This is the easiest and quickest way to do homemade lasagna. Cheesy, saucy and delicious - this is my lazy girl lasagna or lazy boy lasagna that doesn’t require simmering sauce for hours, boiling noodles or making a white sauce! Simple streamlined and also adaptable in case you wanted to jazz up the recipe a little to suit your taste. Although it is quick and easy to make it still has all the crave-worthy flavors of any other classic lasagna recipe, only this one gets on your dinner table a lot faster! Serve with garlic bread (which I usually buy and bake as the lasagna rests) and a simple green salad and you have yourself a fabulous dinner in no time!
Easy Lasagna Recipe Ingredients
- LASAGNA NOODLES: You will need 12- 15 dry lasagna noodles NOT the no boil ones - just regular ones. I used Barilla - I like the texture of them. Use a standard 8 min boil kind - not the thicker ones that take more than 8 minutes of boiling which is always indicated on the package as they will absorb too much of the sauce when the lasagna bakes. No Boil noodles aways overcook - so I don’t recommend using them for this recipe!
- MARINARA SAUCE: You will need 4 cups of marinara sauce. This lazy girl lasagna uses store bought good quality marinara sauce or pasta sauce/tomato sauce - but if you wanted to make your own you can. Make sure to use one you love!
- GROUND BEEF: I use lean ground beef but you could use ground pork or a combination of both - or you can use ground turkey or ground chicken too if you prefer
- SPICES & HERBS: For the sauce I like to add chili flakes/ red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. Really these are optional because the marinara will have nice flavor to it but I like a little extra so feel free to add more or less to taste. I use fresh chopped parsley for the cheese mixture and for garnish along with fresh basil.
- ONION & GARLIC: Both add more flavour to the beef and sauce - again this is optional as the marinara will already be flavored, but I like to add extra flavor by sautéing the beef with the garlic and onion
- EGGS: These help keep the cheese mixture together - bind it and they add richness to it
- RICOTTA CHEESE: I like to use full fat creamy ricotta for best flavor -you will need one 15 ounce container of it.
- PARMESAN CHEESE: This adds more flavour to the cheese mixture - you only need ½ cup grated plus more for serving if desired
- MOZZARELLA CHEESE: You will need 4 cups mozzarella cheese for the cheese mixture layers and for topping the lasagna with. Use pre shredded for a quick take - or shred your own. Shredding your own is always the best because the cheese melts way better - but this is a lazy girl lasagna so I usually end up buying pre shredded!
How To make This Easy Lasagna Recipe (detailed instructions below)
- COOK beef with onion garlic and aromatics & stir in most of the marinara
- COMBINE the cheeses for the cheesy layer, reserving some mozzarella for the top
- LAYER remaining marinara into the bottom of baking dish
- TOP with dry noodles
- TOP with ½ the cheese mixture
- TOP with ⅓ of the meat sauce
- REPEAT: noodles – remaining cheese mixture – ⅓ sauce
- LAST LAYER: noodles – remaining sauce – remaining mozzarella cheese
- BAKE COVERED tightly with foil for 40-45 min until noodles are tender
- BAKE UNCOVERED for 10 min until cheese is melted
- REST lasagna a few minutes before slicing and serving
Easy Lasagna Recipe Make Ahead, Storage & Freezing
- MAKE AHEAD: The lasagna can be assembled and refrigerated up 1 day in advance. Remove lasagne from fridge while the oven preheats so it comes to room temperature or close to it. If you are making this ahead of time I recommend adding either ¼-½ cup more liquid (water or marinara sauce ) as the noodles will start to absorb some of the liquid while in the fridge.
- STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored, tightly wrapped, or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in the oven for some crispy edges! This lasagna like any other lasagna or baked pasta has the best texture the day its made - the noodles will continue to absorb the sauce as they sit so expect to lasagne to be a bit drier on day 2 and three.
- FREEZING: The lasagna can be assembled and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw the frozen lasagna for 2 days in the refrigerator before baking and allow to sit at room temperature while oven preheats. If you are freezing I recommend adding either ¼-½ cup more liquid (water or marinara sauce ) as the noodles will start to absorb some of the liquid while it freezes.
Are You Feeling Extra Lazy?
We all have those days folks - there is absolutely no shame in it! Here are a few more shortcuts for those days:
- Skip the meat and simply make this with marinara sauce & cheese (great option for meatless Monday) - no need to heat marinara
- Use a store bought bolognese or marinara with meat in it - no need to heat
- Skip the onion garlic and spices if you have a well flavoured marinara
- Use pre grated parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese
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- 12-15 dry lasagna noodles, uncooked (not the No-boil kind)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500 g (approx 17 oz/1¼ lb) lean ground beef or Italian sausage,
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 32 ounces (4 cups) Marinara sauce, divided
- ¼ cup water
- 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
- 4 cups (16-oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- ½ cup (2-oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish/ casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat and add the ground beef, onion, garlic and seasoning and cook breaking it up until browned and cooked through, 5-7 min.
- Stir in 3 cups marinara sauce, and ¼ cup water and simmer sauce 3-5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 3 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmigiano cheese, parsley, and eggs.
- Spread remaining 1 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish evenly.
- Place 4-5 lasagna sheets on the bottom, slightly overlapping if needed
- Spread ½ of the cheese mixture over lasagna and cover with ⅓ of the meat sauce.
- Place 4-5 lasagna sheets on top, slightly overlapping if needed
- Cover layer of pasta with remaining ½ ricotta cheese mixture and cover with ⅓ of the meat sauce.
- Place remaining 4-5 lasagna sheets on top, cover with remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Cover tightly with foil (you can grease the foil first if the top of the lasagna will be touching the foil so cheese doesn’t stick), bake 40 - 45 minutes until pasta is pretty tender.
- Remove foil then continue to bake uncovered 10-15 minutes, or until lasagna is tender (not soggy). Liquid around the edges will be bubbling.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes if desired.
- Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.
- Slice and serve with extra grated parmesan cheese
- Be sure to wrap lasagna tightly in foil to seal it off before baking which will create the steam needed to cook the noodles.
- Be sure to cover noodles fully with sauce and cheese mixture, feel free to add a little xtra if you prefer your lasagne a little saucier
- Feel free to add extra shredded mozzarella cheese on top if you like a really cheesy top. Or if you prefer less cheese in the cheese mixture just use less mozzarella in the ricotta mixture and save it for topping the lasagna.