A savory homemade lasagna is just what you need to make for your next dinner party or family gathering. The recipe is customizable to allow you to make it with the ingredients you enjoy. It can also be made ahead of time and cooked up to two days later.
Are you looking for a recipe that is delicious and would be great for dinner parties or your next family gathering? This homemade lasagna recipe is just what you need. It’s not only delicious but filling and easy to make. With only a few ingredients and short prep time, you can create this quickly and pop it in the oven for an hour before you’re ready to serve dinner. This recipe is also perfect if you’re short on time.
You can prep it one day and cook it another day. You can store your dish in the refrigerator, covered with foil, for up to two days, which is perfect for people who don’t have time to meal prep when they get home from work. You can prepare the dish over the weekend, or when you have the time, and then when you’re ready to eat it, put it in the oven, and you’re all set and ready for dinner.
Minimal Preparation with Customizable Ingredients
Another great thing about this recipe is that it feeds about six people. If you’re just looking to make dinner for you and your partner, or just you, you can split up the dish into two nine or ten-inch square pans.
You can eat one now and freeze the other for up to one month, just make sure it’s tightly covered with foil before you place it in the freezer. You don’t want your dish to be ruined from freezer burn. When you remove the dish from the freezer, you will need to thaw it in the fridge for about 24 hours before you bake it.
This recipe is also very customizable to your taste. You can use any meat you prefer, as long as it’s ground up. If you like something with some spice and herbs, you can use some Italian sausage for your meat. You can also add fresh or dried herbs and spices to your meat sauce for extra flavor. Some good choices would be basil, thyme, or an Italian seasoning blend.
Likewise, you can choose any cheese of your choosing, not necessarily the cheeses called for in this recipe. You can use parmesan instead of mozzarella, or any shredded cheese you already have in your fridge. For the cheese mixture, you will have to use a cheese that has texture, like cottage cheese or ricotta.
Most lasagna recipes call for ricotta cheese, but cottage cheese will add a different flavor and complexity to your dish. It’s entirely up to you the combinations you use for your dish because there are many options to choose from. Try a different combination each month to find which one is your favorite.
Homemade Lasagna Instructions
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 60 minutes
Serving Size: 5-6 people
- 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, pork, or chicken
- 24-30 oz. tomato sauce
- 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz. cottage or ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- herbs & spices of your choosing – recommended but not necessary
Step One: Brown meat in a skillet over medium heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
While the meat cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to boil on the stovetop. When the meat is cooked, drain the fat.
If you are making this for a later date, you do not need to preheat the oven.
Step Two: When the water begins to boil, cook the lasagna noodles following the package directions.
You will probably only need about nine noodles, but you should always cook a couple of extra just in case a noodle is torn or messed up. Stir noodles occasionally while boiling, to keep them from sticking. Drain noodles and rinse them under cool water.
Step Three: In the skillet, pour tomato sauce over meat and stir.
If you want to add spices to your sauce, now is the time to do it.
Step Four: In a small bowl, mix the egg and cottage or ricotta cheese until thoroughly combined.
Step Five: Spray 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread about 1/4 cup of sauce mixture in the bottom of the pan. Cover the sauce mixture with three noodles, making a noodle layer. Pour about 1/2 of the remaining sauce mix on top of the noodles. Spread the sauce to make sure the noodles are completely covered.
Step Six: Spoon about 1/3 of the cheese mixture over sauce and spread to cover the sauce and noodles evenly.
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese evenly across the top layer.
Step Seven: Top with another noodle layer and cover with the remaining sauce mixture.
Spoon about 1/2 of the remaining cheese mixture over the sauce and spread evenly to cover. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the top layer. Top with another noodle layer. Spread the rest of the cheese mixture and the remaining mozzarella over the noodles. Spread evenly across noodles.
If you haven’t noticed, making lasagna is just a repetition of layers: noodles, sauce, cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, repeat.
Step Eight: Cover with foil and bake for about an hour.
If you are preparing the lasagna for later, cover the pan tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. The lasagna can keep for up to two days.
After about 40 minutes in the oven, remove the foil. This will allow the cheese on top to brown. The lasagna will be finished when the top is browned, and the sauce is bubbly. Let the dish rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, to allow the lasagna to firm up. This will also make more clean slices when you begin to cut into it.
Eat and Enjoy
Though baking takes an hour, the prep work is minimal. You can also prepare it in advance and pop it in the oven an hour before you’re ready to eat. This gives you plenty of time to relax or do some housework while you wait for dinner to be ready. The options are endless with this dish, and it’s sure to be a favorite with your guests and your family. Just pop it in the oven, do something for an hour, serve it, and enjoy it. It’s as easy as that.