The Best Lasagna Recipe

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So yeah, here’s my lasagna recipe.

It’s based on a friend’s Granda’s recipe, but I added some stuff and tweaked some ratios to my liking. I’m gonna be unlike every other blog out there and just post the damn recipe up front, then I’ll walk through it.

Mikel’s Lasagna

For the Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound Italian Sausage (see notes)

  • 2 large cloves of garlic

  • 1 tbsp fresh basil

  • 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes

  • 16 oz tomato paste

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1c water

For the Ricotta Mixture

  • 16oz (by weight) ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 c grated romano cheese

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic

  • 1/2 tsp oregano

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Pasta

  • One pound box of lasagna noodles (see notes)

  • salt to taste


  • 1 pound of mozzarella, grated


Preheat oven to 375°F

Brown the sausage, drain off fat. Add the garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the basil, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until desired consistency. Remove from heat so it can cool.

Meanwhile, mix all the ricotta mix ingredients in a bowl, set aside.

Boil the pasta according to the package, then drain and set aside to cool.

In a 13×9 casserole dish, spread a bit of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan, then add a layer of noodles, then ricotta mix, then meat sauce, then mozzarella. Repeat once, then top with another layer of noodles and cover the top layer of noodles in mozzarella.

Spray some aluminum foil (so the cheese doesn’t stick) and cover. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, then uncover and switch oven to broil. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until browned on top to your liking. Let cool before cutting.

Notes and Pictures

So yeah, this is a pretty straight-forward recipe, but I do have a few things to say about it. First, the sausage. You can definitely use a pound of pre-ground sausage, but I like buying the actual sausages. They’re generally easier to find, and I actually prefer to do half sweet and half hot. I didn’t do that this time though, because Covid-19 has screwed up everything regarding grocery shopping. You can just make a long cut in the sausage casing using a good paring knife and pull the sausage right out.

You’ll also notice that when using the sausages instead of just ground sausage, that the weight of them is actually 1 pound, 3 oz, not just one pound. I got around this with a simple hack: I don’t give a shit. It’s close enough, it’s a meat sauce. No one has ever complained about having too much meat in their meat sauce.

Once the sausage is browned, the sauce goes fast. Dump the other stuff in, stir to combine, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then you’re going to want to to set it aside so it can cool at least a little bit and won’t melt the ricotta cheese mixture.

Speaking of the ricotta mixture, it’s about as easy as it gets. The hardest part is shredding the cheese that goes in it. Just dump everything in a bowl and stir. That’s literally it.

Shred the mozzarella. It helps to put it in the freezer for half an hour or so. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package. Drain them and let them cool a bit or you will do a large amount of cussing. Then it’s time to construct. Start with some sauce in the bottom of the 13×9 pan, then a layer of noodles, then half the ricotta, then half the sauce, then about 1/4 of the mozzarella. Repeat for a second layer, then top with the rest of the mozzarella to keep the noodles from crisping up too much.

Cover with aluminum foil (spray the underside with cooking spray so the cheese doesn’t stick. That’s a PRO TIP), and cook for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and switch the oven to broil, give it 3-5 minutes under the broiler until the cheese on top is browned to your liking. Then comes the hard part; you have GOT to let this thing cool at room temp for like half an hour minimum. If you don’t it’s going to call apart when you cut it. Your patience will be rewarded.

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for a while, and I think this is its final form. It checks all the boxes for a warming fall comfort food meal. It’s reasonably easy, very filling, warm, and leaves you with tons of leftovers. Cut the rest of the tray when you’re done eating, and place the pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for at least a few hours or up to overnight. Then transfer to a zip top bag and either microwave or reheat covered in the oven. I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow.