Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese

Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese | #recipe #pasta

So far this week, we’ve talked legendary meat sauce and fresh, homemade pasta. Now I’m throwing the two together, along with a béchamel sauce and lots of cheese, and turning it into a fabulous lasagna.

I have a confession. It wasn’t until a short time ago that I found out there was a difference between regular lasagna and lasagna bolognese. In my estimation, most “regular” lasagna recipes include layers of ricotta filling, along with sauce and some mozzarella cheese. By contrast, lasagna bolognese does not use ricotta, but instead layering noodles with a chunky meat sauce, a béchamel sauce and some additional cheese.

As it turns out, I spent the better part of my life eating lasagna bolognese. On the Sundays that my grandma served up lasagna, it never, ever had ricotta cheese in it; in fact, I was surprised the first time I had lasagna somewhere other than my grandma’s and I found ricotta! Her lasagna was a simple layering of whatever sauce she had simmered that particular day, noodles, and lots and lots of cheese. We all loved it and happily devoured it. While I will gladly eat a lasagna with ricotta, I have a large soft spot in my heart for lasagna made without it, especially when I found out this sans-ricotta version usually includes a creamy béchamel sauce. Be still my beating heart… This lasagna was made for me!

Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese | #recipe #pasta

I was all sorts of inspired after seeing a recipe for this extra cheesy classic homemade lasagna over on Half Baked Harvest. I seriously wanted to jump through the screen and eat lasagna for days on end. I used her cheesy béchamel sauce and paired it with my father-in-law’s meat sauce, homemade pasta, and lots of cheese!

It made a perfect Friday night dinner and I gobbled up the leftovers for days. While you can certainly make this with store-bought lasagna noodles, there is such a difference in the taste and texture of fresh, homemade pasta. It just melds right into the sauces and the cheese; pasta perfection.

Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese | #recipe #pasta

I wish I could have served this up to my grandma; I have no doubt she would have finished every last bite.

Don’t forget to grab a fresh loaf of crusty Italian bread to serve alongside the lasagna. I couldn’t imagine a pasta dish without a fresh piece of bread to wipe up all of the leftover sauce on the plate 🙂

Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese | #recipe #pasta

One year ago: Jewish Rye Bread
Two years ago: Creole Shrimp and Grits
Three years ago: Blueberry Bagels
Four years ago: Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze
Five years ago: Ham and Split Pea Soup
Six years ago: Almost Fudge Gateau

Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese

Yield: About 8 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

A wonderfully cheesy lasagna made with alternating layers of meat and béchamel sauces.


For the Béchamel Sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2½ cups milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

5 cups your favorite meat sauce
1 pound lasagna noodles (fresh or store-bought)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


1. Make the Béchamel Sauce: In a medium saucepan placed over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour turns light brown and emits a nutty aroma. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, whisk in the nutmeg, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, and add the shredded provolone a handful at a time, stirring until it melts. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, then set aside and let cool to warm room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Assemble the Lasagna: Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Place noodles in a single layer on top of the sauce (if you are using store-bought lasagna noodles, this should be 3 noodles; if you made fresh pasta, you'll probably use 2 sheets and can cut to fit as needed). Spread 1¼ cups of the meat sauce over the noodles. Drizzle one-quarter of the béchamel sauce over the meat sauce. Sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese over the béchamel sauce.

4. Place another layer of noodles on top of the cheese. Top with another 1¼ cups of meat sauce, a quarter of the béchamel sauce, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella.

5. Place another layer of noodles on top of the cheese. Top with another 1¼ cups of meat sauce, half of the remaining béchamel sauce, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella.

6. Place the final layer of noodles on top of the cheese. Pour the remaining béchamel sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella.

7. Cover the lasagna with a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Note: This lasagna can be assembled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month. If the lasagna was cold, bake it covered for an additional 15 to 30 minutes, checking to ensure it is heated the whole way through.

[Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest]


41 Responses to “Cheesy Lasagna Bolognese”

  1. Dana on February 19, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Oh wow… Man, if I’d had this just 12 hours ago, I would’ve made it! Your last 2 recipes and this one will just *have* to be tried, I’m a sucker for anything with pasta in it. 🙂 Thanks for an amazing recipe, can’t wait to try it!


  2. Belinda@themoonblushbaker on February 19, 2014 at 2:38 am

    I have actually never had Lasagna with the béchamel sauce. I am in love with the description of the layers here; creamy cheesy, meaty and comforting? I want a slice of this for dinner please!


  3. Pieliekamais on February 19, 2014 at 2:54 am

    I didn’t know about the two varieties of lasagna either. Here in Sweden it’s always the bechamel one. And right now IKEA is serving this salmon-spinach lasagna with bechamel and a tomato-zuccini sauce on the side, so good! Been meaning to recreate it at home, but so far it hasn’t happened.


  4. Dave on February 19, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Looks fantastic! Do you use sharp or mild provolone in the bechamel?


    • Michelle on February 20th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Dave, I used mild provolone.


  5. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on February 19, 2014 at 5:57 am

    I didn’t realize there was lasagna without ricotta. I bet it tastes great with that cheesy béchamel sauce. Looks amazingly delicious!


  6. Jenna on February 19, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Looks delicious and I’m sure it is
    shhh don’t tell..( I lick the plate when I’m done eating! )
    and the cheese..well I actually use cottage cheese instead of riccota, can’t wait to try your recipe!


  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Yum! Your lasagna looks just amazing! I can only imagine what it must taste like with your homemade noodles and sauce.


  8. Marie @ Little Kitchie on February 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

    This sounds incredible!!!


  9. Helen @ Scrummy Lane on February 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Lovely photos! To be honest I didn’t know that most people added ricotta in lasagna. I think we eat more this version you have here over here in Europe … looks so delicious and oozy with all that cheese!


  10. Karen on February 19, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Wow! Lasagna has always been hit or miss for me, but I couldn’t figure out why. Thanks for clarifying! I think I prefer the lasagna bolognese and will be trying this recipe soon.


  11. Aurica on February 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

    amazing lasagna recipe, so delish and apetising, that make you drool only when you look at this plate..:D


  12. Dawn on February 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

    So, this may be a dumb question, but with homemade lasagna noodles, do you need to boil them before you assemble the lasagna, or will they cook with the sauce?


    • Alice on February 19th, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I was just wondering the same thing. Especially since I am kind of a sucker for the no-boil type, wondering if you can use those in this recipe.
      So it’s not a dumb question!


      • Michelle on February 20th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        Hi Alice, Yes, I think that should work, although I haven’t tried using no-boil noodles.


    • Michelle on February 20th, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Dawn, No, you do not need to boil the homemade lasagna noodles.


  13. Patricia on February 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I’m glad someone asked about cooking the noodles first. We always cooked the noodles in the past, but there are many recipes now that you do not as the noodles are softened with additional liquid or cooking time.


  14. Taylee @ twist me fit on February 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Looks soo good! Any kind of lasagna is a personal fav.


  15. Emily on February 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Yum! Just looks yummy! I’m a ricotta cheese lasagna person, can’t wait to try it this way.


  16. Ilona @ Ilona's Passion on February 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Great Lasagna, love it already!


  17. Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife} on February 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Oh my goodness, I need this lasanga in my life, like now. This looks so, so, amazing!


  18. Sweet and Savoury Pursuits on February 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    This looks delicious! I have always preferred lasagna with a béchamel sauce.


  19. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on February 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I have always loved a good lasagna and this one looks particularly fantastic! Yum!! Thanks for a great recipe – I’ll have to pin this one!


  20. Clare on February 19, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Growing up in England I only ever had the bechamel lasagna. I was appalled when I moved to the USA and kept being served the ricotta version. I quickly converted my American husband to ‘my’ version and he’s never looked back! Along with meat sauce I’ve made it with sausage and spinach, a salmon version and for Christmas this year I made one with lobster, shrimp and scallops!


  21. Lynne on February 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I also grew up eating Lasagna Bolognese (although we didn’t call it that). It was the recipe on the Mueller’s (or Prince or whatever store bought pasta there was in circa 1950) box that my mother used. Unlike you, this lasagna has spoiled me from the ricotta kind – I’ll eat it, I’ve even made it a couple of times, but I’d never order it in restaurant. My mom’s recipe evolved to include some Italian sausage in the meat sauce, and some mozzarella cheese to help bind it together a bit more (although, it tends to come out loose no matter what you do), but the béchamel only has Parmesan in it. We love it and serve it at Christmas and on our family vacation as a special treat.


    • Butch on July 7th, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Would love to have some of your recipes my name is butch fertic…. would love to have your recipe with us seafood Lobster shrimp and scallops and then evil recipes you have it’s like that. Thank you hope you have a great day


  22. Tieghan on February 20, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I am seriously so excited that I sort of inspired you t make this. I looks incredible and nothing beats a totally homemade lasagna!


  23. Lori on February 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Michelle, I’m in the middle of making this and have a question. The recipe above mentions a cup of provolone and a cup of mozzarella in the construction of the lasagna. But as you explain each step of putting it together, you say PARMESAN instead of PROVOLONE. I’m sure it’s yummy either way, but which is the right cheese in the layering process? Thanks!


    • Michelle on February 21st, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Lori, My apologies! You are correct – it should be Parmesan and mozzarella between the layers. I have edited it to correct it. Thanks for the catch!


      • Lori on February 21st, 2014 at 1:42 pm

        Well I made it with the provolone, having not noticed the discrepancy when I was shopping for the ingredients… And it was DELICIOUS! Sometimes happy accidents occur, and that was certainly the case here! Thanks for the great recipe… I was afraid of attempting a bechamel, but it was simple and fabulous!


  24. Dana S on February 26, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Great recipe! My husband said this was the best lasagna he’s ever had in his life (and believe me when I say he’s had a lot)! I used my own sauce and added turkey sausage and ground turkey along with white wine to make the bolognese. In assembling the lasagna, I wasn’t able to make 3 layers even though I was using a legit lasagna pan just like in your photo. I added a layer of sliced mild provolone beneath the shredded mozzarella (I thought the Parmesan between layers was a typo so I just added some to the top along with the mozzarella.) So good and very easy! Thanks for sharing!


  25. Hartsgirl on February 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    This sound like Pastitsio, looking forward to trying this version.


  26. Linda Jean on March 7, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Made your sauce earlier in the week and had the lasagne last night – wonderful! Although my husband’s grandmother from Italy made lasagne with ricotta cheese between the layers, some of the married-in aunts used bechamel sauce so for him it was a delicious step back into his childhood. Now we are looking forward to the leftovers!


  27. plasterer bristol on March 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I love lasagne, and this looks delicious….Thanks for sharing this recipe…



  28. Carine on March 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I apologize for belaboring the boiling question, but the previous comments address only no-boil storebought noodles and fresh. Storebought, regular lasagna noodles: do they need to be cooked before assembling in this dish? Thanks!


    • Michelle on March 23rd, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Carine, You should consult the box of noodles you are using and follow those instructions. Some do not require boiling, while some do, and some require soaking in water, etc. It just depends on the kind you buy.


      • Carine on March 24th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

        Thank you for the response! I realize it seems like a dumb question–I’d just never made lasagna before and the earlier comments made me worry that it wasn’t as simple as following the directions on the box! (Which is, in fact, what I did yesterday, and it turned out great.) Thanks again!


  29. joan on November 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    well i was in the middle of baking the lasagna and realized the instructions did not include boiling the store bought regular noodles. i guess i will follow the instructions on the barilla package. thanks. sounds great


  30. Chandana on March 19, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I love the sound of this one .. however, how do i make a vegetarian version of the meat sauce?


    • Michelle on March 20th, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Chandana, Just omit the meat, no other adjustments are necessary. I’ve done it many times.


  31. Gail on July 11, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Made this last night. My son has been pestering me for years to make a lasagna with béchamel sauce (it’s how they served it in the Pubs in England when we lived there). This recipe is fantastic. Made it exactly as written (well, maybe a touch more cheese 🙂 . My other son wasn’t so keen to try a new kind of lasagna cause he loves mine, but even he was sold 100%. Thank you for sharing – it’s going to be a regular at our house!


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