meat might push things a bit too far though!
Do you think it’s possible to make this without the egg? My kids have an egg allergy and my usual egg substitutes don’t seem like they’d work out too well here. What do you think?
I definitely think it is worth a try. The filling probably won’t hold up quite as well (be a bit runnier) but I don’t think that is a deal breaker.
I love this lasagna recipe! We have late church and yet we love to have people over for Sunday dinner…has anyone tried baking this half way, then refrigerating or freezing – so that the day of you don’t have to bake it for quite as long?
Mel! This was SO good that my 4 kids (10 & under) polished the pan. My husband and I barely got away with a square. They all asked me to make it again tomorrow for breakfast. I didn’t have ricotta, so I used all cottage cheese – so very good. Thank you!
Before we were doing this gluten free thing, I was constantly using your recipes. Rarely have they failed. This one we did with gluten free lasagna noodles and i added a touch of fresh garlic wit the meat and onions but we loved it. And the leftovers – yum! My kids are hard to please but once I make something a few times, they’ll usually warm up to it.
I even made your divine bread sticks with Bob’s 1 to 1 gluten free flour ( i only did half the recipe just to experiment and not be too wasteful if the results were a gluten free disaster — which happens often) although they didn’t twist and i had to re-roll the ‘twists’ back out into plain old sticks ( think play dough snakes), the end result was pretty tasty. I only sprinkled a little garlic powder over them and thought they would do better with a bit more seasoning. But now I know and they were easy.
That’s awesome, Vanessa!!
I made my 1st lasagna this weekend and used this recipe and my whole family loved it! We are a small family so there is plenty for another night, too. I love to “cook once, eat twice”! I know I am 8 years late to the party on this one, but thank you so much for posting this recipe. I know if you post it, my family will enjoy it.
Thanks, Rebecca – glad you enjoyed this one!
My kids had friends over while I was making a triple batch. They kept commenting on how good it smelled and looked. I can take a hint. They were thrilled to get a slice of lasagna before going home. 🙂 And so, thank you for the fabulous recipes, and my kids friends thank you also. 🙂
Oh. My. Goodness. All the flavors just popped so well, the texture was perfect, all around great recipe. Thanks Mel!
I’m retired so i cook at all hours! Just finished making lasagna and have put it in the refrigerator for tomorrow!! I’m really excited to try it. I altered the recipe by doubling the sauce, cheese, and ricotta cheese mixture…we are a very saucy family!!! Wish me luck!!! Bone appetit!
LOL. Your “Mom” used no boil noodles and ground turkey? What a clown show
Dude youre a clown show. she clearly says her mother boiled the noodles and she prefers no boil, IDIOTA
The one thing I noticed wasn’t in the sauce was crushed fresh garlic, so I added 2 cloves. I thought maybe your mom didn’t like garlic! I have it simmering on the stove right now and it looks perfect! My husband is getting Lasagna dinner for his birthday tomorrow! Thanks for all your great recipes.
Hi Mel! Just made this lasagna for dinner tonight and it was a hit! Easy and flavorful! Thanks, friend.
Lasagna is one of the recipes I always use nutmeg in. Just a wee bit in the ricotta mixture gives it a a wonderful flavor. I use about 1/4 t of ground nutmeg. I bought some fresh to grind since seeing it in your recipes, but haven’t tried it yet.
The only trouble I have is getting 3 layers in a 9×13 baking dish… I must be heavy handed with the fillings! I’m on the hunt for a deep lasagne dish that won’t break the bank. 🙂
In recent years I’ve been soaking my lasagna noodles in warm water for a while before using them. They get soft/pliable, and they’re easier to handle than the scalding hot ones straight out of the boiling water. I like the results better than just not hydrating the noodles at all.
This is my go to lasagna recipe and has been for awhile. Thank you for that! I don’t have to change a thing either, it’s perfect as is. I actually tried the Classic Italian Lasagna you posted and I hands down prefer this one. I think it was the white sauce I didn’t like, but to each their own. Thanks for another great one Mel!
I am in love with this easy lasagna recipe! Thank you, Mel.
Just made this lasagna tonight and it was soooo good! Even my husband, who generally prefers all things store bought, liked it! Thanks for a really simple to prepare and delicious to eat meal!
Regarding the can of tomatoes, is that whole tomatoes, or diced tomatoes, or what? Thanks! My husband requested lasagna (which I never make!) for Father’s Day, so I’m going to give it a try.
Maria – I used diced tomatoes.
Have you ever tried Italian sausage? This reminds me of my Mom’s recipe and she always uses Italian sausage. We also use egg noodles because we hate boiling lasagna noodles, but I may need to try the bake ones.
So would you recommend a half batch?
Hi can I use a 8×8 pan for this recipe or would it be too small?
Kayla – that would be too small for a full batch of lasagna.
If you want to use that size of pan, yes, you would probably want to halve the recipe.
Susannah – I usually use lean ground turkey or 93/7 ground beef.
What percentage of fat in your ground beef do you use for this recipe? Thanks!
Hi I’m making this now and I noticed that you begin with the noodles, rather than a layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Just want to make sure that is the intended way to do it -I’ve always thought that the no-boil noodles wouldn’t cook properly without a layer of sauce on the bottom.
Caitlin – I always start with a layer of noodles – it seems to cook fine because there is a lot of liquid/sauce that permeates that bottom layer. But if you are nervous about it (or really want that bottom layer to be nice and tender) by all means throw a little sauce down in the pan. Either way should work fine!
I’m making this for dinner tonight and can’t wait to try it. I’m splitting into two 8X8 pans, one for dinner and one for freezer meal in preparation for another baby coming soon. Just wondering…. it says to put 2 tsp of basil into meat mixture, but doesn’t account for the other 1/2 tsp anywhere. I’m assuming it goes in with the ricotta cheese mixture? Thanks for all your great recipes!
Laurel – sorry about the confusion on this (and my delay in responding). Yes, the other 1/2 teaspoon dried basil goes in with the ricotta. Thanks for the heads up!
Just made this for dinner last night … I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef, and monterey jack cheese for the mozzarella. The cheese was an accident…I thought I had an entire block of mozzarella in the fridge, but turned out it was monterey jack. OOPS! Just so you know, it actually turned out delicious anyway! 🙂
Tracey – glad this worked out well with monterey jack! Thanks for letting me know.
Ram, when the directions say “Put a layer of noodles in a 9 X 13 pan, a layer of meat sauce, layer of ricotta mixture and a layer of the cheese” then use the mozzarella there (in the “cheese” spot).
I’d like to try this lasagna for New Year’s Eve dinner. Where do I put the mozzarella, I don’t see it in the instructions. Should I mix it with parmesan or should I just put it on top? Thank you.
Brittany – hello, again! I’m impressed you are already cooking for the missionaries. Way to go! Glad this lasagna worked out well…thanks for letting me know.
Hi it’s Brittany again. This was so good. I made it for the missionaries that are in our ward. They loved it and so did my mother and I. Your recipes are always great. Thank you!!!
Veronica – this is one of my favorite lasagnas…this one and the classic Italian one. Anyway, my mom will be flattered to know you liked it so much!
We had this for dinner today and loved it! It’s my first ever from-scratch lasagna. I served it with your cheesey garlic bread (well, I left off the cheese since there was already enough cheese in the lasagna) and it was the best meal we’ve eaten in a while. Next time I’m making the classic Italian Lasagna that you recently posted. Can’t wait!
I was surprised at how dry the lasagne was – I take it that it’s supposed to be less saucy than some other lasagnes? My one son prefers it saucier – I thought it was a little dry but it sure was easy to cut! What would you suggest to do to sauce it up a bit?
Cat – this lasagna is not overly saucy so if you want it with more sauce you could one and a half the sauce ingredients or use lasagna noodles that you boil completely first (since the no-boil noodles soak up more sauce while cooking in the oven). Hope that helps.
it must be the combination of ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese that makes this lasagna oozingly delicious :-)!! will try this recipe one of these days!!
Your pictures always look amazing! I have to tell you my mother in law doesn’t ever cook her noodles either, she just puts sauce on the bottom before layering the noodles. Well when I was just a newlywed I finished the lasagna, went to take it out of the oven and started crying because I realized I forgot to cook the noodles. Then Kevin said, “No, in that recipe you dont have to!” Oh I was so relieved I didn’t ruin another meal!
This is on my list of meals to make soon. Thanks for the tips! Looks delish!
Jared and Katie Organ – I’m so glad you liked this especially since it is a family favorite at my house, too. The addition of spinach sounds great – way to add some healthy kick into the lasagna!
okay question from the dorky cook that doesnt know a thing… my husband hates ricotta cheese – can cottage cheese be substitued? I know that sometimes people use cottage cheese in lasagna but wasnt sure if it could be a 1:1 switch?
Did you end up doing this with only cottage cheese? Did it turn out?
Absolutely amazing! I added a box of frozen chopped spinach to the ricotta mixture and everyone looooved it! Thanks again for another winning recipe!!!!!!!!!
I made this for dinner tonight — SO GOOD. I’ve had this recipe from Mom for a few years, but just haven’t gotten around to making it. This lasagna is ten times better than the Better Homes and Gardens recipe, which I used last time. Thanks for reminding me that I had this recipe. It’s my official lasagna recipe from now on. 🙂 Oh yeah, and I love your tip on using no-bake noodles. FABULOUSLY easy.
I agree with you about the pre-grated cheese – it just doesn’t melt right!! I usually buy a big thing of cheese and grate the whole thing then store in the fridge. It’s MUCH better that way!