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. 

Leave a Comment

Comments (61)

  1. Posted September 27, 2012

    I never thought of bagging the ricotta! That would be so much easier.

  2. Anonymous says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    Sounds delicious!! Thank-you….I can’t wait to try it!! 🙂

    • Gwen says
      Posted March 29, 2020

      What marinara sauce do you recommend?

  3. Sam says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    Totally making this! I’ve always thought lasagna would be hard but this looks so easy… and so good!

  4. Amanda says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    Yum! Do you know if you can freeze this one? Thanks!

  5. Posted September 27, 2012

    That looks delicious!!

  6. Jessica says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    This sounds delicious! There’s nothing better than not having to cook the noodles! I do the same thing with regular noodles, but the cook time is longer.

    Which marinara sauce do you prefer?


  7. Beth says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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!}

  8. Malisa says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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!

    • Karen says
      Posted April 27, 2018

      Yes, be sure that regular noodles are completely covered by the sauce and cook for longer (55-60 minutes)

  9. Aly says
    Posted September 27, 2012

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


  10. Posted September 27, 2012

    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!

  11. Posted September 27, 2012

    Wow that looks good! Defintely going to have to try this.

  12. Haunani says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    Oh my gosh! You have just made my life so much easier!! LOVE LOVE the bagged cheese idea. Thanks so much! <3

  13. Posted September 27, 2012

    This sounds so easy! I can’t wait to try this. I’m all for simple, quick – but delicious meals to try at home.

  14. Posted September 27, 2012

    this looks amazing and easy — and now I want lasagna!! xo


  15. Melanie says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    My secret for the most amazing lasagna is spreading cream cheese on each layer of noodles. So good!

  16. Manda says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    I’ve honestly never made lasagna- because of the aforementioned reasons.
    Thanks for proving it’s not crazy hard! 🙂
    Eat Cake

    • Anonymous says
      Posted September 27, 2012

      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. 😉

  17. Patrice says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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.

  18. Unknown says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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!

  19. Rebecca says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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!

    • Kate says
      Posted September 27, 2012

      sure! Maybe substitute with extra parm or mozz!

    • Rebecca says
      Posted September 27, 2012

      Great! Will do! Thanks!

  20. Posted September 27, 2012

    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!


  21. Amy says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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! 🙂

  22. Allie says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    That looks amazing! I’m just a college student so I’d live off of that for literally a month. Do you know if it freezes well?

    • Brenda says
      Posted October 26, 2020

      I have frozen it – and it was great!

  23. Posted September 27, 2012

    Mmmm this looks delicious! I really like making lasagna. It’s a great meal to make for a friend who has recently had a baby or something like that because it can be frozen and popped into the oven!

  24. Posted September 27, 2012

    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

  25. Posted September 27, 2012

    I’m making this for dinner tonight, you made me so hungry for lasagna! Sending my husband to the store now for sauce and cheese!

  26. Posted September 27, 2012

    I love making lasagna. It really is such an easy dinner and I love that I have leftovers for a few days!

  27. Amanda says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    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!

  28. Posted September 27, 2012

    Love all of the tips – it makes lasagna actually look easy! Maybe I’ll give it a whirl 😉


    Kristina does the Internets

  29. Posted September 27, 2012

    You make it look sooo easy! Look forward to trying the recipe. Looks delish!

  30. Posted September 27, 2012

    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.

  31. Kacie says
    Posted September 27, 2012

    Yummy! Pinning this recipe so I can make it later 🙂


  32. Posted September 28, 2012

    Made this tonight. Sooooo good! Thank you!

  33. sophie says
    Posted September 28, 2012

    this looks unbelievably yummy! i’ve gotta keep this recipe in my back pocket for the coming Winter.

  34. Posted September 28, 2012

    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!

  35. Lorrie says
    Posted September 28, 2012

    I am curious what brand of marinara sauce you use.

  36. Posted September 28, 2012

    I’ve never heard of “no boil” noodles…that’s great! Will look for, as this recipe sounds way easier than lots of lasagna ones.

    -Best, Brittany

  37. Anonymous says
    Posted September 29, 2012

    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!

  38. Unknown says
    Posted October 1, 2012

    On the grated Parmesan……1 cup = 2 oz?

  39. Anonymous says
    Posted October 1, 2012

    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.

  40. Anonymous says
    Posted October 2, 2012

    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

  41. Posted October 3, 2012

    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

  42. Anonymous says
    Posted October 4, 2012

    Made this tonight and it was sooo good!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!! ~Sarah Jane

  43. Posted October 7, 2012

    Trying this tonight. I can’t wait!

  44. Posted October 9, 2012

    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 🙂

  45. Anonymous says
    Posted October 15, 2012

    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!

  46. Posted January 23, 2013

    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!

  47. Posted April 27, 2016

    Wow this actually looks to die for. Thanks so much for this recipe. Will be making this on the weekend..


  48. Vanessa says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    How many layers do you do? 2 or 3?

  49. Jackie H says
    Posted December 11, 2016

    I love this recipe so much. I’ve been making this since you first posted in 2012 (with the exception of 2014-2015, because I dropped a full glass Pyrex pan of this lasagna on my toe, ended up in urgent care and couldn’t bring myself to make it again…until tonight 😂!) Haha anyway, long story short, it is so delicious and easy! Thank you!:)

  50. Posted October 17, 2017

    Yum! And I see absolutely nothing wrong with the photography in this post. It’s great.

  51. Posted April 27, 2018

    Oh yum. Thx Kate.

  52. Alisha says
    Posted August 5, 2020

    Embarrassed to say this, but at 35 years old I finally made lasagna that didn’t turn out like soup! Thanks for the recipe Kate, it was a winner for my husband and 7 year old! 🙂

  53. Dean Ann Scott says
    Posted August 8, 2020

    Sorry Kate but this recipe is not very good. The no boil noodles become mushy and the cream cheese does not go with the tomato sauce. My family was not impressed. I followed the directions exactly and did not overbake.

    • Kate says
      Posted August 9, 2020

      Did you mix the cream cheese with the sauce? The recipe says to mix the cheeses together but not with the sauce! Sorry the first attempt didn’t work for you!