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Melissa's Meaty Lasagna Recipe

Melissa is a certified food scientist with over 20 years in the food industry. New food development and matching are her specialities.

Learn how to make this delicious recipe below!

Learn how to make this delicious recipe below!

Invented in Greece, Perfected in Italy

Lasagna actually originated in Greece, not Italy, at least by name. The name "lasagna," or “lasagne,” is derived from the Greek word "laganon," the first known form of pasta. The name refers more to the layering of pasta, sauce, and cheese versus the actual ingredients. Italians perfected the dish we know today.


  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 ounces mushroom (shitake/baby bella blend used), chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, ground
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (chiffonade)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus extra for topping
  • 12 ounces tomato sauce
  • 32 ounces crushed tomato
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 3 ounces pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
  • 16 ounces shredded mozarella, part skim
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely grated
  • 16 ounces lasagna noodles, soaked in hot tap water 30 minutes
  • Garnish dried basil and parsley


  1. Brown the beef, sausage, onion, and mushroom in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Drain the grease. Return to heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the basil, 2 tablespoons parsley, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine, then immediately add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.
  2. While the meat sauce cooks, prepare the cheese filling. Mix the ricotta, egg, 2 tablespoons of parsley, and pecorino Romano cheese.
  3. When the sauce has 30 minutes left to cook, put the uncooked noodles in a large rectangular pan. Fill with very hot tap water. Let the noodles soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Separate the noodles with your hands as they soak. Refill the hot water halfway through soaking for softer noodles.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the noodles from the pan. Ladle 1/4 of the meat sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Sprinkle with 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese. Ladle 1/4 of the meat sauce on top of the mozzarella. Add another layer of noodles. Repeat, making 3 layers of noodles. On the top layer of noodles, spread the remaining meat and cover with 8 ounces of mozzarella. Sprinkle with additional black pepper if desired. (You can sprinkle with dried parsley/basil for color and additional flavor.)
  5. Cook for 25 minutes, covered with foil. Do not let the foil touch the cheese or it will stick. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 25 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Sauce Ingredients


Meat Sauce Cooking


Arranging the Noodles

I clip the ends off of the horizontal top layer for a smooth finish.

I clip the ends off of the horizontal top layer for a smooth finish.

Finished Lasagna



1. Soaking the noodles is the absolute easiest way to soften them with no breaking and no handling of boiling hot noodles.

2. I purchase a large foil pan with a lid for cooking lasagna. I multi-purpose the plastic lid for soaking the noodles.

3. To safeguard against the foil sticking to the cheese, grease the foil with vegetable oil on the side facing the cheese.

4. You will notice I have not added any salt to this recipe. There is a lot of salt in canned tomato products and cheese. Season to your taste.

Did you make it?

© 2017 Melissa Holton