Best Lasagna with Ricotta Bechamel


This recipe combines popular, easy-to-find, family-friendly ingredients, with an old-school, authentic Italian technique to make this lasagna unique and over the top. The creamy bechamel melts in your mouth and together with the fresh herbs, it really balances out the hearty flavor of the meat sauce.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
1 9x13-inch lasagna


Meat Sauce:

  • 1 pound ground sirloin

  • ½ pound ground Italian sausage

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes

  • ¼ cup dry red wine

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Ricotta Bechamel:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 ⅔ cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

  • cooking spray

  • 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles

  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Prepare meat sauce: Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground sirloin and sausage; cook and stir until browned and crumbly, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. Add olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add onion and salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, black pepper, and crushed red pepper; stir until well combined. Stir in cooked meat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil and parsley.

  3. While sauce is simmering prepare bechamel: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and whisk in ricotta until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes.

  4. At the same time, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook 12 lasagna noodles in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  6. Spoon 1/2 cup meat sauce into the bottom of the prepared dish. Place 4 noodles across sauce. Spoon 1/3 of remaining meat sauce over noodles. Add 1/2 of the bechamel sauce, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers once more. Top with remaining 4 noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella cheese.

  7. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional fresh basil leaves.

    close up view of Lasagna with Ricotta Bechamel garnished with fresh basil in a white baking dish, on a navy kitchen towel

Cook's Note:

The meat sauce can be made and stored up to 3 days in fridge, and the bechamel sauce can be made and stored 1 day in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

507 Calories
25g Fat
41g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 507
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 1061mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 10mg 52%
Calcium 481mg 37%
Iron 4mg 19%
Potassium 613mg 13%

* 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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