The Best Homemade Lasagna

Rating: 5 out of 5.
This delicious homemade lasagna recipe layers rich meat sauce, creamy bechamel sauce, spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan.

Lasagna is a process. But it’s one of those dishes that I don’t mind putting in the extra effort for; because the end result is deliciously cheesy, saucy goodness. Homemade lasagna really doesn’t compare to any restaurant or grocery store version that I’ve had. I layered this lasagna with a rich meat sauce, creamy béchamel sauce, spinach and ricotta filling, and mozzarella & parmesan cheeses.

 I usually cook the meat sauce the day before to save on time because it does need to simmer for quite a while. I recommend 2-3 hours. The longer the sauce simmers, the more the flavours develop.

Sorry for the poor lighting It was raining.

This lasagna recipe is decadent, so it’s not something I make too often. With that being said, I do try to keep it somewhat lighter by using lean ground beef, light ricotta, 2% skim milk for the Béchamel sauce, and using minimal oil and butter. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s loaded with hidden veggies like tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery and spinach. If you have picky eaters, I can almost guarantee they won’t notice.  

I know that this recipe may seem complicated at first glance, but I’m going to break it down into 4 easy steps:

  1. Prepare the Meat Sauce

2. Prepare Spinach Ricotta Filling

3. Prepare the Béchamel Sauce

4. Assemble Lasagna

And Bake… it’s as easy as that.

Some Helpful Hints:

  • If your lasagna is browning too much in the oven, cover it with foil.
  • Remember to allow the lasagna to cool down at least 15 minutes before slicing into it. This allows the lasagna to set, and the pieces will hold together better.
  • This lasagna can be assembled up to 48 hours in advance, before baking.
  • This lasagna can be frozen, adjust cooking time accordingly if cooking from frozen.    

Looking for the perfect Lasagna Pan? Checkout this Cuisinart Pan on Amazon. Click the photo for the link!

The Best Homemade Lasagna

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This delicious homemade lasagna recipe layers rich meat sauce, creamy bechamel sauce, spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan.



Credit: sageandspice.ca

Ingredients

    Meat Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 28 oz Crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz Tomato paste
  • 2 Beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Fennel
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Ricotta Mixture

  • 16 oz light ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ c flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For Assembly

  • 16 oven ready lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Prepare the meat sauce. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add ground beef breaking up any large lumps with a wooden spoon. Season ground beef with salt, pepper, beef bouillon cubes, and red pepper flakes. Sautee 8-10 minutes until browned.
  2. Add celery, onion, carrot, and garlic to the pot. Sautee 6-8 minutes until onion is translucent and vegetables are soft. Season with oregano, basil and fennel.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 3 cups water. Stir everything together. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer partially covered 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water if the sauce gets too dry and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  4. Prepare spinach and ricotta filling. Drain any excess moisture from the spinach. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  5. Prepare Bechamel Sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to form a smooth paste. Keep stirring about one minute until the paste turns a light golden color. Add milk 1 cup at a time whisking constantly. Simmer, until sauce thickens, and then add nutmeg, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  6. Assemble lasagna. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup of bechamel sauce over the bottom of lasagna dish. Layer lasagna sheets over top. Next, layer the meat sauce, bechamel sauce, and 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, followed by more lasagna sheets. For the next layer, spread the spinach ricotta mixture, followed by lasagna sheets. Repeat the following layers with meat sauce, bechamel, and parmesan. Top with mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes until golden. Garnish with parsley. Cool before slicing.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 454 calories; 17 g fat; 49 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 12 g sugar; 4 g Dietary Fiber;

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