Chef John's Lasagna

4.8
(420)

There are only two things you need for great lasagna: a thick, rich, super-meaty meat sauce and lots of it, and a ricotta filling where only the finest cheeses are welcomed. For the sauce, I love a combination of half Italian sausage and half lean ground beef. I also like lots of sauce.

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Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 10x15-inch pan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage

  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning (Optional)

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 6 cups prepared marinara sauce

  • 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 pounds whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 1 (8 ounce) container fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

  • cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles

  • 1 (8 ounce) container fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

  • ½ cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

  1. Place sausage and ground beef into a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until meat is browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Break the meat apart as it cooks. Stir in mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until mushrooms have given off their juices and bottom of pan is almost dry.

  2. Pour prepared marinara sauce into meat mixture. Pour water into marinara sauce jar and shake to get all the sauce out of the jar; add to mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is extremely tender, about 2 hours. Add a little more water if sauce becomes too thick. Skim excess fat from surface of the sauce and season with more salt and black pepper, if needed. Turn off heat.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  4. Beat eggs in a large bowl and stir in ricotta cheese, 8 ounces diced mozzarella cheese, and 2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season cheese mixture with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne pepper; mix in parsley.

  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles and set aside in a bowl of cold water.

  6. Spread 1/4 the sauce into the bottom of a 10x15-inch baking pan. Top with 1/3 the noodles and spread 1/2 the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Spread 1/4 the meat sauce over the cheese, top with 1/3 the noodles, and spread remaining 1/2 the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Spread 1/4 the meat sauce over the cheese filling. Tap the casserole dish lightly on a sturdy work surface to settle the layers. Arrange last 1/3 the noodles over sauce and spread remaining 1/4 the sauce over the noodles. Dot top of the casserole with 4 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

  7. Cover casserole with aluminum foil, being sure not to touch the top of the casserole with the foil. Place casserole onto a baking sheet to catch spills.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook until lasagna is golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 35 more minutes. Let set for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.

    top-down view of a bubbling hot lasagna with red sauce and browned mozzarella
    Ginger

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

730 Calories
39g Fat
50g Carbs
43g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 730
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 20g 98%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 1514mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 524mg 40%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 846mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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