September 20, 2020 Kealohi 0Comment

You will say goodbye to the pre-made frozen lasagna once you make this delicious (and easy) lasagna with ricotta cheese! It’s the perfect homemade take on lasagna.

Want to toss together a salad to go with your lasagna? Try this easy Sicilian roasted artichoke salad!

slice of meat lasagna on a white plate

Where does lasagna really come from?

When most of us hear the word lasagna, we automatically think of Italy. It seems like one of the quintessential Italian dishes, complete with pasta and lots of cheeses.

However, there is some debate about the actual origin of lasagna. From research done on this, it seems like some distant version of lasagna originated from Greece. The Greeks’ “Laganon” is thought to be the first pasta ever made, which did resemble lasagna somewhat. Others argue it’s from the Romans or the English.

Despite this debate, it is fairly certain that the Italians were the ones who really perfected the lasagna.

Fresh pasta layered with tomato pasta sauce, meat, and cheeses – how could that NOT be delicious?

How to make lasagna

Making lasagna requires three separate layers: The sauce, the cheese filling, and the noodles. The sauce and the ricotta filling are made separately and then layered with lasagna noodles to create a delicious casserole.

This recipe showcases a trick I’ve been using for years: Uncooked noodles! Using uncooked noodles does several things:

  1. It’s the ticket to a lasagna that’s not too wet.
  2. Using uncooked noodles allows you to make this an overnight lasagna recipe.
  3. Handling dry lasagna noodles is so much easier than wrestling with wet noodles.

Now, this is not a traditional Italian lasagna. I mean, uncooked dry noodles?! But hello, there’s something to be said for easy.

pasta sauce with meat in a cast iron pan

Choose the sauce

There are a number of options when it comes to the sauce you use for this lasagna. You could use this beef ragu recipe for a homemade version. Or you can use ready-made jars of marinara sauce. If you prefer a vegetarian lasagna, by all means skip the ground chuck.

To make this lasagna the easy way (good heavens, don’t tell the Pasta Grannies!), start by browning the ground beef.

Hot tip: This step can be done ahead of time if you like. Just refrigerate the browned meat until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna.

Combine the browned chuck and the jarred pasta sauce and bring it to a simmer.

Make the ricotta filling for the lasagna

While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, seasonings, and parmesan cheese in a bowl.

uncooked lasagna layers with ricotta cheese and uncooked pasta

Layer the lasagna

This homemade lasagna with ricotta cheese filling is a super simple meal to make, but it does require some assembly. With the sauce and ricotta filling made, it’s time to start layering!

First, scoop a layer of pasta sauce into a baking dish, spreading it to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of lasagna noodles, so they’re just touching. (They’ll expand overnight.)

Spread on a layer of the ricotta mixture and mozzarella and continuing layering until all of the ingredients have been used. Cover with foil and refrigerate.

Prep ahead of time

Since we’re using uncooked noodles in this recipe, you’ll need to refrigerate the lasagna overnight before cooking. This allows the dry noodles to absorb moisture from the other ingredients.

If you want to speed up the process, cook the noodles according to package directions before you make the lasagna so you can skip the refrigeration. Cover with foil and bake according to directions.

slice of meat lasagna on a white plate
slice of meat lasagna on a white plate

Classic Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This make ahead overnight lasagna with ricotta cheese is made easy with a few shortcuts.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground chuck, browned and drained
  • 2 (24 ounce) jars prepared pasta sauce or 6 cups homemade pasta sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or an equal blend of dried basil, dried oregano, and thyme leaves)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

    1. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

    2. In a large skillet, combine pasta sauce and browned ground chuck. Bring to a simmer and heat through.

    3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese. Stir together well. ricotta cheese filling for lasagna

    4. Pour approximately 1 cup of meat sauce into baking dish. Add water and combine with a spoon or fork. meat sauce in a white baking dish

    5. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Do not overlap as the noodles will expand overnight.

    6. Add rounded spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and spread evenly.

    7. Sprinkle about ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer. Top with about 1 cup of meat sauce. Begin a new layer of noodles and repeat as above, ending with remaining meat sauce. Save any remaining mozzarella cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator. lasagna ready to bake, with mozzarella cheese on top

    8. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

    9. Place the covered casserole in a cold oven. Set oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake uncovered for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges are bubbly.

    10. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting and serving.

Notes

This recipe uses uncooked, regular lasagna noodle but requires refrigeration overnight. If baking immediately, lasagna noodles should be cooked according to package directions prior to assembling the lasagna.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 642Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1585mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 50g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

cooked cheesy lasagna in a white casserole dish
Thanks for sharing!

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