Best Meat Lasagna - Weekend at the Cottage

Best Meat Lasagna

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position.
  2. Warm meat sauce in a medium-sized pot.
  3. Prepare cream sauce: Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over moderate heat. Tap flour into pan through a sieve dispersing it evenly over the butter. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, whisking it in with the flour mixture and cook until the sauce thickens. Season with salt then stir in Parmesan until it melts into the sauce. Season with nutmeg, cover, remove from heat, and set aside until you assemble dish.
  4. Cook the noodles: Prepare 1 package of lasagna noodles al dente to package directions. Strain and set aside.
  5. Assemble the lasagna: Ladle 1 cup of the cream sauce followed by meat sauce into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish spreading them out evenly across the surface. Add the noodles as a single layer running the direction of the dish. Repeat adding the cream sauce and meat sauce to the noodles. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan then add another layer of noodles. Repeat two more times. Once the last layer of noodles has been added, add the remaining meat sauce and parmesan.
  6. Taking a sharp knife, cut the lasagna into 12 squares.
  7. NB: Lasagna can either be baked now or covered with saran wrap and foil and frozen (see step 9 to cook from frozen).
  8. To bake fresh: Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until dish is bubbling and the cheese on the top is melted and bubbling. Let lasagna sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  9. To bake from frozen: Defrost lasagna overnight in the refrigerator. Once defrosted, bake for 30 minutes at 350°F until dish is bubbling and the cheese on the top is melted and bubbling.
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Best Meat Lasagna

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Al dente noodles layered with richly flavoured meat sauce, grated mozzarella, Parmesan and a creamy béchamel sauce…

  • clock icon
    60 MIN
  • 12 SERVINGS
The Best Meat Lasagna

When only the best will do, our BEST MEAT LASAGNA is it!

Sharing a recipe for homemade lasagna has been on our to-do list almost since the inception of Weekend at the Cottage. That said, I did get distracted thinking we’d make the pasta from scratch, and I’d can homemade tomato sauce before heading off into the woods to forage for wild mushrooms – no, I’m not joking. Thankfully Carol reeled me in with “Nik! Just keep it simple and make it real! Show us how to make the BEST MEAT LASAGNA.” Okay, okay, I hear ‘ya!

There are a number of things about this recipe that make it so perfect. First, it’s pretty easy to make. We’re gonna whip up two easy sauces, boil off some noodles, assemble and bake. Second thing goes to yield – we’re getting twelve rich and flavourful portions of lasagna in the deal and serving it with our HOMEMADE CAESAR SALAD and ROASTED GARLIC CHEESE BREAD, turning this simple pasta dish into a complete menu idea.

Last thing you’re going to love is the flavour of our BEST MEAT LASAGNA, a really exceptional blend of meat, sauce, cheese and pasta. Hello, may I please have just a wee bit more? Yum!

Before I list a few things to consider when you go to make it, a friendly reminder to PIN this recipe to a favourite weeknight or weekend meal idea board. Bookmark the page for quick reference and flip this LINK to a friend. Everyone needs to make this sensational recipe ASAP!

Here’s what goes into making our BEST MEAT LASAGNA:

Ingredients for Best Meat Lasagna

GOOD STUFF

You may look at the ingredients of this stellar homemade lasagna recipe and think, “That’s it?” Yup, that’s it. Just make our easy MEATY MEAT SAUCE before you begin, gather everything else and you’re good to go.

Lasagna noodles

USE YOUR NOODLE

Although we opted not to make the lasagna noodles from scratch, if pasta making is your thing, feel free to do so. If you opt for store-bought, we decided not to use the “oven-ready” variety. Instead, we’re following package directions and boiling off one box of our favourite brand al dente. Do the same, it’s easy and they’ll work perfectly in this recipe.

Ingredients for The Best Meaty Meat Sauce

MEAT SAUCE

Here’s a photo of the ingredients you’ll need to make our MEATY MEAT SAUCE. One important update – this sauce will work freshly made or thawed from frozen. In fact, I made a batch about a month before shooting this story, served half the pot over linguine to friends, and froze the remaining. I simply took the container out of the freezer the night before making this lasagna recipe, reheated it and made the recipe.

The ingredients assembled to make the cream sauce

CREAM SAUCE

One of the reasons this lasagna is so tasty is the addition of a creamy béchamel sauce. Béchamel is one of the FIVE FRENCH MOTHER SAUCES and we’re gonna get you to melt a cup of Parmesan into it right at the end to knock the flavours out of the park, I mean pot! Seriously, wait until you take your first forkful of this extra cheesy, creamy taste sensation.

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses ready to be grated

CHEESE

This is not the recipe where we’re sending you to your favourite cheese boutique to track down a flavour-forward fromage. Of course, you still can and if you do, request the best mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses they carry. These two cheeses are the traditional choice for a classic meat lasagna and using the best quality option of each will only make this pasta dish taste even better.

The casserole dish layered with the meat and cream sauces, cheese and noddles

LAYERS

We all know making lasagna from scratch is as much about flavour as it is about its distinctive look. Let’s hear it for that lovely layered look. If you’ve never made a homemade lasagna before, don’t worry, you really can’t mess it up. Watch the VIDEO of us making it before you start and then just set up a kind of assembly line like we did. Then layer, add and repeat until all of the ingredients have been used.

Best Meat Lasagna

BAKE

Please promise you won’t skip this step that we now think is so essential to this recipe: using a sharp knife, cut the lasagna into portions before you transfer it to the oven. This somehow helps the dish bake more evenly and also makes serving way easier too.

Lasagna served with a big bowl of homemade caesar salad

SERVE

We’ve already offered our suggestions for a fab salad and crunchy bread to go with this dish, but feel free to serve it with your favourite sides too. We understand some folks have already enjoyed it with our SIMPLE SALAD plus a side helping of our CREAMY COLESLAW. Word on the street is that one lucky bunch of guys served it with some grilled hot Italian sausages too!

A piece of the homemade meat lasagna served on a plate

The BEST MEAT LASAGNA is, quite simply, the best!

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Best Meat Lasagna

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Best Meat Lasagna

Ingredients

  • For the cream sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups homogenized milk
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more, see below!)
  • Plus the following:
  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 6 cups Meaty Meat Sauce (links in story)
  • 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position.
  2. Warm meat sauce in a medium-sized pot.
  3. Prepare cream sauce: Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over moderate heat. Tap flour into pan through a sieve dispersing it evenly over the butter. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, whisking it in with the flour mixture and cook until the sauce thickens. Season with salt then stir in Parmesan until it melts into the sauce. Season with nutmeg, cover, remove from heat, and set aside until you assemble dish.
  4. Cook the noodles: Prepare 1 package of lasagna noodles al dente to package directions. Strain and set aside.
  5. Assemble the lasagna: Ladle 1 cup of the cream sauce followed by meat sauce into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish spreading them out evenly across the surface. Add the noodles as a single layer running the direction of the dish. Repeat adding the cream sauce and meat sauce to the noodles. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan then add another layer of noodles. Repeat two more times. Once the last layer of noodles has been added, add the remaining meat sauce and parmesan.
  6. Taking a sharp knife, cut the lasagna into 12 squares.
  7. NB: Lasagna can either be baked now or covered with saran wrap and foil and frozen (see step 9 to cook from frozen).
  8. To bake fresh: Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until dish is bubbling and the cheese on the top is melted and bubbling. Let lasagna sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  9. To bake from frozen: Defrost lasagna overnight in the refrigerator. Once defrosted, bake for 30 minutes at 350°F until dish is bubbling and the cheese on the top is melted and bubbling.

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