This no-boil lasagna recipe is the perfect family meal that's easy to make and irresistible. It's a comforting budget-friendly recipe with no-boil noodles, layered in between creamy béchamel and a slow-cooked delicious meat sauce.
Another fantastic option is my stuffed rigatoni, which is a honeycomb pasta recipe. Essentially very similar to lasagna but vertical instead of layered horizontally. And to balance this dish out, try my bruschetta with mozzarella with fresh basil.
⭐ Why this recipe works
No boil lasagna uses precooked and dried lasagna sheets instead of uncooked lasagna noodles that soften with the moisture from the meat sauce and béchamel. No boil noodles are more convenient and give lasagna a nice chewy texture.
The meat sauce is rich, full of flavor, and slow-cooked for a couple of hours so that the ingredients infuse and become thick and fragrant. The sauce is then spread over the no-boil noodles with creamy béchamel and topped with grated parmesan cheese for an indulgent masterpiece.
The lasagna recipe is pretty simple and uses minimal ingredients like ground beef, tomato puree, some veggies, parmesan cheese, and no bake noodles, which easily feeds a family of 6 for less than $15. I added to my collection of best pasta recipes with few ingredients.
And you only need a skillet and baking dish to cook the lasagna, meaning you're not left with loads of washing up afterward.
You can even prepare this delicious lasagna in advance and refrigerate or freeze it ready for baking another day, making it perfect for busy weeknights when there's no time for preparing a meal.
🍽 Key Ingredients
All you need is staple pantry ingredients for this delicious lasagna and a skillet and baking dish to bake it in.
Beef - Buy fresh quality ground beef (chuck or top round) that is lean. You want the beef to be 80% lean and 20% fat content for a rich beef flavor to balance with the tomato sauce.
Veggies - Onion, celery, and carrots are used to flavor the meat sauce.
Liquid ingredients - You'll need some white wine for the sauce. Although it evaporates, leaving no trace of alcohol, the aroma gives the sauce layers of flavor combined with the tomato puree and a packet of béchamel sauce for the creamy layer.
Lasagna noodles - Parboiled lasagna noodles are easy to find nowadays and speed up the cooking process.
Cheese - Parmesan cheese.
Béchamel sauce is essentially a white sauce made from a roux of butter, flour, and milk.
You can make it at home in 20 minutes rather than buy it readymade from the grocery store using 50 grams of butter and flour with 500 ml of whole milk. Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of nutmeg for flavor.
To keep the recipe classic, I use grated parmesan cheese. But you could use a mixture of shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan for its melting qualities and even some cottage cheese for its salty flavor.
🔪 How to make
No boil lasagna is an easy recipe to prepare that tastes incredibly good. The pasta sauce requires some patience and time to be perfect, but once the layers are assembled and baked in the oven, it is totally worth the time.
Learn how to make it with step-by-step instructions, walkthrough video, and cooking tips.
- Dice the onion, carrot, and celery using a sharp knife and set aside in a bowl.
- If making a homemade béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan mixed with the flour for a minute until slightly toasted, then pour the milk in gradually, whisking constantly until it thickens. Add seasoning, turn off the heat, and place in a bowl ready for assembly.
Steps to make Lasagna Sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan medium heat.
Add the onion, and cook, often stirring until softened - around 4 - 5 minutes.
Add the celery and carrot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir almost constantly until the vegetables are softened - about 5 minutes more.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef until it's cooked and all the liquid has evaporated.
Add the wine until most of it has evaporated, and stir in the tomato puree. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, stirring regularly until the sauce thickens and the color turns less red. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, and the longer it cooks, the more flavorful the sauce will be.
Assembling Italian Lasagna
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and grease a baking dish.
Spread about ¼ of the béchamel on the bottom of the prepared dish, then add a layer of lasagna sheets, breaking them to fit, covering as much surface area as possible.
Repeat this process with the remaining sauce, lasagna sheets, béchamel, and parmesan 3 more times, with the parmesan cheese being the last layer covering the béchamel.
Bake lasagna for about 30 - 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
Once the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, it is ready.
Allow the lasagna to cool and set for about 25 minutes before serving.
📖 Recipe Variations
Three delicious lasagna recipe variations using this recipe.
This delicious meaty lasagna variation combines Italian sausage and ground beef for a juicer sauce and a ricotta cheese mixture of eggs, parsley, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan.
This skillet lasagna is made even easier without needing a casserole dish to assemble the lasagna. Just cook the meat sauce and layer the remaining ingredients in the skillet and broil until golden brown. Same delicious recipe made easier!
Mix up the lasagna with a touch of Mexico by substituting the no boil noodles for corn tortillas and the pasta sauce for enchilada sauce. This Mexican lasagna is finger-licking good and perfect if you like a bit of spice in your food!
🥗 What to serve with
No boil lasagna is quite filling on its own for a large family, but it can also complement other easy side dishes like soups or salads. Give these recommendations a go-to pair with your lasagna.
The Italians love a good bowl of soup just before devouring pasta dishes, and this tomato soup is made with fresh ingredients that perfectly complement this lasagna.
Rice dishes in Italy usually come in the form of risotto! A lovely thick rice dish cooked in a rich broth and served al dente like this beautiful asparagus risotto served with parmesan. I also love to pair my stuffed zucchini boats with a cheesy risotto.
Salads are quick, easy, and pair with almost any Italian recipe. And these two flavorful salads of tomato & mozzarella salad and couscous salad are light enough to enjoy without feeling overloaded and taste delicious.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
Are no-boil lasagna noodles the same as regular?
Yes, the only difference is that the no-boil variety is par-boiled and dehydrated. They are more convenient than regular lasagna sheets and soften with the sauce as they bake.
Why are my lasagne sheets still hard?
One of the main reasons for hard lasagna sheets after baking is that they were not fully submerged within the meat sauce. You need enough sauce under and over the sheets, so there is enough moisture to cook them during baking for a minimum of 30 minutes.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ Reheating
Lasagna is great for preparing ahead and storing leftovers to enjoy over the following days.
Fridge - Transfer any leftover lasagna to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. If you're preparing it in advance, cover the prepared lasagna with aluminum foil and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
Freezer - To freeze lasagna, place the cooled leftovers in a freezer container for up to 4 months.
Reheating - The best way to reheat your leftovers is in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes and 20 minutes from frozen. For pre-prepared lasagna, remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes until boiling and the cheese turns golden brown.
🍳 Related Recipes
If you love my authentic lasagna recipe. Try one of these fantastic italian recipes for your next meal.
👪 Serving Size
This no-boil lasagna yields 6 generous servings. You could easily scale the recipe and make two casserole dishes of lasagna to freeze one for another time or give one away to friends and family.
The recipe is easy to follow and takes minutes to prepare once the delicious meaty sauce is prepared. Give it a go, and let me know what you think!
🎥 Watch how to make it
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Easy No Boil Lasagna
For the Lasagna Sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small onion - diced
- 1 small carrot - chopped
- ½ stalk celery - chopped
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ½ cup white wine
- 4 cups tomato puree
For the Italian Lasagna
- 4 béchamel
- 1 9 oz lasagna sheets
- 2 cups parmesan cheese - freshly grated
Steps to make Lasagna Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven medium heat.
- Add the onion, and cook, stirring often until softened - around 4 - 5 minutes.
- Add the celery and carrot, and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir almost constantly until the vegetables are softened - about 5 minutes more.
- Add the ground beef, and increase the heat slightly. Cook the beef, stirring often until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the wine, then cook some more until most of it has evaporated as well.
- Stir in the tomato puree, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring regularly until the sauce has thickened and the color turns less red.
Steps to make Italian Lasagna
- Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9x11" baking dish.
- Spread about ¼ of the béchamel on the bottom of the prepared dish, then add a layer of lasagna sheets, breaking them to fit, covering as much surface area as possible.
- Spread some more béchamel on top of the pasta, then pour about a cup and a half of the Bolognese over the top, spreading it out to reach the sides. Add about ½ cup of parmesan spread evenly over the sauce.
- Repeat this process, lasagna, béchamel, Bolognese and parmesan 3 more times, then add a final layer of pasta sheets and top with the remaining béchamel and parmesan.
- Bake for about 30 - 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Allow the lasagna to cool and set for about 25 minutes before serving.