How to Make Lasagna From Scratch

This recipe makes a large, full-sized lasagna, but you can cut it in half—or separate it into two, cook one and freeze the other

Follow this step-by-step recipe to make lasagna at home

Some things are just better when they’re made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals, and it offers you the flexibility to adjust your recipe for dietary or taste preferences.

Last year I posted a recipe on how to make homemade pasta (click here), and now you can put it to good use by creating a lasagna completely from scratch.

This recipe makes a large, full-sized lasagna, but you can cut it in half—or separate it into two, cook one and freeze the other. Plus, you can eliminate the meat, add spinach, or anything else you’d like—this is just a base for your basic (but extremely tasty and worth it) lasagna from scratch.Lasagna ingredientsChristine McAvoy


  • Lasagna noodles (If you want to make the pasta from scratch, follow the instructions here)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or your choice of meat)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 796 ml San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 475 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  •  2 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • Fresh parsley for topping

lasagna in panChristine McAvoyINSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you’re making the pasta from scratch, follow the instructions here, then cut your pasta into lasagna noodles. For lasagna noodles, it’s best to roll them on the thinnest setting, so you can layer more into the dish.
  2. For the meat sauce, brown the beef in a pot or a high-walled pan until browned. Drain the beef, leaving the juices in the pot, and place the beef in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cooking until the onion are soft and transparent.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute to two until caramelized.
  5. Add in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, crushing the tomatoes with your spoon (or whichever utensil works for you) as you go. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, and add water if the sauce gets too thick.
  6. While the sauce is cooking, place the ricotta cheese, a cup of the mozzarella, plus a cup of the Parmesan cheese, as well as the egg, salt & pepper and dried basil in a bowl and stir until combined.
  7. To purée your sauce, use an emersion blender (careful with the heat), then stir in the seasoning, meat and salt & pepper, adjusting the spices to taste.
  8. Cook your pasta until al dente (it will continue to cook when baking, so don’t overdo it), drain and reserve.
  9. In a lasagna dish (or dishes if using two), place a layer of the meat sauce, then cover with lasagna noodles. Add a layer of the cheese sauce, then another layer of lasagna noodles.
  10. Continue this pattern until you’ve used all of your cheese, but finish with a layer of sauce, then top with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.
  11. You can cover and refrigerate the lasagna (or freeze from here—it’s best to freeze it uncooked), until ready to cook.
  12. Preheat the oven to 375. Cover the lasagna with foil and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for approximately 20 more minutes. You may need a little more time if it’s coming straight from the fridge.
  13. If you’d like the top extra melty and browned, bake it under the broiler for a few minutes, watching it carefully.
  14. Let cool for 10 minutes then slice and serve with chopped parsley, grated Parmesan and some fresh cracked pepper on top.