This easy lasagna recipe is called the World’s Best Lasagna for a reason! A classic pasta made with layers of lasagna noodles, hearty meat sauce, creamy ricotta, and mozzarella cheese baked to hot, gooey deliciousness. This no-fail homemade lasagna always wins rave reviews! I am not Italian. At all. But I love Italy, and Italian food. And I grew up in New Jersey, definitely an epicenter of Italian-American cooking with pizzerias and Italian restaurants on every corner.
So when I have to make a large amount of something, I often fall back on baked ziti, or stuffed shells, or this easy lasagna recipe created by John Chandler on Allrecipes (with my changes as I note below).It’s called the World’s Best Lasagna. While I can’t verify that the research was actually done to make this claim, it is definitely the best homemade lasagna I’ve ever made. And have I made it. Many, many times.
I brought it to for a woman in my former mom’s group who had just had her third baby. I’ve made it for my dad to eat while he was babysitting my big guy when he was just a toddler because they both love it. We have made two of them for big family parties.
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
¾ pound lean ground beef
½ cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
½ cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided, or to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
¾ pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Season with sugar, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and pepper. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
-Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
-To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
-Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Rest lasagna for 15 minutes before serving.