Is there anything more comforting than a plate of homemade lasagna? Slow cooked beef bolognese sauce, a creamy bechamel sauce, and freshly grated parmesan and mozzarella cheeses makes this Italian Bolognese Lasagna one of the most popular dinner recipes of all time.
I have tried so many versions of lasagna — from sausage to ricotta to meatballs and still didn’t find my ultimate lasagna recipe. I am pleased to tell you that after much trial and error, I finally found a sinfully good recipe!
What makes this lasagna different from many recipes out there? Most lasagna recipes call for ricotta cheese. Even though I am a huge fan of ricotta cheese, many times it ends up dry and grainy after it bakes. There had to be a better way!
A few years ago I went over for dinner at a friend’s house. She made a lasagna using a rich bechamel cream sauce that used heavy cream, milk, garlic, and cheese. The lasagna was so creamy and literally melted in my mouth. I knew this was just the ticket for the perfect lasagna.
The Italian Bolognese Lasagna is bursting with flavor. It starts off with a slow cooked beef ragu made with sautéed onions and garlic, ground beef, and fresh marinara sauce. It is layered with the creamy cheese sauce, lasagna sheets, and topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. It is baked until golden brown and bubbly.
There are two options with lasagna noodles. You can use the lasagna noodles you cook in salted boiling water or the oven ready lasagna sheets (which means there is zero prep). If you want to save time, choose the Barilla oven ready lasagna sheets. If you want to ensure tender pasta every single time, use the uncooked pasta sheets.
Another tip is to let lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes after baking to allow it to set up properly.
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 lbs. Ground Beef
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced (or ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder)
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 40 ounce jar Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1½ cup Milk
- 2 cups Parmesan Cheese, divided set aside ½ cup for topping
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves (or ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder)
- 1 package Lasagna Noodles
- 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese (can use more if you like it extra cheesy)
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. Saute onion for 4-5 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until browned. Drain grease.
- Stir in marinara sauce. Let simmer on low heat.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low. Add 1½ cup of Parmesan cheese and whisk until melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. You can also use oven-ready lasagna noodles.
- Assemble the Lasagna: Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Lay 3 noodles over the marinara. Spread ⅓ of the bechamel cream filling mixture evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle with bolognese sauce. Repeat with the remaining noodles, bechamel cream filling, and mozzarella cheese making 3 layers of filling and ending with pasta. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with foil. Bake covered for 25 minutes until the lasagna is heated through. Remove foil and let the cheese melt and bubble -- about 5-10 minutes longer. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve.
This Italian Bolognese Lasagna will knock your socks off! It’s the perfect warm meal for the cold evenings ahead.
Happy Cooking, my friends! xo