May 4th, 2014

The Ultimate Lasagna

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Friends, I have to apologize. I’ve been sharing recipes at Let’s Dish since 2009 and somehow, I’ve never shared my lasagna recipe with you. I’m not sure how this happened, but I’m taking care of it today!

The Ultimate Lasagna
This isn’t a quick and easy recipe, but the time and effort is so worth it! It’s not hard to make, you just need time for the sauce to simmer, mainly. I wouldn’t attempt this lasagna on a busy weeknight, but it’s perfect for a lazy weekend. The good news is, it will probably feed you for at least two days, if not longer. There is plenty of room in the recipe for your own adaptations, but I definitely recommend using a combination of beef and pork. And also, the whole slices of mozzarella cheese–they’re kind of what makes this lasagna epic! One final note. I don’t care much for oven-ready lasagna noodles. But I also don’t like the extra step of boiling regular noodles. So I use regular noodles and let them sit in a pan of hot water–with a bit of olive oil–for 10-15 minutes to soften them up. It’s less hassle, the texture of the noodles is great, and my lasagna holds together perfectly using this method (provided you let it sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving). Of course, you can feel free to use whatever method you like best.

The Ultimate Lasagna

Preparation 1 hr, 30 Cook Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr


  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil leaves, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12-16 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
  2. Add sugar, 2 teaspoons basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Fill a 9x13 pan with hot tap water and a drizzle of olive oil. Lay uncooked lasagna noodles in pan to soften.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, remaining teaspoon basil and a dash of salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Assemble lasagna as follows: Spread about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a deep 9x13 dish. On top of sauce, layer 4-5 noodles, 1/2 of ricotta mixture, sliced mozzarella, about 2 cups of sauce, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  6. Repeat once. For the last layer, add 4-5 more noodles, followed by remaining sauce, and sliced mozzarella.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from All Recipes.



  1. Jaw on the floor – So happy you shared this Danelle!! YUM

  2. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe! Your lasagna is similar to mine, although I have subbed a pre-made spaghetti sauce when in a pinch for time. 🙂

  3. I’m with you on the oven-ready noodles. They soak up too much sauce and have a weird texture. I mean, come on, if you can’t make room in your life for a few extra minutes to prep regular noodles, you might need to reevaluate priorities. 🙂

  4. I was just thinking there must be a soak lasagna noodle way to soften them and bam you have the answer. Thanks!

  5. This is an excellent dish for a family get together. We’ve always wanted a ‘great’ lasagna recipe; now we have it. Thanks so much!

  6. Have you ever frozen this before baking it? Sounds delish! Thanks for all the yummy recipes!


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