Perfect Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe

A meaty lasagna recipe with Italian sausage, ground beef, and cheese. Plus, our tips for making it in advance. Jump to the full Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe now or read on to see how we make it.

A meaty lasagna with Italian sausage, ground beef, and cheese. Plus, our tips for making it in advance.

We love lasagna — and have already shared our veggie lasagna recipe, spinach and mushroom lasagna, and our white chicken lasagna. This time we’re sharing a hearty, meat lasagna filled with Italian sausage, lean ground beef, cheese, and noodles. It’s completely over-the-top and we love it.

Vegetable Lasagna RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: This very popular recipe for Fresh Vegetable Lasagna. The sauce is light and there’s lots of fresh vegetables including zucchini, onions, and peppers.

Making Our Cheesy Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe

The star of this lasagna recipe is the meat sauce. We brown sausage and lean ground beef and stir it into rich tomato sauce. You could just use sausage or just use beef, but by combining the two, the lasagna becomes rich and extremely satisfying.

A meaty and incredibly delicious lasagna recipe with Italian sausage, ground beef, and cheese. Plus, our tips for making it in advance.

How to Make The Meat Sauce

Here’s the thing. We like store-bought pasta sauces. That’s why we 100% believe it is perfectly fine to use your favorite jarred sauce to make lasagna. It cuts time and tastes great. With that said, we also really love dedicating a sleepy Sunday afternoon to homemade sauce. You can relax, read, watch a movie, or whatever else while the sauce slowly bubbles away on the stove.

In the recipe below, we’ve shared two versions of our recipe. We love them both. The first shares how to make a meaty tomato sauce from scratch, the second takes a well deserved shortcut and uses jarred marinara sauce. Choose either one or make both. It’s completely up to you.

How to Make the Meat Sauce

Once the sauce is made — which could be done in advance (see our tips below) — it’s time to assemble. When layering lasagna, we start with sauce on the bottom, add noodles then add a mixture of ricotta cheese, egg and parmesan. More sauce goes on top and then we layer more noodles. We repeat until all the ingredients are used up.

Make Ahead Tips: How to Make Lasagna in Advance

Lasagna is the perfect make-ahead meal. Here’s how to do it:

  • The meat sauce can be made in advance and should last in your refrigerator up to 3 days and in your freezer for about 3 months. We recommend using freezer-safe glass containers, or double layers of freezer bags to store sauces. To thaw, simply leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Baked lasagna freezes well. Let it cool completely on a rack before freezing, and then wrap it very well with foil (we use two layers). Defrost the frozen lasagna overnight in the refrigerator and then bake at 400°F for about 1 hour.
  • Consider using no-boil noodles. Now that no-boil noodles are more readily available at larger grocery stores, we love using them to make lasagna — especially if we plan to make it ahead of time. The no-boil noodles don’t tend to become as soft or mushy after freezing or reheating compared to boiled noodles.

A meaty lasagna recipe with Italian sausage, ground beef, and cheese. Plus, our tips for making it in advance.

Recipe updated, originally posted January 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

5.0 from 13 reviews
Perfect Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a hearty, meaty lasagna recipe. You have two choices here. If you’re up for it, you can make your own sauce, which takes about 2 hours. Or, to save time, you can substitute your favorite store-bought sauce. We have done both. It’s all up to you. Our homemade sauce will make more than what’s needed for one lasagna. Since it takes so long to make the sauce, we always make sure we have enough for a second lasagna or to use, as is, over pasta for another night. You can save the extra sauce in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 3 months.
Created By:
Yield: Makes 8 servings
You Will Need
FOR Homemade Meat Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup (150 grams) finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) finely diced carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on taste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR Meat Sauce Using Jarred Marinara Sauce (store-bought)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup (150 grams) finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) finely diced carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (24-ounce) jars store-bought marinara sauce
FOR Assembling Lasagna
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 unbroken lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
FOR the Meat Tomato Sauce
  1. If you have purchased Italian sausages with casings, you will need to remove the casings. To do so, take a knife and cut down the length of the sausage. The casing should peel away easily. If you purchased sausage meat without casings, you can continue to the next step.Lasagna Step 1
  2. Heat a heavy 4 to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add olive oil then add the sausage meat and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until browned. About 8 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl. Next, add the beef with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. About 8 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with sausage.
  3. Add onion, carrots and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown. About 8 minutes.
  4. Now, add garlic, basil and oregano to onions and carrot then cook about 1 minute until garlic becomes fragrant. Next, add crushed tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that are stuck to the pot. Add sausage and beef into sauce and stir.
  5. Add tomato paste, water, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, stir then taste for seasoning. Depending on how acidic your tomatoes are, you may need a little more sugar. You also want to taste for salt. It’s best to add the salt now rather than later, so taste and season as needed.
  6. Gently simmer sauce, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. (Keep the sauce at a very low simmer).
  7. Skim off any fat floating on top and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Our homemade sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. This recipe yields about 9 cups of sauce. You will need 4 to 5 cups of sauce for the lasagna. So, either save the sauce for a second lasagna or use to top pasta another day.
HOW to Make Meat Sauce with Jarred Marinara
  1. Cook sausage, beef, onions and carrots as shared above. Add garlic then cook about 1 minute until garlic becomes fragrant. Next, add jarred marinara sauce and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that are stuck to the pot. Then, add sausage and beef back to the pan with onions and carrots. Simmer the sauce 20 to 30 minutes until carrots are tender. Skim off any fat floating on top and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
FOR Assembling the Lasagna
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Add lasagna noodles to the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, according to package directions, this is usually about 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. In the meantime, stir ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Parmigiano-Reggiano and the beaten egg.
  4. To assemble the lasagna, ladle about 3/4 cup of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Arrange noodles lengthwise and side by side and cover the bottom. (If the noodles are short on one end, you may need to cut an extra noodle and place into dish to cover where the other noodles have not).
  5. Next, spread about half of the ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese ) mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese then top with about 1 1/4 cups of meat sauce. Add another layer of noodles and repeat. Add a third layer of noodles then top with remaining sauce and a final layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.Lasagna Step 3
  6. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes, uncover then bake 20 minutes until cheese is crusty around the edges. Let rest at least 15 minutes.
  7. If making ahead, you can cover and refrigerate, unbaked up to 2 days. When you cover, use parchment or wax paper between the lasagna and aluminum foil. Aluminum foil can react with the tomatoes.

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62 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kathy Flister March 6, 2016, 1:01 pm

    Lasagne was wonderful. I froze half of the recipe uncooked lasagna and we ate the other half. It was wonderful . I also made it with chicken breasts and that was also very good. Will make again.

  • Marlene March 2, 2016, 10:17 pm

    This was excellent! First time I’ve tried making homemade lasagna & I followed the directions exactly – but made a smaller size for 4 people & bottled sauce. My bf loved it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Toya February 4, 2016, 8:01 pm

    Looks great! My fiance and I are going to make this tonight !

  • Patty January 15, 2016, 9:05 pm

    i made this for dinner tonight; I made the homemade sauce recipe and it was delicious! I did make one slight change. I didn’t have enough noodles so I used lengthwise cut eggplant slices for the center noodles, which I roasted first. My husband is raving on how wonderful it was. This is a keeper and I will definitely be making it again.

  • Kathy January 1, 2016, 11:58 am

    Looks great. Making tonight for New Year’s Day dinner with friends!

  • Cheryl October 23, 2015, 12:49 pm

    Will try. Looks good

  • Paul October 14, 2015, 6:24 pm

    Absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing. Bravo!!!

  • Vannie October 8, 2015, 1:50 pm

    5 stars! This was fantastic and everyone devoured it. Making the meat sauce was so simple and worth the hour and half simmer. We like spicy in our household so I added some hot peppers from the garden and a bit of creole seasoning. I’m going to try this with ground turkey and turkey sausage next. Thanks for the recipe. Love!

  • Mari September 27, 2015, 5:58 pm

    What I do is I buy Ragu or Prego sauce mix them together add onions, garlic and green pepper and any other spice I like and the sauce is amazing. Use ground beef and sausage hot or mild sauté with the garlic, onions and green peppers add the sauce let it simmer and you got the meaty sauce ready to put together with as many different shredded cheeses you want. Use your imagination.

  • Kay September 8, 2015, 8:03 am

    Recipe looks great… Planning on making tonight for dinner… Thanks

    • Scott November 22, 2015, 10:02 am

      Did you make this recipe? How did it turn out? I’m planning on making this tonite for my family.

  • Antoinette August 22, 2015, 5:16 pm

    Just gotten through making it ,and it looks and smell like homemade.I would share this recipe with anyone who wants to learn how to fix it the right way.

  • Madeline August 21, 2015, 4:50 am

    What is the difference if I use cottage cheese or ricotta?? I see a few recepts with those choices. I am going to make it tomorrow from scratch.

    • Joanne October 16, 2015, 1:01 pm

      We personally prefer ricotta.

      • F Campbell February 9, 2016, 10:47 pm

        I prefer Ricotta and in fact I prefer whole milk ricotta and 2 beaten eggs. Also fresh mozarella sliced and within layers and then regular shredded mozarella on top.

  • Kate, cook for the whole house August 19, 2015, 7:30 pm

    Thanks for a great, easy recipe! I omitted all the olive oil and everything came out just fine. I also replaced the carrot for fresh, chopped up spinach because I needed to use it up and it mixed beautifully into the sauce. 🙂 it’s cooking right now and I can’t wait to taste it! (Five stars in anticipation of the finished product, based on the yumminess of the pre-baked product.)

  • ellie July 26, 2015, 4:55 pm

    i am 12 years old and made this recipe for my mom and step dad (they have the same birthday) they loved it! they said it could be from a resturant and accused me of buying frozen from the store 🙂 it was great. thanks for sharing this recipe!


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