Cheesy Sausage and Beef Lasagna

How to make the ultimate meat lasagna with a hearty tomato and meat sauce made with sausage and ground beef. Our readers have said this is the best lasagna they’ve ever made. Jump to the Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe or watch our quick recipe video to see us make it.

Watch Us Make Lasagna

How to Make the Best Meat Lasagna

The star of this lasagna recipe is the meat sauce. We brown sausage and lean ground beef and stir it into tomato sauce. We love the combination of sausage and beef. By combining the two, the lasagna becomes rich and immensely satisfying.

For a quicker, lighter meat sauce, try using ground turkey or chicken. We use ground turkey to make our Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce and love it.

How to Make the Best Lasagna with Sausage and Beef Meat Sauce

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 entirely up to you.

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. Add another layer of the meat sauce and add noodles. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up.

How to Make the Best Lasagna with Sausage and Beef Meat Sauce

Here’s another sausage pasta recipe: Try our Easy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe with sausage and spinach

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 three months. We recommend using freezer-safe glass containers, or double layers of freezer bags to store sauces. To thaw, 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.
Crave-Worthy Sausage and Beef Lasagna Recipe

More Lasagna Recipes

We love lasagna — and have quite a few variations on Inspired Taste.

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

Cheesy Sausage and Beef Lasagna

  • PREP
  • COOK

This is the ultimate 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 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

1/3 cup (75 grams) tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 cups water

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional, see notes)

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


  • Make Meat Sauce
  • If you have 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, continue to the next step.

    Place a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausage and beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. As the meat cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the meat apart into small crumbles.

    Stir in the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.

    Stir in the garlic, basil, oregano, and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant and the redness of the tomato paste has turned more orange.

    Pour in the water then use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits of meat that have stuck to the bottom of the pot — there’s lots of flavor there. When the pot is almost scraped clean of stuck bits, stir in the canned tomatoes.

    Bring the sauce to a low simmer. Taste then season with salt, pepper, and sugar as needed. We usually end up adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper and little to no sugar (see notes about sugar). Gently simmer the 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.

    The 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. You can 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 one 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 the dish to cover where the other noodles have not).

      Next, spread about half of the ricotta 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.

      • 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

  • Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate unbaked lasagna up to 2 days. If baked, 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. The meat sauce can be made in advance and should last in your refrigerator up to 3 days and in your freezer for about three months.
  • 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 597 / Protein 40 g / Carbohydrate 37 g / Dietary Fiber 4 g / Total Sugars 7 g / Total Fat 32 g / Saturated Fat 14 g / Cholesterol 112 mg / Sodium 1582 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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106 comments… Leave a Comment
  • amith October 22, 2018, 9:52 am

    Hi, this is one my favourites and the recipe given so simple..thank you

  • Shante B October 15, 2018, 11:52 am

    This recipe was soooo good delicious!!! Make it as soon as possible

  • jenny shmitt June 13, 2018, 6:32 pm

    This lasagna was so good I suggest everyone make it!

  • Lauren April 4, 2018, 4:24 pm

    Is a standard 13×9 Pyrex okay for this or would I need to use a deeper lasagna-specific pan?

    Thank you!

    • Joanne April 4, 2018, 5:13 pm

      That should work just fine.

  • Vanessa hill March 25, 2018, 3:18 pm

    I am making a big batch of the lasagna because my family loves to eat and we make this at work Love it

  • Denny February 21, 2018, 7:11 pm

    wonderful recipe. Followed entire recipe. Added spinach.

    • Halo February 23, 2019, 11:11 am

      Spinach sounds good! How much and when did you add?

  • Pat February 20, 2018, 1:32 pm

    I made this with a jarred marinara sauce. Turned out fantastic! The next day; the leftovers were even better. Definitely will make again.

  • Cyndi February 4, 2018, 5:15 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made this for my son, family and his military friends this Christmas. Everyone flipped over it!It was wonderful sharing such a great dish with so many away from home and home cooked meals. Even my Italian husband who comes from a long line of great cooks thinks its the best he’s ever tasted. I did omit the carrots, water and added a litle crushed peper. Im now offically the family lasanga queen!

  • Patsy Ellison January 14, 2018, 11:12 am

    If I use the oven ready (no-boil) lasagne noodles, how many sheets should I use? This recipe sounds yummy!


    • Joanne April 4, 2018, 5:13 pm

      We like three layers of noodles (probably 3 or 4 sheets per layer). You may find that you need to break a few apart to make it fit.

  • Dot January 9, 2018, 12:48 pm

    Do you use all of the homemade sauce. I plan on making tomorrow. Thanks

    • Joanne April 4, 2018, 5:14 pm

      You will actually have some leftover. We love to freeze that for another day then use it as a topping for spaghetti or over roasted vegetables.

  • GIna La Fiora November 29, 2017, 5:35 pm

    this recipe was incredible being that I come from an Italian family from South Philly mom and grandma taught me how to make lasagna as I was coming out of the womb but I have to say this was fantastic. lots of friends have asked me how to make lasagna knowing that I’m Italian and both my parents are from Italy I always give them my parents recipe however after eating your lasagna I’ll be sharing your recipe from here on out

  • Sherri November 12, 2017, 6:15 pm

    I have this baking in the oven right now. I have to comment though, that The sauce is amazing. I did add a little crushed red pepper as we like some heat. My husband can’t stop “tasting” the sauce. Im sure the lasagne will be a hit as well. thank you for sharing!

  • Mrs. Fix November 11, 2017, 8:28 pm

    What a great recipe and easy instructions to follow! I never made a lasagna and when I have eaten it before it was not my favorite.. I’m glad this recipe gives a balance of meat and cheese. Neither meat is overpowering. I used homegrown tomatoes and and the veggies extra fine. I didn’t add any water bcuz the water from the tomatoes was enough. I didn’t want it too drippy. I made a nice thick sauce. The cheese was oh so good! This lasagna was approved by my husband and I will be remaking this!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rob October 30, 2017, 3:39 am

    Bravo! I haven’t made lasagna from scratch for a long time. After hunting online for a couple days, I finally settled on your recipe as my guideline with a few minor changes (no carrots, more onion, beef, garlic, and cheese). It turned out awesome! I’m so glad you shared your recipe and we are looking forward to trying more of them. Thank you!

  • Kevin Mitchell October 11, 2017, 2:08 am

    Not only was it saucy, but it was sassy. My family went crazy for it! Make sure you have some Italian bread on hand because you’ll want to wipe up every bit of the sauce on your plate…not to mention dipping into it while you’re cooking. This is some “slap yo Italian mamma” kinda lasagna!!!


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