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.

Easy 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

Perfect Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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.

Makes approximately 10 servings

You Will Need

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, or to taste

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Assembling Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 unbroken lasagna noodles

16 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1 pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated

Directions

  • Make Meat Sauce
  • 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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Gently simmer sauce, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. (Keep the sauce at a very low simmer).

    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.

    • Prepare Lasagna
    • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

      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.

      In the meantime, stir ricotta with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the beaten egg.

      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).

      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

      • Bake Lasagna
      • 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.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • 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.
  • 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 also 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 degrees F for about 1 hour.
  • Meat Sauce with Jarred Marinara Sauce: Cook sausage, beef, onions and carrots as shared above. Add garlic then cook about 1 minute until garlic becomes fragrant. Next, add 2 (24-ounce) jars of 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.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 660 / Protein 41 g / Carbohydrate 46 g / Dietary Fiber 4 g / Total Sugars 11 g / Total Fat 35 g / Saturated Fat 15 g / Cholesterol 109 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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78 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Lynne August 11, 2017, 9:49 pm

    Wonderful recipe, extra little time saver. I never cook my noodles first. The sauce will cook them perfectly while in the oven Also makes layering easier!

    Reply
  • Kerri August 2, 2017, 2:33 pm

    This was my first time making lasagna and also making pasta sauce from scratch. It was super tasty! I’m not a great cook so I always follow the recipes exactly and I loved how it turned out. This will be a regular in my house and I’ll be making this sauce in bulk to freeze. The rest of the sauce made great spaghetti later in the week. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    Reply
  • Mel July 6, 2017, 9:02 pm

    Hi.
    I’m wondering if you increase the cooking time with the no boil noodles?
    Also what brand of crushed tomatoes did you use?
    Also is one box of lasagna noodles sufficient?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 13, 2017, 5:42 pm

      Hi Mel, The cooking time should not need to change for no-boil noodles. We usually use Muir Glen canned tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. One box of lasagna noodles should be fine.

      Reply
  • Sharon Cowan June 27, 2017, 4:54 pm

    Is that total of crushed tomatoes 28 oz or two 28 oz cans it was delicious but I can’t remember how much tomatoes I put in

    Reply
    • Joanne June 29, 2017, 4:52 pm

      The recipe calls for two (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes

      Reply
  • Sharon Cowan June 27, 2017, 4:16 pm

    Is that total of crushed tomatoes 28 oz or two 28 oz cans

    Reply
  • Chris June 3, 2017, 5:20 pm

    This is absolutely delicious! It is my first time making lasagna and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out!!

    Reply
  • Sandiem May 5, 2017, 12:29 pm

    A delicious recipe, I added 1/8tsp nutmeg and pepper to the cheese mixture, and a scant 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the sauce.

    Reply
  • Bridget April 12, 2017, 4:28 pm

    Absolutely love love love this lasagna!! Just wondering where the pepper was supposed to be added. I didn’t add it because the main instructions didn’t call for it.. Regardless this is our new go to lasagna recipe​!! Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Dee August 5, 2017, 9:01 am

      Best lasagne ever!! I substitute Ragu jar sauce instead of crushed tomatoes. Delish! Thanks.

      Reply
  • Tony atwood February 28, 2017, 1:10 pm

    Made it and it was awesome..now not only do I have the perfect lasagna I have a great tasting spaghetti sauce, thank you can’t wait to get more recipes….

    Reply
  • Annie January 23, 2017, 7:27 pm

    Perfect . your right this is the perfect Lasagna ! No need to look for another recipe. Sauce was a amazing. Just added a little fennel seed. And used fresh spices. Going down as one of my favorites thank for sharing.

    Reply
  • Jamminzoe December 25, 2016, 7:42 pm

    I am NOT a cook…im a recipe follower that tries to add my own flair….lol. i made this for christmas dinner & loved it! This was the best meat sauce recipe ive followed! Did a few things diff: i skipped the carrots, used diced tomatoes that had green pepper, celery & something else in them & i used spicy sausage to give it dash of spice but anyway it was great! That you for helping me realized that im not a total lasagna failure! 😆😆

    Reply

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