If you are looking for an Easy Lasagna Recipe you have just found it! This recipe for lasagna takes a few shortcuts to result in a delicious version of lasagna that can be made on the busiest of days!
The Easiest Recipe for Lasagna
Lasagna has always been one of my favorite recipes.
However, classic lasagna has the reputation of being complicated and time-consuming. It is not thought of as an easy, weeknight meal.
But this recipe for lasagna is made with minimal prep, making it the perfect recipe for busy nights.
So give up what YOU thought about homemade lasagna and try out this simple recipe--cheesy comfort food does not need to be complicated!
Notes on Ingredients
- Lasagna Noodles: You do NOT need to use no-boil noodles for this recipe, making this recipe that much easier. Either whole wheat or regular noodles work.
- Spaghetti Sauce: I love to use my homemade spaghetti sauce, but your favorite jarred sauce works. Just remember the better the flavor of the sauce, the better your lasagna will taste.
- Cottage Cheese: I love preparparing lasagna with cottage cheese, while it may not be traditional, I personally love the tang and texture the cottage cheese adds to lasagna. Feel free to use ricotta in place of cottage cheese.
- Egg: The egg will help the cheese filling to set up.
- Spices/Herbs: The dried spices and herbs add a punch of authentic Italian flavor. I love to add fresh parsley for freshness and dried oregano for a true punch of flavor. I also add in red pepper flakes for a kick of heat. You can certainly use dried parsley or fresh oregano if desired, and omit the red pepper flakes for a more mild filling.
- Cheese: I use a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan for the best combination of flavor and melting factor.
- Meat: For this lasagna, you can use ground beef, ground sausage, ground turkey, or even Pepperoni! Of course, feel free to omit the meat for a meatless lasagna.
How to Make Lasagna
Step One: Brown Meat
If using ground meat, you want to start this recipe by browning the meat. However, if you are preparing a meatless lasagna OR using pepperoni, skip this step.
- To a large nonstick skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat.
- Add in meat and season with garlic powder, oregano, and a bit of salt.
- Break the meat up as it browns into smaller bite-sized pieces and brown fully.
- Turn off the heat and drain off any excess grease on meat if needed.
Step Two: Add Water
The key to making this lasagna without the need to parboil the noodles is to add a bit of water to the sauce. That extra moisture is needed for the noodles to cook fully.
- Combine the meat with the spaghetti sauce and 1 cup of water and mix well.
- If you aren't adding meat, simply mix the spaghetti sauce with water.
Step Three: Prepare Filling
Remember, while this is a lasagna recipe using cottage cheese, you can certainly substitute the cottage cheese for ricotta if that is what you prefer or have on hand.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cottage cheese with herbs, spices, cheese, and an egg.
Step Four: Layer Lasagna
A 9x13 pan is the best pan to use for this lasagna recipe. This is not an overly thick lasagna, so need to use a deep pan.
- Brushing a 9x13 pan with olive oil. This will help the lasagna come out of the pan easily.
- Spread a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan and then add a layer of noodles. One thing to remember is to not overlap the lasagna noodles when layering, this will ensure the noodles cook evenly. Feel free to break up the noodles if needed to fit in the pan.
- Top with half the cottage cheese mixture spread a thin layer of the meat sauce over the filling.
- Repeat the layers by adding another layer of noodles, cottage cheese mixture, and meat sauce.
- Add one final layer of noodles and the remaining meat sauce.
- Generously top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Step Five: Bake
In order for the noodles to cook through, the lasagna must be covered with foil for the first 45 minutes of bake time. This will let the noodles steam and soften perfectly. Then remove the foil for excess moisture to evaporate and the cheese to brown to perfection!
- Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Step Six: Serve
Just like all classic lasagna recipes, it is best to allow the lasagna to rest prior to slicing and serving. This will allow everything to be set up.
Serve the lasagna with Homemade Garlic Bread and Greek Salad for a delicious, EASY family meal.
Preparing Lasagna in Advance
One of my biggest time-saving tips is to make two lasagnas at once. That way your family can eat one for dinner and you can freeze one to have on hand for busy nights.
Because the noodles are not precooked in this easy lasagna recipe, you need to BAKE the lasagna BEFORE freezing.
To freeze this lasagna, bake as directed in a freezer-safe pan or disposable foil pan. Let the lasagna cool completely. Wrap tightly in 2 layers of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To cook from frozen, From the freezer, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until warmed through.
This recipe for lasagna has been tested, tried, and true. However, I want to give you options to make this lasagna work for you and your family. This is the best way to save money and satisfy your family's taste buds!
- Meatless: To make a Meatless Lasagna, omit the meat or use your favorite veggie crumbles.
- Too Much Cheese: If your stomach is a little sensitive to cheese or you are watching your calories, just omit the cheese from the filling and top with minimal cheese on top.
- Cottage Cheese: I know cottage cheese is controversial in lasagna recipes. So if you don't have cottage cheese--or you think it is a sin to use cottage cheese in lasagna, use ricotta cheese in place of cottage cheese. Even tofu, Greek yogurt, or cream cheese works in this easy lasagna recipe.
- Pepperoni: Instead of browning up ground beef or sausage, add layers of sliced pepperoni to the layers of the lasagna. The pepperoni will add a hearty, meaty taste--minus the work!
More Lasagna Recipes
- Pierogi Lasagna
- Ravioli Lasagna
- Mexican Lasagna
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Instant Pot Lasagna
- Vegan Lasagna from Nora Cooks
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you enjoyed this easy version of lasagna, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Easy Homemade Lasagna
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef or Italian Sausage
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt omit if using Italian Sausage
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles uncooked
- 1 ½ cups cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 cups homemade tomato sauce or your favorite store brand of spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese divided
- Brush a 9x13 pan with olive oil and preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in meat and begin to brown. Add in 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon oregano and brown fully. Turn off heat and drain off any excess grease on meat and return to skillet. Add in spaghetti sauce and 1 cup of water and mix well.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese with parsley, minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, egg, and ¼ cup parmesan cheese until well combined.
- Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay 4 noodles down. Evenly top the noodles with ½ of the cottage cheese mixture and then spread out 1 cup of the meat sauce over the cottage cheese mixture. Lay 4 more noodles down and spread with the remaining cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with 1 cup sauce and 4 more noodles. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese and remaining parmesan cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the noodles are tender
- Let sit for 10 minutes or so, before slicing and serving.
We have dairy sensitive members in our family, and I had given up on making lasagna until I found a lactose-free cottage cheese by Lactaid. It has really helped us to enjoy lasagna again, and there is no compromise on flavor--it's a delicious cottage cheese. We seem to be able to handle the mozzarella, but I'm sure you could use cheddar, which is naturally lactose free, to make this even easier on the tummy. This lasagna recipe is delicious and moist and I can't wait to try it with pepperoni as a short cut with extra flavor!
Thanks for sharing!
If you cook & freeze, what temp do you recommend reheating at & for how long?
From the freezer, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until warmed through.
Hi, Kristen! I have followed this recipe many times and is a fantastic one! I have always been baffled by the mozzarella listed as "divided ". Did I miss something or is just 2 cups added at the end? Thank you!
Hi Gen! I love hearing you enjoy this lasagna! Only the parmesan cheese, should list as "divided." My bad 🙂 It is fixed now and thank you for bringing it to my attention.
Hi! I am wanting to make this recipe for my family but my kids have texture issues so can’t use cottage cheese or ricotta!! How much cream cheese or additional mozzarella/Parmesan should I use in order to make it cheese enough. Thanks!
Hi TL I would use 12 ounces of softened cream cheese and you can add in 1/4 cup additional mozzarella if desired to the filling.