Ultimate Meat Lasagna Recipe
Ultimate Meat Lasagna With Four Cheeses, A Homemade Marinara Sauce And A Few Quick Chef Tricks Will Make You Feel Like You’ve Ordered Lasagna At Your Favorite Italian Restaurant.
Restaurant tricks to make this lasagna the next level:
- Homemade Quick and Easy Marinara may not be a real “secret” but it is going to make the biggest difference in the flavor of your lasagna. You can use most levels of quality of cheese and sort of get away with it, but use a sauce that isn’t full of delicious flavors? You’ll immediately notice the difference.
- I use all beef in this recipe, but the sausage flavor in most restaurant lasagnas is one I love duplicating. To do that easily here without using sausage, I add in some fennel seeds when browning the beef and I brown it in larger chunks. This gives the distinct sausage flavor and the larger chunks of beef help mimic the sausage texture.
- I add an egg and season my ricotta cheese. This ups the richness of it and makes it taste a little less grainy than ricotta normally does.
How to serve the perfect slice of lasagna:
When serving, let the lasagna cool for an hour or more, cut the slice with a very sharp knife. Remove with two spatulas to ensure no breakage. Top with additional marinara, additional cheese and brown in a 425 degree oven until browned and bubbly. This makes each slice feel like their own “order” with its own set of bubbly cheese and overflowing with marinara sauce.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 6 cups marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 box lasagna
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound Provolone cheese , sliced
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese , sliced
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large pot, brown the beef in one large piece until it is browned on the bottom, 2-3 minutes, breaking apart the beef into slightly larger chunks.
Cook until the beef is browned and add in the basil, oregano, 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds.
Stir until you start to smell the fennel seeds starting to toast then drain the fat and add in the marinara sauce.
In your ricotta container if you have space add the egg and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and mix well.
Add your no boil noodles to the meat sauce (we are not looking to cook them, just coat them in the sauce to ensure they don’t get dry in the oven).
Put 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan (I use one with straight sides for easy assembly and for added height. If you are using a glass baking pan with curved sides it may not be large enough to fit this quantity of food).
Add the dried no boil noodles in an even layer, for me it was 5 noodles per layer, four across and one broken in half lengthwise to go down the side of the pan.
Add 1/3 the provolone slices, another 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce, 1/4 of the mozzarella, 1/4 of the parmesan and 1/3 of the ricotta in spoonfuls dotting across the pan.
Repeat with the same noodle/cheese/meat sauce process.
Finally, add a top layer of lasagna noodles and cover with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella. Cover with foil.
Bake for 40 minutes, then remove foil and bake for an additional ten minutes to brown the cheese.
Let cool for 20-25 minutes before serving.
Garnish with parsley.
Recipe by Chef: Sabrina