When we first started hosting Sunday dinners, one of the things I knew I wanted to make sooner rather than later was a classic lasagna. Can you believe that I have only made one a couple of times in my entire life!? I’ve been making some different lasagna varieties lately – like mushroom lasagna and a cheesy lasagna bolognese – but it’s been years since I made a classic version, complete with a layer of ricotta cheese.
My sister and I have different memories of lasagna at my grandma’s house growing up… I never remember hers having a layer of ricotta, but my sister swears that it did. Either way, a tray of lasagna always conjures up memories of sitting around my grandma’s dining room table on Sunday afternoons, so I was excited to make my own version to place on my dining room table on Sunday!
You can use fresh, homemade sauce for this lasagna, pull a batch out of your freezer (that’s what I did!) or use your favorite jarred variety – any of it will work! I used no-boil lasagna noodles, which makes this a really quick dish to assemble, especially if you already have some sauce made. I put this together in less than a half hour while Joseph napped on Saturday afternoon, then covered it and put it in the fridge. All I needed to do on Sunday was pop it in the oven, which was perfect.
I love lasagna for so many reasons, and layers upon layers of noodles, cheese and sauce just cannot beat – plain and simple. My mom often says that I’m like my grandma’s soul mate for so many reasons, which is a huge compliment… I can only hope to make my family feel just as welcomed and well-fed as she did!
One year ago: Cream Cheese Cherry Pie Crumb Bars
Two years ago: Veggie Pizza Appetizer
Three years ago: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Five years ago: Rocky Road Ice Cream
Six years ago: Italian Supreme Calzones
Classic Lasagna Recipe
For the Ricotta Mixture:
- 1¾ cups (430.5 g) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup (100 g) Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup (6 g) chopped fresh basil
- 2 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground black pepper
For the Lasagna:
- 6 cups (900 g) your favorite meat sauce
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 20 ounces (566.99 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded (5 cups)
- ¼ cup (25 g) Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, basil, eggs, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
- Spread ½ cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with 3 of the lasagna noodles, then dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle 1¼ cups of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta, then spread 1½ cups of the sauce over the cheese. Repeat the layers of noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and sauce two more times. Place the last three noodles on top of the sauce and spread the remaining sauce on top, ensuring that the entire surface of the noodles is covered in sauce. Top with the remaining 1¼ cups mozzarella cheese and the ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, then return the lasagna to the oven and bake until the cheese on top is browning and the lasagna is bubbling, about 25 additional minutes. Allow the lasagna to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Hi there, I wanted to thank you for sharing your love of family with food. I have made a few of your dishes, from biscuits to desserts and have loved all of them. being a widow and cooking for one for over 15 years I lived with crockpot meat & vege dinners to keep from skipping dinner. Now cooking for my Mom and I…well needless to say your site has been a very useful reminder that cooking can be fun & delicious. Thank you again
Thank you so much for the comment, Diane. I am sorry for your loss, but it makes me so happy that you’ve found enjoyment in these recipes. All the best to you, xo.
Love this recipe! Only thing I’ve changed after making a few times was not using oven ready lasagna noodles because of personal taste preference. Delicious!
Hi there! I made this for our family dinner tonight and it was really good. My family loved it! I made your meat sauce and assembled everything the day before. The noodles turned out perfectly and loved the flavors! The only thing I did different was use cottage cheese instead of the ricotta, which worked great (I had an eater who doesn’t like ricotta). This is definitely a keeper! Great recipe! (I also made your homemade garlic bread too and it was delicious! Even my picky two year old ate two pieces!). Thanks again!
Instead of making my usual lasagna I made this recipe. Unfortunately my family hated it. I think it was the unbaked noodles. they all threw it down the drain. sob!
When I was a kid, my mom’s lasagna was one of my very favorite dishes. I requested it for my birthday dinner several times. I think she cooked it in the microwave. I was 8. What did I know?
This looks fantastic! I have to try making this soon.Thanks for sharing
I’ve tried making this and I am glad that everything turned out so well. I’m just wondering if I can add some sliced bell pepper?
Hi Mae, I’ve never had pepper in lasagna, but it’s your lasagna – you can add whatever you’d like!
I made this lasagna yesterday. It is incredible. I have always used béchamel in addition to the cheese and sauce, but I like this version with the ricotta so much better. We live in Italy half of the year, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make this for any Italian Mama or Nonna. It’s that good!! I probably used a ittle more than the six cups of sauce, and had a fourth layer of lasagna noodles on top since the first three had the ricotta mixture, mozzarella and sauce. I used fresh lasagna noodles since we’re currently in Italy, and dipped them in hot water for 20 seconds to make them a little more pliable. I would do the same for the dry lasagna noodles in the USA. I have yet to make a Brown Eyed Baker recipe that hasn’t been fantastic. Love this site and have recommended it to many.
Oh, my! That top layer of toasty, crispy cheese is what I live for. I’ve put on about five pounds since I started getting your recipes in my inbox, thank you very much! But, hey, I sure had fun gaining them. This lasagna looks stunning. I want it NOW!!!
Yum! Traditional lasagna actually does not have ricotta. It uses a béchamel sauce instead. However, I like lasagna any way I can get it, and yours looks GREAT! Thanks for sharing.
Do you have a favorite meatless sauce you would sub in on this recipe?
Hi Alice, Actually, for a meatless sauce, I use the same recipe, but simply omit the meat and dial back on the olive oil.
Lasagna has always been one if my most favorite foods, and yours looks delicious!
I make mini lasagnas all the time…and not just Italian versions. I make them using the no boil noodles also (which fit perfectly), but I make them in disposable loaf pans. That way you don’t have a giant tray of lasagna that you get sick of before it’s gone. There are only two of us eating it (my three year old has yet to eat it), so it’s perfect. Plus, it cooks so much faster. I make a traditional Italian, sometimes with meat sauce, a Mexican version using ground beef, enchilada sauce, Mexicorn, black beans, shredded jack cheese; a Greek version using spiced ground turkey sausage, alfredo sauce, cooked spinach, kalamata olives, feta cheese, served with tzatziki; I make them as gifts for friends who have had a baby or are ill. They can pop them in the freezer and they don’t take up too much room. Defrost and bake or pop them in frozen…make a salad and you’re dinner is set.
Disposable loaf pans….GENIUS!!! Why didn’t I think of that!? You are so right, sometimes when I make any casserole/baked dish we get sick of it before we have made it through the leftovers. Now I know what to do…time to hit the dollar store! ;)
Great pictures can’t wait to have some.
I’ve never used the no-boil noodles . . . do you need to add a little extra liquid? I have always used the traditional lasagna noodles with varying results – sometimes my lasagna is too dry, other times it’s too soft and takes forever to set up after baking. Was just wondering how the no-boil noodles fare. Your lasagna looks perfect, neither too dry or soft. Lasagna for lunch?? ;)
I have always added a little extra water when I put the noodles in straight from the box, but recently I started softening the noodles in hot tap water before using. I just fill up a pot with hot tap water and put the noodles in to sit for a few minutes. They get soft and malleable, but aren’t cooked through. I just pull them out and layer them. It’s so much faster and easier than precooking them.
Hi Diane, That’s a great tip! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Michelle, No, I didn’t use any extra liquid and they turned out great.
I adore lasagna. We rarely make it unless it’s a holiday, but now I’m craving it. Thank you for this delicious recipe.
This looks great! I am going to have to try it. Recently, I was just thinking how good lasagna would be – you read my mind!
Classic lasagna is classic for a reason! It’s the perfect comfort food. Looks like you’ve got the perfect recipe!
Yummy! my favorite! Thanks for sharing
Aren’t you supposed to sleep when baby sleeps? I love his Friday picture. He is growing so fast and is just adorable! Congratulations to you and your hubby.
Thank you, Brenda! I definitely slept when he slept when he was a newborn, otherwise I couldn’t function. He’s since morphed into a pretty great sleeper – he sleeps through the night with only a few exceptions here and there, and usually takes decent naps during the day (of course he sometimes has off days!), so I feel pretty good most of the time. Occasionally, I’ll snag a nap while he’s napping if he got up extra early that morning :)