The best Make Ahead Lasagna has three kinds of cheese, two different meats, one fantastic homemade sauce, and oodles of real noodles that require absolutely zero boiling. It all adds up to an award-winning, freezer-friendly recipe I’ve been making (and loving) for over a decade. 

The best make ahead lasagna slice on a white plate.

Over the years, I tweaked this recipe to get everything exactly right. Here’s what I love about it:

You can make it ahead. The lasagna needs at least 5 hours to chill and let the sauce soften the noodles, but you can definitely make it the night before (even 3 days before) and bake it when you need it. Want your own freezer lasagna? Wrap it up in foil once you assemble it, no need to bake it beforehand. Then stash it away for dinner emergencies.

It uses real lasagna noodles. I’ve always hated the “oven-ready,” pre-boiled, no-boil lasagna noodles, which fall apart in the pan. Real noodles taste better, period. And with this recipe, you don’t even cook or soak them.

Homemade meat sauce. A quick and easy, 20-minute meat sauce loaded with ground beef and Italian sausage.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. The Best Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for the best make ahead lasagna in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Ground meat: You can do 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 pounds of ground Italian sausage, or 1 pound of each.
  • Sugar: Even a tablespoon is too much for some people. If you don’t like the sound of sugar in your meat sauce, please leave it out. In my family, people add ¼ cup or even up to ½ cup.
  • Italian seasoning: It’s easy to make your own homemade Italian seasoning with dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.
  • Fennel seeds: The seeds make the Italian sausage flavors pop. If you love the taste of a sweet tomato sauce, use just ground beef (no sausage), at least ¼ cup sugar, and omit the fennel seeds.
  • Ricotta cheese: Make your own ricotta with just 4 ingredients: Milk, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt.
  • Lasagna noodles. NOT “oven ready” or “no-boil noodles.” Those pre-cooked noodles will shred on your fork in the most unappetizing way, while the “real” noodles will soften in the fridge in just 5 hours

Step-by-step instructions

Recipe revision: I updated this Lasagna recipe to make just the amount you need (2 quarts). In the past, my recipe made a quart of extra sauce. You can download a PDF of the original lasagna recipe ( <– click this link) if you are looking for that.

  1. To start, cook the beef (or sausage) and onion over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot. Once browned, you can drain off some of the extra fat, if you like, but you don’t have to. Then add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
Browned meat and onion in a saucepan.
  1. After that, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, and fennel seeds. Then simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes, giving it a stir every once in awhile. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Then set it aside until you’re ready to build the lasagna.
S saucepan full of homemade meat sauce.
  1. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, parsley, and salt together. To build the lasagna, spread 2 cups sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then layer uncooked noodles.
Lasagna noodles being added to a white baking dish.
  1. Then spread a heaping 2/3 cup ricotta cheese, 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces) and ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese.
The best make ahead lasagna being assembled in a white baking dish.
  1. Repeat the above layers, in that order,  two more times (2 cups meat sauce, noodles, heaping 2/3 cup ricotta cheese, 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese) ending with the Parmesan cheese on the very top of the lasagna.
Pre-baked best make ahead lasagna in a white baking dish.
  1. Finally, spray a large sheet of foil with nonstick spray and cover the baking dish. Then refrigerate at least 5 hours, overnight, or up to four days before you bake it. When the lasagna is ready, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the lasagna for 25 minutes with the foil kept on, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. You know dinner is a “go” when the internal temperature of the lasagna reaches 165 degrees.
The best make ahead lasagna in a white baking dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: As written, the lasagna is made in a 9” by 13” baking dish, enough for 12 servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Make this recipe up to 3 days before you need it and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: Wrap the unbaked lasagna tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed (preheat oven to 375 degrees, bake 25 minutes with foil, 25 minutes without foil). To bake the frozen lasagna straight from the freezer, bake 1 hour covered with foil and 24 minutes without the foil (the lasagna must reach 165 degrees on an internal thermometer).
  • Store-bought sauce: You’ll need 2 quarts of sauce for one pan of lasagna. You might want to add a little extra water if the sauce is on the thick side. This lasagna recipe uses a wet sauce so the noodles can soften in the liquid.
  • Disposable aluminum pans: I’ve made this in aluminum pans without a problem. They’re just fine!
  • Pesto: Got a jar of pesto in the pantry, or homemade pesto in the refrigerator? Add a surprise layer somewhere for lots of extra flavor.
The best make ahead lasagna in a white baking dish.

Italian Seasoning

An easy recipe for homemade Italian Seasoning. If you don’t have the store-bought blend on hand, you can easily make your own! If you’re missing one of the ingredients, just leave it out.

6 minutes
View Recipe

Round out your menu

The best make ahead lasagna slice on a white plate.

The Best Make Ahead Lasagna

The best Make Ahead Lasagna has three kinds of cheese, two different meats, one fantastic homemade sauce, and oodles of real noodles that require absolutely zero boiling.
4.94 from 146 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 498

Ingredients 

For the meat sauce:

  • 2 pounds ground beef (see note 1)
  • 1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or to taste (see note 2)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (see note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (see note 4)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cheese filling:

  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese (see note 5)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For assembly:

  • 1 box lasagna noodles NOT no-boil (see note 6)
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • fresh parsley minced, for garnish

Instructions 

To make the meat sauce:

  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add beef (or sausage) and onion, and cook until mostly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain if desired. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, and fennel seeds. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper). You should have about 2 quarts of sauce.

To make the cheese filling:

  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, parsley, and salt. Chill until the sauce is finished.

To assemble the lasagna:

  • In the bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish, spread 2 cups meat sauce. Arrange a single layer of uncooked noodles over the meat sauce (I do 3 full-size noodles lengthwise and then a partial noodle crosswise). Spread with a heaping 2/3 cup of the ricotta mixture. Top with about 1 ½ cups (5 ounces) of mozzarella. Sprinkle with ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Spoon 2 cups meat sauce over the cheese. Make another layer of noodles, ricotta mixture (heaping 2/3 cup), mozzarella (1 ½ cups) and Parmesan (⅓ cup). Repeat layers 1 more time, for a total of 3 layers.
  • Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick spray and cover baking dish. Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.

To bake the lasagna:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes longer. Cool 5 minutes, then garnish with parsley before serving if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Ground meat: You can do 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 pounds of ground Italian sausage, or 1 pound of each.
  2. Sugar: Even a tablespoon is too much for some people. If you don’t like the sound of sugar in your meat sauce, please leave it out. In my family, people add ¼ cup or even up to ½ cup.
  3. Italian seasoning: It’s easy to make your own homemade Italian seasoning with dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.
  4. Fennel seeds: The seeds make the Italian sausage flavors pop. If you love the taste of a sweet tomato sauce, use just ground beef (no sausage), at least ¼ cup sugar, and omit the fennel seeds.
  5. Ricotta cheese: Make your own ricotta with just 4 ingredients: Milk, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt.
  6. Lasagna noodles. NOT “oven ready” or “no-boil noodles.” Those pre-cooked noodles will shred on your fork in the most unappetizing way, while the “real” noodles will soften in the fridge in just 5 hours
  7. Yield: As written, the lasagna is made in a 9” by 13” baking dish, enough for 12 servings.
  8. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  9. Make ahead: Make this recipe up to 3 days before you need it and keep it in the refrigerator.
  10. Freezer: Wrap the unbaked lasagna tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed (preheat oven to 375 degrees, bake 25 minutes with foil, 25 minutes without foil). To bake the frozen lasagna straight from the freezer, bake 1 hour covered with foil and 24 minutes without the foil (the lasagna must reach 165 degrees on an internal thermometer).
  11. Store-bought sauce: You’ll need 2 quarts of sauce for one pan of lasagna. You might want to add a little extra water if the sauce is on the thick side. This lasagna recipe uses a wet sauce so the noodles can soften in the liquid.
  12. Disposable aluminum pans: I’ve made this in aluminum pans without a problem. They’re just fine!
  13. Pesto: Got a jar of pesto in the pantry, or homemade pesto in the refrigerator? Add a surprise layer somewhere for lots of extra flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 498kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 30gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 528mgPotassium: 351mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 343IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 325mgIron: 3mg
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Comments

  1. This lasagna is amazing! We are making it today for the second time. I have never been a real lasagna lover, but this one may have converted me! Than you!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Amy, no, you don’t have to cool the sauce. I always assemble the lasagna while the sauce is still warm. It cools down pretty fast once you start spreading it out anyway, so it won’t be piping hot by the time you’re done assembling the lasagna. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  2. Thanks for the ZERO BOILING lasagna recipe. This is the first time I’ve attempted lasagna in years because you made the process so much easier! I used your directions and cheese amounts with an Italian sausage sauce. WOW, this was so much easier/quicker, not to mention less stress doing battle with pasta. The pan is in the fridge for tomorrow. Again, thanks!! :)5 stars

    1. I never have to boil pasta for lasagna again. The lasagna turned out even better than expected since the pasta was perfect. The amounts of cheese worked out as well. Again, thanks! :)5 stars

  3. Anyone tried putting in the disposable loaf pan 8×3 in ? How many did it take to use entire recipe. I need small servings

    1. Hi Patty, I tried this out over the weekend in two 8 1/2-inch by 4 9/16-inch by 2 3/4-inch aluminum loaf pans. I put about 1/2 cup sauce to cover the bottom of each pan. I broke the noodles in half and overlapped four halves per layer. I topped the noodles with about 1/2 cup of the ricotta filling, then 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and about 1 tablespoon of parmesan. I then scooped about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of meat sauce on top. I repeated the layers one more time, then topped with 4 noodle halves, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan. I froze one, and wrapped one for the next day. I baked the refrigerated one at 375 for 25 minutes, then removed the foil and baked an additional 25 minutes. Because the load was thicker, it wasn’t hot in the middle, so I cooked for an additional 20 minutes. The frozen one took quite a bit longer, 55 minutes with foil and about 45 minutes more without the foil. I had a quart of sauce leftover, which I’ve since frozen for later. I would recommend if you are making loaf pans, make double the ricotta filling unless you plan to make that layer thin. (I LOVE the filling.) Best of luck! – Meggan

  4. This lasagna recipe was a hit at my party, everyone loved it and asked for seconds! Thank You so much for sharing!5 stars

  5. If I want to freeze the lasagna, do I need to let the noodles “soak” for at least 5 hours prior to putting it in the freezer?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy, yes! Let it sit for the 5 hours or overnight so the noodles soften, THEN freeze it, then you can thaw it and bake it as normal. Hope this helps, thanks!- Meggan

  6. I made this lasagna for Christmas and it was a HUGE hit!! Looking to just make the sauce for spaghetti. How much sauce do you think this makes? I’m serving 20 people!

  7. I’m a little confused on which noodles to use. The photos look like hard no boil sheets. I am used to fresh sheets being dough like. Do you find the necessary sheets in the pasta aisle? Do you have an example of a brand or box to look for? TY

    1. Hi Stephanie! So you use just traditional noodles that say you should boil them first but you don’t boil and just layer them in as is (they will soften over that 5 hour refrigerating time). I typically use either Barilla brand or generic. I shop at Ralph’s in California so the generic brand is Kroger. Hope this helps! -Meggan

  8. Will “fresh” lasagna noodles that come in the refrigerated section work in the same fashion as the dry regular lasagna noodles indicated in the recipe? If so, any modificatons that need to be made?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Donna, it will work if you are going to bake the lasagna right away. If fresh noodles are used and sit in the sauce overnight, they maybe become soggy. – Meggan

  9. This turned out great as a drop off pandemic meal for a couple with a newborn, for some reason it made enough for two smaller lasagnas (with some extra ricotta and mozz on hand) so we had one for ourselves too.
    I saw in notes that disposable aluminum pans are fine…. is it fine to let the lasagna sit for 2 days before baking in the aluminum pan? Planning on making ahead for my daughter’s birthday party and would rather the easy clean up of a disposable pan if possible and trying to brainstorm any time saving measures!5 stars

    1. Hi Amanda, yes! This recipe works perfectly fine in an aluminum pan two days ahead of time. It’s so nice to use them for easy clean-up. Enjoy! – Meggan

  10. Hi there,

    Thank you for the recipe! I’m going to freeze the recipe and use for a pot luck. I just wanted to be clear on the instructions. When I assemble it, do I wait 5 hours first for the noodles to soften and then freeze it? Or just wrap it up right after I make it and pop it right into the freezer, then let it thaw and bake.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kat! You’re welcome! You can just make the lasagna, wrap it up, and freeze it. Then you can either pull it out and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight then bake, or bake it right out of the freezer (which will take about 30 minutes longer) I hope everyone enjoys it! – meggan

    1. Hi Bev, I don’t see why not! As long as they are the regular type of lasagna noodles and not the no-boil it should work. – Meggan

  11. Can I try this with Baked Ziti … i.e. mixing uncooked ziti noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese with sauce and letting it sit in refrigerator over night and then baking like this lasagna ??

    Thanks!!5 stars

    1. Hi Donna, I haven’t tried this myself, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Penne noodles are thicker than lasagna, so it’s possible they may not soften, but they also could! I think also you would want to have a very liquid sauce like in this recipe so the noodles have liquid to absorb. I’m adding this to my list to test, but if you happen to do it, please let me know how it turns out! – meggan

  12. Great recipe, made this for a new-mum friend. Love all the extra tips (never thought before to spray the foil with non-stick spray so that it doesn’t stick to the top cheese layer!). Thanks!4 stars

  13. This recipe was delicious. Loved the sauce. I used ground beef and sausage and omitted the fennel seeds since I didn’t have any. I also only used a tablespoon of sugar as I prefer a savory sauce. Will definitely make again.5 stars

    1. Hi Alecia, I’m having it sent now, please let me know if you don’t receive it. I hope you enjoy it! – Meggan

  14. Googling “can I prep lasagna ahead of time?” most serendipitously brought me to this page. With all the holiday prep and festivities, I wanted to make our traditional Christmas Eve lasagna dinner easier. Didn’t have all the ingredients listed here; but we made do. We substituted where needed, but followed your process exactly. The final product was outrageously good! I used jar sauce, a little leftover sweet Italian sausage and meatloaf mix in place of ground beef. Hubs doesn’t like ricotta, so I have always used cottage cheese. Our little gathering loved it. Everyone had to have seconds and zero regrets! Need to get fennel seeds and pesto. Best of all, we still have half the pan for leftovers! And yet, I’m already looking forward to the next time we make it. Highly recommend this most delicious lasagna. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Try making a simple bechamel to replace the cottage cheese/ricotta. It is typically more authentic, I usually layer ricotta and bechamel alternating in layers with meat sauce but I have done without the ricotta – the creaminess of the bechamel is fantastic with the cheeses. Since I live in Sweden I use Västerböttenost (Vasterbotten Cheese) for a parmesan replacement — it is very flavorful hard Swedish cheese that I use always for a parmesan replacement – it is a nice switch off, not sure if you can buy it in the US.4 stars

  15. Hi! Can I make this with Rao’s pasta sauce instead to add to the meat? Planning on making for cmas eve! (Also would love the recipe w the extra sauce!)

    1. Hi Mary! I don’t see why not! You’ll need 2 quarts of sauce for this recipe. I’ll have the recipe sent to you know, please let me know if you don’t receive it. I hope you havee a nice Christmas! – Meggan

  16. May I please have the recipe for the extra sauce as well?
    Also, some of my guests do not like Ricotta or Cottage Cheese – can I make this recipe without the Ricotta? (yes they are the weird part of the family LOL).

    1. Hi Cheryl, I’ll have it sent now! Please let me know if you don’t receive the recipe. I am sure you can make it with a substitute for the ricotta that’s not cottage cheese. What were you thinking of substituting it with? I haven’t tried anything other than those. – Meggan

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m having it sent to you. :) Please let me know if you don’t receive it. – Meggan

  17. Hey, in making this for Christmas at work at the hospital, would love the original recipe with extra sauce! Could you send it to me? Planning on shopping today.

  18. I was wondering if two pounds of Impossible Burger Ground meat substitute could be used instead of beef and and sausage to make this vegetarian friendly?

    1. Hi Diane, yes I absolutely think so. I haven’t tried it myself, but I know the impossible meat is tasty and it should work just fine. Thanks! -Meggan

    1. Hi Lacy, I’ll have it sent to you! Please let me know if you don’t receive it. Enjoy! – Meggan

  19. Hi, this recipe is great and have made several time! Since I book marked the page, I dont have the original recipe. Can you forward the recipe with the extra sauce as I am making for Christmas.
    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Dianna, of course! I hope you have a great Christmas! Please let me know if you don’t receive the recipe! – Meggan

  20. Hello!
    This recipe sounds amazing and I plan to make it for Christmas. Would you please send me the original recipe with the extra sauce? Thank you!!5 stars

    1. Hi Gabrielle, absolutely! I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know if you do not receive the email. – Meggan

    2. May I have the recipe as well? Also, Im making these ahead of time for a friend. Since its yielding about 12 servings, could i split that into 2 8inch square tins and then freeze? Or do I have to adjest the recipe. Thanks in advance!

    3. Hi Leah, sure! I haven’t split it into 8-inch pans, but I don’t see why you can’t. The volume of 8-inch pans is 6 to 8 cups (depending on how tall they are) and the 9-inch by 13-inch volume is 14 cups, so it should work out just right. :) I’d love to hear if it worked for you! Thank you so much – Meggan

  21. Would you kindly send me the original lasagna recipe with the extra sauce? I am planning on making the recipe for Christmas Eve dinner. Thank you.

    1. Hi Deanna, absolutely! I’ll have it emailed to you. Please let me know if you don’t receive it. – Meggan

  22. I just made this recipe and I can’t wait to bake it tonight after resting for 5 hours in the fridge. Would you be able to send me the recipe for the extra quart of sauce?

    Thank you so much! I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!5 stars

    1. Hi Catherine, I have emailed you the recipe. If you don’t receive it, please let me know. Thanks! :) -Meggan

  23. Hello,
    Can you send me the recipe with the extra sauce? I’ve had this recipe before and it is delicious, but I definitely need the extra sauce. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kassie, I have emailed you the recipe. If you don’t receive it, please let me know. Thanks! :) -Meggan

    1. Hi Jenna, I disagree. I’ve made this so many times, and so have thousands of other people, and we all love it. If you want more, you can absolutely use more, but at some point it’s just going to overflow out of your pan, so I suggest putting a baking sheet underneath just in case? -Meggan

  24. This looks awesome. I am planning to make it for a friend’s Christmas. She is recovering from surgery.

    Could you send me the original recipe with cooked noodles please?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Diane, I have emailed you the recipe. If you don’t receive it, please let me know. Thanks! :) -Meggan

  25. Hi!
    This recipe sounds delicious and I plan to make it for Christmas. Would you please send me the original recipe with the extra sauce? Thank you!

    1. Hi Terry! I’ll have this emailed out to you! Please let me know if you don’t receive it. I hope you enjoy it! – Meggan

  26. Hi! This looks amazing. I’m making three lasagnas for Christmas dinner and was wondering if I could get the original recipe? I appreciate it and can’t wait to try it out!5 stars

    1. I’m having the original recipe with the extra sauce emailed to you, please let me know if you didn’t get it! Thanks!

  27. Hi,
    I’m going to try this recipe this Christmas. I don’t like dry lasagna. Could you please send me the original recipe that produces the extra sauce? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Gail, absolutely! I’m having the original recipe with the extra sauce emailed to you, please let me know if you didn’t get it! Thanks!

  28. Hey, lady! I just want you to know that I make this recipe every Christmas, and my family LOVES it! It’s the best Lasagna ever! Would you be so kind as to e-mail me the extra sauce recipe? I would so appreciate it! Thank you for sharing such a fantastic recipe!

    1. Hi Abigail, I just emailed you the recipe with the extra sauce. If you don’t receive it, please let me know. Thank you so much! :) -Meggan

  29. I have a very important question. I cooked to much of everything for my lasagna. So I refrigerated everything now I want to build a new one and bake it but how do I assemble it. Everything is ready…ricotta cheese too.

    1. Hi Carol! You would just organize your bowls of ingredients (the meat sauce, the ricotta topping, the noodles) and build the layers as directed in the recipe. It’s totally fine that everything is cold. Just build it and let it set for 5+ hours in the refrigerator, and then you can bake it according to the recipe instructions. It will work just fine! Does that help? If not please let me know. thanks! -Meggan

  30. I love this recipe! My go to lasagna. I was wondering if you can email me the original recipe that makes the extra sauce?

    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Hailey! Thank you so much. I emailed the original lasagna recipe to you just now. If you don’t see it, please let me know. Thank you! :) -Meggan

  31. Hi! So you use just traditional noodles that say you should boil them first but you in fact don’t boil and just layer them in as if you had already boiled them and they get soft?

    1. Hi Kristen, yes! They soften as they sit overnight in the lasagna with the meat sauce, and while cooking in the oven. – Meggan

  32. So if all you have are the “Oven ready” noodle can you use them? I just wonder how they will effect the final product? Thanks for any advice.

    1. Hi Patti, oven-ready noodles are partially cooked, so if you are going to use them I would recommend baking the lasagna right away. The oven-ready noodles have less starch in them as well, so the lasagna may not hold its shape as well as it would with regular uncooked lasagna noodles. Thank you for the question! – Meggan

  33. My husband said it was the best lasagna that he has EVER had. We are in our 70’s, so that is quite the compliment! I followed the directions exactly and WOW!5 stars

  34. This is my go to lasagna recipe in 2020! Can you send me the recipe for more sauce? Also, any chance you have advice for making this in loaf pans? I’d like to make smaller portions to give to friends as gifts when they are under the weather. Thanks!

    1. Hi Amanda, what a thoughtful idea! I tried this out over the weekend in two 8 1/2-inch by 4 9/16-inch by 2 3/4-inch aluminum loaf pans. I put about 1/2 cup sauce to cover the bottom of each pan. I broke the noodles in half and overlapped four halves per layer. I topped the noodles with about 1/2 cup of the ricotta filling, then 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and about 1 tablespoon of parmesan. I then scooped about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of meat sauce on top. I repeated the layers one more time, then topped with 4 noodle halves, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan. I froze one, and wrapped one for the next day. I baked the refrigerated one at 375 for 25 minutes, then removed the foil and baked an additional 25 minutes. Because the load was thicker, it wasn’t hot in the middle, so I cooked for an additional 20 minutes. The frozen one took quite a bit longer, 55 minutes with foil and about 45 minutes more without the foil. I had a quart of sauce leftover, which I’ve since frozen for later. I would recommend if you are making loaf pans, make double the ricotta filling unless you plan to make that layer thin. (I LOVE the filling.) Best of luck! – Meggan

  35. Hi I always make my own noodles but I am keen to try this recipe. I gave it 5 stars for originality I am sure it will be great, I will report back :)5 stars

  36. Has anyone tried this with gluten free noodles? Sounds amazing but not sure how to adjust for GF as the noodle structure is different and may not soften?

    1. Hi Ali, I have no idea. I’m so sorry about that. You could always boil the GF noodles the traditional way and layer them in like a traditional lasagna. Worst-case scenario, your lasagna might be a little soupy. Obviously some of the moisture from the sauce goes into the noodles, tightening up the sauce. You could make the sauce less liquidy, but I don’t know by how much. I’m so sorry about that. -Meggan

    1. Hi Margaret! Sorry for not explaining this better. You get to 2 quarts including the 2 pounds of meat, the onion, and all sauce ingredients. Not just the tomato products. Sorry for the confusion. I hope this helps. I’m glad you asked for clarification, let me know if I can help with anything else. Thanks! -Meggan

  37. I always add water when I use tomato paste. So with this recipe you do not add water. Is that correct. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Margaret, it’s true I don’t add water here. There isn’t a rule about having to add water if you use tomato paste. I think it just depends on the recipe. I add the paste to have a thicker sauce. But you could add some water if you want to (no more than 1/2 cup I’d say) and you can always cook it down more if you want to. Ultimately you want to end up with about 2 quarts of sauce, so however you get there is fine with me! Just as long as you’re having fun. :) -Meggan

  38. Hi I love this recipe! It makes the most delicious lasagna. I would like the recipe that makes the additional sauce please. Thanks in advance!

    Also how long do you need to keep it in the fridge for before cooking it if you have no plans of freezing?

    Thank you!

    Julia5 stars

    1. Hi Julia! I emailed you the recipe you requested. To answer your other question, you need to refrigerate the lasagna for at least 5 hours before baking to give the noodles time to soften. Or up to 4 days. I would bake it on the 4th day of refrigeration for sure, or freeze it at that point. Thank you so much! :) -Meggan

    1. Hi Karen, yes. I haven’t tried it specifically, but I’ve made it in a 9×13 foil pan, and I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work perfectly split in two. The baking time might be slightly less (the part after you’ve removed the foil) but also maybe not. It won’t be a huge difference, I wouldn’t think. And at that point you’re just getting it piping hot anyway. I think you’ll be fine! Thanks. -Meggan

  39. Hi!
    So, do you have to chill the sauce after making it before layering it with the rest of the ingredients? So that all of the ingredients are cold when assembling? Or can you add the sauce hot right after cooking it to assemble the lasagna?
    Also, is it safe to refrigerate leftovers after baking and reheat again? Seems like that would be too many times to chill and reheat, but not sure?!
    Thanks so much!! :)

    1. Hi Tiffanie, no, you don’t have to chill the sauce. I always assemble the lasagna while the sauce is still warm. It cools down pretty fast once you start spreading it out anyway, so it won’t be piping hot by the time you’re done assembling the lasagna. It’s totally fine to refrigerate and reheat leftovers yes!!! You basically have 4 days to eat the leftovers. I would say, just reheat the portions as you are going to eat them (after the initial bake). But you’ll be good. If you need more clarification, just let me know! Thanks! -Meggan

  40. Hi,
    Our local grocery stores have been out of regular lasagna noodles. All I could find was Barilla Whole Grain lasagna noodles. I’ve already prepared it and refrigerated it for tomorrow evening. Do you think the noodles will soften? Do I need to adjust the time or temperature?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Lynda, I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you in time! I meant to say your noodles should be just fine and would soften appropriately. Hopefully you’ve discovered that by now as well. I’m sorry about my delay. I hope your lasagna was good. Thank you! -Meggan

  41. Hi. I made this before when it had the additional sauce and can’t remember the difference in the recipes. Could you send me the unedited version or just the extra ingredients/steps. I should’ve written it down but didn’t think you’d change it.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Dustin, I’m sorry about that. My sister is CONSTANTLY telling me to stop changing recipes on the site, but I can’t help it, I just end up doing it. Other people have scolded me for food waste (because the lasanga used to make extra sauce) and I couldn’t handle the criticism, so I fixed it. “Fixed it.” I’ll email you the original. So sorry about that! -Meggan

  42. I made this for a big crowd (one tray using ground turkey, and another tray vegetarian) and it was terrific! A few notes/changes besides the turkey instead of beef: be sure you really squish the top layer of noodles down into the sauce and cheese, so they soften properly. I also did not add any sugar. I got a zillion compliments on this, and it turned out great. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Shara, at some point the lasagna needs to sit so the noodles can soften. It is possible that could happen AFTER you freeze it, like when it’s thawing, but I haven’t tested that particular nuance of the recipe. What I know works is – let it sit overnight so the noodles soften, THEN freeze it, then you can thaw it and bake it as normal. So that’s what i would recommend. The other way might work, but I’m not 100% sure. Thanks!- Meggan

  43. I’ve tried a lot of different lasagna recipes over the years and this was delicious. So nice to make it the day before and store it in the fridge — typically I am stressed and tired from an hours long process of making lasagna, so I never make it on a weekday, but this method actually made it possible to eat lasagna on a Tuesday night after a long day of work! My husband declared it the best lasagna I had ever made. I’m already planning what to stock the freezer with for when our second baby arrives in July, and this just made the top of the list. Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

    1. This makes me so happy Megan! All of it – a happy husband, a fresh baby on the way, delicious lasagna… perfection. I’m so happy to help, and I know exactly what you mean about lasagna potentially ruining your day. It’s nice when you can just pop it in the oven and then ENJOY eating it! Thanks for the comment and if you need anything else, just let me know. Congrats on your pregnancy also. :) -Meggan

    1. Hi Sarah, I typically use either Barilla brand or generic. I shop at Ralph’s in California so the generic brand is Kroger. I don’t know if that helps at all. If you have other questions, just let me know! Thanks! -Meggan

    1. Hi Jessica, I think so? I have always recommended that you let it sit in the refrigerator first, for a minimum of 5 hours, so the noodles have a chance to soften (since they go in uncooked). But, as long as you allow that time after freezing, before baking (time to thaw and time for the noodles to soften), you should be okay. Having said that, I don’t know for sure but I really hope it works! Thanks. -Meggan

  44. All I have on hand are the Oven Ready noodles. (And we have a winter storm advisory in effect, so I can’t get out!) Any idea of what adjustments I should make?

    1. Hi Gloria! I haven’t made it with the oven ready noodles, but my suspicion is that you could just bake it immediately without waiting for the noodles to soften. It should be ready to go immediately. So tuck that lasagna in the oven and watch the bad weather from your cozy house! Take care and thanks. -Meggan

  45. I read in a comment that there was 2 cans of tomato paste and 1/2 cups of water in the sauce but it is not in the recipe. Can you help me out with that?

    1. Hi Debra, I’m really sorry for the confusion. I was working on this lasagna recipe yesterday and made the changes last night, about 24 hours ago. In the previous version, you made enough sauce for the lasagna PLUS an extra quart of sauce you could use for something else. I didn’t like that, so I worked on the recipe so you’d only have as much sauce as you needed to make the lasagna. That meant removing the 2 6-oz cans of tomato paste and the water. They aren’t necessary. I also learned that the noodles will be soft enough to bake after just 5 hours, not the 8 hours I had previously written. I also updated some notes about the sugar – you can leave it out entirely, stick with the 2 tablespoons as written, or increase it to 1/4 cup if you love sugar in your spaghetti sauce. Sorry so much for the confusion, this changed literally 24 hours ago, but I think the recipe is better for it. I hope you agree. The lasagna was fabulous and I’ve eaten half a pan since it came out of the oven last night. Thank you! -Meggan

  46. Just made this for our family Christmas dinner. I was a little concerned with using uncooked lasagna noodles. But not to worry…it was fabulous. Everyone loved it. I will never cook a lasagna noodle again. So easy. THANK YOU. ⭐⭐🌟🌟🌟.5 stars

  47. Can I substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta? And can I make on Sunday morning and bake on Monday night? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Robin, yes and yes! You can sub in cottage cheese and you can make it Sunday morning and bake Monday night. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator until baking time. Thank you! -Meggan

  48. I’m curious what brand of lasagna noodles you use? In the video, they look like Barilla Oven Ready lasagna noodle (flat sheets).
    I’ve never seen NOT no-boil noodles that look like that.
    I’m making this for the family Christmas and want to do ahead of time…. so want to be sure I have the right noodles on hand.

  49. I have been looking for the perfect recipe and this one doesn’t fail, who makes lasagna that often so if it’s not good it’s months before making again, your recipe will be shared with anyone who loves lasagna, also I feel your pain I’m from Wisconsin too and have to be extra cautious not to get sick, Thanks5 stars

    1. Hi Kat! Yes, you sure can. I did that in my Vegetable Lasagna recipe, I added 1 thawed 10-ounce bag chopped spinach. Well, I actually added it to the mushroom mixture (the stuff that was standing in for the meat), but I think it would be fine mixed in with the ricotta. It should be great. You could also add it to the sauce if you wanted, that should work too (but I would probably add it to the ricotta like you’re suggesting, that sounds better). Thanks! -Meggan

    1. Hi Erica, not a dumb questions! You should refrigerate it overnight according to the directions to let the noodles soften. After it has had it’s refrigeration time, THEN go ahead and freeze it. No need to bake before freezing. -Meggan

  50. I made this for my son’s graduation party this weekend and it was a HUGE success! I made it exactly as the recipe stipulated and let it sit in my frig for three days prior (due to not having time to prepare it closer to the event). It turned out perfectly with such great flavor–even the sauce on it’s own would be great over pasta. I had the graduation catered by a local Italian restaurant and decided last minute to make the lasagna when the rsvps kept coming in– and the lasagna was the first to go! At the end of the party, family members were asking to take home what small amount remained. :-) The recipe’s definitely a keeper!5 stars

  51. Can’t wait to try. I am not a fan of sausage…would I substitute for 2lbs of ground beef instead? Or would 1.5 lbs be okay?5 stars

  52. I know this recipe was published long ago, bit since people are still commenting I thought I’d add my 2¢ regarding whether this can be cooked from frozen. It can. I don’t use the exact same sauce recipe (I’ve been making both lasagna & spaghetti sauce forever, so I don’t need to follow a recipe anymore). However, I’ve been making lasagna with regular lasagna noodles uncooked for years. As long as you let the lasagna sit in the fridge overnight after assembly before freezing it, it’s fine to just take it directly from the freezer into your preheated oven. As others have mentioned, the cook time is going to increase by at least 50%. One of the best investments I’ve ever made insofar as cooking equipment was the purchase of a Chef’s Alarm thermometer by ThermoWorks. Once the lasagna has thawed enough in the oven, I stick the probe right into the center of the lasagna, set the device to 165°, and forget it. It beeps when it’s done.

  53. Hi Meggan, thanks for the recipe. I am planning a dinner party for 40 and plan on making your lasagna. I did a test run with the recipe last weekend and the family loved it. I was like many others and quite nervous that the noodles wouldn’t be done, but was pleasantly surprised and relieved when the knife went so easy into the pan for cutting into servings. Next week I will make 3 pans on Friday for cooking on Saturday. Thank you for sharing your overnight trick!5 stars

  54. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I have made this for Christmas dinner for the last three years and it is always a hit. Making it ahead of time takes the stress out of cooking and gives me more time with family on Christmas Day. Usually, I double the recipe so there are leftovers to share or to freeze and eat later. Another plus is very little cleanup! Better than any I have had at a restaurant!5 stars

  55. This is really a wonderful recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. A few notes to keep in mind for people trying it out for the first time. If you are using the foil “lasagna” pans, they are slightly bigger, and you will have to make adjustments for that. I had to purchase quite a bit more of all the cheeses to make up for that. Plus, the timing for cooking will be increased as well. A thermometer for checking doneness is a must in my opinion. I did make one change and added a basil paste since it’s winter, and I really wanted the basil flavor to shine. I’d highly recommend making this once before bringing it to a family affair, so you can work out any changes you need to make it your own. All in all, an absolutely great recipe!! Even my Italian relatives were clamoring for more! 5 stars

    1. Hi Diane, it’s my fault and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been traveling a lot for the holidays, and I’ve been sick since I got in to Wisconsin a week ago, but I know your question goes back a lot further than that. I know you mentioned the 2 6-ounce cans of tomato paste, but you also added the 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and the 15 ounce can of tomato sauce, right? I’ve made this sauce a ton, even just on its own as a meat sauce and have never had a problem of it being too thick. I always have AT LEAST a quart left, and it sounds like you didn’t. So you could please let me know if you definitely adding the other 28 + 15 ounce cans of tomato sauce. Sorry for the delay, and thanks for your patience. Let me know what you think. I really don’t understand why the sauce is so thick for you and that you have none left over. Makes no sense! Just for your own info, if you want to see a picture of JUST the meat sauce, here’s the post for it. The only difference here is I reduce the tomato paste by 1 can (instead of 2) and omit the water. https://www.culinaryhill.com/homemade-meat-sauce/

  56. Did not like the texture of the 2 cans of tomatoe paste, I added wine to help thin it, but there must be a mistake?? One cup in the beginning did not cover the pan??  No left over sauce!!

  57. I have made this once and was delicious. Can this sit longer than 24 hours in the fridge? For example, make Sunday night and cook it Tuesday early afternoon?5 stars

  58. I took this to a family gathering yesterday and there was not a speck left!!  Thanks so much for this recipe!  I put it together last weekend and put it in the freezer.  However, I did not leave it in the frig long enough to thaw.  TIP for anyone who makes the same mistake I did — You will need to bake it 1 and a half hours.  5 stars

  59. Hi! My sauce seems very thick and was more like dollops when layering rather than a liquid sauce layer. Is this going to make it too dry when i cook it? I was thinking maybe id add just some jarred sauce over top?4 stars

  60. Thanks for the recipe! I don’t know why, but every SINGLE time I make a lasagna, I only have ricotta enough for two layers (never 3). I wonder why? Any thoughts about what I might be doing wrong?

  61. I found your sauce recipe looking for a lasagna sauce for my dinner tonight. And since you conveniently linked your lasagna recipe I decided to go with that. But I kept to the original sauce recipe since I was boiling the noodles and cooking it tonight.
    The sauce turned out AMAZING (I doubled it for spaghetti later this week). Fingers crossed the lasagna turns out well. Since I didnt let it sit overnight. Cant wait!5 stars

  62. I was looking at your 2 recipes-the one for your sauce alone and the one for the sauce with the lasagna. One says two cans tomato paste and the other says one can . And water is listed in only one . I am confused.

    1. Hi Valerie, so sorry for your confusion. The one for the lasagna has more water because it’s an “overnight” lasagna – you don’t cook the noodles, you put them in the lasagna dry. The extra water softens the lasagna noodles overnight and the extra tomato paste makes sure the sauce isn’t too watery. The straight-up meat sauce doesn’t need either of those because you just put it on noodles or whatever. So it’s nearly the same thing, but one needs to “soften” lasagna noodles and therefore needs a little more liquid. Does this make sense? Please let me know. I hope so. Thanks and sorry about that!

  63. Can I bake it straight out if the freezer or do i have to let it thaw for 24 hours? I could let it soak the night before I freeze it. I want this to be a quick meal for a busy summer night.

    Thanks,

    Jennifer

    1. Hi Jennifer, I have never baked it straight from the freezer. I did some searches online, and they mostly say you should thaw the lasagna overnight before you bake it. However, I will test it myself and see if it works. They say that store-bought frozen lasagnas are meant to be baked from frozen, but homemade lasagnas are not. But I don’t know. I can’t think of a reason why you couldn’t bake it from frozen (but I would definitely soak it before freezing it). If you’d like to give it a shot without knowing what will happen, you could try baking it from the freezer in a 375-degree oven for 90 minutes (but check it at 60 minutes?). And I would cover it for sure. But I don’t know. But I will test it! Thanks for the question.

  64. I have a quick question.. when assembling the lasagna do I only  put the noodles lengthwise across the pan? What about the open spaces at the end of the pan?  Do I need to break noodles to fill that space? 

    1. Hi Kimberly! Sorry for the delay on replying. I usually do 3 full noodles across, and then I break a 4th to fit the end. I hope this helps. Thanks!

  65. If you are going to freeze to prepare later, do you freeze immediately after prep or do you refrigerate overnight and then freeze? 

    1. Hi Keisha, either one. But if I had to pick, I’d let it sit for 8 hours and then freeze (you could let it sit for 3-4 days in your fridge before freezing, even). If you freeze it immediately upon finishing it, the noodles will soften during the thawing phase. But since it has to thaw AND soften, it might take more than 8 hours. I haven’t tested it specifically, but I feel like 12 hours would be sufficient to thaw and soften. I hope this helps! Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks.

  66. I know this is somewhat of a repeat question but… do you think freezing it for two nights will do any harm? Followed by thawing out overnight and then heating as directed? Similar to what you mentioned in the intro, I’m making this for a new mom, but with a hectic schedule, need to make it two days in advance! Either way, I was excited to read about recipes for new moms, I’ve been on the hunt!

    1. Hi Carolyn! Not a repeat question, every nuance of this recipe can and should be explored! :D Freezing it for 2 nights will do no harm. It will be just perfect. If you knew that the mom was going to make it the day you gave it to her, you wouldn’t even need to freeze it for 2 nights. It is good for 4 days in the fridge. But if you don’t know for sure exactly when she will make it, like if it’s not until a day or two after you give it to her, freezing it is the way to go! You could even give it to her frozen. Please also free to point out to her that it has been previously frozen and therefore should not be RE-frozen. If you have any other questions, please let me know! And congrats to the new mom. :)

  67. I forgot to add the half cup of water!  Its now sitting overnight in the fridge. Will it still work out?5 stars

    1. Hi Brittany, yes probably. The lasagna itself is quite saucy, so your version might be slightly less saucy. I would just poke the noodles around the top and make sure they softened. If, for example, the top layer of noodles still seem crunchy, maybe remove JUST those noodles and keep everything else. I think that’s better than tossing the whole thing. So just take a look! If it looks like good lasagna before you bake it, you’ll wind up with great lasagna in the end! Good luck!

    2. turned out great!! definitely going in the rotation. thanks for the the quick response. family lived it and I live the homemade sauce.5 stars

  68. I made your recipe for Christmas dinner this year and it was wonderful! The only thing I left out were the fennel seeds, only because I forgot to buy them. I’m not sure how much that changed the taste of the recipe but my family loved it! Being able to prepare it and then cook the next day was a godsend. My son will be 28 this week and he requested I make this for his birthday dinner. Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Donna! This is so amazing! I wouldn’t worry about the fennel at all. I like it, but it just tastes the sausage taste a little more sausage-y, if that makes sense. No love lost. I think if someone wants a recipe to be their “birthday dinner,” that is the highest possible compliment! Seriously! Nothing better. Thank you so much. :D

  69. I made a pot of sauce yesterday and it is in the fridge cold. Can I assemble this as in your recipe with the sauce being cold? and let it set overnight and bake overnight? OR do you assemble this with the sauce being hot?

    1. Hi Linda! Good question, assemble it with the sauce cold. The sauce does not need to be hot. It just needs to be… saucy. :) Thank you so much for the question, I’ll add this info to the post!

  70. I am just saw your sauce recipe and I can’t wait to try it along with your make ahead lasagna. It sounds delish.
    It’s. Christmas day and I am wishing I had this cooking instead of turkey..
    Can’t wait to try and Merry Christmas to All.
    Sandy5 stars

    1. Hi Sandy, you are so kind! Thank you so much! I hope you love the recipes if you get a chance to try them… and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! (I’m sure your turkey was delicious). Take care and thank you so much!

  71. Best lasagne I’ve ever made. My boyfriend, dad and brother loved it! Several times during dinner they remarked how good it was. Followed the recipe to a t. Making it again for company next week. Thanks for such a delicious recipe Meggan!5 stars

    1. Hi April! I’m sure you can… I just haven’t tested the recipe so I don’t know exactly how much sauce you would need. I will put it on the list to test so I can report back! Sorry I don’t have an instant answer for you. I will probably buy 2 jars myself and just make it and see what happens, so if you feel brave and/or experimental, you could definitely try it out. I just don’t know for sure if that is enough sauce. Thanks!

    2. Hi, I used two jars of sauce with a little more water. I had so much sauce that I made two 9×13 lasagnas: one for company and one for me two days later. It worked perfectly!5 stars

  72. The recipe was good, but I used ALL of the sauce and wished I had even more to use. It was kind of dry the next day after cooking. Also, ricotta is now being sold in 15 oz containers, so I had to buy 2 in order to have the 16 oz that the recipe called for. If I make it again, I will also increase the amount of ricotta mixture that I use, so I would not end up with a partial container of ricotta cheese that will probably not get used up. I will also not use shredded mozarella cheese, if I make it again. I think that the slices of cheese make for a much more gooier, tastier lasagna.4 stars

    1. Hi Erin, I’m sure you could although I haven’t tried it. But I imagine they would work the same way. You cook them the same way as you cook regular lasagna noodles, right? So I would think they would soften the same. Thanks!

    1. Ha ha ha! Your sigh made me laugh. You know, a lot of people in the world LOVE no-boil noodles, that’s why they exist. So don’t let my opinions dissuade you. I think it will be JUST fine, delicious even. No worries! Thanks Van.

    1. Hi Lynn! Yes, you definitely can. Personally I would leave it unbaked and freeze it like that, and just thaw it overnight and bake it the next day. But you can absolutely bake it, freeze it, thaw it, and reheat it. Please let me know if you need any other information. Thanks Lynn!

    1. Hi Vicki, yes. You use regular noodles, they go in to the dish uncooked, and then they soften overnight. Please let me know if you have any more questions! Thanks!

  73. Ok….I posted twice above with questions. 
    I was sweating this one out. I kept checking he pasta all night to see if it was softening…..and sure enough…IT WAS! You said to have faith, that it was  going to work. But I still wasn’t confident. 
    Well, it turned out great….they guys all went back for seconds and it was a hit. The noodles weren’t under cooked or over cooked..
    I goofed a little and added more sauce to each layer because I didn’t think the one cup would be enough.  But judging by how saucy I made it, I think it would have been fine. 
    And I didn’t have to do a thing Sunday morning, other than worry about it….lol.
    So now I’m gong to try the one pot pasta dishes with shrimp….looks great and so easy.
    Thanks so much….!!
    Lorraine5 stars

    1. Hi Lorraine, I am so relieved for you!!! I feel bad for all the undue stress I caused you, but thanks for sticking it out until the end and I’m glad it worked out and EVERYONE ATE IT. LOL. That’s the most important thing. Thank you so much for reporting back. If you need anything else just let me know!

    1. Hi Emily, sure and yes! You can substitute cottage cheese if you want to, that’s fine. I would still add the egg. Thanks Emily and good luck!

  74. Ok….I left the question just above about the top layer. So what I did was, since my dish is deep, I added a fourth layer without ricotta….just sauce, mozzarella and parm.
    It felt a little weird putting the ricotta on the dry  pasta but It ended up looking like a normal lasagna. Don’t know how it will end up as I’m cooking it tomorrow…. the sauce was very good, so so far so good….lol
    I’m a marinara girl but I think the lasagna pasta needs the richer meat sauce. I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
    Lorraine

  75. Hi there….do you end the layers with lasagna and sauce and some grated cheese… or just the cheese mixture. 
    This is too interesting not to try.
    Thanks,
    Lorraine

    1. Hi Lorraine! Sorry for not getting back to you sooner! I usually end on a layer of cheese mixture, possibly with extra cheese on top. But honestly you can do whatever you want, and you’ll have plenty of sauce to end on sauce. You should do exactly what you want! And to your other comment, I know it seems weird putting in dry noodles. But you’ll see – you’ll see the magic! I hope you love it. It’s my favorite. Good luck and please let me know how it goes, if you want to!

  76. Hi. This receipe sounds amazing. I am making it with just 2 lbs 85% ground meat no sausage. Question: Do I drain the meat? Seems lloke a lot of grease. Thanks. 

    1. Hi Judy, that is a personal choice. My recipe doesn’t say to, but you could. I will add that in to the instructions (or notes) so people recognize their option. I once heard that “true Italians” would NEVER drain the grease, that’s where all the flavor is, but that is just one opinion. And yes, it definitely depends on the type of ground beef you use too. Thanks for the question! If you try it, I hope you like it. Thanks and take care.

    1. Hi Rheya, if I froze it I would thaw it in the fridge overnight the day before I wanted to make it. That would essentially put you back to square 1 and you wouldn’t need to adjust the baking time since it was thawed. If I were baking it straight from the freezer I’d add 30 minutes to the baking time and just check it with a thermometer at the end to make sure it hit 165 degrees. I hope this helps! Thank you for your question!

  77. I made this a couple days ago and it turned out great! The noodles cooked perfectly. I did question the amount of salt that the cooking directions listed…it said ONE TABLESPOON, which I think is a lot of salt, especially since it had Italian Sausage in it. I chose to put 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the sauce and 1/4 teaspoon in the ricotta mixture and it came out perfectly.5 stars

    1. Thank you for your comment, Sue! Your point on the salt is a good one. I can definitely alter the ingredients to advise a range for salt. For me, a tablespoon of salt tastes corret, but you loved it with just 1/4 teaspoon. That’s amazing! So, I should list a range and maybe say in parentheses “(I use 1 tablespoon salt)” or something like that. That way, no one ends up with overly salty food. Honestly, salt should always just be listed as “to taste” in many instances, such as with making sauce, but people reading recipes like clear directions. So, good for you for doing what you like! I’m really glad the lasagna turned out for you.

    2. I will make sure the recipe suggests salt to taste with my suggestion there. I am glad you know yourself and you’re willing to use less, some people are so scared to modify a recipe. Thanks and I hope you like it!

  78. Thank you so much for this recipe! My brother in law said it was the best lasagne he has eaten to date. I was a bit skeptical about not cooking the lasagne sheets before layering the lasasgne but they turned out perfectly cooked.  Also the meat sauce was just perfect. 

    Thank you! 

    1. Thank you so much Debbie! It means a lot that you took a chance on my recipe which, I know, sounds weird (not cooking the noodles). I’m so happy to turned out and that your brother-in-law liked it too! Amazing! Thanks for letting me know, and take care.

  79. Is there a reason you don’t mix the mozz and parm into the ricotta mixture? It would simplify things a little.

    1. There is no reason at all – it literally never occurred to me. I have always made lasagna in layers like that, but you’re right. Just mix them in! Seems obvious when you say it. :) Thanks Laura!

  80. I have made this before and it was awesome… This time however I forgot to layer the mozzarella cheese so i put it on top, it is in the oven now…I am so hoping I didn’t mess it up!!5 stars

    1. No worries Carol! You didn’t/can’t mess it up. Cheese on top sounds perfect! Probably even better. :) Thanks for your comment!

  81. Do you bake the lasagna directly from the fridge or let it sit at room temperature for a while before baking?

    1. Hey Cheryl, I baked it right from the fridge! I don’t necessarily like to let things sit at room temperature for food safety purposes. But it’s a great question! Thanks.

    1. Hi Flo, I am not sure off the top of my head. Do you have a thermometer? You want it to get to 165 degrees in the middle. I’d probably still bake it for at least 20 minutes with the foil on, then test it after 15 minutes with the foil off. And just go from there. Good luck!

    1. Hi Eva, the sauce has extra liquid and it softens the noodles. I swear it works as long as you make the sauce as instructed. It’s crazy, but it works!

  82. From a fully refrigerated state it only needs to cook for a total of 50 minutes?  Is that long enough for cooking since there’s an egg in the recipe? 

    1. Hi Beth, it just needs to get to 165 degrees. You cover it for the first 25 minutes so I think that helps it get it hot, fast. And then remove the foil to promote browning. But yes, if your oven is running at the right temperature (375 degrees if you set it at that temp) it will be hot and bubbly by then. I’ve never had an issue. Just make sure it hits 165 degrees!

  83. This recipe looks delicious! I have to feed a large family party 30+ adults. There are a few vegetarians in the mix so was hoping to make this dish along with another that doesn’t have meat. Do you think your technique to not cook the lasagna noodles would work in other recipes too? Or do you have recipes that are vegetarian but similar to this one? Thanks!

    1. Hi Natasha! The technique with the noodles will work provided you have a sauce with enough liquid in it, so YES! The meat has nothing to do with it. But, if you used a white sauce instead of a red one, I’m not sure what effect that would have. But let’s say you were going to use spinach and mushrooms, or squash and peppers, or anything else like that in the sauce instead of meat. Yes. You’ll have no issues. I don’t have any such recipes posted, but I think you could probably find a good vegetarian recipe you like online and just try to match it up to mine to make sure it makes sense. I hope that helps!

  84. I just made the meat sauce today and our house smells delicious.  I’m planning on making the lasagna Sunday afternoon to have for dinner on Monday night.  Do you think it’s fine for the lasagna to site already-made in the fridge for 24 hours?  I wasn’t sure if the overnight/8-hr suggestion was the ideal timeframe?  Part of me figures by overnight you meant for dinner the next night but perhaps you meant earlier in the day (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).  Sorry if that’s a stupid question….

    Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Amanda! Not a stupid question at all. 24 hours in the fridge is fine! I’ve done that myself. The 8 hours is basically the minimum I recommend to make sure your noodles soften, the “overnight” is more of a convenience thing. 24 hours is just fine. The noodles have max amount of liquid they will absorb. Honestly I think even 48 hours is fine. Thanks for checking! I hope you love it.

  85. Holy YUM! And I just gotta give a heck yes to these normal-and-still-don’t-have-to-boil noodles. This recipe is just everything!

  86. Question! I’ve never made a make-ahead lasagne – do you cook it fully first and then freeze it? or do you assemble it, freeze it and then bake it?

    1. Hi Erin! The way this one works is, you only cook the sauce but everything else is cold. Noodles are uncooked. You assemble it, and then you could either refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next day, or stick it in the freezer, thaw it overnight, and bake it the next day. I hope that helps! If you have more questions just let me know. Thank you so much!

    2. Meggan, when you say “thaw overnight,” do you mean in the fridge or out of the fridge? Made this tonight and need it for Wed night so I just put it in the freezer… Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

    3. Hi Erica! Thank you for the question and sorry that wasn’t clear. You should thaw in the fridge (you should always thaw things in the fridge for food safety, no matter what it is, rather than just at room temperature). In your case, I’d pull it out of the freezer on Tuesday night and put it in the fridge so it will have 24 hours before you bake it Wednesday night. You should be in good shape! Just make sure you bake it to 165 degrees. You’ll be all set. Thank you Erica!

  87. Megan!  This looks so awesome!  I love a good lasagna and sadly have also had bad luck with those gross no boil ones.  And yes I ALSO talk to people in the aisles so we are both weirdos.  I bet this freezes wonderfully too huh!

  88. You can’t beat a really good lasagna. Love your tips – thank you, Meggan!

    I’d never thought of the shredding noodles thing, but now you mention it… ;-)

    I’m a big fan of mixing beef with sausage too – pack in that flavour!5 stars

  89. Thank you so much for leaving a comment. :) The day I made yours, I also made one for myself. I’m glad your family enjoyed it as much as mine did!

    1. I always use uncooked regular noodles. Just use tad more sauce and increase baking time. Haven’t cooked noodles in Years. Will try your make ahead idea when pressed for time day of dinner though!5 stars