When you need to cook for a pot luck, bring a meal to a friend, or just want to bring a huge smile to your family’s faces, do you have a g0-to dish? I do! For me, it’s this super meaty and cheesy lasagna. Is there anything more comforting than pasta, cheese and meat?
I remember in college, there was a fast food Italian restaurant just across the street from my dorm room and every single time I went, I ordered the lasagna, usually because it wasn’t something I ate on a regular basis at home. When I moved into my first apartment, I tried to figure out how to make it myself and was totally freaked out by the idea of boiling lasagna noodles and then placing them carefully without breaking them. Like me, so many are just not interested in all of the work involved (though the end result is always worth the time and hard work, I’m sure).
I’m not sure I actually made lasagna until I discovered Barilla oven ready (no boil) lasagna noodles years ago. GAME CHANGER! They also have a gluten-free option! It’s so much easier and actually has a recipe right on the back of the box (which is where I got the inspiration for this recipe). Over the years, I’ve tweaked that recipe a bit until we finally had what we considered to be the perfect lasagna recipe. Every time we make it for friends or for events, we get so many rave reviews, so I figured it’s time I share with you guys as well!
Since this isn’t a really hard recipe, just time intensive, I thought it would be easiest to break everything up into photo steps for you. Of course, I forgot to take a photo of one of the steps… in between 6 and 7 should be where you add the mozzarella cheese, but I do specify that in the recipe below, so hopefully that isn’t too confusing.
Let’s talk about some specifics. I use dried spices when I’m cooking the meat, and fresh basil and oregano for the cheese mixture. I have no real method to my madness, it’s just something I got used to doing. If you want to add the fresh garlic, basil and oregano to the meat as well, you can! Fresh spices make a huge difference and it will only make the flavors that much better!
For the cheese mixture, I use a small scoop and put 12 scoops of the cheese mixture (4 columns and 3 rows – see step 6 in photos). It’s the easiest way I’ve found to do it. When you put the lasagna noodle layer on and press down slightly, it will help to distribute it throughout the dish.
I cook both ground beef and mild Italian sausage together for this lasagna. I try to buy the ground mild Italian sausage, but you can also buy sausage in the casing and squeeze it out as well. Cook both meats in the same pan so that they blend together nicely. You can choose to drain or leave the excess oil from the meat before you add it to the lasagna. When I took these photos, you can probably tell that I didn’t drain it. It’s good either way, it’s just a matter of preference.
For the sauce, I always use marinara sauce. I do have a couple of favorite brands, but usually use Prego Farmers Market Classic Marinara. It’s one of the least expensive options and the flavor is one of the best, in our opinion. I almost always have a little bit left once I’ve put together the lasagna. I save that and heat it up and serve it on the side, as a dipping sauce with some garlic bread.
Now that you know a little about the dish, I’m excited to share the recipe with you. If you do make it, I’d love for you to share a photo and tag us on social media or comment below and let me know what you think. We love feedback from our readers!
Don’t forget to check out our other family friendly recipes.
Super Meaty and Cheesy No Boil LasagnaPrint
Two pounds of meat and nine cups of cheese are layered in between no boil lasagna noodles and marinara sauce, making this meal hearty, easy to make and super delicious.
- 2 jars marinara sauce
- 1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles (15 total)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, basil
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 6 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon each fresh basil and fresh oregano, chopped finely
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and add beef and sausage together. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and basil. Stir and crumble until fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of parmesan cheese, fresh basil and fresh oregano. Stir until combined. (step 1 and 2 in photos)
- On the bottom of your baking dish, spread one cup of marinara sauce so that the entire bottom is covered as best as possible. (step 3 in photos)
- Lay 4 sheets of no boil lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, slightly overlapping. (step 4 in photos)
- Cover lasagna noodles with another cup of sauce. Makes sure noodles are totally covered – especially the corners. (step 5 in photos)
- Using a small scoop, scoop out your cheese mixture and layer on top. (step 6 in photos)
- Sprinkle a few handfuls of mozzarella cheese throughout. (forgot a picture of this step, oops)
- Top with 1/3 of your meat. (step 7 in photos)
- Lay 4 sheets of no boil lasagna noodles on top, slightly overlapping and press down gently. (step 8 in photos)
- Repeat steps 5 through 8 again another two times. The final layer of noodles will only be 3 sheets (step 9 in photos)
- Cover lasagna noodles with another cup of sauce. (step 10 in photos)
- Separate 1 cup of mozzarella and set aside. Place the rest of the mozzarella on top of the lasagna. (step 12 in photos)
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- When it’s done, remove foil and top with the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for 5 minutes and then broil for 3 minutes (uncovered).
- Let rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
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