Oh friends. I’m going to need you to sit down for this.
I have discovered THE ABSOLUTE BEST lasagna recipe known to man.
I know, I know. Big claim right there.
However…I am completely serious.
Ask my special gentleman, he’s literally been joyfully eating the leftovers for BOTH lunch and dinner for the last 6 days running. (Don’t worry, I won’t be feeding him Italian food for a long time after this!) haha
But allow me to quote the guy here: After literally chewing with his eyes closed for 10 seconds, he says, “Wow, this is the best thing you’ve ever made.”
What a compliment!
So don’t take my word for it!
And before I get into the recipe, I’ll let you in on the secrets that make this recipe so good…there are 3 biggies.
First: GET YOUR MOZZARELLA SLICED OFF THE BLOCK AT THE DELI!!! If there is ONE THING that you take away from this recipe, it is to use DELI-SLICED, OFF THE BLOCK mozzarella slices in the recipe. I PROMISE, it makes a huge difference. The bagged, pre-shredded mozzarella cheese is coated with and anti-caking agent that doesn’t allow for optimal melting. When you get it sliced at the deli, not only is it super fresh and great at melting, but it is DRY, too. If you use fresh mozzarella (that comes in a ball) – it makes the lasagna too “wet” and it just isn’t that delicious sturdy tower of pasta we all know and love. (And while we’re talking cheese – use WHOLE MILK ricotta, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese…none of that green canned stuff.
Second: YOU DON’T HAVE TO PRE-BOIL THE NOODLES! And no, I’m not talking about using the “no-bake lasagna noodles.” Frankly, those have a bit of a gummy texture that isn’t pleasant. All you have to do is take your regular ol’ lasagna noodles, and let them soak in hot tap water for at least 30 minutes! Then, they’ll soften up to be baked to perfection! I soaked them in the pan I was going to bake them in. (One less pot to clean! Hooray!)
Third: USE SAN MARZANO TOMATOES! Like I mentioned in my “Top Secret Spaghetti Sauce” recipe, the quality of ingredients matter. And the creme de la creme when it comes to canned tomatoes is….San Marzano tomatoes! Their texture, acidity and sweetness level — are bar none. So use San Marzano Tomato products if you can!
OK, so now let’s get to the recipe!
Here’s what you need: Makes 8 generous servings
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
1 lb lean ground beef (I used grass fed)
1 large white onion, diced
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (use San Marzano if possible!)
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine (a good one you would drink!)
2 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb lasagna noodles
30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb thinly sliced mozzarella (from the deli, about 26 slices)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Large Stock Pot
Good Chef’s Knife
TIP: It is helpful to prep/measure out all the ingredients before you begin. In a large stock pot, add the ground sausage and ground beef. Break up the meat into small pieces. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until the meat is well browned, stirring constantly. Then, stir in the sugar, fresh basil, fennel, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and wine. Mix well, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1-4 hours, stirring occasionally. (I cooked mine for 1 hour because I was pressed for time, but the longer you can let it simmer, the more flavorful it will be!)
Meanwhile, put your lasagna noodles in to a lasagna pan and pour hot tap water over the noodles. Make sure that the noodles are completely covered by the water. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes, then drain and discard the water.
Next, in a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with your egg, 2 Tbsp parsley, 1/2 tsp salt and nutmeg. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna.
Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a lasagna pan with butter.
To assemble: spread 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of the greased lasagna pan. Place four noodles on top. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese slices. Then, spoon 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce over the mozzarella. Sprinkle that with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. REPEAT those layers two more times to create three complete layers. To finish, place a final layer of pasta, topped with another 1 cup of meat sauce to cover the pasta. Top with the remaining mozzarella slices and Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. (You will have extra sauce and noodles left over. That’s okay — the sauce freezes well for future pasta dishes!)
Bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake and additional 25 minutes to allow the cheese to brown.
Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
OK. Let’s talk turkey…or, meat sauce, rather.
This sauce is literally liquid gold.
The combination of the fresh herbs with the fennel and the deep rich tomato flavor from the tomato paste is absolute perfection.
Then lovingly simmering it low and slow for that time, really allows the flavors to marry and come together. You just can’t replicate that in a jarred sauce you buy at the grocery store.
BUT THE CHEESE.
Can we just talk about that cheese pull for a second?! THAT, friends…that glorious cheesy stringiness is all thanks to……DELI SLICED MOZZARELLA! You just won’t get that with the preshredded variety, no ma’am!
It’s rich, it’s perfectly saucy and luxuriously cheesy, with just the right kiss of herbiness, complimented by a finishing sprinkle of chopped fresh basil. Mario Batali, eat your heart out! 😉 Juuuuust kidding 🙂
So do yourself a favor and MAKE THIS LASAGNA! It is truly the world’s best. 😉 Just ask my special gentleman…he just finished the pan, after a week of glorious leftovers!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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95 responses to “The World’s Best Lasagna!”
A beautiful post thank you so much I like your posts
thank you so much! Hugs and love xox
What white wine do you use for your lasagna recipe?
any wine that is good enough to drink on its own! 🙂
Wonderful, my daughter & grandgirls will be down for Easter; I will be testing this one out. You have NOT let me down yet. Thanks, Hugs 🤗 & Love ❤️! 😜
thank you so much HJ! oh yes – you will certainly have some happy campers to test this out! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
You are making me miss having someone to cook for!
aww, oh Galby, treat yourself my friend!! 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
So much cheesy goodness! That looks amazing.
thank you so much Kristie!!! oh my gosh the cheese is the best part! you can never have too much!! Hugs and love xox
Sounds delicious and thanks for the tip on the tomatoes. I’m going to try them.
Thank you so much Alice! Oh yes – the San Marzano tomatoes truly make a difference! The taste is so….tomatoey! hahah Hugs and love xox
Mmmm you’ve got me convinced. I might need to tweak that recipe for my low-cholesterol diet (ricotta which is my favorite is the worst for that). Sounds delicious!
thank you so much Pete! oh yes – though I haven’t tried it with the skim-milk ricotta, I’m sure it would still hit the spot! 🙂 OR – you could use a non-dairy ricotta! i just did a quick search for ya, and this almond milk-based ricotta cheese I’m sure would work beautifully! https://amzn.to/3tWv6Lt thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
[…] The World’s Best Lasagna! […]
Thank Tonya for the link up! Hugs and love xox
It looks delicious! I will have to try it out soon.
thank you so much! oh yes definitely give this one a try! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
This is what lasagna should taste like! It’s got meat and lots of cheese, love it!
thank you so much Sue! oh yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Hugs and love xox
Sounds delicious and not a million miles from my own recipe
awesome!! thanks Sheree!! lasagna really is a trifecta of culinary perfection! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
🤗 ❤️ back at you
That does sound and looks amazing. Feeling hungry now
thank you so much mumjd! 🙂 oh yes – this was really such a treat! Hugs and love xox
looks mouth-watering. thank you for sharing.
thank you so much! it was a real treat! Hugs and love xox
First off you two are too cute!!
I’m always amazed at how you come up with these recipe ingredient ideas..like the wine, I’d have never thought of that!
hahah aw, thanks Ali! you’re kind to say that! yes! the wine gives a little something special! When given the option of adding water, stock or wine…go for the wine! hehe 🙂 happy thursday, and thanks again for stopping by my friend! Hugs and love xox
Hmm good to know, thanks!!!
My bride used to make fun of me for making a pasta salad in college. It would take me a week to finish it off, but saved on cooking and cleaning cookware since all I had to do was serve it up meal by meal. She thought, “How boring to eat the same thing seven days in a row!”
My reply was always, “If it’s good you can enjoy it forever.”
Now, 31 years later, I tell her if she ever thinks I am bored living with her, “If it’s good, you can enjoy it forever.” 😊
oh gosh, pasta salad is so goo! what’s not to love! 🙂 hahah i’m in your camp – if i find something i love, i NEVER get sick of it! 🙂 aww, sounds like you guys have a beautiful marriage! thanks for sharing that! Hugs and love xox
I usually am pretty skeptical about other lasagna recipes (in my humble opinion, none can be better than my mothers 😂). That being said, I’m looking at the ingredient list and wondering, perhaps this may take the cake 🤤😄
Thank you so much Vera! 🙂 Oh gosh – I would NEVER try to out-shine mama! 🙂 haha – I’ve gotta say, the wine and the fresh herbs are a nice addition 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Ouuuuuuu lovely! This looks soooooo gooddddd! Excellent job! 😍 really loving this for I love this dish! Blessings and love always! 💛
Thank you Tammy! Oh my gosh this was SUCH a treat!!!! 🙂 I do hope you give it a try! Happy Thursday my friend! Hugs and love xox
Quite the boast. I would gladly offer my services as a taste tester to confirm 🙂
Haha thanks friend. Taste tester definitely needed! Hugs and love xox
Yes girl! This is very very close to the recipe that I first used for my niece’s bachelorette party and have been perfecting ever since. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure! I’ll be honest, I never made lasagna before that party so it was a little daunting. Can you truly forgive yourself if you mess up lasagna?! Anyway, great tips – soaking the noodles, fresh mozzarella and san marzano tomatoes hints are clutch (and exactly what I do as well)!
aw thank you so much Lindsey! oh my gosh fun! crowd pleaser FOR SURE!!! happy cooking! Hugs and love xox
Hi Sis’. 🙂 You made me want to eat my computer’s screen when I saw your meal. Lol! Thank you for sharing your recipe steps. 🙂
hahah you’re too funny!!! Thnak you so much! this was definitely a treat! Hugs and love xox
This is going to be dinner on Sunday night! I can’t wait!
oh yes!!! i hope it turned out great!! It certainly feeds a crowd! haha thanks Amy! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
[…] her blog regularly – she’s a fantastic writer and a great motivator and also posts some fantastic recipes. What’s not to love? But her courage to share her story is really why I’m here today. I […]
Thank you for the link up and your kind words!! Hugs and love xox
That looks so good.
oh my gosh it was!! Hugs and love xox
[…] The World’s Best Lasagna! […]
Thanks for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Love lasagna. I have been making my own version for more than 40 years and the recipe has evolved with my tastes. I would not dare change my recipe though. Thanks for sharing. Allan
Do you crush the fennel seeds or put them in whole?
I put them in whole!
You know what Garfield says: “Lasagna is nature’s most perfect food!”
Can you make this in advance? The day before? I want to make this for Christmas but don’t want to get up at 3 in the morning to start! Lol!
Hi Susan! Oh yum! I think this would be a great Christmas meal! Yes – i think you definitely can – I would heat it in the oven just to freshen it up before serving. 🙂 happy cooking! Hugs and love xox
So the meat doesn’t get drained?
Could this be a freezer meal? I’m having 11 people for 5 days and need to prep. Wondering if this could be prepped ahead of time, throw in the freezer, and then straight to oven?
Yes absolutely! Make it ahead of time, freeze it. Then bake it. I would let it thaw first before throwing it in (ie, take it out in the morning, let thaw by dinner) just so it cooks evenly. But im sure you *could* go straight to the oven! Good luck! Sounds like quite the shindig you’re hosting! 🥰
This Lasagna recipe is so delicious! Best paired with with my favorite Vita Sugar Cane Flavor Vita Juice. Yummy!
oh my gosh yay! i’m so glad you enjoyed it! thanks for sharing your success! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Hi I just found your site. I need to impress some friends in a few days for a dinner party. I am going to try your lasagna recipe. Wish me luck.
oh nice!! I hope you love it as much as we did! Hugs and love xox
Quick question. With the stores being out of stock on everything constantly at this time, I am having a real difficult time finding fresh basil. Can dried basil be substituted and if so, what would amount would you use.
I have never been a fan of ricotta cheese so I have never made my lasagna with it or cottage cheese always just mozzarella. During a conversation with my husband I found out after all these years that he likes ricotta and apparently so does my son. So in my search for a new lasagna recipe I came across yours. I made it and my husband loved it and my son said it is probably the best lasagna he has ever had❤❤.
Hi Mary! Oh my gosh that’s amazing! i’m so happy to hear that it was a hit with your family! In terms of the basil, if you can’t find fresh, I would substitute 1.5 tsp of dried basil. 🙂 thanks for sharing your success! Hugs and love xox
Thank you so much for getting back with me and for the info. I still have a few days to search for the fresh stuff. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Have a blessed evening.
Can I use ground chicken and chicken Italian sausage? I don’t eat beef or pork.
I know I would not brown it as long. Dying to try this!
Hi friend, you can definitely use chicken varieties! This will significantly make it drier, so I would add about 2 Tbsp of EVOO to the browning process to make up for it! But I’m sure it would be just as delicious! Let me know how it goes! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
We made this lasagna for our Christmas feast and it was perfect. Everyone loved it. We are going to can this sauce this summer so we have it all year long for lasagna and spaghetti. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
oh my gosh YAY!! thank you so much Glenna!! So glad you all enjoyed it so much! Hugs and love xox
This was so good! My first time ever making lasagna. The sauce was to die for. We will definitely be making that again! And I was worried about using that technique for the noodles but it came out perfectly! My whole family and guests loved it!!!
Hi Christina! Oh my gosh YAY!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Isn’t that method for the noodles so great!? Talk about a time saver! Thanks for sharing your success! happy cooking! Hugs and love xox
This really is the best lasagna! It was delicious!
Oh my gosh YAY! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Pam! Thanks for sharing your success! Hugs and love xox
Can you use cooking wine instead of real wine? Just curious since We don’t drink wine
Hi JK! Thank you for asking. Unfortunately, no – cooking wine cannot be used in this recipe. There is actually a HUGE difference in taste — think milk-water verses ice cream! haha That being said, all of the alcohol will cook out of the wine. And also – you can now buy single-serve wine, so you wouldn’t have to waste an entire bottle. Thanks for your question! Hugs and love xox
Could this be prepped and refrigerated on one day and then cooked the next day?
All I can say is OMG!!!!! This recipe is truly a keeper!! I’ll never use another lasagna recipe ever again ☺️ Thank you so much for sharing!! P.S.. you were right about the sliced mozzarella!
hahah thank you so much Linda! I’m SO glad you enjoyed it!! Its true — sliced mozzarella just melts differently! The pre-shredded stuff is coated in cellulose, which is a natural anti-caking agent that also absorbs moisture, but it makes it so it doesn’t melt as beautifully! Thanks for sharing your success! Hugs and love xox
Hello, I really want to try this recipe! I am wondering, is there a replacement for fennel seeds? I have never used them, nor do I know what they taste like but they are a bit pricey. Could they just be skipped and not make a huge difference in the flavor of the finished dinner?
Hi Elizabeth, you could definitely omit them. They offer a slight licorice-y flavor and are found in most sausages. i don’t think it would be a huge deal. 🙂 Thanks so much! i hope you love it! Hugs and love xox
Thank you! I can’t wait to try it!
Another question. Have you used cottage cheese rather than the ricotta? I am not finding ricotta in the stores.
Sounds so good! I was wondering after browning meats could you put all the sauce ingredients in a crockpot and let it go overnight on low?
I don’t see whynot! i love a good crockpot hack!!
Started making this recipe last year and now my fiancé begs me to make it all them time. I usually double/triple the recipe to make a pan(s) for our friends while I’m making ours because they love it so much too! A truly incredible recipe, thank you 🙂
Hi Kalenna! oh my gosh that makes me so happy to hear! so glad you love it as much as we do! Hugs and love xox
I just made it tonight. Added in a bag of mirepoix. So AMAZING!!! And I am NOT a great cook. LOL
Oh my gosh yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for sharing your success! Hugs and love xox
Can this be cooked the next day?
Yes, that shouldn’t be a problem!
Your recipe sounds very yummy, close to the one I normally use. I donate lasagna for Lasagna Love and I made one recently, but didn’t use whole milk mozzarella or whole milk ricotta, (I didn’t feel like driving across town) and I feel bad that it probably didn’t taste as good as my usual. My point is, don’t skimp on the whole milk for the part skim milk. It makes a big difference! But I will be using your recipe for my next one! Using sliced cheese and not boiling the noodles will save a lot of time, and I always use San Marzano. Thanks for the tips!
This is truly THE Best Lasagna!! No joke. I’ve made it today and after I tried first bite I’ve realized I’ve been making my lasagna wrong for 20 years!