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Easy Meat Lasagna Recipe

A classic meat lasagna recipe layered with perfectly cooked noodles, tasty tomato beef sauce and deliciously cheesy mozarella.

Overhead view of meat lasagna in a deep dish baking pan.

Making Easy Meat Lasagna Recipe

One key ingredient to making a delicious homemade meat lasagna is the noodles. There have been times when I’ve tried to simplify the process of making lasagna at home by using oven-ready noodles. In the end, the noodles remain hard in some places, while soft in others, leaving me completely dissatisfied with the meal. So take it from me, avoid cutting corners and be sure to use noodles that need boiling.

Additionally, keep in mind when making a homemade lasagna it is best to allow time for the lasagna to sit after baking. About 30-60 minutes is what’s needed for the sauce to thicken and the layers to set. Otherwise, when you cut into the lasagna you will find the layers slide apart and the sauce will appear runny.

How to Make a Meat Lasagna:

Easy Meat Lasagna Recipe

Jane and Sonja
A deliciously layered classic and easy to make meat lasagna recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Croatian
Servings 8 people
Calories 315 kcal


  • deep dish baking pan
  • deep dish frying pan
  • Large cooking pot
  • aluminum foil


  • 1 package ground beef
  • 1 cup cooking onions finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper red or yellow, finely chopped
  • ½ cup zucchini peeled and shredded (optional)
  • ½ cup mushrooms chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 16 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Tomato Paste as needed
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese


Preparing the Meat Sauce

  • Saute ground beef in a frying pan for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Strain the liquid and discard. Leave meat in a strainer while preparing the sauce.
  • Using the same frying pan, add onions, garlic, celery, pepper (and other optional ingredients like zucchini or mushrooms).
  • Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Stir all together and continue cooking for 4 minutes. Stir mixture occasionally.
  • Add the cooked ground beef and mix together.
  • Add a full jar of tomato sauce and stir together.
  • Cook altogether for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • If you find the mixture is too dry, add a can of tomato paste and mix together.

Cooking the Noodles

  • In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a dash of salt and 1 tsp vegetable oil to prevent noodles from sticking together.
  • Add the lasagna noodles. Need 9 noodles per lasagna. Make a couple extra noodles in case there is any that break during cooking.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes or until noodles are soft. Avoid over cooking.
  • Strain the water.

Layering the Lasagna

  • Shred mozzarella cheese.
  • Add some sauce (without the meat) to the bottom of a deep baking pan.
  • Place one layer of noodles.
  • Sprinkle some cheese (both mozzarella and parmesan) over top of the noodles.
  • Reserve most of the cheese for the top layer.
  • Add a layer of meat sauce.
  • Add another layer of noodles.
  • Repeat these layers until you reach the final top (third) layer.
  • Add a layer of meat sauce over the top layer of noodles.
  • Add a good layer of cheese to the top (most of the cheese should be on the top layer).

Baking the Lasagna

  • Preheat the oven to 360F.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  • Remove from the oven and serve 30-60 minutes later, giving the sauce some time to thicken before eating.


Calories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 16gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 746mgPotassium: 612mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1115IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 245mgIron: 2mg
Keyword beef, lasagna, pasta
Tried this recipe?Tag @sustainmycookinghabit or #sustainmycookinghabit!

Serve Alongside These Delicious Salads

A hearty meat lasagna requires very little in the way of side dishes. Serve along side a simple cesar salad or any one of these green dishes:

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Close up of meat lasagna and text overlay "classic meat lasagna recipe."
Recipe Rating

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Sunday 18th of September 2022

Can no-boil lasagna noodles be used instead of traditional noodles? Thank you.

Jane and Sonja

Monday 26th of September 2022

Hi there, yes no-boil noodles can be used but my preference has always been the traditional noodles. I find the no-bake noodles are not as flavorful and don't always soften consistently in a lasagna dish.

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