Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!)

4.77 from 21 votes
The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) will help you nail the best lasagna with homemade sauce, pasta, and homemade ricotta!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: The Best Lasagna Recipe is made 100% from scratch, using my Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe and my 2-Ingredient Homemade Pasta Recipe to make the lasagna sheets! 

This recipe’s name “The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!)” says it ALL! You will nail everything in this recipe from scratch, including the famous Bolognese Sauce (your family will rave about it as my husband and our little Georgie did!), one of the most popular Bold Baking Basics for Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe, and Bold Bakers’ favorite  2-Ingredient Homemade Pasta Recipe for the lasagna sheets.

The only way this could be even more homemade is if I took up farming to grow produce and raise cattle.

It is so satisfying to make this The Best Lasagna Recipe from scratch, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: it is way easier than you think. Your guests will be astounded that you made every single aspect of this recipe yourself, and you don’t need any fancy cheese-making equipment or even a pasta maker to do it! You can even stagger the components of this recipe over a few days and then assemble and bake it on the day you need it! 

After tasting this recipe, I think any Italian grandma would be proud of this Irish lass. 

Table Of Contents

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) single serving ready with fork knife

What Is Lasagna?

Lasagna (luh-ZAHN-yuh), or lasagne, is a pasta shape and possibly the oldest form of pasta to boot. The pasta sheets originated in Italy during the Middle Ages, with its first mention being documented in a poem from 1282!

Since then, “lasagna” has come to mean the Italian dish, typically made with layers of thin sheets of cooked pasta, meat sauce, and cheese that, once assembled, is baked. 

Tools You Need

For the sauce and lasagna:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Chopping board
  • Chopping knife
  • Can opener
  • Wooden spoon
  • 9×13 baking dish

For the ricotta:

  • Large strainer or sieve
  • Cheesecloth or thin tea towel
  • Large pot
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon

For the fresh pasta sheets:

  • Cling wrap
  • Pasta machine or rolling pin and knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Chopping knife
  • Baking tray
  • Flour dredger

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) Ingredients

Ingredients For The Best Lasagna

For the Bolognese Sauce:

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to saute the vegetables in this sauce. Use a good quality olive oil that is fresh!
  • Onion and garlic: Finely chop an onion and mince 4 cloves of garlic for the aromatics. 
  • Ground beef: I like to add ground beef to my Bolognese, and I opt to go for 80% lean. Fat = flavor!
  • Tomato paste: Tomato paste gives you that deep tomato flavor without adding liquid. It’s a chef’s secret ingredient to delicious Bolognese.
  • Canned crushed tomatoes: Canned tomatoes are delicious and packed when they are at peak ripeness! Some family recipes for Bolognese don’t have tomatoes, but I like to add them to mine.
  • Granulated sugar: Just a bit of sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes, but be sure to taste your sauce as you cook!
  • Salt and pepper

For the Ricotta Cheese Mixture Filling:

  • A double batch of Homemade RicottaRicotta is a quick cheese and super easy to make. There’s no aging, and the only ingredients you need are milk, heavy cream, salt, and lemon juice! (Whole milk ricotta is recommended with better flavor and more nutrition!) My recipe yields 2 cups, but you’ll need 3 to make lasagna. 
  • Eggs: Eggs will help bind the cheese and will provide body to the filling. (A thickener or binder egg substitute from the egg substitute chart will also work here. )
  • Parsley: Parsley has a clean, peppery taste and really zests up your filling.
  • Garlic: Who doesn’t like garlic?
  • Salt and pepper

For the Lasagna: 

How To Make The Best Lasagna

To make The Best Lasagna (100% From Scratch) with Homemade Pasta and Ricotta, you’ll need to prep all of the layers. 

That said, you can prep different parts of the lasagna over the course of a few days, so you won’t be stuck in the kitchen all day! 

You can make the Ricotta Cheese up to 3-4 days ahead of baking the lasagna. Follow my Ricotta Cheese Recipe here.

You can make fresh pasta up to 3 days in advance, and it freezes well! Follow my Homemade Pasta Recipe here.

And you can make the Bolognese Sauce up to 3 days in advance, and it will freeze for up to 2 months! I recommend making the Bolognese Sauce at least a day in advance, so the flavors can develop. It always tastes better the day after cooking!

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!)assembling sauce lasagna sheet

How to make homemade Bolognese Sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once heated, saute the onions until soft (about 8 minutes.) Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and fry until brown. Try not to move it too much, but stir it every few moments so it can brown on all sides. 
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook it until it turns dark red, stirring every few seconds for about 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar and bring to a simmer. Turn it on low and let it cook for 45-60 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper.

To make the ricotta cheese filling:

  1. Use 3 cups of my homemade ricotta cheese (or the same amount as store-bought) and mix with eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined.

To make the lasagna noodles:

  1. Make a batch of my homemade pasta and divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll one portion at a time until very thin, either with a rolling pin or with a pasta roller. Cut the rolled-out dough into two 12×4 inch (30×10 cm) strips—trim as needed. Stack the sheets with a bit of flour in between to prevent sticking.

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) adding Bolognese then mozzarella on top

To assemble the lasagna: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of your Bolognese sauce on the bottom. Lay 2 sheets of pasta on top, spread more sauce over the pasta, dollop 1/3 of the ricotta mix on top of the pasta, and then sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. 
  3. Repeat this to create 3 more layers.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
  5. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. 

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) assembled Lasagna before and after baking

Can I Make Lasagna Ahead Of Time?

Yes! You can make the ricotta cheese up to 3-4 days in advance, the sauce up to 3 days in advance, and the pasta up to 3 days in advance. 

You can also make lasagna up to 1 day before you bake it! 

How To Freeze Lasagna

Lasagna is a great freezer meal to have on hand. I recommend freezing the lasagna after assembling it but before baking it. You can freeze already-baked lasagna, but the texture will be different. 

I recommend using a disposable pan, wrapping it in tin foil, and freezing it. 

To reheat frozen lasagna, let it defrost in the fridge overnight. Before baking, allow it to sit on the counter for 30 minutes. Then, bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 50-60 minutes or until done. 

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) close shot of a corner scoop baked Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna FAQs

Can I use store-bought ricotta?

Yes, if you don’t want to make your own ricotta, feel free to use your favorite brand. You can use the same amount of store-bought as you would homemade.

Can I use store-bought lasagna sheets?

Yes, if you don’t want to make your own pasta dough, you can use store-bought lasagna sheets. Follow the instructions on the packaging for the best results. 

Can I make this classic lasagna recipe meatless?

If you prefer to make meatless Homemade Lasagna, simply remove the ground beef from the sauce or substitute it for your favorite pasta sauce.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch) With Homemade Pasta And Ricotta

  • Use my 2-Ingredient Pasta recipe and a double recipe of my Homemade Ricotta Cheese
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a pasta roller or pasta machine. You can roll the dough out by hand! 
  • Make the Bolognese sauce the day before, so the flavor has time to develop. 
  • This lasagna can feed an army! If you don’t need that much lasagna, you can easily 1/2 the recipe for a smaller crowd. 
  • Don’t skip the step of cooking the tomato paste into the meat. It’s what makes the sauce so rich and delicious. It’s my chef’s secret!
  • If using homemade lasagna sheets, you don’t need to boil and drain the pasta in advance! They will cook perfectly in the dish with the sauce and cheese. 
  • Leave your Bolognese sauce a bit more liquidy than you would normally. That liquid will help cook the pasta. 

The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) a bite with mozzarella stretching from plate to fork

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The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch)

4.77 from 21 votes
When I call it The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch), I mean it! It's made with homemade sauce, pasta, and homemade ricotta!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 people
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
When I call it The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch), I mean it! It's made with homemade sauce, pasta, and homemade ricotta!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 people

Ingredients

Bolognese Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb (32 oz/900 g) ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 can (6 tablespoons/6 oz/170 g) tomato paste
  • 2 large tins crushed tomatoes (56 oz/ 1600 g)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly crackers black pepper

Ricotta Cheese Filling

  • 3 cups (24 oz/ 675 g) Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly crackers black pepper
  • 1 recipe 2 Ingredient Homemade Pasta
  • 4 ¼ cups (12 ¾ oz/361 g) shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

To Make the Bolognese Sauce

  • Place a large saucepan on medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Once it has heated up, saute the onions until softened and light in color, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Add in the beef and allow to fry and brown without moving it too much. Stir every few minutes to continue to brown all over.
  • Add in tomato paste and "cook it" into the beef, stirring every few seconds, for about 2 minutes, until you start to see some rich brown caramelized bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. (This step lets the paste completely coat the beef and makes an extra-rich tomato sauce. It’s my Chef’s secret.)
  • Add the canned tomatoes and sugar and bring to a simmer. Turn to low, cover, and let the sauce cook very gently for 45 - 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Chef's note: rinse the tomato tins out with water to get all the tomato and to thin out the sauce a little. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper.)
  • Once cool enough to handle, measure out the sauce. You should have 8 cups. If it is less, add a bit of water to get the correct amount, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Use immediately or allow to cool down completely before storing in the fridge for up to 3 days. (For longer storage, freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.)

To Make the Ricotta Cheese Filling

  • Make double the recipe of my homemade ricotta or use the same suggested amount of store-bought ricotta.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined. Place in the fridge until needed.

To Make the Lasagna Noodles

  • Divide the Homemade Pasta Dough into 6 equal portions. Working with one portion of dough at a time (and keeping the rest covered to prevent drying,) flatten it a bit in your hands, then pat with some flour.
  • Using the roller attachment for a pasta maker, pass it through the lowest setting and then gradually through thinner settings until level 5. Use flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Cut the rolled-out dough into two 12x4-inch (30x10 cm) strips. Trim sheets as needed.
  • Lay the noodles on a lightly floured baking sheet while you roll out the rest of the dough. You can stack the dough on top of each other with a bit of flour between the layers to prevent sticking. Don’t roll the pasta too far in advance, or the sheets can stick together.

Assembling the Lasagna

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C.)
  • Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Lay 2 lasagna noodle sheets on top of the sauce. Spread 1¾ cups sauce over the pasta, dollop ⅓ of the ricotta mixture, and sprinkle with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Repeat this (pasta sheet, sauce, and cheeses) to create 3 more layers, then top with the final sheet of pasta. Spread with the remaining 1¾ cups of sauce and the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Store the cooled leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. It also can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.
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Izzy
Izzy
9 months ago

Can you show us how to make homemade buffallo mozarella cheese without rennet or citric acid?

Izzy
Izzy
9 months ago

This looks AMAZING. For the future, can you make homemade pizza with homemade buffalo mozzarella cheese and homemade EVERYTHING?

Last edited 9 months ago by Izzy
Leinaala
Leinaala
9 months ago

Can you use gluten-free flour with your pasta noodle recipe? Only asking because my husband has celiac disease.

Therese
Therese
9 months ago

Looks good! I’ll be adding a bit of sausage to the meat as my family loves that. Can’t wait to make my own ricotta!

Fatima
Fatima
9 months ago

can you please show us how to make mozzarella cheese from scratch

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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