This is my mother-in-law’s homemade lasagna with fresh ricotta cheese that she enjoys making on Sundays. Usually served with garlic bread, red wine and tiramisu for dessert, this freshly-made lasagna is always hit.
When making this lasagna, it’s best to make two, since making two was just as easy as making one. It’s as easy as doubling the recipe and then clearing out space in the freezer for the second casserole dish. The ingredients and directions below are for one lasagna but it’s easy to double the recipe for a second casserole.
Making Fresh Ricotta Cheese
Using fresh ricotta cheese for this recipe is a game-changer. It will change the taste and texture slightly of the lasagna to a more creamy consistency. Using a fresh dairy product that you make yourself will always make your cooking just a little bit better.
- Lasagna Noodles: Use any kind of lasagna noodles for this dish. You’ll need about 12 noodles, about half a package of noodles.
- Cheeses: Use a blend of Mozzarella, Ricotta and Parmesan cheese.
- Ground Beef: Use a 80/20 blend of ground beef. You can also replace the beef with another protein such as tofu, lamb or even chicken.
- Tomato Sauce: Use your favorite marinara sauce!
- Onion and Garlic: Crush a couple of cloves of garlic and finely chop a yellow onion to add to your casserole.
How to Make Lasagna with Fresh Ricotta Cheese
1). Prep your ingredients and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Dice your onion and garlic. Heat your oil over medium-high heat and add your garlic and onion to the pan. Let the onion and garlic sweat until fragrant (about 3 minutes) and then add your ground beef. Once cooked, add your tomato sauce.
2). On another burner, boil some salted water for your noodles. For one casserole dish, you will only need 8 noodles, but you should cook a couple more incase some get broken in the process or stick to the bottom of the pan. Once noodles are cooked, drain and set aside.
3). Prep your casserole dish by spraying it with a nonstick spray. Add a light layer of meat sauce to directly to the dish, then place noodles on top and then add more sauce. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of ricotta every inch to inch and a half on top of the sauce layer. Add mozzarella on top of the ricotta and then sprinkle with parmesan. Add more noodles and press down. Repeat layers until you’re out of ingredients.
4). Bake your lasagna for 40 minutes. The casserole will be bubbling when you take it out of the oven. You can also broil the casserole for a couple of minutes to brown and crisp the top of the dish.
5). Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Freezer instructions: If making the dish ahead of time, wrap with foil and place in the freezer. Before baking, let sit out before baking for approximately 30 minutes but do not thaw. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes and then 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Broil if desired for 5 minutes to brown the top.
Did you make this homemade lasagna with fresh ricotta cheese recipe? How did it turn out? Tell me in the comments below.
Tip: Don’t overfill the casserole dish as we did with ours. It’s more difficult to take out of the oven if it’s overflowing and you’re more likely to burn yourself since the sauce will be scalding hot.