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Best Lasagna Recipe
Best Lasagna Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Best Lasagna Recipe

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For a casual holiday meal, you can't go wrong with this rich and meaty lasagna. My grown sons and daughter-in-law request it for their birthdays, too. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Bake: 50 min. + standing
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Bake: 50 min. + standing
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1-1/4 pounds Johnsonville® Mild Italian Links
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (one 28 ounces, one 15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 piece equals 519 calories, 27 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 109 mg cholesterol, 1,013 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 35 g protein.


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook sausage, beef and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking up meat into crumbles. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, 3 tablespoons parsley, basil, fennel, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl, mix egg, ricotta cheese, and remaining parsley and salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 2 cups meat sauce into an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles and a third of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce and cheeses (dish will be full).
  5. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 25 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Traditional Lasagna in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2007, p46

Nutritional Facts

1 piece equals 519 calories, 27 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 109 mg cholesterol, 1,013 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 35 g protein.

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Reviewed Jan. 16, 2015

"This was awesome! It was so delicious!!"

Reviewed Dec. 29, 2014

"I made a few changes-I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb hot sausage; left out the fennel seed; used about 1/2 the sugar (but would definitely leave out completely next time-too sweet); and used almost 2 lbs of mozzarella (you can never have enough cheese). I also added an extra noodle to each layer :o)

I didn't boil the noodles but will do so next time or purchase "Barilla No Boil" lasagna noodles-I had to cook it about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes longer than suggested.....BUT! this recipe was delicious and I will definitely make it again :o)"

Reviewed Oct. 5, 2014

"I have made lasagna before but love to find other variations. This was spectacular. I followed other reviewers suggestions and did not cook the noodles and did not add the fennel. Other than that, I followed the recipe. Paired it with green beans and garlic bread. A big hit with my husband and the kids."

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2014

"This was my first attempt at a home cooked pan of lasagna and I have to say it was a good recipe for a first timer! As always I made a few of my own small changes. I am not a huge fennel fan and there was already fennel seed in the sausage so I omitted the fennel seeds. Also omitted were salt and sugar. With the right amount and combination of spices, added salt and sugar are not necessary. There is enough hidden sugar and salt in todays foods, I don't need any extra. Added were 1/2tsp red pepper flakes and 1tsp oregano. The crushed tomatoes I used were Italian flavored, which I think really helped to boost flavor potential. I took the advice of TNeifert and put the noodles in uncooked and baked 45min covered, then 15 uncovered and it turned out perfect. The only thing I would do different next time is use a deeper pan than my 13x9x2 dish (I had to discard some meat sauce as it would not fit in the pan) and I would add 1 extra noodle to each layer. Maybe I had tiny lasagna noodles as they didn't fill up the entire pan so there was a lot of thick edges of sauce only. I like lots of noodles in mine :). Easy dish to make ahead also."

Reviewed Feb. 26, 2014

"My family loves this Lasagna ! I used sweet Italian sausage and added mushrooms . Does take awhile to get going but is definitely worth it ! I don't cook the noodles just bake everything covererd for about 45 min. and uncovered about 15 minutes . I skipped the fennel seed also and only used the 3 Tbsp. of parsley. Now I just need a bigger Lasagna pan ! Always runs over onto oven for me."

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