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Traditional Lasagna

My family first tasted this rich, homemade lasagna recipe at a friend's home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. This classic lasagna recipe is requested often by my sister's Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + simmering Bake: 70 min. + standing
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 3 cups 4% small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 6 slices provolone cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and crumble beef and sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add parsley; stir in cottage cheese, ricotta and Parmesan cheese.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 1 cup meat sauce in an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles, provolone cheese, 2 cups cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup mozzarella, 3 noodles, 2 cups meat sauce, remaining cottage cheese mixture and 1 cup mozzarella. Top with remaining noodles, meat sauce and mozzarella (dish will be full).
  • Cover; bake 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Using lean ground beef in the meat loaf instead of beef that’s 80% lean saves 45 calories per 4-ounce serving of beef. Lean ground beef is also 29% lower in saturated fat.
  • Before adding any vegetable to your lasagna, it’s best to cook it first. Be sure to strain out any excess liquid from the cooking process. Not doing so might make your dish watery.
  • Check out 100 of our favorite Italian recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 503 calories, 27g fat (13g saturated fat), 136mg cholesterol, 1208mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 2g fiber), 36g protein.

    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • Stephanie
      Apr 5, 2021

      I’ve made this 3 times now - I love this recipe it’s delicious!

    • Lorri
      Feb 15, 2021

      As with any recipe one tends to adjust to their own taste. That being said TOH altered my original submission of this recipe! I don't do all those layers and use only 2 layers of noodles (6 total). I continue to adjust my recipe twenty years later! Isn't that what all cooks do as we learn? One thing I will say is you must use fresh ingredients to get the best results - like shred the mozzarella (preshredded cheese contains chemicals that keep the cheese from caking and DOES affect the results). Also, don't use cheap ingredients (garbage in garbage out). If you use pre-processed ingredients don't blame the recipe!! I recently found a true Italian grocery and used their home made goat cheese ricotta and was amazed at the difference that made! In regards to the sauce-I have learned that weather (like humidity) actually makes a difference. I purposely make a thick sauce so the layers "stay in place" as I dislike runny lasagne. Again, personal preference! Thank you all for your comments and enjoy!!!

    • Thelonious
      Jan 16, 2021

      Would be better without the cotton cheese and the provolone in my opinion. And more spices

    • D'Nan
      Jan 1, 2021

      Very good recipe but not enough spice. Very bland....too many noodles left over and not enough ricotta sauce to fill last layer.... I don’t make lasagna so I followed the recipe exactly as it said....

    • Rachel
      Dec 28, 2020

      Amazing recipe!! My husband’s family loves their Italian food, and I was so nervous to make dinner for them. I found this recipe and have never looked back! The only thing I do different is I have equal parts of ricotta and cottage cheese (about 2 cups each), as we prefer a thicker consistency to really hold it together. Thank you so much!

    • dmkinsey
      Dec 22, 2020

      I've made this lasagna several times, and it is fantastic. This is now my go-to lasagna recipe for special occasions. I've made it for Christmas Eve a few times, and am planning to make it again this year for Christmas Day. I love this recipe.

    • germanycook
      Dec 16, 2020

      This is just what lasagna should taste like, rich and delicious and like a warm food hug ! The sauce is incredible, even more so after adding a 1/4 cup of red wine! Added lots more tomato sauce after reading other reviews and it definitely was needed. Worth the effort to put such a tasty dish out for the family :)

    • Barbara
      Dec 3, 2020

      This recipe is amazing and worth 5 stars. It is very close to a secret family recipe I have used for more than 50 years. Yes, you can use no boil noodles...if you must, but don’t give this recipe a low rating if you do and find it didn’t quite meet your expectations. Make the recipe using the ingredients as written. You won’t be sorry.

    • Madeline
      Nov 22, 2020

      This is the 3rd time I have made this recipe and my family loves and I use the sauce as any marinara sauce I need. A question to the author and readers. I just caught today the recipe calls for 3 8 oz cans of sauce. I had never noticed they were 8 oz cans and have been using the standard 15 1/2 . I could not imagine this with less. Was the 8 oz cans a typo or is that how everyone has been preparing? Regardless of the answer I will stick to the 3 larger cans but I am curious.

    • Wendie
      Sep 25, 2020

      No comment left