Italian Sausage Lasagna is a quick and easy cheesy meat lasagna recipe with layer upon layer of flavorful meat, pasta and cheese that comes together in 15 minutes and on the table in just 40 minutes! With a simple recipe and only 15 minutes to prep, this fabulous meal can be on your table any night of the week!
For some help with prep and layering, take a look at the video in this post! Homemade lasagna doesn’t have to be hard, and this video helps break down the simple steps!
Italian Sausage Lasagna
I’m shocked by the number of people who have asked me, “Can you put Italian sausage in lasagna?” Of course, you can!!
Forget about beef lasagna and make the hearty meat sauce using sausage instead!
By adjusting your cooking methods just a smidge, you’ll have more mouthwatering, satisfying, savory pasta than you’ll know what to do with!
Want to make this the best lasagna recipe and prepare it totally from scratch?
You can even cook the tomato sauce right at home – now that’s a dish that’s sure to impress! You’re even going to impress yourself as you make this simple lasagna.
A classic lasagna recipe is fine and dandy, but why not take it over the top and make this option? It’s sure to be your new favorite go-to lasagna recipe!
The layers of noodles with the sausage and creamy ricotta will make you forget that traditional lasagna even exists. One of my favorite Italian recipes – so good!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Hot Italian Sausage – Can’t handle the heat? Use sweet or mild – you can even use chicken sausage!
And if sausage isn’t really your thing, try these chicken-based and beef-based alternatives. Ground beef always works and will make more of an authentic lasagna.
- Diced Tomatoes With Garlic – Gotta have garlic! This is my preferred roasted tomato type for pastas. Every great lasagna is loaded with garlic! It’s a MUST!
There are some variations that also include basil or other herbs, and perhaps onion – those are fine as long as you’ve got some garlic in there!
- Tomato Sauce & Tomato Paste – Why both? The paste is for strong tomato flavor, while the sauce is for texture and a bit more of an herbal taste.
- Ricotta Cheese – While I almost always opt for the creamy, full-fat versions of cheeses, I go with part-skim ricotta for a reason.
It’s more substantial and isn’t as runny – whole milk ricotta will get thin, runny, and watery.
I don’t typically like to swap out and use cottage cheese because I feel that the ricotta cheese mixture has a better flavor.
- Shredded Italian Cheese Blend – Depending on the blend, you might get a little pecorino romano, some parmigiano-reggiano, morsels of mozzarella, a hint of asiago, or maybe just a pinch of provolone. Have your own faves?
Make your own blend!! Just make sure to end up with 1 ½ cups worth total.
You can also use different cheeses for the cheese layer as well – so have fun with the flavor. This classic Italian lasagna recipe tastes great with fresh mozzarella, too.
How to Make Lasagna
The first step is browning the sausage – don’t skip it, because the flavor and texture depends on it!!
You’ll stir in all of our tomatoey ingredients (tomato sauce, paste, and the diced tomatoes themselves) along with the salt and pepper.
While that simmers, mix ½ cup of the parmesan, 4 ounces of the Italian blend, and the ricotta cheese together with the egg.
Now it’s time to layer! Cover the bottom of the dish with some of the meat sauce before making your first noodle layer.
Follow with half of the ricotta mixture, and then ⅓ of the sauce.
Rinse and repeat – once you lay the last of the noodles, pour the last of the sauce over top. (I spread the meat mixture out using the back of a wooden spoon to get it level)
Sprinkle with another ¼ cup of parmesan and 8 ounces of the shredded cheese.
Cover the dish with a layer of aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil, and give it another 5 minutes in the oven while the cheese gets perfectly ooey gooey.
Tips & Tricks for a Scrumptious Sausage Lasagna Recipe!
- Let It Rest – Give your Italian sausage lasagna about 10 minutes to rest before taking out that first slice – I know it’s hard to resist, but it’s important!
The sauce, cheese, and noodles need a few minutes to firm up or else you’ll get a sloppy, soppy mess.
- A Fan of Veggies? My favorite way to incorporate vegetables into lasagna is to dice them up and add them to the meat sauce.
Avoid a solely veggie layer – that would be slippery and watery, which means danger for your lasagna!!
Your best contenders for veggie add-ins are eggplant, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
- Freezing For Later – You can do most of the work and get most of the hassle out of the way by preparing any lasagna with meat and baking at a later date.
Refrigerate to make within 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months before baking!
Once it’s baked, it will keep for up to 5 days. (be sure that you’re storing it in an airtight container, as you don’t want to risk this authentic Italian lasagna getting freezer-burnt!)
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 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 storage 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.
Italian Sausage Lasagna FAQ
The tip top of your lasagna should be a final, bubbly layer of meat sauce and melted cheese. You can top it with parmesan cheese and even some mozzarella cheese if you want after it’s done baking. (you can never have too much cheese!)
The best way is to pop that dish right back into the oven! Use a lower heat and allow it to cook for 30 minutes or so while it heats through the center and the cheese remelts. You might want to add a bit more cheese on top for good measure!
It binds all of the cheese together and makes for a more solid sausage lasagna. It really makes a difference!
While, it isn’t entirely necessary, just keep in mind that the cheese will ooze out from under the noodles a good bit easier. Nothing wrong with that – just have some toasted bread on the side to scoop it all up!!
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. I told you this was an easy lasagna recipe!
The key is making sure there’s enough liquid so the noodles come out tender and not chewy. Do this by making a thinner sauce.
Use extra tomato sauce and 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!
Absolutely. Part of getting that traditional Italian lasagna flavor is by adding herbs to the rich meat sauce. Italian seasoning is the most common to add to this mixture, but you can also add fresh parsley as well. Fresh rosemary would be a good flavor, too!
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. This ensures that the cheese gets bubbly and browned.
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 suggest about an hour at 400°F, and then check on it occasionally until it’s warm through the center.
Also, keep the pan covered with foil until the last 10-15 minutes of cook time.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Italian Recipes
Best Italian Sausage Lasagna + Video
- 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian chicken sausage, see notes
- 29 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic, 2 14.5-ounce cans
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 16 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 egg
- 10 no boil lasagna noodles
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, 8 ounce packages, divided
- Preheat oven to oven to 425°F.
- To a large skillet over medium high-heat, add the sausage. Cook for 8 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally.Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, as sauce simmers, to a medium sized bowl, add ricotta cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 4 ounces shredded cheese blend and egg. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
- Spread ½ cup meat sauce onto the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish. Top with a layer of 3 noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture, and one-third of the sauce. Repeat the layers.
- Top with remaining noodles. Cover with remaining sauce, then sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and 8 ounces of shredded cheese over top. Cover the dish with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil over that. (This prevents the aluminum foil from giving the lasagna a metallic flavor.)
- Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Let sausage lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published March 2013, updated and republished December 2023
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