The Best Meat Lasagna Recipe
This meat lasagna recipe is cheesy, meaty, and makes an impressive dinner. The golden brown, crispy cheese layer on top of the lasagna will be irresistible to anyone who sees it! So, if you are looking for the recipe for the best lasagna, this is it! With lots of repeat layers of gooey cheese, perfectly al dente pasta sheets, and a meaty tomato sauce, there is no doubt that this is one of the tastiest dishes. Trust me, it will quickly become a family favorite.
Having two teenage boys who played football after school meant they always needed a big load of carbs and protein to satisfy their hunger. The first words that would always come out of their mouths the minute they came home were that they were starving! Since our house was the closest to the school, which meant they would always bring their hungry friends over, which meant more mouths to feed.
So how do you satisfy lots of mouths with a big appetite? Lasagna was my go-to recipe! It is an easy dish to make, and it was always my children and their friend’s favorite recipe. It is super filling and satisfying with a side of garlic bread and a big bowl of Caesar salad. Meat lasagna is an absolute classic meal that is perfect for dinner parties and lots of hungry people.
Ricotta vs. Bechamel Sauce
While some lasagna recipes call for bechamel sauce, others call for ricotta for the layer of creamy cheese. But both are entirely authentic and legitimate ways to make lasagna. Lasagna made with bechamel sauce comes from the northern Emilia-Romagna region. The lasagna made with ricotta cheese originates in the southern Campania region. Of course, you can never go wrong with either recipe, but I personally prefer my lasagna with ricotta cheese.
Tips For the Best Meat Lasagna
- If I don’t have fresh tomatoes, I use crushed tomatoes in a can and just add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to give it extra richness in flavor and color.
- I like to cook the ground meat first, remove it, and use the same pot for tomato sauce. Once the sauce is finished, I combine them and cook the meat sauce for another 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to come together.
- For the meat, I usually mix one pound of ground beef and one pound of lamb, but you could substitute the lamb with any Italian sweet sausages or ground pork.
- For the cheese, use a combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, and you are good to go!
Cookware Needed to Make Meat Lasagna
- 9”x13” baking dish
- Wooden spoon
- Dutch oven (large pot)
- Chefs knife
- Can opener
- Glass/metal bowl
Variations of This Lasagna Recipe
Nowadays, there are so many versions of this traditional Italian dish. Lasagna can be made meatless or with vegetables such as eggplant or zucchini between the long lasagna sheet. You can also add various mushrooms such as oyster, shitake, and cremini with a hint of truffle oil for an earthy taste. Lasagna can also easily be a keto dish with thinly cut butternut squash in place of the lasagna sheets. There is so much that you can do! If you are looking for a chicken dish, don’t forget to check out my Pan-roasted Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Chili Glaze. It looks and tastes amazing.
Now, let’s see how to make the best meat lasagna you would have ever tasted,
|1 lb ground beef|
|1 lb ground lamb or pork|
|3 cans of 28 oz crushed tomatoes|
|2 tablespoons tomato paste (dissolved in ¼ cup of warm water)|
|2 small onions (chopped separately)|
|3 sticks of celery (chopped)|
|2 carrots (peeled and chopped)|
|6 cloves of garlic (3 of the cloves smashed and separated)|
|1 cup fresh chopped basil (plus one teaspoon of dry basil)|
|2 teaspoons Italian seasoning|
|2 teaspoons salt|
|2 teaspoons black pepper|
|12 Lasagna sheets|
|3 cups shredded mozzarella|
|3 cups ricotta cheese|
|2 cups parmesan cheese (extra to sprinkle on top when finished)|