The Easiest Lasagna Recipe Ever

March 26, 2020

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Truly the easiest lasagna recipe you’ll ever make! No pre-cooking lasagna noodles, no grating cheeses, no homemade sauces, yet it’s so perfectly delicious!!

Easy lasagna shown overhead in a white casserole dish with one portion cut out.

Easy Lasagna Recipe

Talk about new favorite dinner recipe to get excited about! You get perfectly tender lasagna, a rich, beefy and tomato based sauce, and an abundance of flavorful cheese!

Sure you may not get that piled high 20 layers lasagna you’ll see on the cover of a magazine but with this easy lasagna recipe we are all about making it flavorful and simple.

A realistically doable dinner (any night of the week) that you’ll turn to time and time again. Not a lasagna that takes 1 hour+ prep.

This recipe has been my go to for months. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get around to sharing it, it really is just too good!

My family is crazy about it. My daughter has even labeled this specifically as one of her favorite foods.

It is comfort food done right. Nothing complicated. Just simple ingredients and a fool proof method and you’ve got a dinner everyone can agree on!

Slice of easy lasagna on a white serving plate with a second serving shown in the background. Plates are sitting on a grey striped napkin on a marble surface.

Easy Lasagna Ingredients

You’ll only need 7 ingredients for this super simple recipe!

  • Lean ground beef: I use 85 – 91% lean. If there’s excess fat you can dab it up with balled up towels and tongs or drain.
  • Marinara sauce: my go to is Rao’s. It is the absolute best store-bought marinara sauce (I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every widely available brand out there). It can be pricey so feel free to use another you like.
  • Vegetable broth: chicken broth should work fine too.
  • Lasagna noodles: do not use no boil. They won’t absorb enough liquid since they’re thinner and smaller.
  • Ricotta cheese: whole or skim works fine.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: pre-shredded saves time but the blocks you grate yourself are great too.
  • Shredded parmesan cheese: this can be grated (finer crumbly) or shredded (small slivers).
  • Fresh basil or parsley (OPTIONAL): mostly this is for a nice presentation so feel free to skip it.
    Image showing ingredients used to make an easy lasagna. Includes lasagna noodles, parmesan, basil, ricotta, mozzarella, bottled marinara, ground beef and vegetable broth.

How to Make Easy Lasagna

  • 1. Preheat oven, grease baking dish.
  • 2. Cook beef in skillet.
  • 3. Stir in marinara sauce and vegetable broth.

Steps showing how to make the beefy lasagna sauce in a skillet.

  • 4. Layer to assemble lasagna, spread 1/3 of the marinara sauce into bottom of baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
  • 5. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta over the pasta. Top evenly with 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1/2 of the parmesan. Top with another 1/3 of the sauce.
  • 6. Add 3 more lasagna noodles then spread even with with remaining 1/2 of the ricotta. Pour and spread over last 1/3 of the sauce.
  • 7. Top with remaining 1/2 of the mozzarella and parmesan.
  • 8. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake.
  • 9. Remove foil then continue to bake uncovered.
  • 10. Let rest about 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.

Image showing eight steps of layering easy lasagna. Includes layering lasagna noodles, cheeses, sauce and repeating.

Can I Freeze It?

It should freeze well after baking. I haven’t yet tried freezing it beforehand.

Can I Make it Vegetarian?

Yes. If you don’t like beef you can just skip it. You could replace with sliced mushrooms and saute until browned in a little olive oil.

What to Serve with Lasagna?

I love to serve it with vegetables. Things such as steamed broccoli or asparagus or a side salad.

Finished lasagna in a white casserole dish with one slice scooped out. Dish shown tilted at an angle with fresh parsley in the background.

More Italian American Recipes to Try

Easiest Lasagna
4.72 from 7 votes

Easy Lasagna Recipe

Truly the easiest lasagna recipe you'll ever make! No pre-cooking lasagna noodles, no grating cheeses, no homemade sauces. Yet it's so perfectly delicious!!
Servings: 7 servings
Prep15 minutes
Cook58 minutes
Resting5 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 91% lean ground beef*
  • 1 (25 oz) jar marinara sauce, preferably Rao's tomato basil**
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles (not no boil, preferably use Barilla)
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese (whole or part skim)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese***
  • 1/2 cup grated or finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef and cook and break up beef until cooked through.
  • Remove from heat and stir in marinara sauce and vegetable broth (I like to swish the vegetable broth around in the empty jar of marinara sauce to remove any excess, totally optional).
  • To assemble lasagna, spread 1/3 of the marinara sauce (about 1 1/2 cups) into bottom of baking dish. Top with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles.
  • Spread 1/2 of the ricotta over the noodles using the back of a spoon. Top evenly with 1/2 of the mozzarella (1 cup) and 1/2 of the parmesan (1/4 cup). Top with another 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Add 3 more uncooked lasagna noodles then spread evenly with with remaining 1/2 of the ricotta. Pour and spread over last 1/3 of the sauce. Top with remaining 1/2 of the mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Cover tightly with foil (you can grease first if the top of the lasagna will be touching the foil so cheese doesn't stick), bake 40 - 45 minutes until pasta is fairly tender.
  • Remove foil then continue to bake uncovered 10 minutes, or until lasagna is just tender (not soggy. There will seem to be a little liquid on the sides still). Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.

Notes

  • *A fattier beef will work you'll just need to drain off excess fat after cooking. I've also made this with down to as little as 10 oz. ground beef and it still tastes great it just depend on how meaty you want it (just keep in mind if going that route use about 1 1/3 cups sauce for each layer).
  • **I know Rao's can be expensive (I always wait for it to go on sale for $5 or $6 a bottle and stock up). Another store-bought sauce I love is Classico Four Cheese that's much cheaper and I've tried that here as well but I'd recommend using 1/4 cup less broth since it came out a little runny.
  • ***If you have block mozzarella and parmesan I've also used those and they work great. But if you want to save the prep time go with pre-shredded.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Lasagna Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 483 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 777mg34%
Potassium 697mg20%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1119IU22%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 389mg39%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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38 Comments

  • Makenzie

    I made this tonight and got the Barilla brand lasagne and Rao’s tomato basil sauce for it. I was worried at the 35 minute mark that the noodles were still pretty hard so I bumped up the temp to 400 for the last 10 minutes and it turned out great! Loved that it was a pretty simple lasagna recipe. Thanks!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Thanks for your input Makenzie! I’ve added a little extra time to the recipe as several people have mentioned pasta not being tender.

  • Cristian

    Its a total lie that this dish will cook in the oven in 35 minutes. It took almost two hours for the pasta cook at 375 degrees!!!!
    This is the worst recipe ever!!!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry to hear it gave you trouble! Did you use the recommended brand of pasta?

  • Paula DeLong

    Tried this today. It tasted good but the pasta wasn’t even close to tender. Baked another 40 minutes and it was still not really al dente. It was edible, but barely. I will make it again but will absolutely cook the noodles a bit first.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry to hear that! Would you mind me asking if you used a different brand of pasta (or maybe a sauce with less liquid) than I have? I’m wondering if it’s just an inconsistency between brand. I’ve made this many times and mine is always al dente by the time listed so I’m sorry to hear that about yours!

      • Paula DeLong

        I tried a store brand (Great Value) which may not be a truly great value. When I heated some for dinner last night in the microwave, it was just right when it came out. Very tasty. As I said in the original post, I will make this again. It’s easy, quick and simple but I will either try a different pasta next time or precook my noodles a little bit. Thank you for your response to my post.

  • Ashley

    Tried this recipe and my noodles were still hard. Tried an additional 15mins and they still weren’t soft so I did another 20 on 400 and waiting to see what happens… deff should have cooked the noodles beforehand darn it

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry to hear that! Which brand of lasagna did you use? I’ve made this many times and my pasta always ends up tender so I wonder if it’s a variance in brand that’s possibly thicker?

  • Teresa

    The 8 x 12 inch pan is difficult to find. Will this spread out too much if you use a 9 x 13 inch pan?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It will spread some but should still work if covered well. You could also use an 11 by 7 if it’s deep.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes, then let rest at room temp while oven preheats and bake just a bit longer.

  • Fran

    This was so good!!! I did use 1/2 beef 1/2 Italian sausage, and added garlic, onion and Italian seasonings. Also I did mix the ricotta with an egg for easier spreading. Nice not to have to cook the noodles! And we have two more dinners in the freezer!!

  • Kristi M Bowman

    Super easy recipe and tasted just as good as when I do cook the noodles! I will be making this again! I love Cooking Classy recipes! I have not had a bad one yet! :)