Kate’s Meat Lasagna

When I first told people I would make lasagna the responses were like:

“Oh man! That’s so labor intensive!”

“Wow, that takes a while, doesn’t it?”

And I was always surprised becuase this is on of the simplest, and mindless, meals I make. And it fills our fridge with leftovers!

We like meaty lasanga at our house, but feel free to just do cheese or even add some veggies!

1. Saute ground beef and iltalian sausage in a pinch of salt and a 1 teaspoon of garlic until brown.

2. While the meat is being browned, mix all the cheeses in a plastic bag.

3. Grab your “No-Boil” noodles–this takes about 25 minutes off the total prep time! You use these noodles straight out of the box and they soften while they are cooking.

4. Find a 9×13 pan, or an intense 1,000 lb Emeril Lasagna Pan that you registered for when you got married. 

5. Mix the drained and browned meat in with the sauce in a seperate bowl, and cut the end off of your plastic bag full of the cheese mixture.

6. Start with a layer of noodles, scoop several scoopfulls of the meat sauce on top, then finish this layer with cheese, a sprinkle of salt, and some torn up basil. 

7. Repeat until you have reached the top, and pile on the mozzarella!

8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered, and 15 minutes uncovered. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving! 

The Recipe

8 ounces ground beef round
8 ounces italian sausage links, removed from casings and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups marinara sauce
8 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup (2 ounces) grated parmesan cheese
1 package “no-boil” lasagna noodles
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Combine the ground beef and sausage in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season with the kosher salt. Cook until meat it lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a medium bowl. Add the marinara sauce to the meat and stir to combine. Set aside.
Mix the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese in a plastic bag. Set aside.
Arrange a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (3 sheets) at the base.Cover the noodles with the meat sauce. Add some of the cheese mixture by “piping” evenly over the meat sauce, then scatter a few the torn basil leaves on top. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat in layers until you fill the dish. 
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 


  1. says

    We never cook our noodles, either — but we don’t buy special noodles. Any noodles will do the trick! :) {Just thought I’d throw that out there in case you were paying more for your “no boil” noodles!}

  2. says

    Like Beth said, you can buy any noodles and you don’t need to cook them ahead of time! Just make sure the noodles are all covered with sauce and they will cook just fine. Also, if you had any issues with the bottom layer sticking, I usually put a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan to prevent that. Great idea with the cheese mixture in a bag!

  3. says

    I can’t wait to try your recipe, adding a few jalapenos of course to satisfy my southwestern cattleman’s taste buds! Thanks!


  4. says

    I make a very similar meat lasagna quite frequently also and I totally agree with you, it’s pretty simple and the fact that you have leftovers for quite a few days makes it totally worth it. I’ve never used the no boil noodles so that adds time but I think I need to try them, I’ve always been skeptical of them. Like your idea of adding basil and Italian sausage for a little kick, I only use ground turkey. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anonymous says

      If you use a metal 9×13 pan, put some sauce on the bottom before the 1st layer of noodles or they WILL definately stick. 😉

  5. says

    I never cook my noodles either. I let them boil with the sauce. I like the idea of adding sausage. I use ground turkey which needs to be pepped up, but if I add spicy chicken sausage, it should do the trick.

  6. says

    Lasagna is one of my go-to meals as well – once I tried it for the first time, I realized how easy it was. You can even get by without a recipe!

    We use the “fake” beef crumbles from Morningstar in our “beef” sauce and use soy cheese from Galaxy foods because my husband and I are vegan. Soooo good!

  7. says

    THANK YOU KATE! I have been wanting to try a lasagna recipe with sausage added in (you know, like the fancy-restaurant-kind). Can’t wait to try it. One question…could I leave out the ricotta cheese? (My family of boys is “picky”.) And I’ve never heard of including cream cheese. Mmm…yay!

  8. says

    I love it when you post your recipes, Kate! Despite the fact that I LOVE to cook, believe it or not, I’ve never attempted homemade lasagna. I’m going to give your recipe a try, but may make one minor adjustment to substitute my spicy Italian sausage and mushroom marinara in place of the meat sauce in the lasagna. Hope you don’t mind my experimenting…that’s the fun of it, right? Thanks for posting your recipe and the delicious looking pictures!


  9. says

    I used to make lasagna all the time, and I’ve always thought it was pretty easy, but you have some cool tips that I definitely want to try next time! In place of lasagna, I usually do baked ziti, but I think I’ll make lasagna next time so I can try not cooking the noodles before hand….that just sounds so wrong! :)

  10. says

    This looks scrummy! We all love lasagna in our family so a regular family meal. I do avoid the pre grated cheeses though because of the amount of mould inhibiters and preservatives they can have in them – prefer to grate my own! Great recipe !! Xx

  11. Amanda says

    you can use regular noodles and not cook them before putting them in. I never buy the boil noodles anymore. just make sure all noodles are completely covered in sauce. saves time…and money!

  12. says

    This is a dish my family loves and I hate to boil the noodles, have them cool, pick them and layer, etc. This looks so fast and great idea on the cheese. I love it and will try it this weekend. Thanks for a great post.

  13. says

    I, too, learned the “sauce and regular noodle” trick for a quick no-boil way to make lasagna from my mother-in-law just a few years ago. She makes it each year for our Christmas get-together and I was thanking her for the hard work each year when she shared the secret. I had been making it the old fashioned way for nearly 30 year and when she told me the trick I couldn’t believe it! I’ve replaced the ricotta in my recipe with low-fat cottage cheese and it’s just as good, but cheaper and healthier than the ricotta. And I’ve NEVER heard of anyone using cream cheese – definitely going to give this a try!! I also use beef and sausage, but sometimes add pepperoni, too for an extra kick.

    Thanks for sharing, Kate!

  14. Anonymous says

    Looks great! Just a tip put a little sauce on the bottom of the pan under your layer of noodles vs spraying it with cooking oil. Makes the noodles not stick too!

  15. Anonymous says

    I made this last night and it was DELISH! I did add some extra..onion while meat was cooking and a can of petite tomatoes when mixed the marinara in.

  16. Anonymous says

    Made this recipe (with a few family-favorite extras – i.e. peppers, onions, and pepperoni)…it was a bit hit! We loved the cream cheese…super flavor! Thanks for the fun updates on an old classic! ~ Michelle

  17. says

    Pretty cool Blog.All the pictures are very tempting.This is exactly the kind of information i was looking for, great info,would like to bookmark it,thanks for putting

  18. says

    First of all… how did I miss this post?!? (Thank goodness I took the time to stalk your blog today) And BRILLIANT idea for the cheese… I make lasagna and one of the things I hate is how messy it gets. Bag the cheese & use no cook noodles… my husband will be a happy man if I can make lasagna more often :)

  19. Anonymous says

    This was really good, but I didn’t have the pics when I was making it and for some reason put no boil noodles on top with nothing covering it. Lol They were charred, obviously. I just pulled them off and served it. Was a bit messy looking but ill know for next time. Duh!

  20. says

    Made this tonight! Minus the Italian sausage, it was so good and so easy! Great tip on pipping the cheese mixture, makes you think, “why didn’t I think of that?!” It’s so simple and clever!

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