How to cook lasagna?

  1.  Put a couple of spoons of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan
  2.  Add noodles to cover the whole pan
  3.  Put a half of cheese filling on the noodles
  4.  Repeat the layers so the end layer is the meat sauce
  5.  Cover with aluminum foil
  6.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  7.  Bake for 45 minutes
  8. Take it out of the oven and remove the foil
  9.  On the top, sprinkle the mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  10.  Bake for another 15 minutes
  11. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving
  12. Enjoy the yummy lasagna meal!

So, do you want to learn how to cook lasagna?
Before you start cooking, we have some tips you need to know to make your lasagna dish perfect.

lasagna in the oven
Image source: unsplash.com, Kristine Tumanyan

Lasagna is a type of flat and wide pasta and its place of origin is, of course, Italy.

The Italian dish lasagna is made with layers of lasagna pasta, different types of cheese, and various kinds of meat or vegetable.

Usually, people cook lasagna in the oven, but there are also other methods.

It is served with different kinds of fresh salad and bread. Garlic bread is the best choice, but any homemade bread will be a good addition.

The traditional lasagna contains rich meat sauce, sheets of pasta, and a cheese filling. However, it is not forbidden to experiment with the ingredients, especially when it comes to vegetables.

The most common addition is spinach. All you have to do is defrost frozen spinach and squeeze the water out of it. You can also play around with different veggies like eggplant or zucchini.

Lasagna is very nutritious. Some people call the lasagna a full dish because it contains proteins, carbohydrates, and fat.

Carbohydrates such as starch and sugar come from the pasta. They are the fuel of our body and serve as the source of energy.

Proteins and fat come from meat, eggs, and dairy products. All of these also contain plenty of vitamin B and iron.

That is why the lasagna dish makes you feel full for a long time after you eat it. Some say that you could even survive for months eating just lasagna!

However, we don’t eat lasagna just for nutrition – we eat it because it is delicious! But, you have to know how to cook lasagna properly.  And in some cases, homemade lasagna can taste even better than the one you’ll find in a restaurant.

Cooking the lasagna dish might seem complicated, but it is rather easy. All you have to do is follow the following tips. We will teach you how to cook lasagna at home easily and fast.

lasagna on the plate
Image source: unsplash.com, sunorwind

Layering the lasagna

Once you have all the ingredients ready, the lasagna is layered in the following order:

  • Meat sauce
  • Noodles
  • Cheese

Repeat the order and then end it with the meat sauce. After you bake it, add mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese and bake some more. Otherwise, if you put the top at the start of baking, it won’t be tasty because the cheese will burn.

In order to avoid your lasagna becoming crispy, put the aluminum foil on the pan. Then halfway through, remove it. It will make your lasagna rich and creamy, just the way it is supposed to be.

Make sure that you always use equal parts of noodles, sauce, and cheese. 

Another important tip is to always spread the meat sauce first on the pan. If you put noodles first, they will stick to the pan. Then, it will be difficult to get the lasagna squares out.

Baking time

It takes about one hour to cook lasagna in the preheated oven. And usually, it takes about 30 minutes to prepare all the ingredients.

If you don’t like it when the lasagna is watery, you can avoid it if you let it rest for about 15 minutes, once you take it out of the oven.

So, when we add the 15 minutes for the resting time, it takes about an hour and 45 minutes overall – from the beginning of preparation to ready-to-eat.

That was the necessary time to cook lasagna in the oven. However, you can choose other ways of preparing it.

If you are short on time, but really want to eat lasagna, you can prepare it in a pressure cooker.

But if you have time and want to prepare the lasagna slowly, you can prepare it in a crock-pot.

Remember, it will take you about four to five hours to prepare the dish this way.

If you are looking for a practical and fast way of preparation, you can also do it in the microwave.

But, the most common way to cook lasagna is in the oven.

Freezing lasagna

Lasagna is a very practical dish to make because you can make it ahead of time and freeze it.

All you have to do is to defrost it by leaving it in the fridge overnight. Take it out the next day and pop it in the oven the usual way.

The good thing about lasagna is that it can be frozen not only before, but also after baking.

If you freeze leftovers, put them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You will have a delicious meal with no sweat.

You can also heat it up in the microwave. When you reheat the lasagna, there is no need to leave it to rest for 15 minutes. You can eat it right away.

lasagna on the plate
Image source: pixabay.com, angelorosa

Three parts of homemade lasagna

1. The meat sauce

In case you were wondering how to cook lasagna sauce, it is rather simple.

In fact, it is just like the Bolognese sauce. You need beef, tomato in a can, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, red wine, and seasonings.

You can also use thyme, bay leaves, oregano, bouillon, and Worcestershire sauce. 

If you are looking for a healthier version of the dish you can replace beef with ground turkey or even chicken. Some people like to combine two kinds of meat. It is common to combine beef with pork.

2. Cheese

The cheese that is commonly used in the lasagna layers is the rich and creamy ricotta cheese. That means that this cheese is a layer, alongside the pasta and meat.

If you are a fan of chunkier parts of cheese in the lasagna dish or you want to make a bit healthier version of the dish, then you can try cottage cheese. Or the combination of both.

Keep in mind that if you choose the cottage cheese, you need to drain it for about an hour before layering. The reason for it is that the cottage cheese can make your lasagna watery if you don’t drain it well.

But, when it comes to the highest, top layer, the lasagna is usually covered with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

So, you will need different types of cheese if you want the dish to be tasty.  Make sure to always use fresh mozzarella but drain it for 15 minutes before adding it to the dish.

3. Noodles or lasagna sheets

When it comes to noodles, you basically have two options – to make them at home or simply buy them.

However, making the lasagna sheets at home is a bit complicated and overall a long process. And you have to actually know how to make them.

It is way simpler to just buy them. When you are buying lasagna sheets, you can find the no-cook lasagna pasta. That means that they are already pre-cooked, so you don’t need to boil them in water before you start layering.

If you still choose the pasta that needs to be cooked, don’t forget to drain them after boiling them in the water. Also, an important thing is not to rinse them because that way, the sauce will stick better to the pasta.

lasagna in the baking dish
Image source: pixabay.com, sharonang

RECIPE

Easy No-Boil Delicious Lasagna

We will show you how to cook a delicious yet easy-to-make meat lasagna with beef and ricotta cheese. This recipe is so simple and easy that even if you are not much of a cook, you will be able to successfully prepare it.

INGREDIENTS

Noodles

  • 1 box lasagna noodles (no-boil)

Meat sauce

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 finely chopped mid-size onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 32 ounces of marinara/tomato sauce

Cheese filling

  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups mozzarella

Topping

  • 1/4 cup mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS

How to cook lasagna meat sauce

  1. Take a skillet and heat the olive oil on medium heat
  2.  Put the onion in the skillet, stir until it becomes a bit soft
  3.  Add the beef, pepper, salt, and garlic
  4.  Cook until it becomes completely brown in color (usually about 5-10 minutes)
  5.  Add the marinara sauce and turn off the heat

How to make the cheese filling

  1. Take a large bowl
  2. Add the ricotta cheese, eggs and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  3. Mix it with a spatula or hand mixer

How to layer and bake the dish

  1.  Put a couple of spoons of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan
  2.  Add the noodles to cover the whole pan
  3.  Put the half of cheese filling on the noodles
  4.  Repeat the layers so the end layer is the meat sauce
  5.  Cover with aluminum foil
  6.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  7.  Bake for 45 minutes
  8. Take it out of the oven and remove the foil
  9.  On the top, sprinkle the mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  10.  Bake for another 15 minutes
  11. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving
  12. Enjoy the yummy lasagna meal!

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