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Basic Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef

Basic lasagna recipe with ground beef. Layers of noodles, ground beef in marinara, and ricotta cheese.

Basic Lasagna with ground beef

Ask anyone and they will tell you the best lasagna they ever had was their moms’. It is true. My mom made a killer lasagna and so did Brandon’s mom. As we discuss whose mom made it better one thing that they have in common is that they are both basic lasagna recipes. Nothing crazy. Just the basics. As I was craving that easy lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese I decided to throw one together and share it with you. Basic lasagna in all its comfort food glory! Serve it up with a Caesar salad and baguette.

We love ricotta cheese in our lasagna. The ricotta layer is actually my favorite, but you just can’t add ricotta all by itself. You have to add mozzarella and herbs to the ricotta for a flavorful layer in your lasagna. If you love ricotta too you have to make my easy Ricotta Stuffed Shells. When you cut into the shells it is a ricotta and 5 cheese explosion.

This recipe is a good framework for making lasagna. Get creative by swapping out ground beef for ground spicy Italian sausage. Add provolone cheese to the mozzarella layer of the lasagna or other Italian cheeses.

How to save leftover lasagna.

Refrigerator: Cut the leftover lasagna into serving portions. Place individual portions in an airtight container and refrigerate. The leftover lasagna will stay good for about two days before it starts to dry out.

Freezer: This method is best done the next day after the lasagna has been refrigerated overnight. Cut the leftover lasagna into serving portions. Using plastic wrap, wrap lasagna portions tightly several times. Place wrapped lasagna portions in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. Unwrap lasagna portions and microwave for 2 minutes and then in 30-second increments until heated through.

How long do you cook lasagna?

Thirty minutes, covered with tinfoil. Then 15 more minutes uncovered. Don’t forget to take into account prep time when planning your dinner.

Basic Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef

Basic Lasagna with ground beef

Basic Lasagna Recipe with Ground Beef

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Basic Lasagna Recipe


  • 1 lbs. ground beef
  • 25.5 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce.
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 15 oz. container of whole milk ricotta cheese.
  • 16 oz. package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium pot add ground beef, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat until browned.
  2. Drain excess fat and return the ground beef to the pot.
  3. Add the pasta sauce to the beef and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Add a pinch of salt and olive oil and bring to a boil.
  5. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl add ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and egg and beat until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  6. Once noodles are done remove from heat. Do not drain. I have found the noodles don't break or stick if I leave them in the water.
  7. Ladle in about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan and spread out into a very thin layer covering the bottom of the pan. This small amount of sauce will prevent the bottom layer of noodles from sticking to the bottom.
  8. Remove noodles from the water with a wooden spoon or thick utensil. If you use a fork the noodle will tear.
  9. Layer 3 lasagna noodles side by side in the baking dish. This will start your first layer.
  10. Ladle in half of your tomato sauce and spread evenly over the noodles.
  11. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top.
  12. Spoon in the ricotta cheese mixture and spread evenly.
  13. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top.
  14. Use half of remaining mozzarella and spread evenly over the noodles.
  15. Layer 3 lasagna noodles.
  16. Spread remaining tomato sauce evenly across the top.
  17. Cover with foil and bake at 350F. for 30 minutes.
  18. Remove from oven. Remove foil. Add remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  19. Return to oven and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and lasagna is heated through.
  20. Set oven to Broil and broil for 2 minutes to get those gorgeous burnt cheese bubbles.
  21. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.


You may want to cook extra lasagna noodles just in case some rip apart while removing them from the pot of water.
If your ricotta cheese container is 16 oz. go ahead and use the whole container. One extra ounce is a bonus!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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