meat lasagna with ricotta cheese

The Best Meat and Cheese Lasagna (video)

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Simply the best ever meat and cheese lasagna recipe! I can’t even begin to describe the flavors in this made-from-scratch classic Italian recipe! This incredible meat lasagna is made with the most delicious homemade bolognese sauce, creamy ricotta cheese and Parmesan bechamel sauce! Every bite is bursting with flavor! This is the only meat and cheese lasagna recipe you will ever need! This pasta recipe is comfort food at it’s best!

meat and cheese italian lasagna recipe with bechamel sauce

 

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How To Make Lasagna

The best lasagna recipes start with a homemade bolognese sauce! Bolognese is simply a tomato-based meat sauce that is used for Italian pasta recipes. I like to make my own because it has so much flavor! I make my sauce with mild Italian sausage, red wine, lots of garlic, Italian spices and crushed tomatoes. The secret to a good sauce is cooking it low and slow! I like to let the sauce simmer for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour – the longer, the better!

Next, it’s the Parmesan bechamel sauce! This sauce is crucial for making a good lasagna! Bechamel is a cream based sauce that is thicken with a simple roux – a combination of butter and flour. This sauce gives the lasagna more flavor and makes more juicy and not dry. For the bechamel, first prepare the roux, then slowly add the milk whisking constantly to ensure that no clumps remain. Add grated Parmesan and a just a touch of ground nutmeg for even more flavor. I like to add the bechamel along with the meat sauce as I’m layering the lasagna and add it to the top.

Arranging this meat and cheese lasagna is super easy! I like to create alternating layers of bolognese and bechamel, followed by layers of ricotta cheese. Alternating the fillings ensures that you get uniform flavor with each bite and it helps keep the lasagna lighter and not as dense. You can use your favorite lasagna noodles for this recipe: homemade, classic lasagna pasta or oven-ready pasta sheets that don’t require precooking. The last choice is my favorite! Finish the top of the lasagna with more bechamel and add grated Parmesan cheese. Bake the lasagna for about 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling away at the edges and the top is golden.

the best meat lasagna with cheese; slice of lasagna on gold plate

 

How To Freeze Lasagna

Did you know you can freeze homemade lasagna and enjoy it later?! If you like to do food prep, it’s super easy to do. Just assemble the lasagna is a casserole dish, cover with plastic and then cover tightly with foil. Freeze the lasagna on a flat, even surface. When ready to enjoy, remove the lasagna from the freezer, remove the plastic wrap and preheat your oven to 350F/177C. For the first 30 minutes, bake the lasagna covered with foil. Then remove the  foil and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes. When baking a frozen lasagna, it will require more baking time!

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