Easy Homemade Lasagna

$14.96 recipe / $1.66 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.84 from 12 votes
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Have you seen the price of lasagna in restaurants lately? The last time I saw lasagna on a menu it was $20… per slice! Talk about sticker shock. So I knew that if I was going to get my lasagna fix, I would have to make it at home. This homemade lasagna recipe is still a bit of a splurge because it’s chock full of meat and cheesy goodness, but at least my amazing homemade lasagna is closer to $20 for the whole pan, not per slice. 😅

Overhead view of a sliced lasagna with one slice being lifted from the pan.

What’s in Lasagna?

Lasagna is the perfect trifecta of ingredients: pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. Or, more specifically, the three main components of a classic lasagna are a red meat sauce, lasagna noodles, and a mix of ricotta and other cheeses. You can swap out any of these three components to make different styles of lasagna (white lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, spinach lasagna, etc.) but the recipe we have for you today is a classic lasagna with a tomato-based meat sauce, ricotta cheese blend, and lasagna noodles.

Lasagna Ingredients

Homemade lasagna is easier than it may seem. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious homemade lasagna recipe:

  • Italian Sausage: We make a simple red meat sauce for the lasagna using Italian sausage because it’s already packed full of herbs and spices, making our job easier.
  • Onion: Onion adds depth of flavor and a subtle sweetness to the red sauce for the lasagna.
  • Tomatoes: We use a combination of crushed tomatoes tomato paste for the red sauce. Crushed tomatoes provide bulk to the sauce and a nice texture, while tomato paste gives the sauce a deep tomatoey flavor and helps thicken the sauce.
  • Italian Seasoning: Using a simple Italian seasoning blend helps keep our ingredient list short without losing any flavor.
  • Cheese: Whole milk ricotta, Italian cheese blend, and mozzarella come together in this recipe for an intensely cheesy lasagna.
  • Lasagna Noodles: It wouldn’t be lasagna without the noodles! We used classic, curly-edged lasagna noodles here (not no-bake noodles).

Make it Vegetarian

To turn this easy lasagna recipe into a vegetarian lasagna, simply replace the Italian sausage with sautéed mushrooms. You can also add other chopped vegetables, like spinach, carrots, zucchini, or even broccoli. Just make sure to chop them small and sauté them well to remove as much moisture as possible before adding to the lasagna. You may also want to double the herbs and spices to replace what was in the Italian sausage.

How to Layer Lasagna

There are no hard rules when it comes to layering lasagna (don’t @ me if you disagree), but there is one method that will make your life a whole lot easier. For a stress-free lasagna, layer the lasagna in the following order:

  • Sauce first (this keeps the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the dish)
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Cheese (it’s easier to spread the cheese on top of the solid noodles than on the sauce)
  • Repeat: sauce – noodles – cheese two more times
  • Finish with sauce and more cheese

Not into layering? Try our Baked Ziti recipe! It has all the same great flavors but with an easier free-form construction.

How to Freeze Lasagna

Freeze after baking: Allow the lasagna to cool slightly, then it divide into single portions. Chill each portion in a resealable container in the refrigerator, then transfer it to the freezer for long-term storage. The lasagna will stay good in the freezer for about three months. To reheat, simply grab a slice out of the freezer and reheat it in the microwave. For best results, I suggest using the defrost mode first, then microwaving on high until heated through.

Freeze before baking: If you prefer to freeze first and bake later, simply follow the recipe below all the way through the layering step, then cover and chill the lasagna fully in the refrigerator. Once chilled, transfer to the freezer (in an air-tight container) and freeze until solid. To bake the frozen lasagna, let it thaw completely in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours first. Then bake as directed, adding an additional 10 minutes to compensate for the chilled ingredients.

Budget-Friendly Ingredient Swaps

If you’re looking to make your homemade lasagna even more budget-friendly, here are a few ingredients you can swap to bring the total price down:

  • Substitute the ricotta cheese with small curd cottage cheese (this does produce a “looser” texture to the lasagna filling.
  • Substitute half of the Italian sausage for sautéed mushrooms. You may need to add extra Italian seasoning to make up for what’s in the missing sausage.
  • Use a store-bought red sauce instead of making your own (some brands are more expensive, so make sure to comparison shop!).
  • Buy your mozzarella in large blocks to get a lower price per ounce. Freeze half for later.

What to Serve with Lasagna

You just spent all that time making your masterpiece homemade lasagna, so I suggest keeping the sides simple. You really can’t beat some homemade garlic bread and a simple side salad or Caesar salad! Or maybe you just want a little snacky-snack appetizer to serve while the lasagna is in the oven? If that’s the case, some Bruschetta is your ticket!

Side view of a slice of lasagna being lifted out of the pan.
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Homemade Lasagna

4.84 from 12 votes
This easy homemade lasagna recipe has layers of homemade meat sauce, tender lasagna noodles, and a rich combination of Italian cheeses!
Side view of a slice of lasagna being lifted out of the pan.
Servings 9
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 lb. Italian sausage ($3.99)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes ($1.69)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (about 5 Tbsp) ($0.45)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning ($0.30)
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta ($3.19)
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend ($1.25)
  • 1 large egg ($0.21)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 9 lasagna noodles (about ½ lb.) ($0.90)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella ($2.49)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) ($0.10)


  • Add the Italian sausage to a deep skillet and cook over medium heat until browned. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion and then add it to the skillet with the sausage. Continue to stir and cook until the onion has softened (about 3 minutes).
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning to the skillet and stir to combine. Partially cover the skillet with a lid, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. Stir the saue occasionally as it cooks.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the ricotta cheese, Italian cheese blend, egg, and pepper to a bowl, then stir to combine. Set the cheese mixture aside.
  • Fill a large pot with water and add ½ Tbsp salt. Bring the pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the lasagna noodles and cook just until tender (about 8 minutes). Drain the noodles in a colander.
  • Spread about 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Lay three lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread ⅓ of the cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Repeat the layers (sauce, noodles, cheese) two more times. Finish with the remaining sauce, then top with the shredded mozzarella.
  • Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil, turn the oven from bake to broil, and broil for about 5 minutes or just until the cheese gets a little brown on top. Watch the lasagna closely as it broils!
  • Top the lasagna with chopped parsley if desired. Slice the lasagna into nine (or twelve) pieces and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 539kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 28gFat: 33gSodium: 796mgFiber: 3g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Overhead view of a pan full of homemade lasagna

How to Make Lasagna – Step by Step Photos

Browned sausage and onions in a deep skillet.

Start by browning 1 lb. of Italian sausage in a deep skillet. While the sausage cooks, dice a yellow onion. Add the diced onion to the sausage and continue to cook for a few minutes more, or until the onion has softened.

tomatoes and herbs added to meat and onions in the skillet.

Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, ½ of a 6 oz. can of tomato paste (about 5 Tbsp), and 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.

Finished meat sauce in the skillet.

Partially cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers.

Cheese filling ingredients in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Next, prepare the cheese filling. Add 2 cups whole milk ricotta, 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, 1 large egg, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper to a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined, then set the cheese aside.

Boiled lasagna noodles in a Dutch oven.

Fill a large pot with water and add ½ Tbsp salt. Bring the water to a boil, then add 9 lasagna noodles. Boil the noodles just until they’re tender (about 8 minutes), making sure not to overcook the noodles. Soft noodles tear easily and they will get mushy as the lasagna bakes. Drain the noodles in a colander.

Lasagna being layered into the casserole dish.

Spread about 1 cup of the meat sauce over the bottom of a large baking dish. Lay three lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Divide the cheese mixture into three portions (one for each layer of the lasagna), then spread one of the portions evenly over the three noodles.

Finished lasagna topped with shredded mozzarella.

Repeat the sauce-noodles-cheese layers two more times (for a total of three layers), then top with the rest of the meat sauce and two cups of shredded mozzarella.

Baked lasagna with the foil pulled back.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake in the preheated 350ºF oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and turn the heat on to broil.

broiled lasagna topped with parsley.

Broil the lasagna for about five minutes or just until the cheese gets a little brown on top. Broilers can vary quite a bit, so watch the lasagna closely during this step! Top the baked lasagna with chopped parsley if desired.

close up overhead view of sliced lasagna in the pan.

Slice the lasagna into 9 (or 12) portions and serve! …Or chill the portions and then transfer to the freezer later (hello homemade Stouffer’s!)

Overhead view of the entire pan of lasagna.
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  1. I just wanted to say that this sauce recipe is great. I’ve tried so many homemade sauces and haven’t been happy with them, but this one wins for simplicity and taste. Lasagna is often a full-day affair for me, so this whole recipe is wonderful in that it comes together quickly.

  2. made this for christmas last year & it was definitely a labor of love but came out amazing!

  3. It’s a great recipe, but you got to make a proper bolognese and add carrot and celery to complete the sofrito.

  4. Made this lasagna for my daughter’s Birthday , Excellent 👍. Best recipe yet!

  5. Terrific. I forgot how labour-intensive lasagna is (why do you never want to spread nicely on the noodles, cheese mixture?!) but I also forgot how absolutely delicious it is, so thank you for this tasty reminder! I used half sausage half mushroom, the latter of which I roughly chopped and added with the onions. I used spicy canned tomato sauce instead of making my own. I also used 1 cup straight mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan with the ricotta, because shredded mozzarella comes in 3 cup bags and I wasn’t buying two different bags of cheese to make this. No regrets, the whole thing was tasty and will be great for lunch the rest of the week and whenever I help myself to the freezer portions. Thanks for the recipe!