This is the best homemade lasagna recipe! It is made with homemade lasagna noodles, a flavorful meat sauce, layered with ricotta and shredded cheese, and topped with a mix of white cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. This from-scratch lasagna recipe is one you will want to make over and over again.
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Most of the recipes I share on the blog are family favorites, like the Green Beans with Mushrooms, Baked Mac and Cheese, and Easy Challah Bread. And some are recipes created in collaboration with my family members, like the Easy Peach Cobbler, and Southern Turnip Greens with Turkey Bacon recipes.
However, this recipe is entirely my younger sister’s. She let me put it on the blog and share it with you guys.
My sister made this lasagna recipe for the first time about a year ago, and ever since it has been a major favorite in our home. Everyone loves it and there are rarely any leftovers. It is the ultimate comfort lasagna recipe.
Here is what you will need to make it.
Homemade Lasagna Ingredients
All ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This recipe starts by making the perfect meat sauce, which includes:
- Ground beef or bison (they taste pretty much the same, but I prefer ground bison)
- Tomato sauce and tomato paste for a rich and flavorful sauce.
- Chopped green bell peppers.
- And lots of herbs and spices.
You will need three kinds of cheese for maximum deliciousness:
- Ricotta cheese
- White cheddar cheese
- Pepper jack cheese
The mix of the white cheddar and pepper jack cheeses throughout the lasagna, adds flavor and a hint of spice. We sometimes like to add yellow cheddar to the top of the lasagna as well!
In addition to the pepper jack cheese, you could also add chopped pickled jalapenos in between the layers. They are not very spicy at all. They help to add a slight spice and tangy flavor to the lasagna.
My sister developed the perfect recipe for homemade lasagna noodles from scratch, which will be in the recipe card below. If you have a pasta roller it would make the rolling out process much easier. Otherwise, you could use a rolling pin. It will just take longer, and the noodles may be a little thicker.
If you don’t want to make your own lasagna noodles, you can also use some organic lasagna noodles from the store. But there's nothing like homemade pasta!
How to Layer Lasagna
Step one. Add about ¾ cup of the meat sauce on the bottom, a layer of noodles, and about ¼ cup of the ricotta and shredded cheese, add noodles, then more sauce. It is ok to overlap the lasagna noodles if they are too small to cover each layer.
Step two. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients. You will have 7 layers ending with the meat sauce.
Step three. Cover the top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Tools You May Need for This Recipe
Kitchen aid shredder attachment, our favorite way to shred cheese
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This is the best homemade lasagna recipe! It is made with homemade lasagna noodles, a flavorful meat sauce, layered with ricotta and shredded cheese, and topped with a mix of white cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. This from-scratch recipe is one you will want to make over and over again.
- 4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (15oz) cans of tomato sauce
- 1 ½ lb ground beef or bison
- 10 sheets of homemade lasagna noodles or 1lb of store-bought noodles
- 16 ounces shredded cheese (pepper jack cheese and white cheddar cheese, 5 cups)
- 1 (15) ounce container of ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces pickled jalapenos, roughly chopped, optional
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes
- 1 ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- 3 bay leaves
Homemade lasagna noodles*
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup semolina flour**
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoon water
- Fresh parsley or basil for garnish
- Side salad
Start by making the pasta noodles or boil 1lb of storebought noodles if using instead. Rub with olive oil then set aside, covered so they don't dry out while you are making the sauce.
How to Make Homemade Lasagna Noodles
- In a large mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt. Mix together, then add in the 3 eggs. Mix until well incorporated, you should have large crumbles. Add this mixture to a food processor, and pulse until you have small crumbles.
- Next, add in the water, one tablespoon at a time. Mix until the pasta dough starts to stick together and you have large crumbles. Form the dough into a ball and knead it a few times. The dough will be very stiff.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm environment for 30 minutes. It will become a little softer after resting.
Rolling Out the noodles
- Divide the dough into four parts, keep the others covered in plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out. Dust the dough with flour, and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick.
- Generously dust the pasta roller and the dough with flour. Roll out the dough on the largest setting on your pasta machine. Run the dough through the machine several times, each time lowering the setting until you reach the second smallest setting. Cut the dough into 12-inch pieces, lengthwise. Repeat with the rest of the balls of the dough.
- Boil a large pot of water. Cook two lasagna noodles at a time, making sure they don’t fold over each other. Boil for 1 minute, then place the pasta onto a greased cookie sheet. Oil each layer of the pasta noodles so they don’t stick to each other. Set aside covered until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
Yields 10 lasagna noodles
Making the Meat Sauce
- Start by adding the spices into a small mixing bowl - salt, ground black pepper, dried thyme and rosemary, red crushed pepper flakes, garlic, and onion powder. Mix together, then set it aside.
- In a large skillet, heat ghee or vegetable oil. Fry the tomato paste for 5 minutes, mixing consistently until the color deepens and the tomato paste is more ‘grainy’ in texture. Then add in the chopped green bell peppers. Cook until they just start to soften, 3 minutes.
- Next, add in both cans of tomato sauce, half of your spice mixture, and the bay leaves. Mix until well combined. Cook on low for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat then transfer it into a separate bowl, leaving ½ cup in the skillet.
- To the skillet, add the ground beef or bison and the rest of the spice mixture. Mix until everything is well combined, then spread the meat out evenly in the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high. Allow the meat to cook undisturbed for 10 minutes, or until juices start to form on the top and the meat is almost cooked through. Gently stir until the meat is fully cooked.
- Add the reserved sauce to the cooked meat, then set it aside.
How to Layer the Lasagna and Baking
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, add ¾ cup of the meat sauce on the bottom, a layer of noodles, ¼ cup of ricotta cheese, and ½ cup of shredded cheese, cover with noodles, more sauce, and some of the pickled jalapenos if using.
- Repeat alternating the ricotta and shredded cheese layer with the meat sauce layers until you have used up all the ingredients, ending with the meat sauce. You will have 7 layers.
- Lastly, cover the top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes then garnish with fresh parsley or freshly torn basil. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!
*Use 1lb of lasagna noodles instead. Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. After boiling rub with olive oil to keep them from sticking to each other, and then set aside covered with plastic wrap or a lid so they don't dry out.
**Without the semolina flour, the lasagna noodles will be too soft.