Photo of Make-Ahead Lasagna

The Best Make-Ahead Lasagna (freezer-friendly too!)

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 16 1x


The Best Make-Ahead Lasagna recipe is made with a rich sausage sauce and loads of cheese. This will be your go-to lasagna recipe, guaranteed!




  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound meatloaf mix OR Italian sausage
  • 1/4  cup heavy cream
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried


  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (4 cups)
  • 24 ounces (3 cups) whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. For the sauce Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add meatloaf mix and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer until liquid evaporates and only fat remains, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato puree and tomatoes, bring to simmer, and cook until flavors meld, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. For the lasagna Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl.
  3. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish (avoiding large chunks of meat). Lay 3 noodles in dish, spread 1/3 cup ricotta mixture over each noodle, then top with 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup sauce (in that order). Repeat layering process 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining 1 cup mozzarella, and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan.
  4. Cover dish tightly with greased aluminum foil, place on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, and continue to bake until spotty brown and bubbling around edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Let casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving.


To Make Ahead

  • Lasagna, prepared through step 3, can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, covered with aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month; if frozen, thaw completely in refrigerator
  • To bake, unwrap lasagna, cover with greased aluminum foil, and bake on foil-lined sheet in 400-degree oven until hot throughout, about 1 hour; remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is golden, about 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 16
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422.3 Fat: 26.8g Cholesterol: 89mg Sodium: 844.5mg Carbohydrates: 25.4g Sugars: 4.7g Protein: 21g Vitamin A: 167.9µg Vitamin C: 13.4mg

Keywords: make ahead lasagna, easy lasagna recipe, easy homemade lasagna, homemade lasagna recipe, best lasagna recipe, best homemade lasagna, easy homemade lasagna, how to make lasagna

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x