Easy Homemade Lasagna

Ryan and I dated 4 years before he proposed.

I enjoyed this Easy Homemade Lasagna for four glorious years before I learned how to make it myself.

For years, I told my soon to be mother-in-law that if Ryan ever proposed I wanted her to teach me the recipe.

You see, there is not a written recipe passed down from generation to generation.

My mother-in-law, Jolonda, maybe looked at a recipe at some point, but has made it her own over the years.

Large pan of lasagna showing the corner piece on a spatula.

She tells me, “I don’t even know measurements. I just throw it all together.”

Well she may think she just throws it together, but it is the same recipe each time even if she doesn’t use a recipe card.

I have made this Easy Homemade Lasagna many times over the years for family and friends, mamas with new babies, and friends at church who need a meal after surgery or difficult times.

Overhead shot of a rectangular pan of oven baked lasagna ready to be eaten.

A lot of families have their own lasagna recipe, but many times I am asked for this one, always giving credit to Jolonda. My friends and family including my own mom, love this easy lasagna recipe.

My mom has made this lasagna for Christmas instead of a typical turkey dinner.

A wooden spoon scooping out a piece of homemade lasagna out of a white pan.

It is a nice option for holiday dinners like Christmas Eve or New Years!

The only change I have made over the years is using “ready to bake” lasagna noodles, versus boiling regular noodles.

Did I mention I am a lazy cook? 😉

I have also substituted ricotta cheese for a portion of the cottage cheese and EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, threw a fit. Sooooo, nevermind.

We stick with the original recipe now! Ha!

Up close photograph of an ooey gooey piece of homemade meat lasagna.

Seeing as this lasagna is pretty heavy on carbs and dairy, adding a nutritious bowl of salad greens is a must!

Let’s get you that recipe! Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Lasagna

Recipe by Sammi RickeCourse: Holiday Collection, main dish, Recipes
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

15

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef

  • 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 lbs shredded mozzarella cheese, reserve 2 cups for topping

  • 22 oz cottage cheese

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 9 oz box oven ready/no boil lasagna noodles*

Directions

  • Heat a large stove top pan on med-high heat. Brown ground beef with diced onion and garlic powder. (I use really lean ground meat and do not need to drain any of the fat, but use your discretion. Drain or don’t drain, your lasagna will still be amazing!) Then stir in jar of spaghetti sauce and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix mozzarella cheese (save 2 cups to top the lasagna), cottage cheese, eggs, and black pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350F and spray an 8×10 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Let’s assemble the lasagna! Here’s the order:
    1. Spread a little meat mixture on the bottom of the pan, just enough to lightly cover it.
    2. Add a layer of noodles. I overlap them slightly.
    3. Cover the noodles with half the cheese mixture.
    4. Now cover the cheese mixture with 1/2 the meat mixture, now noodles (overlapping slightly), the remainder of the cheese mixture, and the remainder of the meat mixture.
  • Top the lasagna with the two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Stick 6 toothpicks** in the top of the lasagna (one near each corner) and 2 in the center area. Then carefully place a piece of aluminum foil over the toothpicks and wrap the foil around the edge of the pan.
  • Bake the lasagna for 1 hour covered. Then remove the aluminum foil and toothpicks and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until all the cheese is melted in the middle and edges are browned.
  • Allow the lasagna to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. This helps the lasagna to hold together better when plating. Enjoy!

Notes

  • *If you use regular lasagna noodles (16 oz box), you will need to boil them and drain off the excess water before you layer them in the lasagna. Bake the lasagna the same amount of time no matter what type of noodles you use.
  • **Using the toothpicks is optional if you don’t mind some cheese sticking to the aluminum foil.
  • Use a 1-1 substitution if you use ricotta cheese rather than cottage cheese OR use a combination of both in the recipe.

24 Comments

  1. Pingback: National Lasagna Day » UR Basic Mom

  2. Hi Sammi,

    I am trying to print your recipe and it wants to print everything, including 7 pages, instead of just the recipe. I am using your link. Any idea what to do? Thank you!

    • Hi Melissa,

      I am sorry you are having trouble. 🙁 I just tried it myself and it only printed the recipe portion (1 page, front and back). Did you click the grey print button at the top of the recipe? Happy eating!

  3. Do you need the cottage cheese or can it be made without it ??

  4. I may be missing it but what temp? I am assuming 350. That is what I usually do.

  5. Question ….if I’m out of foilhow long should I cook it uncoversd

    • Hi Kimberly! That’s a great question…I have never baked it without foil. Here are some options: “If you need to cover something in the oven you can use a baking sheet, metal lid, parchment paper, silicone lid, or a silicone mat instead of aluminum foil. Dutch ovens with lids, stoneware, CorningWare, and enamelware are all baking and storage solutions with lids.” Source: https://natashalh.com/best-aluminum-foil-alternatives/ Happy cooking! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. 🙂

  6. If I were to use ricotta how much should I use?

    • Hi Kaylie! I use a 1-1 substitution if you use ricotta rather than cottage cheese or use a combination of both. Happy cooking!

      • Thank you for your reply! I have another question, is this something you can make ahead and put in the fridge until you’re ready to bake? I have a 2 month old and I wanted to prep it while he’s napping and then bake it closer to dinner time.

  7. Hi, I’m trying this recipe today. I want to print the recipe but the link is not working. I tried several times and didn’t have success.

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry it did not work properly. I really appreciate you telling me. Okay, so I tried it myself and you are right it did not work the first time. My print out was basically blank. However, I tried it again and it worked perfectly. Silly technology. Ha! I sure hope it works when you try it now. Let me know and again I am so sorry! I really hope you enjoy the recipe.

  8. Are the noodles cooked first

    • Hi Skylar, if you are using regular lasagna noodles, yes please boil and drain them first before assembling your lasagna. If you are using no-boil/oven ready noodles then place the “hard” uncooked noodles into the casserole. Enjoy this delicious recipe and thank you for your question!

    • Do you drain your beef or do you need the extra liquid to soften the noodles?

      • Hi Brooke! I typically do not drain my beef as it is very lean. However, it is completely up to you. The noodles should soften well whether you drain the browned meat or not. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  9. Hi there, what kind of spaghetti sauce do you recommend?

    • Hi Tanya! A couple months ago I would have told you any jarred pasta sauce will do, but now I am hooked on Bertolli pasta sauces. They have the greatest flavor. I use their traditional marinara and love it! With that said, your lasagna will turn out absolutely delicious no matter what sauce you use. Happy eating and thank you so much for trying this recipe. 🙂

  10. What kind of cottage cheese? I’ve always used ricotta. Small curd, large curd, non fat, low fat?

    • Hi Becky, thanks for the question. I use 2% or 4% small curd typically. I like the flavor and texture of ricotta too, but my family prefers cottage cheese. 😉

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