Thursday, December 3, 2020

Best Easy Lasagna Recipe + Video

This Easy lasagna recipe has layers of flavor with gooey cheese and sausage. Make this easy recipe in 40 minutes with no boil noodles!

Title text (shown on a white plate): Best Easy Lasagna Recipe
Something about meaty, cheesy dishes is so comforting and they just remind you of gathering around the table with family.

Lasagna used to be reserved for Sunday dinners or special events because preparations took almost all day. Not anymore!

This cheesy lasagna recipe only takes 15 minutes to prep before going in the oven.

Another easy meal that’s loaded with flavor is my Cheesy Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. It tastes just like a double bacon cheeseburger!

My Chili Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Casserole is the ultimate comfort food and works both as a main course or a dish to share at potlucks.

Or, keep things simple by scooping up Barbecue Ranch Chicken Dip with some chips or using it to make gooey loaded nachos!

easy lasagna recipe layering sauce

Cheesy Lasagna Recipe Ingredient Notes

  • Hot Italian sausage - If you are sensitive to spicy foods, try sweet Italian sausage instead. I love hot Italian pork sausage in this lasagna, but if you are looking for a lean protein choice, chicken sausage is delicious. You can even use ground beef. However, you’ll need to add extra spices and seasoning if using ground beef.
  • Canned tomatoes - Using fire-roasted tomatoes in place of crushed or diced tomatoes gives recipes a depth of flavor that makes you think it cooked all day long.
  • Lasagna noodles - The secret to the short prep time for this recipe is making the lasagna with no boil noodles. 
  • Cheese - I like to use Kraft’s 5 Cheese Italian Blend Shredded Cheese and 3 Cheese Grated Parmesan because the flavors are wonderful and it saves loads of time on prep. However, feel free to use your favorite cheese blends and shred them by hand instead of using pre-bagged shreds. Whichever way you go, it will be delicious!

cheesy lasagna recipe adding cheese

Kitchen tools/equipment needed
  • A large skillet with a lid - To help the sauce cook evenly, a wide skillet works best. Ideally it should be more than 12 inches in diameter.
  • Potato masher - Thanks to watching the Rachael Ray show, my new favorite way to break up ground meat is a potato masher. It’s so much easier than using a wooden spoon.
  • 9x13 Baking Dish - I have my favorites and this set is one of them. The 9x13 is perfect for casseroles and the smaller size is awesome for making half a casserole recipe.

lasagna with no boil noodles being added

Storage and reheating

Cover leftovers or transfer to a storage container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through.

This chicken lasagna also freezes beautifully, either baked or unbaked. It’s only because of the no boil noodles.

Just be sure to use it within 3 months for the best quality.

  • Baked: Let the lasagna cool and place in the refrigerator for an hour. Then, either wrap individual slices in foil and store in a ziptop bag, or cover the entire dish tightly with foil and freeze. If you don’t want your baking dish trapped in the freezer, make the lasagna in a foil pan instead. 
  • Unbaked: Line your baking dish with foil and build the lasagna in the pan. Then, cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer. Once frozen, lift the foil-wrapped lasagna out of the pan and keep in the freezer. Then, just pop the entire thing back in the baking dish when you’re ready to reheat.

meat sauce layer

Common questions and recipe tips


How long to cook lasagna?

Cook time depends on a few factors: temperature of the oven, type of noodle used, and size of the overall lasagna.

Because this recipe bakes at a higher temperature of 425°F, it only takes about 25 minutes to cook.

If you prefer a slower cook, increase the bake time by about 10 minutes for every 25 degrees you lower the oven temperature.

And no matter the bake time or temp, always remove the foil during the last 5-10 minutes so the cheese can get bubbly and browned.

add parmesan cheese

How do you make lasagna with no boil noodles?
 
The key is making sure there’s enough liquid so the noodles come out tender and not chewy. Do this by making a thin sauce, which is not the same as watery!

What I mean is, use extra tomato sauce, paste, and include the liquid from the canned tomatoes.

Using a low moisture ricotta helps balance the extra liquid so the lasagna turns out firm and perfect - not soupy!

add shredded cheese

How to reheat a whole frozen lasagna

No need to defrost - you can reheat straight from frozen!

If it was baked before freezing, cook for 30-45 minutes at 350°F or until warmed through.

However, unbaked lasagna will need about double the time as the original recipe.

I’d suggest about an hour at 400°F and then check on it until warmed through. Keep covered with foil until the last 10-15 minutes of baking.

Enjoy!

baked easy lasagna recipe

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Best Easy Lasagna Recipe



Lasagna Recipe Video


This easy lasagna recipe is really simple to make! Watch the video at the top of this page to see what I mean.


Yield: 12
Author: Donna Elick
Print
Easy Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

Easy Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

This chicken lasagna has layers of flavor with gooey cheese and chicken sausage. Make this easy recipe in 40 minutes with no boil noodles!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 40 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian chicken sausage
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Hunt’s Tomato Paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (16 ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup KRAFT Grated Three Cheese Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 10 oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 (8 ounce) packages KRAFT 5 Cheese Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high-heat brown sausage. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 4 ounces shredded cheese and egg. Mix until well blended.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with a layers of 3 noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture, and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat layers.
  5. Top with remaining noodles then cover with sauce and sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Spread remaining 8 ounces of shredded cheese over top; cover.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:




Title text (a slice pictured on a white plate): Best Easy Lasagna Recipe

Originally published March 2013, updated and republished November 2020

https://amzn.to/2npi3zd

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58 comments:

  1. The site redesign, the video, the photos, it all looks fantastic! Way to go, both of you.

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    1. Thank you so much darlin'! Chad did all the work. Isn't he awesome. : )

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  2. Fantastic Donna! You're a star :) I know how much work goes into just one short video - we love to make videos to music with our kids, old photos, etc. but I could never do this! Love it - everything looks great.

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    1. Awww, thank you Tricia. It was a lot of fun. We hope to do more in the future.

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  3. Donna, love the recipe and the video! Great job :)

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    1. Thank you Melissa! It is soooo delicious too!

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  4. Donna - This looks great - Nice recipe!

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  5. I saw the photo clicked to come to this site to get the recipe, watched the video (which is done so well informative and QUICK which is vital now-a-days), saved it to my favorites, read the comments and just as quick went back to facebook. Saw the photo again and I STOPPED and thought "That was done so well, and you have taken the time to give that to us" I at least can take the time to tell you...I really appreciate this recipe along with the great video...and I always read and love the facebook post. Great Job! ..... and I love fire roasted tomatoes, nice addition!! Thank You!

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    1. Kitty, you are awesome! Thank you so much for stopping by. You totally made my day. We love creating recipes for you and it is so exciting to hear that you love our video too.

      XOXO Donna

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  6. This looks so good. I'm going to try this for next Sunday. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Great recipe, wonderful video. I will be trying it on Sunday. Thank you so much

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  8. Wow I have never made Lasagna without pre-cooking the noodles, so I am very very happy to try this one. Thank you so very much.

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  9. Trying this tonight! So I do NOT need to pre-cook the noodles? Just a box of noodles is fine??

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    1. Exactly. Use the oven ready lasagna noodles, do not precook them. Enjoy!

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    2. You can also use regular noodles, just add 1/2 Cup water to the sauce and add an additional 6-7 minutes to the bake time. Still easier than having to boil first and handle hot noodles that may start sticking to each other.

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    3. So regular noodles meaning non oven ready? Thanks.

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    4. I have not tried the regular ones, but I hear it works. Enjoy and let us know how it goes. Enjoy!

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  10. Does anyone know what size pan she is using? is it a 9x11 pan?

    Just want to make sure have the right one as I would hate to start filling and then find out it is to small or to big. Just one an extra dish to wash/mess to clean. Thank you.

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    1. I call it a lasagna pan, but a 9x13 would work. Just make sure you put aluminum foil on the rack below your pan, incase it drips. Enjoy! It is scrumptious.

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  11. Wow, my first try at lasagna and this was awesome. I had neighbors over and we all agreed that it was better than our local Italian restaurant. It's a keeper for sure! I had never heard of "oven ready" noodles, so this was an educational experience as well, :) . Very easy too. I am going to have to find a deep 9x13 pan, this recipe filled my glass dish. Can't wait to try more of your recipes, thanks.

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    1. Yay! So excited that you loved it. Keep us up to date on your kitchen adventures.

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  12. I made this the other day..it was so good..I mixed a little bit of cottage cheese in with the ricotta mixture..

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  13. Call me sadly a novice, but I have never before made Lasagna. Am trying to figure out the directions for the layers. Are there three layers of noodles or only two. I get boggled when I get to the "top with remaining noodles" direction. Is this the second or third layer. I checked out the video and it seems like there's two layers, but...... Help please, and I hope no one comments on what a dumb question this is. Beginners need hand holding, and deeply appreciate it when it is non-judgmentally given.

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    1. Hi sherry. Welcome to the world of cooking! No judgement here sweetie. We all have to start somewhere. :)

      There are a total of 3 layers. Each layer takes about 3. My final layer took 4 because I have a pan that is thinner at the bottom and wider at the top. Good luck and enjoy! Email me directly if you have any more questions. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

      donna {at} tsrifood {dot} com

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  14. At what temperature does it need to be ...?.

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    1. The oven? 425, preheated. As in the 1st step. Enjoy!

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  15. Where do I find hot italian chicken sausage??!??!

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    1. I find it next to the chicken in the meat department, but you could sub pork sausage if you prefer. Enjoy!

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  16. My lasagna came out very juicy..was I suppised to drain the tomatoes?

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    1. No the juice should cook off as you cook the tomatoes. My tomatoes do not have much juice anyway. Was it soupy when you put it in the pan? Was the pasta fully cooked? Email if you would like to see what happened. donna {at} tsrifood {dot} com

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  17. It was not soupy going in but soupy and greasy coming out..I pre-cooked the noodles also

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    Replies
    1. The pasta should go in the oven dry. If they are precooked the moisture from the ingredients will have no where to go. When they go in dry the pasta absorbs the moisture as it cooks. Give it a try again and do not cook the pasta first. Enjoy.

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  18. Donna this recipe reminds me of my mum's amazing lasagne (and trust me it was Amazzzing!). If I promise to bring dessert can I come round for dinner?

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  19. I tried a Kraft recipe similar but with frozen ravioli and it was wonderful; have made it a few times. Can't wait to try this one !

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  20. Could you use beef or chicken mince instead of the sausage?

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    1. You would need a lot of seasoning if you are taking out the sausage. Perhaps also add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
      1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add ingredients when you add the tomatoes. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

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  21. Donna, the video was great and thanks for showing us how you make this great recipe!! I have never tried the noodles you are using, but I will definitely try this recipe out!! Keep up the great work!!

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    1. Hi Wendy!

      I am so happy you like it. Great recipe. Enjoy.

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  22. Is this lasagna spicy? I like things very mild.

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    1. It is not spicy, but you could use mild Italian sausage just to be sure. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

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  23. can you make it the night before and put in the oven the next day?

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    1. I have never made it that way, but it would be perfect. Just watch your cook time. Make the day before. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Then pop it in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. Enjoy!

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  24. My noodles, even though oven ready, were tough to chew on the ends.

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  25. Hi Donna, Great video...can you make this ahead and freeze it?

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    1. To use frozen lasagna: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 375° for 60-70 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

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  26. How about sharing the all day recipe too so we can compare how the quickie one tastes in comparison to the all day one?

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  27. you lost me at pre-shredded cheese - it's coated w/corn starch and doesn't melt as well as cheese you shred yourself and it only takes a couple of minutes.

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    1. Absolutely understand. Feel free to substitute with mozzarella, provolone and parmesan cheeses. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

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  28. How do you get the noodles where they are tuff to cut with a fork?

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  29. Great video! I love lasagna, your recipe looks delicious!

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  30. Recipe calls for 10 noodles and the photo shows a row of three, where does the extra noodle go??

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  31. Hi can you substitute cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese??
    Oh and yes will you post the recipe that takes all day to cook??? I've been searching for a good old fashion spaghetti sauce for a while.

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  32. Could you substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta cheese?
    And I would love to see the recipe for the longer version of this!!!
    I have been looking for a while for a real version of meatballs & spaghetti!!!
    Thank you
    Rhonda Aubert
    taurusrca@hotmail.com

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  33. Hi there - enjoyed your video. My fiance and I just purchased a house and this Friday will be our first night there. We finally have all the painting and most of the renovations done so I hope to make this as our first "home cooked" meal. He's not a fan of hot sausage. Would you recommend keeping it classic with just ground beef or maybe pork sausage for richness? Thank you!

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  34. Noodles that aren't oven ready don't work, that's what I found at least.

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  35. Recipe calls for salt and pepper but they are not in the directions. Do you add to the ricotta mixture?

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